40 Days Prayer & Fasting
February 23, 2018 5:12 AM

Day 9

February 23, 2018 5:12 AM
February 23, 2018 5:12 AM

Prayer Guide | Friday, February 23rd

Focus: ADORATION & CONFESSION

 

When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away
Through my groaning all day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah.
I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I did not hide;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”;
And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.

King David, Psalm 32:3-5

If you missed the short explanation of confession and 1 John 1:8-10 from Day 8 please start by reading that short devotion.

Begin with Adoration

Allow David’s words in Psalm 8 to guide your own words of adoration today…

Psalm 8

Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!
From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength
Because of Your adversaries,
To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth!

Continue with Confession

Read once more David’s confession above from Psalm 32…

Ask God to help you in this moment to “not keep silent” about your sin, but rather to confess your sin and to bring it from the darkness of hiding into the light of His grace. Now, spend a few moments sitting silently before God confessing the sin He brings to your mind.

Remember…

In confession we repent, turn from our sin, and turn toward God in faith. Our repentance is not just a change of mind, but a change of affections and will, such that our repentance shows up in how we live.

Conclude your time of confession by acknowledging and accepting that God—through faith in Christ—indeed forgives and cleanses you from all sin and unrighteousness. Thank Him for fellowship restored and deepened.

If you have chosen to fast today, Friday, February 23rd, please read through our Fasting Guide to prepare your heart to engage in this spiritual discipline.

 

 

[Please pray for Megan Oseland, 13-yr old daughter of Neal & Stacy Oseland, who suffered a brain bleed stroke a week ago, was admitted to the ER, and is now in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. The bleeding occurred near her brain stem on the right side of her brain. Megan has shown continuous improvement and has not only begun speaking again, but has recently been able to move her left arm, hand and fingers. Pray for her as she experiences moments of extreme sadness as she better understands cognitively what she has experienced in this last week. She is still in very serious condition, and the road to recovery will be long, so please continue to pray diligently for Megan - as well as her parents, Neal & Stacy, and her siblings Taylor and Ryan.]

content adapted from Fellowship Bible Church, Brentwood, TN - Pastor Lloyd Shadrach

February 22, 2018 10:51 AM

Day 8

February 22, 2018 10:51 AM
February 22, 2018 10:51 AM

Prayer Guide | Thursday, February 22nd

Focus: ADORATION & CONFESSION

 

"If the Spirit of God detects anything in your life that is wrong … He asks you to accept the light,

and He will put it right. A child of the light confesses instantly and stands bared before God;

a child of the darkness says—Oh, I can explain that away."

Oswald Chambers, from My Utmost for His Highest

Introduction

As we begin this week of a focus on confession, it is important that we take a few moments to understand what confession is, why it matters, and how confession operates in the life of a believer.

The primary Greek word for “confession” literally means “to say the same thing.” Thus the idea of “confession” in our prayers is to agree with God; to admit and acknowledge. It is to agree with God that He is great and almighty, and we are not; to admit that He is in control and we are not; to acknowledge that He is without sin, but we are not.

1 John 1:9-10

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

John is writing to believers in this passage. He is addressing the Christian’s fellowship with God, not their secure standing with God wherein one is justified by the work of Christ, forever a son or daughter.

When a person puts their trust in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, all of their sins and the just penalty due are forgiven—past, present and future. The Christian is in a relationship with God that can never change: We become sons and daughters by means of the new birth in Christ! However, while our relationship with God as His sons and daughters is unchangeable, our moment by moment experience of intimacy, affection and communion will be disrupted by sin.

J. Hampton Keathely gives us some helpful insight on 1 John 1:9:

“Confess” is in the present continuous tense in the Greek text. This is what is called the iterative present. It refers to continuous repeated action like that of a hacking cough. The idea is, repeatedly, whenever we recognize sin, we are at that very moment to confess it and to look to the ministry of the Spirit of God and the principles of the Word for power to overcome that sin while resting in God’s forgiveness.

The promise is that God is faithful and righteous (just) to forgive us and cleanse us. If we will honestly and ruthlessly confess our sins, God is faithful every single time to forgive us. He restores us to fellowship. Known sin grieves the person of the Spirit (Eph. 4:30) and quenches His power (1Thess. 5:19). Known sin…breaks fellowship, and hinders our walk with the Lord.

J. Hampton Keathely, from ABCs for Christian Growth – Laying the Foundation

Confession restores our fellowship with God, and puts us in a position for the Holy Spirit's power to continue His work of transforming us into the image of Christ from the inside out.

Begin with Adoration

Let Paul’s words in Ephesians 1 regarding all we have in Jesus guide our adoration today:

Ephesians 1:3-10

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insightHe made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.

Now, praise God for what He has done for us in Christ as described in these verses. For example, “I praise you, God, for adopting me through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.”

Continue with Confession

Ask God to bring to your mind any known sin that is disrupting your fellowship with Him. Be specific about your sin and its consequences, knowing that God knows before the words ever cross your lips. He wants us to confess our sin for us, for our own hearts.

For example, my confession may sound something like this:

—Lord, I confess thoughts of lust, and dwelling on those thoughts…
—I confess that what I said to that person was out of anger, and I wanted to hurt them for hurting me…
—I confess, Lord, that I am avoiding you because I am mad at you…

Confession is not about “beating yourself up,” it is about bringing yourself before God—your true self, true motivations, thoughts, attitudes and actions.

Keathley continues in ABCs for Christian Growth – Laying the Foundation:

The only sins we can confess are our known sins, but as John 1:8and 10 suggest, as long as we are in this life, we will never be perfect or without sin. There will always be areas that need change. In other words, there will always be unknown sins. The promise is that as long as we are confessing our known sins and seeking earnestly to walk with the Lord, He not only forgives the sins we confess but He cleanses us from all sin (our unknown sins) and fellowship is maintained.

Cleansing us may also refer to the transformation process that confession is designed to bring about as it causes us to deal with sin and seek the fellowship and strength of God. Confession is not just to avoid divine discipline.

J. Hampton Keathely, from ABCs for Christian Growth – Laying the Foundation

Remember…

In confession we repent, turn from our sin, and turn toward God in faith. Our repentance is not just a change of mind, but a change of affections and will, such that our repentance shows up in how we live.

Conclude your time of confession by acknowledging and accepting that God—through faith in Christ—indeed forgives and cleanses you from all sin and unrighteousness. Thank Him for fellowship restored and deepened.

If you have chosen to fast today, Thursday, February 22nd, please read through our Fasting Guide to prepare your heart to engage in this spiritual discipline.

[Please pray for Megan Oseland, 13-yr old daughter of Neal & Stacy Oseland, who suffered a brain bleed stroke a week ago, was admitted to the ER, and is now in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. The bleeding occurred near her brain stem on the right side of her brain. Megan has shown continuous improvement and has not only begun speaking again, but has recently been able to move her left arm, hand and fingers. Pray for her as she experiences moments of extreme sadness as she better understands cognitively what she has experienced in this last week. She is still in very serious condition, and the road to recovery will be long, so please continue to pray diligently for Megan - as well as her parents, Neal & Stacy, and her siblings Taylor and Ryan.]

content adapted from Fellowship Bible Church, Brentwood, TN - Pastor Lloyd Shadrach

February 21, 2018 5:28 AM

Day 7

February 21, 2018 5:28 AM
February 21, 2018 5:28 AM

Prayer Guide | Wednesday, February 21st

Focus: ADORATION

 

"Real prayer comes not from gritting our teeth but from falling in love." 

~ Richard Foster

Adoration with your mind

We will learn again today from hearing the prayer of another. We are going back to 350 AD to let this Second Prayer of St. Basil inform and shape our own prayer of adoration. Read it through three times. First silently. Then read it out loud. Then read it as a whisper…

We bless Thee, O most high God and Lord of mercy, Who art ever doing numberless great and inscrutable things with us, glorious and wonderful; Who grantest to us sleep for rest from our infirmities, and repose from the burdens of our much toiling flesh. We thank Thee that Thou hast not destroyed us with our sins, but hast loved us as ever, and though we are sunk in despair, Thou hast raised us up to glorify Thy power. Therefore we implore Thy incomparable goodness, enlighten the eyes of our understanding and raise up our mind from the heavy sleep of indolence; open our mouth and fill it with Thy praise, that we may be able undistracted to sing and confess Thee, Who art God glorified in all and by all, the eternal Father, with Thy only-begotten Son, and Thy all-holy and good and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

~ Saint Basil the Great

Adoration with your affections

Now read the prayer very slowly … phrase by phrase … and make this prayer your own. Pause after each sentence or statement and add your own words of adoration.

Adoration with your will

Identify something in your life that resists adoring God, something that makes it difficult to praise Him. Bring that before the Lord by telling Him that you choose praise, by faith, because God is worthy, always worthy of praise.

If you have chosen to fast today, Wednesday, February 21st, please read through our Fasting Guide to prepare your heart to engage in this spiritual discipline.

[Please pray for Megan Oseland, 13-yr old daughter of Neal & Stacy Oseland, who suffered a brain bleed stroke Thursday, was admitted to the ER, and is now in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. The bleeding occurred near her brain stem on the right side of her brain, and for now, the left side of her body is primarily unresponsive - though she did move one of her toes on her left side recently. Megan is still unable to talk at this point, but she is improving every day and Saturday, she smiled and laughed for the first time! She is still in very serious condition, and the road to recovery will be long, so please continue to pray diligently for Megan - as well as her parents, Neal & Stacy, and her siblings Taylor and Ryan.

February 20, 2018 5:03 AM

Day 6

February 20, 2018 5:03 AM
February 20, 2018 5:03 AM

Prayer Guide | Tuesday, February 20th

Focus: ADORATION

 

"In the school of adoration the soul learns why the approach to every other goal had left it restless." ~ Douglas Steere

Adoration with your mind

We often learn to pray by hearing others pray. Today, listen to this prayer from Richard Foster. Read it through three times. First silently. Then read it out loud. Then read it as a whisper…

O most high, glorious God, how great is my dilemma! In Your awful presence silence seems best. And yet, if I keep my peace, the rocks themselves will cry out. But if I do speak, what will I say?

It is Love that calls forth my speech, though it still feels like stammering. I love you, Lord God. I adore you. I worship you. I bow down before you.

Thank you for your gifts of grace:
—the consistency of the sunrise and sunset,
—the wonders of color,
—the solace of voices I know. 

I magnify you, Lord. Let me see your greatness—to the extent that I can receive it. Help me bow in your presence in endless wonder and ceaseless praise. In the name of Him whose adoration never failed. —Amen.

Richard Foster, from Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home

Adoration with your affections

Now read the prayer very slowly … phrase by phrase … and make this prayer your own. Pause after each sentence or statement and add your own words of adoration.

Adoration with your will

Identify something in your life that resists adoring God, something that makes it difficult to praise Him. Bring that before the Lord by telling Him that you choose praise, by faith, because God is worthy, always worthy of praise.

If you have chosen to fast today, Tuesday, February 20th, please read through our Fasting Guide to prepare your heart to engage in this spiritual discipline.

[Please pray for Megan Oseland, 13-yr old daughter of Neal & Stacy Oseland, who suffered a brain bleed stroke Thursday, was admitted to the ER, and is now in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. The bleeding occurred near her brain stem on the right side of her brain, and for now, the left side of her body is primarily unresponsive - though she did move one of her toes on her left side recently. Megan is still unable to talk at this point, but she is improving every day and Saturday, she smiled and laughed for the first time! She is still in very serious condition, and the road to recovery will be long, so please continue to pray diligently for Megan - as well as her parents, Neal & Stacy, and her siblings Taylor and Ryan.

February 19, 2018 6:03 AM

Day 5

February 19, 2018 6:03 AM
February 19, 2018 6:03 AM

Prayer Guide | Monday, February 19th

Focus: ADORATION

 

"Our part in prayer is to try to raise our minds and hearts to God, to spend time making the effort.

‘Trying to pray’ is prayer, and it is very good prayer. The will to try is also His gift." ~ Basil Hume

Adoration with your mind

Allow these sections from Psalm 103 to be your prayer guide today. Read it through three times. First silently. Then read it out loud. Then read it as a whisper…

Psalm 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
14 For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.

19 The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.

Adoration with your affections

Now allow the Psalm to guide your words of adoration. Tell God what the Psalm tells you about Him, His character, His being, His works, His promises, His purposes and plans. For example: “Lord, I praise you because everything you say and do is true.”

Adoration with your will

Identify something in your life that resists adoring God, something that makes it difficult to praise Him. Bring that before the Lord by telling Him that you choose praise, by faith, because God is worthy, always worthy of praise.

 

If you have chosen to fast today, Monday, February 19th, please read through our Fasting Guide to prepare your heart to engage in this spiritual discipline.

[Please pray for Megan Oseland, 13-yr old daughter of Neal & Stacy Oseland, who suffered a brain bleed stroke Thursday, was admitted to the ER, and is now in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. The bleeding occurred near her brain stem on the right side of her brain, and for now, the left side of her body is primarily unresponsive - though she did move one of her toes on her left side recently. Megan is still unable to talk at this point, but she is improving every day and Saturday, she smiled and laughed for the first time! She is still in very serious condition, and the road to recovery will be long, so please continue to pray diligently for Megan - as well as her parents, Neal & Stacy, and her siblings Taylor and Ryan.

February 17, 2018 7:18 AM

Day 4

February 17, 2018 7:18 AM
February 17, 2018 7:18 AM

Prayer Guide | Saturday, February 17th

Focus: ADORATION

 

"Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name." 1 Chronicles 16:29

Adoration with your mind

Allow Psalm 111 to be your prayer guide today. Read it through three times. First silently. Then read it out loud. Then read it as a whisper…

Psalm 111

Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart,
In the company of the upright and in the assembly.
Great are the works of the Lord;
They are studied by all who delight in them.
Splendid and majestic is His work,
And His righteousness endures forever.
He has made His wonders to be remembered;
The Lord is gracious and compassionate.
He has given food to those who fear Him;
He will remember His covenant forever.
He has made known to His people the power of His works,
In giving them the heritage of the nations. 

The works of His hands are truth and justice;
All His precepts are sure.
They are upheld forever and ever;
They are performed in truth and uprightness.
He has sent redemption to His people;
He has ordained His covenant forever;
Holy and awesome is His name.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;
His praise endures forever.

Adoration with your affections

Now allow the Psalm to guide your words of adoration. Tell God what the Psalm tells you about Him, His character, His being, His works, His promises, His purposes and plans. For example: “Lord, I praise you because everything you say and do is true.”

Adoration with your will

Identify something in your life that resists adoring God, something that makes it difficult to praise Him. Bring that before the Lord by telling Him that you choose praise, by faith, because God is worthy, always worthy of praise.

If you have chosen to fast today, Saturday, February 17th, please read through our Fasting Guide to prepare your heart to engage in this spiritual discipline.

[Please pray for Megan Oseland, 13-yr old daughter of Neal & Stacy Oseland, who suffered a brain bleed stroke Thursday, was admitted to the ER, and is now in the Intensive Care Unit. The bleeding occurred near her brain stem on the right side of her brain, and for now, the left side of her body is unresponsive. She is currently sedated and they are monitoring her closely. The immediate prayer is that she survives over the next 3 days. Her AVM is tangled around the brain stem in a very dangerous area. Surgery is not an option due to causing further harm and possible death. 

Contact Pastor Brian Petak for more information.]

 

February 15, 2018 10:38 PM

Day 3

February 15, 2018 10:38 PM
February 15, 2018 10:38 PM

Prayer Guide | Friday, February 16th

Focus: ADORATION

 

"A great part of my time is spent in getting my heart in tune for prayer.

It is the divine link that connects earth with heaven." ~ Robert Murray McCheyne

Adoration with your mind

Allow Psalm 145 to be your prayer guide today. Read it through three times. First silently. Then read it out loud. Then read it as a whisper…

Psalm 145

I will extol You, my God, O King,
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of Your majesty
And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.
Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts,
And I will tell of Your greatness.
They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness
And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness. 

The Lord is gracious and merciful;
Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.
The Lord is good to all,
And His mercies are over all His works.
10 All Your works shall give thanks to You, O Lord,
And Your godly ones shall bless You.
11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom
And talk of Your power;
12 To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts
And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.

14 The Lord sustains all who fall
And raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to You,
And You give them their food in due time.
16 You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways
And kind in all His deeds.
18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He will also hear their cry and will save them.
20 The Lord keeps all who love Him,
But all the wicked He will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.

Adoration with your affections

Now allow the Psalm to guide your words of adoration. Tell God what the Psalm tells you about Him, His character, His being, His works, His promises, His purposes and plans. For example: “Lord, I praise you because you open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.”

Adoration with your will

Identify something in your life that resists adoring God, something that makes it difficult to praise Him. Bring that before the Lord by telling Him that you choose praise, by faith, because God is worthy, always worthy of praise.

If you have chosen to fast today, Friday, February 16th, please read through our Fasting Guide to prepare your heart to engage in this spiritual discipline.

[Please pray for Megan Oseland, 13-yr old daughter of Neal & Stacy Oseland, who suffered a brain bleed stroke yesterday, was admitted to the ER, and is in the Intensive Care Unit. The neurologist believes she has a good chance of full recovery, but it is too soon to know much more definitively at this point. More details to come. Contact Pastor Brian Petak for more information.]

February 15, 2018 5:15 AM

Day 2

February 15, 2018 5:15 AM
February 15, 2018 5:15 AM

Prayer Guide | Thursday, February 15th

Focus: ADORATION

 

"All true prayer is worship—the ascription of worth to the Eternal. Without adoration, thanksgiving may become a miserliness, petition a selfish clamor, intercession a currying of special favors for our friends, and even contemplation may turn into a refined indulgence." ~ George Buttrick

Adoration with your mind

Allow Psalm 46 to be your prayer guide today. Read it through three times. First silently. Then read it out loud. Then read it as a whisper…

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.

Adoration with your affections

Now allow the Psalm to guide your words of adoration. Tell God what the Psalm tells you about Him, His character, His being, His works, His promises, His purposes and plans. For example: “Lord, I praise you because you made the heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them.”

Adoration with your will

Identify something in your life that resists adoring God, something that makes it difficult to praise Him. Bring that before the Lord by telling Him that you choose praise, by faith, because God is worthy, always worthy of praise.

If you have chosen to fast today, Thursday, February 15th, please read through our Fasting Guide to prepare your heart to engage in this spiritual discipline.

February 13, 2018 4:49 PM

Day 1

February 13, 2018 4:49 PM
February 13, 2018 4:49 PM

Prayer Guide | Wednesday, February 14th

Focus: ADORATION

 

"Adoration is the lifting up of the heart and mind to God, asking nothing but to enjoy God’s presence."

Book of Common Prayer

Adoration with your mind

Allow Psalm 146 to be your prayer guide today. Read it through three times. First silently. Then read it out loud. Then read it as a whisper…

Psalm 146

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord while I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Do not trust in princes,
In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
His spirit departs, he returns to the earth;
In that very day his thoughts perish.
How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
The sea and all that is in them;
Who keeps faith forever;
Who executes justice for the oppressed;
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free.

The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord raises up those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous;
The Lord protects the strangers;
He supports the fatherless and the widow,
But He thwarts the way of the wicked.
10 The Lord will reign forever,
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!

Adoration with your affections

Now allow Psalm 146 to guide your words of adoration to the Father. Tell God what the Psalm tells you about Him, His character, His being, His works, His promises, His purposes and plans. For example: “Lord, I praise you because you raise up those who are bowed down, and you support the fatherless and the widow.

Adoration with your will

Now, identify something in your life that resists adoring God, something that might make it difficult to praise and worship Him. Bring that before the Lord by telling Him that by faith, you choose praise, because no matter the circumstances, God is always worthy of praise.

If you have chosen to fast today, Wednesday, February 14th, please read through our Fasting Guide to prepare your heart to engage in this spiritual discipline.

February 1, 2018 12:08 PM

40 Days of Prayer and Fasting

February 1, 2018 12:08 PM
February 1, 2018 12:08 PM

By Pastor Brian Petak

As we've begun this new year with a powerful teaching series on prayer and now look to what God has in store for The Ascent in this next season, we believe there is nothing more important for us to do than seek God’s heart, wisdom, direction and blessing. It has been, and will always be His will above our own! Through this season of prayer and fasting, we trust that God will renew our hearts for all that breaks and delights His own.

Read more

By Pastor Brian Petak

As we've begun this new year with a powerful teaching series on prayer and now look to what God has in store for The Ascent in this next season, we believe there is nothing more important for us to do than seek God’s heart, wisdom, direction and blessing. It has been, and will always be His will above our own! Through this season of prayer and fasting, we trust that God will renew our hearts for all that breaks and delights His own.

We invite you to pray with us throughout this 40-day season and, in addition, choose a day to fast between Febuary  14th and April 1st. May we be changed, that we might change the world for His glory.

If you haven't done so already, text 40DAYS to 555888 to receive a link to our daily devotional each morning during the 40 days, beginning February 14 and concluding on Easter Sunday, April 1. Or you can click here to receive the text each day as well.

If you'd like to receive the devotional via email, click here


 

What is prayer?

Prayer at its essence is an ongoing talk with God. It is hearing and it is speaking. It is words spoken and words received. It is a quiet heart. It is a crying heart. It is foundational to life, the “abundant” life that Christ promised.

Like God’s people before us, we are choosing to designate a season in which we individually and corporately make “talking with God” our first priority.

Why should I pray?

We do so because we need Him. We do so because we need to know His will, His power, His direction, His favor, His blessing. In John the Baptist's words, we want more of Him and less of us.

We pray because we are following the Servant King, and it was His habit to pray—it was His life. Jesus says in John 5:19-20, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing… For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing…”

How was it that Jesus lived with such clear intentionality, able to navigate the chaos and demands of life, such that in 33 years He accomplished all He was meant to accomplish? Surely it was His constant communion with the Father—seeing, hearing, and knowing the heart of God the Father.

And this points us to the essence of prayer: communion with God. Deepening our relationship with Christ. Knowing God.

We embark upon these days of prayer and fasting not to “get something from God,” but to know God better and deepen our relationship with Him. There is no higher calling in life and there is no other foundation in prayer. While prayer does involve our “asking” of God, our requests flow from our relationship. In this way, our requests become a reflection of our relationship with God, not our wish list to God.

How will we pray?

We see the Early Church growing and expanding in the Book of Acts - a good reminder of the fundamental elements of talking with God, the acronym: ACTS. Over the course of the 40 days, we will use this outline in each day’s prayer guide, beginning with adoration, then adding each subsequent element in the weeks that follow.

Adoration

We always begin by recognizing and simply sitting in awe of the character and actions of God.

Confession

Seeing God for who He is allows us to truly see ourselves, thereby confessing the ways we fall short of His character.

Thanksgiving

Giving thanks unlocks gratitude in our hearts and enables us to see and experience the mercies, kindness and provisions of God.

Supplication

Supplication is asking God for what we need, what we desire and what we hope for others. This is our response to Jesus’s invitation to “ask” for what we need.

"The key to Christian living is a thirst and hunger for God. And one of the main reasons people do not understand or experience the sovereignty of grace and the way it works through the awakening of sovereign joy is that their hunger and thirst for God is so small." ~ John Piper, A Hunger for God

What is fasting?

Abstaining from food for spiritual reasons.

Why fast?

We fast not to get something we want from God, but for God to change our wants. We fast because Jesus fasted, He expected we would fast, and we see that the early church fasted.

We are fasting because in this new season in our church's story, we want what God wants more than ever. It is a season in which we are placing this desire into concrete action. In fasting, we choose a period of time in which we forsake what we need to live physically (food), in recognition that our greater need is to live spiritually, and that means we need God.

How are we going to fast?

We are inviting everyone to pray throughout the 40-day season and to choose one day between February 14th and April 1st to fast. (By the way, prayer and fasting are never separated in the Scripture.) Whether you are skipping a meal or skipping all meals for an entire day, take that meal time (or a specific, scheduled time) to pray, read your Bible, listen to God, meditate, and reflect.

How do I fast?

Here are some possible fasts you may wish to do:

  1. Normal Food Fast - Going without food for a predetermined period of time. It could be one day or several days. One must drink water, and be cautious of existing medical conditions.

  2. Partial Food Fast - Going without a meal during the day, or multiple meals for one day. A partial food fast may also mean going without a certain kind of food for a set period.

  3. Juice or Fruit Fast - Choosing only to have a certain juice or fruit for a meal for a period of time (adapted from a fast guide from Perimeter Presbyterian Church, Atlanta GA).

  4. Other Fast - You can also fast from various activities that you may sense the Lord prompting you to go without for a time: watching TV, social media, texting, consuming alcohol and many others. Especially if you have issues related to food, this may be a way God may prompt you to fast during this time.

Our prayer is that individually and corporately the fruit of our time of prayer and fasting is a deeper hunger and thirst for God, that results in a greater hunger and thirst for the things of God – His glory made known through the gospel that changes lives, that change the world.

Learn more about the what, why and how of biblical fasting from Richard Foster's article.

Content adapted from Fellowship Bible Church, Brentwood, TN, Pastor Lloyd Shadrach.