Re>Focus: 21 days of prayer and fasting
I invite you to join me on a 21 day journey of prayer and fasting. The purpose is to intentionally seek the face of the Lord. God is always with His children because of His covenant commitment through Jesus to always stand by us, work for us, love us, and cause everything to work for good for His beloved children. Yet, the Bible tell us repeatedly to seek the presence of God. If God is always with us, why are we told to seek His presence?
Let me explain. Even though God is “with us” we must intentionally seek Him. I can be with my wife, but not necessarily pursuing her. I can be in her presence, but not actively serving, loving, engaging, or seeking after her. The same is true of our relationship with God. In Christ, His presence is with us, but we are called to continually seek after Him.
There are also seasons when we all become neglectful of God and spend little or no time thinking on and meditating upon His glory, greatness, and beauty.
John Piper writes about the believer seeking the presence of God, “His face-the brightness of His personal character-is hidden behind the curtain of our carnal desires. This condition is always ready to overtake us. That is why we are told to ‘seek His presence continually.’ God calls us to enjoy continual consciousness of His supreme greatness and beauty and worth.”
I pray these 21 days will be days of profound spiritual enrichment as we pursue the “face of God.”
I encourage you to purposefully pray for our country and FBCZ during these 21 days.
This election has significance beyond what we can imagine. Anti-Christian and anti-Bible agendas rage around us. Let us pray for God’s great mercy and that “justice will roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream,” and that Christians will prayerfully utilize their right to vote.
Let us pray for Biblical renewal and revival among the people of God called FBCZ. Pray with me that God would exalt His great name, He would extend His kingdom in the world, the gospel would speed ahead and be honored, that our greatest joy would be in God, for boldness in proclaiming the gospel, and our hearts would be satisfied with God and not the world. May God move in His church for His glory.
I encourage you during these three weeks of intentionally seeking the Lord to prayerfully consider fasting for one day per week. Acts 13:1-3 tells us the 1st century church at Antioch fasted and prayed together. Fasting is a Biblical discipline that God has given the believer. For more information on fasting please click on this link.
Finally, I am indebted to David McKinley, pastor of Warren Baptist Church in Augusta S.C. and his prayer ministry for allowing us to utilize their devotionals.
Join me as we seek the face of God,
Day 1And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. - Mark 1:35 A- Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:1-3 C - Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Psalm 51:1-4 T - Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! 1 Chronicles 16:34 S - We would be ablaze with God’s glory We would be utterly God-centered Pastor Paul as he leads FBCZ
Day 2Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. - Acts 13:3 A - And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” Revelation 5:13 C - Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Psalm 51:5-8 T - Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 S - We would be filled with the Holy Spirit We would have a deeper understanding of grace and the gospel Les Colvin and all our LifeGroup leaders
Day 3Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. - Jeremiah 29:12 A - Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Psalm 150:1-6 C - Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:9-12 T - Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2 S - We would be broken by our sin We would pray, “I believe, help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24) Debbi Mashaw and the Senior Adult Ministry
Day 4The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. - Psalm 145:18 A - But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. Psalm 59:16 C - I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah Psalm 32:5 T - Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! Psalm 100:4 S - We would be mighty in memorizing the Scriptures We would be crucified to the world and dead to sin Justin LeBlanc and the Student Ministry
Day 5Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” - Matthew 6:9-13 A- “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Revelation 4:11 C - Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Proverbs 28:13 T - And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 S- We would experience an increased desire and longing for God’s Word We would resist materialism and be content with what God has given us Vernon Hughes and the Children Ministry
Day 6If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.- 2 Chronicles 7:14 A - But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. Psalm 59:16 C - Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out. Acts 3:19 T - Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 S - We would trust the promises of God We would be keepers of all our promises and vows Chad Fletcher and the Worship Ministry
Day 7Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints - Ephesians 1:18 A - Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! 1 Chronicles 16:8-10 C - And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 T - Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. Psalm 95:2-3 S - We would constantly persevere in prayer We would know the fear of the Lord Widows/widowers in the church family.
Day 8For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. - Jeremiah 29:11 A - Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength! Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth; yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! 1 Chronicles 16:28-34 C - This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:5-10 T - For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:15-16 S - We would be tender in touching hurting people We would be unmovable in standing for truth President Trump, Vice-President Pence and our national leaders
Day 9Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.- Matthew 26:41 A - And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you for your righteous acts have been revealed.” Revelation 15:3-4 C - Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16 T - And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:18-21 S - We would be fearless in our public witness of Jesus We would be unified as a church Governor Edwards and our state leaders
Day 10The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.- Proverbs 15:8 A - Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28-29 C - Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. James 4:7-10 T - Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. Psalm 107:8-9 S - We would lay down our preferences for the sake of the gospel We would be patient, kind and meek with one another, forgiving each other Mayor Amrhein and our city leaders
Day 11Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!- Psalm 141:2 A - I am the Lord; that is my name;my glory I give to no other,nor my praise to carved idols. Isaiah 42:8 C - While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children, gathered to him out of Israel, for the people wept bitterly. Ezra 10:1 T - I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1 S - We would love righteousness and hate wickedness We would stand for the unborn and their right to live The schools and their leadership in the Zachary area
Day 12Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.- Romans 12:12 A - The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17 C - I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin. Psalm 38:18 T - For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. Ephesians 1:15-16 S - We would strive to know the height and depth of Christ’s love We would be passionate about reaching people who are lost Police and firemen in Zachary
Day 13Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!- Psalm 4:1 A - I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. Psalm 18:1-3 C - And they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Matthew 3:6 T - The voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord: “‘Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!’” For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the Lord. Jeremiah 33:11 S - Understand our greatest joy is in God A deeper commitment to spiritual disciplines Marriages of FBCZ members to be strong and unshakeable
Day 14The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.- Proverbs 15:29 A - But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him. Habakkuk 2:20 C - He shall confess his sin that he has committed. And he shall make full restitution for his wrong, adding a fifth to it and giving it to him to whom he did the wrong. Numbers 5:7 T - I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers. Philemon 1:4 S - God’s great name would be exalted at FBCZ We would remember that Jesus is better God’s Holy Spirit would work mightily in our midst
Devotions inspired by Ruth Myers, 31 Days of Praise;
Meyers, Ruth. 31 Days of Praise. Sister, OR: Multnomah Publishers, Inc. 1997
© Warren Baptist Church, 2020. Dr. David H. McKinley, Pastor-teacher.
warrenbaptist.org. Jacqueline C. Heider, Writer. Used with permission.