Fresh Hope – 9th January 2017

Welcome to DAY 1 of our 10 day journey of prayer and fasting.

Remember fasting never changes God towards you, but your ways towards Him.

Fasting sensitises us towards the voice of the Holy Spirit and therefore increases our ability to hear what He wants to say to us directly.

Going without food and other luxuries also gives us more time with God and more of a hunger for God.

Sacrificing what would normally be for most, three meals a day (or a partial fast of goodies) brings with it a very special reward from God that can be easily found in the teaching of the New Testament…

Matthew 6:16-18 ‘When you fast, do not look sombre as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.’
Although no one can definitively answer what that reward is, I would suggest that it comes in the form of greater answers to prayer like you’ve never seen before.

I got off a plane after a 12 hour flight to Capetown a few years ago, right after a prolonged fast at our church. I was pretty weak and underweight but what followed was nothing short of a modern day miracle. In the very first services that I spoke at, a non – believing man that was at home dying with cancer was taken a handkerchief by a friend that I had prayed over in the service. Within days of receiving the handkerchief, he went back for further diagnosis and the five tumours, each the size of tennis balls had disappeared.

Many people testify of miraculous interventions in their lives during an intense time of fasting.

Now of course you will feel hungry as you’d expect, but many also speak of no desire for food after a few days, whilst others say that they never want to go back to their old lifestyle of eating everything in sight!

Now let’s get down to business…

Unashamedly take a piece of paper and write down as many things that you want to believe for during this special time of prayer. Make your list unselfish, in that it should be about the things that need to change in your life, family, finance etc rather than “Lord, I want a new Ferrari next week.”

Now ask yourself if you actually believe that God could do these things for you. If you can honestly say that you have faith for them to happen, then make them a direct prayer to God each day.

Keep your list private, but also keep it where you can access every moment that you spend time in prayer.

Remember God is more ready to answer your prayers than you are ready to pray them.

We may not see immediate answers in the 10 days, but the more time that passes the more answers to prayer you will see happen in and through your life.

Don’t delay.

Start to make that list now, and then add to it as the 10 days roll by, and remember this kind of prayer and fasting doesn’t finish after that, but can become part of your lifestyle as a Christ follower for the rest of your life.

Here’s our key verse for today…

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Have a blessed day.

See you tonight for our ‘kick-off’ prayer meeting at Champions Church – 7pm.

Pastor Mark

A daily devotion for a better way of living.