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Monday, June 23, 2008

Prayer and Fasting

2 Chron 7:14-15
14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.

God is teaching me to pray.
To pray more, to pray harder.
To pray in the Spirit, to pray longer.
He's teaching me to rely on prayer, because I can't control or manipulate events or my life or people to work together for His good.
I can only pray.
As I mentioned before, we are planting two new churches from Living Hope.
Rusty and I are apart of the Core Group for the new church in College Station.
This is exciting!
We met together yesterday for a vision sharing time.
Wow! God was there...I felt such unity and excitement among us.
One of the men challenged us with the above verse- to know and meditate on.
So I am.
Because we can't make a move without much prayer.
We are truly powerless to do any good thing without the Lord.
Later on in 2 Chronicles, chapter 20, there is the story of King Jehoshephat.
He was a king that pleased the Lord.
A great army was on its way to attack his kingdom, and immediately, he gathers up all the people, men, women, and children, before the Temple to seek God.
It stood out to me that he says this to God:
2 Chron 20:11-12
12 O our God, won't you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help."

We are powerless.
He had his own army.
He could have gathered them up and had a peprally.
But instead they got on their faces and admitted they were powerless.
We are also powerless.
I'm powerless to be a good Mom today.
I need Him desperately.
We are powerless to start a new church that will reach new people and do a God work without Him...obviously.
But God is our source of ALL power, and because we know Him, He lives in us!!!
The power of the Holy Spirit can raise the dead, and He lives in us.
Isn't it about time we started living and walking in POWER?!
So God's teaching me more of what it means to really pray and expect big things.
Do we fail to pray for miraculous healing? Why?
Because we don't pray believing and in faith.
Finish reading 2 Chron. 20 and see how they prayed believing, and counted wholeheartedly on what God told a man among them He would do.
I don't think I even ask God for big enough things, because my vision is short, my expectations too small sometimes.
I want to learn the power of PRAYER in FAITH!
God is doing good things in and through me when I'm on my face in desperate prayer.
I want more of that.
And I especially want that as we start this new church and seek to find out exactly what new thing God wants to do through us.
If we try to do any of it in our own power and understanding, it will fall flat.
I am aware that God doesn't have to commune with us so intimately in prayer, but He does! Praise God!

Can I confess, I like food a lot.
And I have not fasted enough in my life because of that.
God is seriously teaching me the power of fasting and prayer.
God speaks to me my need for Him and prayer, and I hear Him more clearly when I'm fasting.
Why? I don't know.
I know that I need Him more than food, more than air, more than anything!
I am more aware of that when I'm fasting.
All I know is God asks us to do it.
The Word doesn't say "If you fast..." it says "When you fast."
It's an assumed part of our walk.
It truly is powerful.
I don't always fast for an entire day. Sometimes it's just a good portion of the day and I ask the Lord to show me when I'm done and when I can eat.
But even a fast for one meal for more devoted prayer is effective to me.
I don't want to be legalistic about fasting and follow rules for the sake of rules.
But I am hungry for the intimate time of prayer that I have with the Lord when I do it.
It's something I'm slowly getting better at.
When I first started, I constantly thought about hunger.
I feel like it's a discipline we have to learn.
Our Core Group is considering fasting collectively on Fridays so that we can pray earnestly together and seek God's face as one body.
I have no doubt He's going to speak to us through that and honor our desire for deeper prayer time.
Is this harder for a Mom who has to continue to feed children all day and can't go to a prayer room alone while fasting?
YES! But it's still good. He's showing me how to do this.
I want to challenge you, because I have been more challenged, to do this when you feel led to.
Remember, it's not if, but when.
(FYI: If you're pregnant, look into other kinds of "fasts" that may help focus your prayer time. I don't think you should abstain from food while you're pregnant.)

I want my life to be marked by prayer and fasting.
I want my children to grow up knowing the power of it.
I think our lives will be greatly changed by it.
I want to hear God's voice clearly, and see Him move.
I want to be apart of what He's doing, and not miss any of it!
I desperately want to be a woman of prayer.


the groves said...

This is so good. Thanks for posting. These are two areas I desire to see HUGE growth in my life. I was so excited to hear little glimpses of the meeting. I can't wait to hear more!

Thanks for sharing and encouraging!


Anonymous said...

I agree with Chelsea! Thank you :)

Kathryn, Michael & Alex said...

I remember when I first started fasting and I would constantly think about food...we are wanting something and God wants it to be Him.
I remember praying "God, how easy would it be for me to open this refrigerator and eat food right now", He instantly said "how easy would it have been for me to get off the cross".
He definately speaks clearly when we are listening.
I am excited to see what He is going to do through all of this.