14 Days of Fasting & Prayer
Happy new year and welcome to day 1 of 14 days of fasting and prayer.
Today our prayer/fasting focus is on hitting the reset button of our soul. The soul is your mind, will, emotions and desires. Over time the constant demand can allow your soul to get "gunked" up with all the "stuff" we go through. The pressure and pain slowly muffle Gods voice. The fire dims and we shift into auto pilot just going through the motions. To receive the new things God wants to bring into our lives... it's time to reset!
How it works:
1. Choose your time or time range.
2. Choose your fast: full fast, intermittent fast, Daniel fast or technology fast.
3. Starting January 1st, check in daily right here at our web page for a daily prayer focus, encouragement and scripture meditation.
Creating space for God...a great way to start a new year!
Our prayer focus today is missionaries…those who take the gospel to foreign countries.
In one aspect, you are doing mission work if you take the gospel to the other side of the room or street. We could call this “home missions”.
The group we’re praying for today are those who take the gospel to another nation. These are people who are sent out from local churches with prayer and financial support.
The apostle Paul was one of the first missionaries mentioned in scripture. The book of Acts records three different trips he took to numerous countries with the sole purpose of planting churches and spreading the gospel.
It’s been said correctly:
“you’re either a missionary or a missions field”.
1 Chronicles 16.24
We come to the conclusion of 14 Days of Fasting and Prayer. I hope this has been a refreshing time of renewal and re-setting as we begin to face the challenges of a new year.
Our prayer focus today is finishing… well. The goal is not to finish by crossing the finish line crawling with “your last ounce of energy” but by finishing with a smile on your face and having the Father say “well done”.
Discouragement is real. Fight it. Fight it every day all day if you have to. If you feel yourself getting a little weak, call in some friends to help you fight it.
There are times when we stumble and collapse. When that happens, just get back up take a breath and start again.
Discouragement has a friend named “just quit”. He whispers “just quit trying…”. If you give in to the temptation to quit, one thing is for sure…you will regret it.
Finish well by keeping your eyes on the finish line. Don’t get distracted and discouraged by all the noise around you at this time. “Roll up your sleeves”, stay focused and keep moving forward in your walk with God.
1 Cor. 9.24
Love for the brethren
Our prayer focus today is on our brothers and sisters in Christ… the church. Are they perfect? No, they couldn’t be even if they tried their hardest. We have to be realistic in our expectations because the Bible says all have sinned. In other words, a church can be healthy but never perfect.
Jesus loved the church with all of its faults, failures and imperfections and if we are to be Christlike, we must love it that way too.
Jesus referred to the church as “His bride” and “His body”. How would you feel if I said to you “I like you but not your bride or your body”. I’m pretty sure you’d be offended and rightly so.
“Longing for the ideal while criticizing the real is evidence of spiritual immaturity”
According to scripture, the lost world knows that Jesus is real by how we treat one another in the body of Christ.
1 John 4.19
1 John 3.1
Jesus said “the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9.37)
God loves when we serve in the harvest willingly, sacrificially and eagerly out of love for Jesus with gratitude for all He’s done. There is joy in giving and there is joy in serving!
Our Lord also said in Mark 10.45 “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve”
Our prayer focus today is twofold:
First, we pray for strength to continue to serve ourselves and second we pray for others who serve the Lord.
Here is a short list of those who serve in the harvest at every church service: those who make coffee, those who set up chairs and unlock doors, those who set thermostats, teachers, pastors, singers, child care, musicians, audio/visual techs, those who clean up, those who turn lights on and off… the list goes on because there are a lot of people who serve the Lord in the church. Many of them arrive early and leave late.
If you haven't discovered the joy of serving God, then you are missing out. There is something for everyone to do in service to Him.
1 Peter 4.10
Right before Jesus returned to heaven after the resurrection, He turned to the early church and gave them the great commission to go into the world to evangelize and make disciples.
This commission requires two things:
* Human resources.
* Financial resources.
A a lot of daily stress and strife occur because of finances. Money is still the leading cause for distress in marriages.
Today our prayer focus is two fold:
First we pray for sufficient finances for our households and second we pray for the finances of our church.
God has called us to raise our families and raise His spiritual family and both require finances.
It comes down to this: we should love people and use money not love money and use people.
Quick facts about finances:
* Money shows what you love most.
* Money shows what you really trust most.
* Money shows if God can trust you.
1 Timothy 6.10
Everyone is faced with the temptation to give up or quit. No one escapes those kinds of feelings. Our prayer focus today is for strength to keep going through the tough seasons of life. Keep going! Don’t give up!
E - Embrace God’s purpose.
N - Nurture your spiritual roots.
D - Direct your attention on Jesus.
U - Use your experience to help others.
R - Rely on God’s power.
E - Expect God’s goodness.
1 Peter 1.7
In the last 300 years there have been over 250 peace treaties signed… almost none of them was kept. The kind of peace the world gives is temporary.
The peace that comes from the world is also circumstantial. If you have a good job, then you’re at peace. If you lose that job, then you’re not at peace anymore. If there’s money in the bank… peace. When it’s gone… no peace.
Jesus offers a peace that is different. It’s called the “peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4.7)
Are there rooms in your heart filled with worry, anxiety and upset with fear? Our prayer focus today is to invite Jesus into those rooms. You will find that He is the “prince of peace”.
1 Cor. 1.10
As you read through the gospels, you will find Jesus healing people on numerous occasions. They were healed/restored physically, emotionally and in their relationships.
Our prayer focus today is on healing and restoration. In what way do you need the touch of the masters hand of healing/restoration?
If you need something in your life healed or restored, the first thing we do is humble ourselves admitting we are not in control and then we come to God and ask for His help.
* Does God still heal? Answer… yes.
* Does He heal everyone? Answer… no.
* Sometimes God uses sickness to get our attention and redirect us.
* Sometimes God allows sickness for a testimony to others.
* Sometimes God uses sickness to call us to heaven.
* Sometimes our emotions need healing.
* Sometimes our relationships need healing.
* God still heals today according to His will.
2 Chronicles 7.14 1 Peter 5.10
1 John 5.14 James 1.6
Isaiah 53.5 Psalm 103.2-4
“Faith is doing the right thing even when it doesn’t make sense.”
One example of this is a guy in the Bible named Gideon. He was told to go against 135,000 enemy soldiers with 300 of his men. (45 to 1 odds) What? Many would think this would end is disaster… but it didn’t.
Gideon trusted God’s unusual instructions to take along, clay pots, torches and trumpets. Really?
Then God told Gideon to blow the trumpets, break the pots and let the torchlight suddenly shine out of the darkness. Seriously?
Gideon trusted even though it didn’t make sense and he didn’t understand but guess what… it worked. We trust and God does the rest.
Our prayer focus today is trusting God. There are many areas of life that are simply out of our control.
* In what area are you finding it difficult to trust God today?
* In what areas do you struggle to have faith?
If you haven’t noticed, the holiday decorations are coming down all around town. It all started a few weeks ago with Thanksgiving… a day of giving thanks.
As believers we know that gratitude is something that we demonstrate every day, not just one day per year.
Our prayer focus today is gratitude. Spend some time today giving thanks “in everything” as the Bible says.
* Gratitude improves physical health.
* Gratitude creates happiness.
* Gratitude helps defeat toxic emotions.
* Gratitude improves relationships.
1 Cor. 1.4
* Gratitude pleases God and brings His blessing.
When was the last time someone recommended something to you? Perhaps a movie, a book, a restaurant or a certain product… We make/receive recommendations all the time. That is what evangelism is… recommending God.
One day an angel from the Lord told Peter to go share the gospel with an unbeliever named Cornelius. (Acts 10). Why didn’t the angel just go himself? Answer: God uses people to reach people.
The primary way people come to Jesus is hearing the gospel from a friend or loved one.
This process of people reaching people with the gospel is called evangelism and it is found over and over again in scripture. Isn’t it amazing that in God's sovereignty He didn’t choose the animal kingdom or creation… He chose you!
Our prayer focus today is evangelism.
We pray for greater courage and boldness to share the gospel.
We pray for greater sensitivity in recognizing the doors God opens for the gospel.
We remember with thanksgiving those who shared the gospel with us.
We pray for the lost to come to Christ before it is too late.
1 Peter 3.15
Imagine for a moment you’re in an airport anxiously hauling your luggage to your gate. The luggage is at its maximum weight limit, the wheels aren’t working right and you’re late. Just then, a stranger offers you a free luggage cart. Your load just got a lot lighter!
In a very real sense that is what the Lord has done for us. He has allowed us to release the heavy weight of our past and offers to carry the load for you.
Our prayer focus today is on releasing the things that are currently weighing you down and casting them on the incredibly strong arms of Jesus as He has ask you to do.
What is weighing on your heart/mind today? Past or current failures? Current or future fears? Problems with no apparent solutions? Release them to the Lord.
1 Peter 5.7
Our prayer focus today is on the body that God gave us. Scripture refers to them as “the temple”. Our bodies are incredibly rugged but they do need upkeep and maintenance. So today, we show our bodies grace.
How do you honor God with your body? It’s simple: you take care of it.
There are several attitudes toward the body:
* You neglect it
* You reject it (God give me a new one!)
* You constantly try to perfect it (some worship their bodies while others go to great expense to perpetually stay young through various procedures)
* Instead, God wants you to respect and protect your body. Why? Because God created it, Jesus paid for it and the Holy Spirit lives in it. Remember… you only get one!
Many times when we’re under stress or duress, we neglect our bodies. We don’t get good rest/sleep or our food intake isn’t as healthy as it could be. Taking a walk is simply out of the question as we try to fix the problems of the world. So today our prayer focus is on respecting and protecting the body that God gave us.
Goal: Show your body grace today by taking steps to respect it and protect it.
1 Corinthians 6.19-20
3 John 1.2
Prayer and fasting focus:
Resetting and refreshing your soul.
1 Cor. 6.19-20
2 Cor. 5.17