Updated: Jan 25
January 3rd - January 23rd
We begin a time of fasting and prayer for 2022 on Monday, January 3rd and will continue to Sunday, January 23rd.
It is important to remember that fasting is not about trying to move the hand of God on our behalf, but instead making more room in our hearts for Him. Too many times we approach God in a transactional way... "if I do this then He will you do that." If I am good enough or make enough sacrifices then God will come through for me. Tragically, this borders on a manipulative way of relating to God.
Instead, we must trust in His goodness, His faithfulness and His love. He is never far from us and is always working for our good. "We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God..." Romans 8:28. "If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare his own Son but offered him up for us all." Romans 8:31-32. "But God proves His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. God is faithfully working on our behalf at all times because of His great love for us, as seen in the ultimate sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.
The key to seeing God move in our lives is to get more of Him and less of us. As John the Baptist said of Jesus, "He must increase, I must decrease." John 3:30. This is our goal in fasting... to make more room for Jesus in our lives. The prophet Isaiah speaks of this in Isaiah 58 in the context of fasting: "[if you honor the Lord and His ways], not going your own ways, seeking your own pleasure... then you will delight in the Lord... and will enjoy the heritage of your father Jacob." (verses 13-14).
So, we fast for a couple of reasons: 1) To practice "denying our selves" in order to follow Jesus. 2) To make more room for Him in our hearts and lives. 3) To spend more time in prayer and study of the Scriptures in order to know Jesus and His ways more than we do now. When we have Jesus, we have all we need. We can trust Him for the rest.
Week One -- Encouragement and Prayer Guide
Today is the beginning of our 21 day fast…a time to consecrate ourselves afresh and prepare room in our lives for more of Jesus!
Some of us are fasting from things like t.v., social media, soda, or giving up a meal a day, or doing a “ Daniel” fast, from “ rich or pleasant” foods. Some of us are fasting by giving the Lord more time for study and prayer in preparation for ministry assignments. Ask Him what He’d have you do, and jump in! It’s not too late!
This week’s prayer focus centers on our individual walk with the Lord, realizing that "Everything Comes From The One Thing" (Psalm 27:4, Luke 10:42). Abiding in Him is the key to joy, peace and fruitfulness in the life of a disciple. We truly can do nothing without Him (John 15).
Our prayer for all of us this week is that as we seek Him in the secret place, we would come alive to His presence in ways that would transform us more closely into His image. That we would experience and grow deeper in a “first love” relationship with Christ (Revelation 2:3), and allow Him to work in us, so that each one of us can grow toward becoming unhindered, fully yielded conduits of His power, presence and glory to everyone we encounter in our daily lives (Isaiah 60, Ephesians 5:18-20, Acts 1:8).
We love each one of you and are praying for you this week!
Week Two -- Encouragement and Prayer Guide
Today marks the beginning of week two of our fast. We are praying that God will give us grace to keep pursuing Him with an expectation that as we draw close to Him, He will be faithful to draw near to us!
During this week, we want to make time to pray especially for God’s purposes and plans to be accomplished for CTK Vineyard.
When God called Abraham to follow Him and made a covenant with him, He promised Him a people, a place and a purpose. Pray that God gives us:
1. A People- that He will gather those who He has chosen and gifted to lead, to serve and to grow with us. Pray that God will bring intercessors, worshippers, evangelists, teachers, and those with prophetic gifting as well as those with the gifts of helps and administration. Pray for mothers and fathers in the faith who can care for and disciple the new believers and prodigals we believe the Lord will bring our way soon.
2. A Place- we believe that the Lord wants to provide us a building as a gathering place for those hungry for the presence of God in our community. A place where believers can pray, worship and minister to each other, a place where we can be equipped for the work of the ministry. Where His Kingdom comes and His will is done as it is in heaven!
3. A Purpose- just as Abraham and his descendants would be a blessing to all the families of the earth, pray that we, as a church, would be empowered and equipped to bring the life of King Jesus and His Kingdom to the people of The Woodlands, Spring and beyond.
We love you and are honored to be called to serve the Lord with you!
Dan and Laura
Week Three -- Encouragement and Prayer Guide
Today marks the third and final week of our fast. May we be encouraged to finish faithfully. Help us Lord, to do more than just simply abstaining from certain foods and activities, but give us the grace to hunger for more of Jesus! May we spend more time at Your feet this week..more time in worship, in Your Word and in listening prayer…eager and open to hearing what is on Your heart!
This week, our prayer focus is for: 1. Revival in the church…an outpouring of the Spirit at CTK Vineyard, as well as other Christ-honoring churches all over the the Woodlands/Spring area and beyond. 2. Spiritual Awakening in our community and beyond. 3. A resulting harvest of souls and a return of Prodigals.
For months now, the Lord has been bringing to my remembrance the story of the father of the Azusa Street revival, William Seymour, who came to believe in and preach the fullness of the Holy Spirit as a student of the Bible right here in Houston (!) before he accepted a call to minister in California where the great revival broke out.
It is said of Seymour that he was a very humble man, and profoundly dependent upon God. He would pray for many hours a day…and he did this until the heavens opened and a visitation of the Holy Spirit ensued, the impact of which is still reverberating world-wide over 100 years later.
While leading worship services, Seymour would get down behind the podium on the ground and put his face in a milk crate to pray so that he would not be distracted by the people, or the people by him.
God keeps reminding me of this man…and the image of his face in the milk crate. May the Lord lead us all to our own “milk crate”… that place of total surrender, humility, and hungry desperation that moves the heart and hand of God!
How we need a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit…a new Pentecost in our community and nation right now! Let’s pray together that God’s Glory will fall right here in the Woodlands/Spring/Greater Houston area, beginning with you and me!
Let’s cry out for Revival, Awakening and Harvest. Let’s get low, put our face in the proverbial crate, and pray till He comes! He’ll take it from there.