Day 8 of Prayer and Fasting: Bring the Lost
You've made it a week! We're so proud of you! As we embark on a new week of prayer, fasting and focus on our Jesus, I encourage you to take a few minutes to journal down why it is you're participating. Often the cravings and urges will get louder this week as well as your will power may weaken. This is where you must remember why you wanted to start on this journey and remind yourself of what you're needing from the Lord. Continue to feed yourself with the Word and spend time intentionally with Him. Otherwise, you're just dieting!
DAY 8 CORPORATE PRAYER FOCUS: Bring us the lost and help us speak the Gospel simply in love.
I pray each one of us will have a "God encounter" this week. Keep your eyes and ears open for the people in your world that need to know the hope and good news of Jesus -- that He heals, that He saves, that He delivers, that He provides the love and answers they're looking for. May we never grow callous or tired of this mandate. Did you know "Gospel" means "good news"? I know sometimes people treat Jesus as bad news, but your story is one that shows Jesus and all He offers is actually very, very good news. Figure out how to share that good news. You don't need to do it all formally using Elizabethan language. You don't need to sound all religious. Just be natural. Tell your story. Tell how you've come to know Jesus, and what He's done for you. Try to find a connecting point between what you see as their deepest need and illustrate for them how Jesus could bring hope and solution. I encourage you not to shy away from these conversations, but to crave them!
Now, don't get caught up in the social issues and confuse those conversations for authentic conversations about someone's need for Christ. Remember, Jesus isn't Republican or a Democrat. He's not red or blue. Very rarely do we see Jesus in Scripture getting obsessed with the sociopolitical movements of his day. Rather, he had moments with people and got to their deepest need. He met their physical needs, and then He addressed their spiritual needs and used His words wisely to prove to them their need to know their Creator, and then told them how it's possible for a person to be spiritually born again and made new so that they can be in relationship with a holy and just God. This is the example that we should follow. We keep it simple. We all have sin. We all fall short of God's standard, but because He's so good, He provided a way for us. That way is to believe in Jesus as the Son of God and confess it with their mouths. It's that simple.
Lastly, I want to point out that the "in love" part of this prayer is the upmost important detail. We don't come at people aggressively or condescendingly or hatefully. We don't tell people they're going to hell. We don't tell them God is angry with them. We let God be Judge. We just connect stories to Him, and we come in love. This doesn't mean we compromise God's ways and God's heart. We never separate truth and love. They go hand in hand, but if you ask the Holy Spirit to live in and through you, then His perfect love will go before you and produce real results in the ears/hearts/mind of the person that you know isn't in relationship with Jesus yet -- or in other words, isn't in their intended place. This is what we mean when we say "lost." Lost does not mean bad or wicked or evil. It just means that God created people to be in relationship with Him through Jesus. This is what you're pointing people to, their rightful place!
SOUL FOOD FAMILY MEAL
As a reminder, we are using the 20-day book study, Soul Food, by Havilah Cunnington of Bethel Church in Redding, CA, to guide our next 20 days, which will spark your own deeper studies with the Bible. This book is the perfect companion to your season of fasting. It looks at the spiritual food that God uses to fill our emotional and spiritual needs. You can order the book on Amazon if you'd like to go a little deeper, but below we will provide you the key thoughts from each day's devotional. There's also a 7-12 minute video that accompanies this study that we highly encourage you to log on and watch. This course is completely free and engaging! You can sign up for the FREE course here.
DAY 7 of Soul Food - Belonging to a Father
Many of us have behaved - or do behave - like the prodigal son. We are not interested in serving the Father, we want to go to our own thing. Like him, we discover before long, that that choice leaves us destitute, full of shame and hungry
A SON RESTORED
When we are full of remorse and can barely bring ourselves to look the Father in the eye, but we can’t help but turn towards Him, the Father is in a full sprint toward us. He wants to bring us into His house, clothe us and throw a feast. The last supper was the beginning of a celebration that was going to restore many sons to the Father
HIS PLAN/OUR STORY
He is the Father who runs unrestrained towards us with fierce love and unending forgiveness and mercy. He can do this because of the sacrifice of Jesus. Enduring the cross ‘for the joy set before Him' wasn’t just the joy of Him being reunited with His Father, it was for the pleasure of knowing you and connecting you back to the Father in heart to heart intimacy.
But God clearly shows and proves His love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (AMP)
What an excellent song to go with our prayer focus! Let's sing this song over our families, our city, our church, our workplaces, our schools, our nation!