by One Church | Jan 24, 2021 | 21 Days of Prayer - January 2021
21/21 Days of Prayer & Fasting
PSALM 42 (NIV)
As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
under the protection of the Mighty One
with shouts of joy and praise
among the festive throng.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.
By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?”
My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
When we do a fast we often have something we are asking God for. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I think God wants us to ask for our needs and our desires, but one of the greatest things I pray during a fast is this: “God, above all else, I want to be closer to you.”
I love this Psalm because it says, “As the deer pants for the water so my soul longs for you.” I think that should be our prayer when we fast, but it should go beyond that and be our prayer every day.
Our relationship with God shouldn’t be an accessory, it should be our foundation.
Take a few moments to draw near to God.
God, I want to be closer to you than ever before. My prayer is that each and every day I long to be closer to you than the day before. Reveal yourself to me in a new and fresh way today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
by One Church | Jan 23, 2021 | 21 Days of Prayer - January 2021
20/21 Days of Prayer & Fasting
PSALM 41 (NIV)
Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
The Lord protects and preserves them—
they are counted among the blessed in the land—
he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
and restores them from their bed of illness.
I said, “Have mercy on me, Lord;
heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
My enemies say of me in malice,
“When will he die and his name perish?”
When one of them comes to see me,
he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander;
then he goes out and spreads it around.
All my enemies whisper together against me;
they imagine the worst for me, saying,
“A vile disease has afflicted him;
he will never get up from the place where he lies.”
Even my close friend,
someone I trusted,
one who shared my bread,
has turned against me.
But may you have mercy on me, Lord;
raise me up, that I may repay them.
I know that you are pleased with me,
for my enemy does not triumph over me.
Because of my integrity you uphold me
and set me in your presence forever.
Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.
One of the greatest things we can do to speak of the faithfulness of God is recognize the need in the world around us, and help those in need. I think some people get so overwhelmed with all the need in the world, that they end up doing nothing. It can certainly be very overwhelming, that’s why I’m such a believer in giving tithes (10% of your income) and offerings (anything above your tithe). I know that when I give to God’s house, it’s making a difference in the lives of people in my community and around the world. There are many blessings the Bible says come upon us when we give, but for me the greatest blessing is knowing that I helped someone that needed help. It is truly an amazing feeling!
God, help me to see the needs of people around me and help me to meet those needs. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
by One Church | Jan 22, 2021 | 21 Days of Prayer - January 2021
19/21 Days of Prayer & Fasting
PSALM 40 (NIV)
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.
Blessed is the one
who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
Many, Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
but my ears you have opened—
burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.
I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.”
I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, Lord,
as you know.
I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
from the great assembly.
Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
Be pleased to save me, Lord;
come quickly, Lord, to help me.
May all who want to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be appalled at their own shame.
But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The Lord is great!”
But as for me, I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
you are my God, do not delay.
I think a lot of people make sharing their faith too difficult. When our pastor tells us to share our faith, we picture ourselves on a street corner with a megaphone telling people to “repent!” The truth is, it isn’t that complicated. I love what David says in this Psalm: “I will speak of your faithfulness.” It really is that easy. We don’t have to go around telling every person we meet “Jesus loves you.” There’s nothing wrong with that, but when God opens a door, we can speak of His faithfulness in our lives. If God has healed your marriage, your body, your finances, or your career, then that is a testament to the faithfulness of God. Just share about God’s love and faithfulness in your life and God will do the rest.
Lord, open doors for me to tell people about your love and faithfulness. Give me the words to speak and help me to sow a seed of faith in the hearts of others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
by One Church | Jan 21, 2021 | 21 Days of Prayer - January 2021
18/21 Days of Prayer & Fasting
PSALM 39 (NIV)
I said, “I will watch my ways
and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
while in the presence of the wicked.”
So I remained utterly silent,
not even saying anything good.
But my anguish increased;
my heart grew hot within me.
While I meditated, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:
“Show me, Lord, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
even those who seem secure.
“Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;
in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth
without knowing whose it will finally be.
“But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.
Save me from all my transgressions;
do not make me the scorn of fools.
I was silent; I would not open my mouth,
for you are the one who has done this.
Remove your scourge from me;
I am overcome by the blow of your hand.
When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin,
you consume their wealth like a moth—
surely everyone is but a breath.
“Hear my prayer, Lord,
listen to my cry for help;
do not be deaf to my weeping.
I dwell with you as a foreigner,
a stranger, as all my ancestors were.
Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again
before I depart and am no more.”
I read in a book recently, that one day your life will be summed up into one sentence. I understood exactly what the writer meant when my family and I visited an old cemetery in Savannah, Georgia. On each headstone there was usually one sentence. “Loving mother and devoted wife.” “Preacher of the gospel and pioneer of the faith.”
There were several that only had dates from birth to death. The only thing that held their story was the dash between the two dates. When David says “to number your days,” he’s not being morbid. He’s just letting you know that life is shorter than you realize. He’s saying that one day, your life may be summed up in a sentence or a dash between the day you were born and the day you passed. It’s a reminder to make the sentence great and to make the dash count.
Lord, thank you for my life. Thank you for each moment. Help me to live my life each day making a difference in others. Help me to make the world a better place and most importantly to share Jesus with the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
by One Church | Jan 20, 2021 | 21 Days of Prayer - January 2021
17/21 Days of Prayer & Fasting
PSALM 38 (NIV)
Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
Your arrows have pierced me,
and your hand has come down on me.
Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.
My guilt has overwhelmed me
like a burden too heavy to bear.
My wounds fester and are loathsome
because of my sinful folly.
I am bowed down and brought very low;
all day long I go about mourning.
My back is filled with searing pain;
there is no health in my body.
I am feeble and utterly crushed;
I groan in anguish of heart.
All my longings lie open before you, Lord;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
even the light has gone from my eyes.
My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
my neighbors stay far away.
Those who want to kill me set their traps,
those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
all day long they scheme and lie.
I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,
like the mute, who cannot speak;
I have become like one who does not hear,
whose mouth can offer no reply.
Lord, I wait for you;
you will answer, Lord my God.
For I said, “Do not let them gloat
or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.”
For I am about to fall,
and my pain is ever with me.
I confess my iniquity;
I am troubled by my sin.
Many have become my enemies without cause;
those who hate me without reason are numerous.
Those who repay my good with evil
lodge accusations against me,
though I seek only to do what is good.
Lord, do not forsake me;
do not be far from me, my God.
Come quickly to help me,
my Lord and my Savior.
There have been times in my life that it felt like God was so far away from me. I think we all go through seasons like that. David was certainly not exempt, but feelings can’t always be trusted. We know the Bible says, “God will never leave us or forsake us.” So if God hasn’t left us then why do we feel like He has? For me it is usually one of two things.
1. I have moved away from God. Meaning that I feel far because I have stopped drawing near to Him; He has not moved at all.
2. My circumstances are controlling my emotions. Meaning that life isn’t going well, and because life isn’t going well, I feel like God has abandoned me.
Both of these things can be fixed. Notice I didn’t necessarily say they could be fixed easily, but they can be fixed. To fix the first just draw near to God and He will draw near to you. To put it in simpler terms, start doing the things you did when you felt closest to God: read your Bible, pray, go to church, get in a community group, etc. The other is a little more difficult, but surrender your circumstances to God and take control of your emotions. Realize that God is near, no matter what you feel. The reason you know this is because the Bible tells you that He is.
He has never left you and He will never forsake you.
Lord, thank you for never leaving me. Thank you that you have never abandoned me. I draw near to you and ask that you draw near to me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
by One Church | Jan 19, 2021 | 21 Days of Prayer - January 2021
16/21 Days of Prayer & Fasting
PSALM 37 (NIV)
Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.
But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy peace and prosperity.
The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnash their teeth at them;
but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming. The wicked draw the sword
and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose ways are upright.
But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.
Better the little that the righteous have
than the wealth of many wicked;
for the power of the wicked will be broken,
but the Lord upholds the righteous.
The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care,
and their inheritance will endure forever.
In times of disaster they will not wither;
in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.
But the wicked will perish:
Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field,
they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.
The wicked borrow and do not repay,
but the righteous give generously;
those the Lord blesses will inherit the land,
but those he curses will be destroyed.
The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him;
though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be a blessing.
Turn from evil and do good;
then you will dwell in the land forever.
For the Lord loves the just
and will not forsake his faithful ones.
Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed;
the offspring of the wicked will perish.
The righteous will inherit the land
and dwell in it forever.
The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
and their tongues speak what is just.
The law of their God is in their hearts;
their feet do not slip.
The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,
intent on putting them to death;
but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked
or let them be condemned when brought to trial.
Hope in the Lord
and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.
I have seen a wicked and ruthless man
flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,
but he soon passed away and was no more;
though I looked for him, he could not be found.
Consider the blameless, observe the upright;
a future awaits those who seek peace.
But all sinners will be destroyed;
there will be no future for the wicked.
The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
Three words that are extremely hard for me to hear: “be still” and “wait”. I’m a guy that likes things done and I want them done quick! One very important lesson that I have learned is that there is my time and there is God’s time, and the two are rarely the same!
I have a tendency to get impatient and frustrated in the waiting. I know this is the way most of us are. After all, we live in a microwave generation. We wonder why food takes a full minute to heat up! The Bible tells us that patience is a virtue. That doesn’t mean that patience is easy, but it is important. Patience is something we should all take time to work on and develop.
I wish I could say that I have mastered this, but I haven’t. I am learning that my timing is usually wrong and God’s timing is always perfect.
I know it’s difficult, but just remain patient and wait on the Lord. He is working on your behalf even when you can’t see Him working.
God help me to have patience in my life. Help me to slow down and to wait when I need to wait. Help me to trust that your timing is perfect and that you are working on what I have asked you for even when I can’t see that you are working. In Jesus name, Amen.