My pastor has called us as a church body to 6 weeks of prayer and fasting to seek God’s face and wisdom regarding what our next move as a church will be. We have currently seriously outgrown our current facilities, and are stretching our resources as far as is possible (farther in some cases due to His grace and mercy,)

Having grown up in the church, and among believers I had heard about fasting and even knew people that practiced it on a fairly consistent basis as they faced big decisions, or some just to simply come to a deeper knowledge of the Father.

I have only felt the call to fast one other time before, it was in the past couple of years when a burden laid so heavy on my heart that I felt that I could only find peace in the sacrifice of fasting and praying. Until that day I really had no clue what people were talking about when they talked about coming closer to God.

After seeking God regarding this 6 weeks, I decided that I really wanted to press in more and participate in this fasting. Every Wednesday those of us who have committed to this fast and then at the end of our day we come together for a prayer service and break the fast that evening with the observance of communion.

The past two wednesdays of my life have been interesting….

Our first week we began our 6 weeks by praying for God’s protection….I understood this from a spiritual point of view….in Ephesians 6:12 the Word tells us that “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (KJV)
I have experienced spiritual warfare on many levels and even in studying about fasting knew that this was something that needed to be prayed for. However, my pastor had us pray for several other areas that I found facinating…and refreshing.

First he had us pray for Truth…anyone who has attended a service at the village or heard a podcast knows that Truth is preached without apology. Often times when a church realizes that they are going to have to go through a period of expansion the first thing they do is try to keep everybody happy (so that they can keep all those potential givers to the project in the building)…when this happens the Truth, often begins to be watered down. Feel good happy semons are preached and anything that might caust feelings of angst (i.e. sin, blood, etc) are put in the background. So my pastor asked that He and other members of the teaching pastors would be protected from that temptation; that the Village would continue to be a place where the self – disclosure of God (the “kindness and the severity”) is preached without apology.

Next we prayed for protection for Spirituality.
We prayed that our church would be protected from cold religion (which is full of do’s and don’ts that are not in any way bibilical, but are put on the church as a measure of control and legalism over the people.)
We prayed that we would be protected from any cold, methodical dead traditions….and in the same way cling to those traditions that are healthy and right and full of life.
We prayed that we simply would be people with a Love for Jesus.

We prayed for protection for our Community.
That in our expansion and addition that we could continue to be the family of God that he has called us to be. That He would protect us from being a disjointed congregation who did not know each other and had no service other than to show up to a service and be preached too. That God would protect us from cheap, shallow relationships and show us what it looks like to be brothers and sisters.

We prayed for protection from Partiality.
Protection for our staff that they would not be swayed by the temptations of things, money and power. But that they would be humble, and be able to be just as partial to those who gave much as those that gave little (cause that is all they had to give.). Protection from wolves dressed as sheep who would seek to come in and find false favor to gain control and take over God’s church.

Lastly we prayed for protection for the mission of our church.
Our mission statement is simple “We exist to bring Glory to God.” We prayed that we would stop making the gospel about me and what it could do for me and what God bless us with,etc and rather make it what it is really about…His glory and His renown.

This has gotten long so my next post will be about this weeks time of prayer regarding Guidance.
I ask that you would pray with me and over me this next few weeks. Pray that God would protect me from the spiritual battles that are going on in my own life and in my family and in my friendships, etc. Pray that I would be able to simply focus on my mission of “Existing to bring Glory to God.”

You are all missed….prayed for often….loved more than you know.

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