Day Five: History Making Prayer

2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV –  if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Ephesians 6:18-20 NIV – And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

In Ephesians 6, Paul invites those in the church to join with him in the work of God through prayer so that the gospel can be declared fearlessly to others. Prayer is key in how we can participate in God’s supernatural work of salvation in the lives of others, making history that lasts for an eternity. And God promises to answer the prayers of those who come with humble repentance.  

Pray for that specific person that is on your heart that needs God’s forgiveness and healing.

Prayer: “Father, you alone are the Mighty One who can save. I pray for _____. May you have mercy that _____ can receive your forgiveness and healing. That you would make history that lasts for eternity in _____’s life. In Jesus’ name. Amen”

Let’s worship to “Way Maker” by Leeland (click here).

– EK

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Day Four: humble, pray, seek and turn

2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV –  if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

“Each of these words is theologically charged. The word ‘humble’ means to subdue one’s pride and submit in self-denying loyalty to God and his will (cf. Lev. 26:41). ‘Pray’ in this context is a shameless acknowledgement of personal sin and a plea for God’s mercy, much like that of David’s prayer of repentance (cf. Ps. 51:1-2). ‘Seek’ is often used in desperate situations in which God is the only possible hope for deliverance (cf. Deut. 4:19-20). ‘Turn’ is the Old Testament term for repentance and signifies a complete change of direction away from sin and toward God (or an ‘about face’ in military parlance, cf. Ezek. 18:30, 32).” [Andrew E. Hill, 1 & 2 Chronicles (NIVAC), p. 400]

“These expressions are best understood as four facets of one attitude that sinners should seek God himself in humble repentance, rather than as four separate steps on a long road to forgiveness. Interestingly, from this point on in Chronicles, these expressions are often linked with repentance.” [Martin J. Selman, 2 Chronicles (TOTC), pp.338-339]

Prayer: “Father, I want to pray the prayers that you would have me to pray. By your Spirit, help me to be humble, to pray, to seek your face and to turn from my wicked ways. May I walk in humble repentance before you each day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Let’s worship to “Fire Fall” by Planetshakers (click here).

– EK

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Day Three: …called by my name…

2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV –  if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

1 Timothy 6:12 NIV Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

In his book, Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce, John Piper says this of William Wilberforce:

“He was not a political pragmatist. He was a radically God-centered Christian who was a politician.”

“There was in Wilberforce, as in all the most passionate saints, a holy dread of losing his ‘reformed taste’ for spiritual reality. This dread gave rise to ‘earnest prayers . . . resolute self-denial’ and rigorous abstinence from anything that would rob him of the greater joys.”

Wilberforce’s life was not given over for a “cause” but was given over to the Lord. What fueled his heart was his faith in Jesus Christ and he found strength and joy in the Lord to endure 20 years of defeats before the abolition of the slave trade and another 26 years before the abolition of slavery. His life was oriented in faithfulness to how he was called for the Lord Jesus to “fight the good fight.”

Prayer: “Father, may I be faithful to you today in all the ways that you have called. Fill me with your joy and strength to ‘fight the good fight.’ In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Let’s worship to “Surrender All” by Jesus Culture (click here).

– EK

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Day Two: if my people…

2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV –  if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

1 Peter 2:9 NIVBut you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

William Wilberforce is known for his work in the abolition of the slave trade in 1807 and the abolition of slavery in 1833, but what could be overlooked is how he was part of a people of God called by his name, during his time and for his generation.

God was moving and making supernatural history through his church. Right before Wilberforce’s time, there was the Moravian prayer movement that began in 1722 and had later established Moravian societies in England. Then, there was the Great Awakening revival from 1730 to 1740’s led by Charles and John Wesley and George Whitefield in Britain, who influenced the likes of John Newton. Wilberforce’s faith was greatly influenced by John Newton, his Aunt Hannah and Isaac Milner (an old school master). And later, he received great encouragement from his fellowship with the Clapham sect.

Prayer: “Thank you Father for calling me out of darkness into your wonderful light. Thank you that you have called me to be a part of your church and of what you are doing through your church. May we declare your praises more and more to all those around us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Let’s worship to “We Praise You” by Matt Redman (click here).

– EK

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Day One: History Makers

Let’s read aloud together the following passage, confession and prayer:

1 Peter 2:9-10 NIV
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Cape Town Commitment IV.6.a – Discerning the Will of Christ for World Evangelism: Prayer
We will pray with unity, focus, persistence, and biblically-informed clarity: for God to send labourers into every corner of the world, in the power of his Spirit; for the lost in every people and place to be drawn to God by his Spirit, through the declaration of the truth of the gospel and the demonstration of Christ’s love and power; for God’s glory to be revealed and Christ’s name to be known and praised because of the character, deeds and words of his people. We will cry out for our brothers and sisters who suffer for the name of Christ; for God’s kingdom to come, that God’s will may be done on earth as in heaven, in the establishment of justice, the stewardship and care of creation, and the blessing of God’s peace in our communities.

Prayer: “Heavenly Father, thank you that you chose us to be your people called by your name. Thank you that you invite us to participate in your history making work. We ask that you stir and lead our hearts to love through fervent prayer for the lost to be drawn to you by your Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Let’s worship to this song, “History Makers” by Delirious. Click Here

– EK

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Day Five: A Body Plea

Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. (Acts 13.1-4 NIV)

“Fasting along with our prayer requests is not some kind of magic bullet to ensure the answer we want… nor is it a manipulative device. We fast because a condition arises—what we are calling the sacred moment—that leads us to desire something deeply. We fast because our plea is so intense that in the midst of our sacred desire eating seems sacrilegious. A body plea occurs when the unified person gives himself or herself wholly to God to plead for something or someone… Fasting can be a way for the unified person to turn to God to plead with God completely.” (S. McKnight, Fasting, p. 49)

Prayer: Lord, we want to make ourselves completely available to you. Use us and include us in your plans—your plans to bring about salvation to our cities, schools, communities. We plead with you, Lord, bring revival! In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing “The Secret Place” by Phil Wickham (AMC MT with P. Jason from Sunday 7/11/21) – click here

–JP

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Day Four: Power Lunch or Hunger-Lunch?

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke? …
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear…
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.” (Isaiah 58.6, 8-9 NIV)

“One further reason for fasting… namely a deliberate doing without in order to share what we might have eaten (or its cost) with the undernourished. There is biblical warrant for this practice… when through Isaiah God condemned the hypocritical fasting of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, his complaint was that they were seeking their own pleasure and oppressing their workers on the very day of their fast. This meant partly that there was no correlation in their mind or actions between the food they did without and the material need of their employees. Theirs was a religion without justice or charity… To have an occasional (or, better, regular) ‘hunger-lunch’… these are forms of fasting which please God because they express a sense of solidarity with the poor.” (J. Stott, Christian Counter-culture, p. 138)

Prayer: Lord, may we practice the kind of fasting that you have chosen—a fasting that expresses and highlights your justice. Empower us through your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing “Rescued/Nothing Can Separate Us” by AMC MT (click here)

–JP

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Day Three: Like (Two) Peas In a Pod

When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Then I said: “Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel…” (Nehemiah 1:4-6 NIV)

“In the Bible prayer and fasting frequently occurred together. Bible characters often fasted while in intercessory prayer for others (2 Sam. 12:16-23; Neh. 1:8-10; Ps. 35:13; Dan. 6:18; 9:15-19) or while voicing prayer requests for their own needs (1 Sam. 1:7-11; Neh. 1:11; Ps. 109:21-24; Dan. 9:3; 10:1-3). Leaders prayed and fasted for success in battle (Judg. 20:26; 1 Sam. 7:6; 2 Chron. 20:3), for relief from famine (Jer. 14:1-12; Joel 1:14; 2:12-15), or for success in other endeavors, such as Ezra’s return from the exile (Ezra 8:21-23) or Esther’s success before the king (Esth. 4:16).” (K.D. Berghuis, “A Biblical Perspective on Fasting”)

Take a moment today and look up one or two of the passages noted above. How do prayer and fasting go together?

Prayer: Lord, through prayer and fasting, our desire is to commune with you, to be near you, to hear your voice, to follow your ways. Empower us through your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing and indulge our desires for God’s presence: “Psalm of Thanks” (click here)

–JP

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Day Two: Go Fast and Live

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’” (Luke 4.1-4 NIV)

“The more I learn from fasting the more I see that Jesus actually stood at his strongest when his belly was empty. Jesus is in peak condition, a fighter who has been training hard… Jesus’ swift and unflinching rebuttal to the devil is to quote from Deuteronomy 8:3: ‘Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’ … If you never fast, then the whole concept of being wholly nourished and sustained by God’s word will be only a nice, sweet and totally irrelevant idea… And worse: if you never fast, you may not stand when the day of testing and temptation comes. Consumption is killing us. Go fast and live.” (M. Buchanan, “Go Fast and Live: Hunger as Spiritual Discipline”)

Prayer: Lord, fill us with the Holy Spirit. Lead us and we will follow you. Teach us what it means to not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing “The Secret Place” by Phil Wickham (click here)

–JP

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Day One: In Pursuit of Abundance

Let’s read aloud together the following passage, confession and prayer:

Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”
Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.” (Matthew 9.14-15 NIV)

“What mercy could be greater, so far as we poor wretches are concerned, than that which pulled the Creator down from heaven… so that He, our Bread, would hunger; that He, our fulfillment, would thirst; that He, our strength, would become weak; that He, our Health, would be wounded; that He, our Life, would die? And all this [He did] to satisfy our hunger, moisten our dryness, soothe our infirmity, wipe out our iniquity, kindle our charity. What mercy could be greater…?” (Augustine, Sermon 207)

Prayer: Lord, there is none like you. We are in awe of you. We long for you. We hunger for you. We know you are with us through your Spirit. But we want more of you. Consume us. Heart, soul, mind and strength—entirely for you. May we follow your Spirit into times of fasting—moving with the move of God. We trust that our abstinence will lead to abundance—abundance of your presence, power and revelation. We believe our subtraction will lead to supernatural, exponential increase. All for your glory, Lord! In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing “Waiting Here for You” by Martin Smith (click here)

-JP

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