The Prayer Initiative, Pt. 1 – Stepping In
Psalm 40:6 (AMP) "You have given me the capacity to hear and obey."
God, give us the capacity to hear Your voice, Your song, Your dreams, Your heart..and we will obey. Thank You for the grace to obey.
As we head into this series of The Prayer Initiative and fasting, we want to do more than learn ABOUT prayer and fasting. We want to develop what God wants to develop in us THROUGH prayer and fasting
“Intercession is not a work to be done, it is a relationship to be developed” Alice Smith, Beyond the Veil devotional.
The foundation of intercession is love/intimacy with the One with whom you’re interceding.
Fasting is not a work that shows how spiritual we are. It is a setting aside of ourselves to be filled with Him.
The purpose for fasting/prayer - to shift our culture. Some things don’t happen unless we live with purpose. Things just don’t shift without aligning ourselves; Spirit, soul, and body.
Isaiah 58:1-14 talks about the fast that God chooses, one that will loose the bonds of wickedness, undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke of bondage. It also goes on to say, is it not to feed the hungry, bring the homeless into your home, clothe those who are in need, and take care of your family. In other words, begin to look beyond yourself. This isn’t about what you’re setting aside. It’s about what He wants to do inside of you. The Israelites had been fasting for all the wrong reasons
We are now entering into an opportunity of who God is and what He means to us. A time to set aside, denial of self, things that would rob us of time, challenging our flesh. But we are entering in it so that we can realign ourselves with what God is speaking to us at this juncture. He’s calling us into knowing Him, not just about Him, realigning our relationship with Him. Shift is happening
Purposefully coming into a place where we know Him and His ways.
Psalm 23 - a look at the place He wants to take us.
Halfway through this chapter, it shifts from talking ABOUT God and describing Him to talking TO Him. It became personal after walking through the valley of the shadow of death. At first, it was "This is what You DO for me." Then it became, "This is who You are TO me."
Something Shifted. Things became deeper. That’s what a valley is, a deep place in between the mountains. We must learn to live deeper than the shallowness of our own minds, wills, and feelings. Deeper living means that we go beyond what we want, what we think, and how we feel and that we live by the Word of God. We always have this perspective when we talk about the valley that it’s a bad place, dark and dismal, and yes it mentions a shadow but we forget that there can only be a shadow when there’s a light source somewhere. It’s just something’s blocking the light for a moment. We have a tendency to only see the darkness, and we just continue to talk ABOUT Him but we sometimes stay shallow in our view of Him and our trust in Him. We can tend to focus on the answer that we want instead of our focus being on Him. We have a nice little order that we have it all in. How He’s going to work and lead and guide, (verses 1-3) etc, etc. (WHITEBOARD OUTLINE ILLUSTRATION).
Then we hit verse 4. The valley. He has an order that we are unaware of.
(WHITEBOARD GOD’S ORDER ILLUSTRATION)
He says He hides Himself in the darkness and surrounds Himself with it. He is there.
READ Psalm 23:4-6
Verse 6 - it’s no longer just You who lives in me but I live in You.