News at Victory Church

14 Days of Prayer & Fasting Devotionals

Day 12: Effective Prayer

Scripture: James 5: 16

“Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”


Prayer
Prayer & The Word

I have a very important question for you, “Do you know what God’s Word says about your situation?” Effective prayer is based on the Word of God.

Effective prayer is not based on our authority, but on the authority of God’s Word! We need to know the Word well enough to pray Word-based prayers. Prayer is not so much about getting what we want but aligning ourselves with what God wants. Matthew 6:33 clearly tells us what He wants. He wants us to seek Him first! Are you pleading for financial breakthrough? Then, you need to be aligned with what God says about resources. Are you tithing? We have a part to play in the effectiveness of our prayers, and it has to do with alignment with God’s Word.

Can you see how prayer is less about getting from God as it is about aligning ourselves with what God already wants to do. Many times, though, we can get so focused on our own comfort, or our own preferences, that we don’t even take the time to examine ourselves to see what God’s Word has to say about our situation. We have to align our prayers with the Word, and we may also need to align some aspects of our lives with His Word.

TAKE A MOMENT AND REFLECT

Prayer and fasting are the preparation we go through to create the container that is ready for the new thing God wants to do in and through us. God’s new wine always changes us by expanding our faith, enlarging our purpose, and bringing renewed vision. Pray that the Lord will expand your life to glorify Him, giving you boldness to step out and be used by Him.

PRAYER FOCUS

Please, take 5-10 minutes and pray for our GrowTrack leaders and Dream Team participants.

Stoval Weems - Writer and Pastor

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Day 11: Creating Space

Scripture: Malachi 3:10

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Creating Space
Creating Space

Prayer and fasting is about creating space for God, clearing a runway in our lives for God to land. When you want something new and exciting to happen in your life, then you have to create some space. An expectant mom goes to great lengths to create the perfect nursery space for her new little one.


Think about that new thing that you want God to do in your life. Think about that problem that is blocking your path that you need God to remove. As much as God wants to do something amazing in your life, He is a filler, not a forcer.

Too often we spend so much time and energy trying to figure out and anticipate every scenario. We want God to do this; we want God to do that. But all the while God is saying, “Just create a little space for Me, and I’ll come in and fill it.” By seeking God, and by following Him fully, you are creating space for God to move. As you fast, and as you pray, you are making room for God to do what only He can do. He is a filler, not a forcer.

TAKE A MOMENT AND REFLECT

Maybe you have tried to participate in this fast, but have found yourself stumbling along the way. I want to encourage you to keep going. Don’t be discouraged by looking at the times you gave in to hunger or messed up. Be encouraged by this: when we draw near to God, He draws near to us.

PRAYER FOCUS

Please, take 5-10 minutes and pray for our Pastors, church staff, small group leaders, and Victory Life teachers.

Stoval Weems - Writer and Pastor

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Day 10: Generosity

Scripture: Malachi 3:10

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this, “says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’”

THE PROMISE OF ABOUNDING GENEROSITY

We underestimate the generosity of our Lord.

If you’re like me, perhaps it’s not simply a lack of understanding of the significance of what we’ve already been given in Emmanuel. Rather, well-intentioned, and rightful warnings against “treating God like Santa Claus” or falling into the “prosperity gospel” can cause dwelling on the idea of a God who gives generously to feel consumerist, greedy, or, at the very least, uncomfortable.

Yet, while we must certainly never reduce the indescribably precious gift of prayer to a transaction of demands, nor fail to measure well the cost of the Way of the Cross, there is also a truth of which we must not lose sight: Generosity finds its source in God.

The same God who calls us to become living sacrifices is more eager to delight His children than the giddiest parent on Christmas morning. The same God who dwells in unapproachable light, God is more jovial and full of mirth than our culturally imagined St. Nick. The Holy One of Israel, the Unblemished Lamb, the Alpha and Omega, the Almighty King, the long-awaited Messiah — the very same Lord brims over with affection for you, relishes your excitement, and cherishes your moments of childlike wonder.

While we know it is better to give than to receive, it is the assurance of our access to His abundance that frees us to walk in radical generosity without fearing lack.

Not simply because we have been given every spiritual blessing, not simply because Christ has taught us what the Kingdom of Heaven is like, not simply because He intercedes for us still at the right hand of the Father; we need not fear because we cannot out-give God. We cannot surpass His generosity.

“Test Me in this,” He insists. “See if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.”

It’s easy to disguise fear of scarcity as prudence. It’s difficult to expect a harvest so rich we struggle to bind the sheaves. It’s easy to conflate reaping the fruit of living as God intended with earning God’s favor. It’s difficult to give without letting our left hand know what our right is doing. It’s easy to become self-deceived about the limits of our control. It’s difficult to daily come needy and open-handed to receive the gifts of the One who calls us Beloved.

But, take heart. He will supply the grace you need to dare to believe, to dare to respond. He who fed thousands with just a few fish and loaves can multiply your offering. And He who knows intimately the longings of your heart, knows also how to give good gifts.

May we live in light of the generosity of our Lord — and so come to know it all the more.


TAKE A MOMENT AND REFLECT

Lord, teach us to trust Your generosity. Move us to kindness and compassion. Give us courage, wisdom, and grace to love our world the way You do, and to meet the needs You set before us.
Amen

PRAYER FOCUS

Please, take 5-10 minutes and pray for Victory Kids, Student Church, and our Young Adults.

Hannah Williamson - Admissions Marketing Copywriter
University Marketing, Biola University

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Day 9: God is Good!

Scripture: Matthew 6:9-13

“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’”

Father God
God is Good

A great way to begin each day is by focusing on who God is! Today, focus on the goodness, the greatness, and glory of God. Focusing daily on these three attributes of God gives us a complete picture, or filter, of grace. The Lord’s Prayer is a great prayer to help us think about the goodness, the greatness, and glory of God.

When we call God our Father, it reminds us that we are His children. He loves, cares for, and provides for His children. He is a great dad. But, that’s not enough, is it? You can know that you are loved, and that God is good, but you still can be going through hard times. So, we not only need to focus on God’s goodness, but we also need to set our minds on how great God is. Our great God is in heaven. When we think about our God in heaven, it reminds us that He reigns and rules and is in control. He has all the power that we need to make it through tough times. Lastly, we need to give God glory. When you “hallow” God’s name (or make it holy), it is a helpful reminder that life is not all about us.

TAKE A MOMENT AND REFLECT

When you get up in the morning, your number one priority should be to get in the right mindset for your day. First things first – simply focus on who God is! Focus on His goodness, greatness, glory, and ask Him to help you see everything else through that filter. Remember, it’s not about what you do; it’s about who God is.

PRAYER FOCUS

Please, take 5-10 minutes and pray for families and marriages.

Stoval Weems - Writer and Pastor

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Day 8: Surrender

Scripture: Matthew 16:24

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me.’”

Surrender
Surrender

You can know God and never completely surrender your life to Him. Your sins can be forgiven, and you can be on your way to heaven, but you can still be in control. You can add God to your life, but it still can be your life. You still can be in the driver’s seat.

Prayer and fasting is about getting out of the driver’s seat and getting in the passenger seat. To truly surrender means giving God your whole life and discovering the reality, joy, peace, freedom, feelings and experiences that come with truly knowing God. We often believe this is a one-time decision, but it is a practice we must regularly engage in to keep our spiritual fervor.

God is asking you a question, “Will you let Me drive? Will you give Me complete control? If you want all of Me, then I need all of you.” Today, will you tell Jesus have His way in your life?

When we experience staleness in our relationship with God, for whatever reason, surrendering again is the first step to rekindle the fire within! We need to start each day with complete surrender. Surrender is more of an ongoing process rather than just a one-time decision. Full surrender to God means no more going back and forth, with one foot in the world, and the other foot in God’s kingdom. Following Jesus is all or nothing.

The surrendered life is the best life. It’s really the only way to live as a believer. But, to get there, you’ve got to go all out. This means total surrender. No more halfway stuff; you can’t be a part-time Christian. God wants you to be a full-time follower of Jesus.

When you fully surrender to God, you are filled with His Spirit and are awakened to His presence in your life. God will energize you and give you a hunger for His Word.

TAKE A MOMENT AND REFLECT

Is there something that you need to surrender to God today? What have you been holding onto, that you need to give back to God? During your prayer time today, give God the things that you have been holding onto and watch how He moves mountains in your life.

PRAYER FOCUS

Please, take 5-10 minutes and pray for our small group leaders, small group members, Victory Life classes, support groups, and prayer groups.

Stoval Weems - Writer and Pastor

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Day 7: Going Deeper - Beautiful Feet

Scripture: Romans 10:15,18

“And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

“But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course, they did: ‘Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.’”

How beautiful are the radiant faces of those who faithfully preach the Good News. Or, how beautiful are the calloused hands of those who tirelessly work for God’s kingdom proclaiming, through word and action, the message of peace. But, feet? Artists study faces and do portraits of hands, torsos—almost every part of the body, except feet. Livia Gus’ bold attempt, Summer Feet is a curious work filled with both humor and mystery. But who really considers feet beautiful? In addition to being clumsy and awkward, my homely, scaly, reddened appendages are the source of continual discomfort and pain. How can the Prophet Isaiah possibly call the lowest part of human anatomy (even under the best conditions) beautiful? Beloved Bible teacher, J. Vernon Mcgee, once said, “Feet reveal our humanity. There’s probably no member of our body that tells quite how human we are as our feet.”

There is one, however, who has beautiful, comely feet. That one is the Lord Jesus Christ. His willingness to leave heaven’s splendor to sojourn among us, to take up residence in a human body, and trod this earth for our salvation, merits our highest praise and admiration.

Mary of Bethany, who longed for nothing more than to sit at Jesus’ feet, understood the loveliness of Christ’s feet, when she anointed and washed them with costly perfume. Her intuitive, highly controversial deed helps us understand that, sometimes, the only way to respond to extravagant beauty is to do something outrageous in return. It is also true that acts of beauty, which can appear to be a frivolous waste of time and money, are often just what is needed to demonstrate our feeble attempt at gratitude. Mary’s focus on Christ’s feet reflected a spirit of intensely intimate humility as she basked in the presence of her wonderful Lord.

One day (Lord, come soon), “Every knee will bow” as all those who have ever lived will fall before His precious feet. Together, in one unending hallelujah, we will rejoice that His feet were wounded for us and for our salvation. Hymn writer, Matthew Bridges, speaks of that glorious day in his majestic hymn, “Crown Him with Many Crowns:”

Crown Him the Lord of Peace!
Whose power a scepter sways,
From pole to pole, --that wars may cease,
Absorbed in prayer and praise:
His reign shall know no end,
And round His pierced feet
Fair flowers of paradise extend
Their fragrance ever sweet.

It’s not difficult to imagine a variety of afterlife scenarios, and one that I visualize at first meeting Christ, is falling at His feet in sustained prostration. If the angels avert their eyes at “mysteries so bright” how will we respond as we enter His presence? Starting at His feet seems most appropriate to me.

When I was growing up, we used to sing a little hymn, “Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me, all His wonderful passion and purity. O thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine, ‘till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.” Christians are called to be imitators of Christ or, as C.S. Lewis referred to followers of Jesus, “little Christs.” These “little Christs” are the ones Isaiah, and later Paul, describe as having beautiful feet. “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace.” In Isaiah 52:7, and Romans 10:15, the authors aren’t referencing physical attractiveness but, rather, spiritual loveliness. Some scholars interpret the word beauty here to mean “acceptable,” which reminds us of Romans 12:1, “present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Another hymnist, Frances Havergal, penned, “Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.”

2020 has been an extremely difficult year for most of the world’s population. As if life were not already hard enough, the trials of the past year have taken a devastating toll on millions. During the past 12 months, I would venture to say that all of us have, to some extent, succumbed to suspicion, fear, and paralyzing anxiety. More than ever, Christ needs beautiful feet who are willing to leave couches of comfort and GO into the trenches with the Gospel of Peace. There are abundant opportunities, currently, for those who’ve found His bedrock peace, to minister and proclaim these good tidings of great joy to those who are desperate for some news of hope. One of today’s pieces of music is “Beautiful Feet” by the rapper, Lecrae. He says it like it is:

“Go, go, go—run with those beautiful feet.
You hold the truth that saves so run and shout it to the world.
They can't believe in something they ain't never heard.
Go, go, go and run with those beautiful feet.”

TAKE A MOMENT AND REFLECT

Jesus’ invitation is now: Will you come and talk to me about your life, where it is going, what it is becoming? Will you take me on as your interlocutor, indeed, Maestro of life and learning – more serious and care-filled about your thoughts, beliefs, doubts, questionings, wonderings, curiosities, and desires – than even you are?

PRAYER FOCUS

Please, take 5-10 minutes right now, and pray for your City, our State, and the Nation.

Barry Krammes - Professor Emeritus, Art Department
Biola University

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Day 6: Big Decisions

Scripture: Luke 4:42-44

“At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for Him and when they came to where He was, they tried to keep Him from leaving them. But He said, ‘I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.’ And He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.”

The hardest decisions to make are usually not between what is good and bad. Usually, the most difficult decisions are between what is good, better and best. It is so important to be able to clearly hear the voice of God when facing important decisions. Jesus regularly disconnected from the world to hear the voice of God. This awakening season is all about disconnecting from the world so that we can hear the voice of God.

All sorts of things will try to crowd God out of your life. Jesus faced pressure from the crowds, and He had to choose between doing good and doing God’s will. The crowds constantly tugged on Jesus to heal them or to do another miracle. What might have happened if Jesus had listened to the voice of the crowds? He would have settled for a very good cause, healing, but missed His primary purpose to preach the kingdom of God to lost humanity. Jesus knew that, with so much need everywhere, He had to hear the voice of His Father, or He would have mistakenly chosen what’s good instead of what’s God. That is exactly what will happen in our lives if we’re not tuned in to God and hearing His voice over the voice of the crowd.

The voice of the crowd cannot answer the question, “Why are you here?” When you hear the voice of God, you begin to understand His purpose for you and what you are all about. It is then that you can prioritize your life around that purpose; this is a freeing place to be, and it uncomplicates your life. Once you begin to realize God’s purpose for your life, you start to understand something foundational about yourself; you’re not here on earth simply to exist but—guess what? —you were sent. Your whole life will change when you understand that you were sent here by God.

TAKE A MOMENT AND REFLECT

I don’t know your specific assignment regarding your career, relationships, or other matters. I Do know that we are all called to be witnesses for Jesus. I want to challenge you to look at the normal activities of your everyday life and see them as opportunities to be a witness for Jesus. During your fast, look for ways to serve and encourage others at work, at home, in your neighborhood, or at church.

PRAYER FOCUS

Please, take 5-10 minutes, right now, and pray for the outreach ministries of Victory Church and our community, including the Dream Center, Kids Club, VISTE, and Options for Women.

Stoval Weems - Writer and Pastor

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Day 5: Time to Reset

Scripture: Ephesians 2:10

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Reset
Masterpiece

One of the reasons I think prayer and fasting are so powerful when combined, is that, together, they activate a chain reaction where we see God’s kingdom manifest on earth. This sequence is what I call agreement…alignment…assignment. When we come into agreement with God, we are aligned with God’s perfect will on earth, as it already is in heaven. When we are aligned with heaven, we find that God can use us in ways we never thought possible; then, we begin to walk in our assignment –the purpose that God created us to fulfill.

God has given you a specific and unique assignment. You are a masterpiece designed by God to make a difference in this world. There is a very specific purpose for which you were created. God is the only One who can truly inform you of that purpose, and, in order to fulfill it, you will need His power.

Here’s the deal: when it comes to pursuing our God-given assignment, if you and I are not in tune with God’s voice, we will only hear the voice of the crowd and get weighed down by the pressures of life. Like a radio station we can’t quite hear clearly, all the voices will cause static and make it difficult for us to tune into the Voice we need to hear.

TAKE A MOMENT AND REFLECT

As you fast, let your hunger help you focus on God. Every time you experience a pang of hunger, ask God to increase your hunger for Him, in the same way that you hunger for food.

PRAYER FOCUS

Please, take 5-10 minutes right now and pray for Victory Church. Pray that our mission statement, “To Know Christ and to Make Him Known,” takes root in the heart of every person that enters the church.

Stoval Weems - Writer and Pastor

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Day 4: Time to Reset

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 6: 19, 20

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.”

Reset
Reset

Do you think of yourself as a temple? The Bible says that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. We’ve got to get “the gunk” out of God’s temple so we can hear His voice clearly and prepare ourselves for new things He wants to do, in and through us. Even if you are going to church, reading your Bible, and worshiping, there are times when you need to give your soul a good spring cleaning to make it fresh again.

As we live our lives, over time we can get all “gunked up.” While our spirit is eternally made new through Christ, our soul, which is the intersection of our mind, will and emotions, can become weighed down, heavy, negative, and sluggish.

The constant demand on our mind, the distractions and the noise, can weigh us down and put us in a spiritual fog. Life has a way of stacking on the pressure and pain, which causes our emotions to get out of whack. As we get tired and weighed down, our conscience can become desensitized, not really bothered by things that once convicted us. God’s voice is slowly muffled, and we begin to lose our passion for Him. The fire within dims, and we shift into autopilot, operating from a position of obligation or routine in our relationship with God, instead of one of affection and fervor.

Fasting hits the reset button of our soul. To receive the new things God wants to bring into our lives, we have to periodically hit the reset button. This is what I call experiencing a newness of soul. What a powerful gift we have been given through fasting.

TAKE A MOMENT AND REFLECT

Along with your fasting, make sure you slow your pace and remove distractions. Try to add some times of silence and solitude along with your fasting.

PRAYER FOCUS

Please take 5-10 minutes and pray for your city. It could be Lakeland, Kathleen, Lake Gibson, Mulberry, Plant City, Auburndale, etc.

Stoval Weems - Writer and Pastor

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Day 3: Going Deeper - Ask, Seek, Knock

Scripture: Matthew 7: 7-11

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, it will be opened. Or, what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or, if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him?”

ASKING, SEEKING, KNOCKING

In what way do you want to learn to live your life fully in 2021?

Posture is important. I am not referring to merely the sit-up-straight kind of posture; but the kind of soul stature, if you will, healthy for a genuine life worth living well in God.

“Strength of Memory"
Strength of Memory Mural


Consider the “Strength of Memory” mural. Standing five stories tall, it reveals rather publicly a posture of surrender, perhaps in the midst of pain, and a willingness to receive care and support. It is a picture of readiness; a readiness for change.

With Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:7-11, we are provoked to consider if our life is postured to truly seek after what is good. Are you ready for change? How is Jesus in your ‘asking?’

Jesus is serious about our asking just by virtue of giving us three imperatives in this passage: Ask, Seek, Knock (I’ll abbreviate it as ASK). They have an iterative texture to their orientation: Keep on asking, seeking, and knocking.

Our ASKing reveals our heart. Jesus actually cares about the formation of our asking. Do we? It is tempting to live as if God is inconsequential to our asking; as if we are not invited to ask with Him.

But Jesus’ words come to us full of faith and expectant longing. He knows what is truly real and good. The question is are we ready to trust that He knows what is truly real and good for us? Do we trust that He is ‘ahead of us’ in our ASKing?

Notice, though, that Jesus does not spell-out-the-specifics of what we are to ASK. He is focused on the manner in which we ask. He does not treat us as His robots, nor is He ‘artificial intelligence’ for our ASKing.

But, if Jesus does not dictate what we are to ASK, does that mean we are left all alone in our ASKing? NO! That claim has more to do with our own assumptions than it does about Him.

Jesus is not faint-hearted about our assumptions; however, mistaken they may be about Him or His Father. Throughout His teaching, Jesus is constantly getting at what is foundational to our thought and action; what we take to be a ‘given,’ especially if unreliable.

In our passage, Jesus is asking us to reassess our assumptions about who we think God is and how God relates to us with our ASKing. Throughout His “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus repeatedly draws attention to how we relate to our Father and His character (5:45, 48; 6:1, 4, 6, 8-15, 18, 24, 26, 30, 32).

Jesus is addressing foundational worldview beliefs. For example, if you live as if God is not your provider, or is capricious in His giving, will not such beliefs foundationally shape how you ask, what you ask, or even IF you ask?

That Jesus confidently exhorts us to keep on asking, seeking, and knocking is, in itself, based on the knowledge of the reality that God is, indeed, the very One who will reliably keep on giving, who will keep on being found, and will keep on opening doors.

In what world do you live your life? Is it a world mainly of your own making? That might seem like a ‘safe’ world, seemingly under your control and desires. But is that real, reliable, and good? Or, do you live – with even your vulnerabilities – as if you are actually in your Father’s world, a truly God-bathed world (Dallas Willard)? Jesus is after the truth-conduciveness of our world-and-life view of reality.

Humanity’s default view of God is more like a ‘poverty mentality’: I alone know my needs better than anyone. No one will take care of my life better than me. Because there are limited resources, I have to fight to get my share of what is rightfully mine.

What does it look like to ASK without a poverty mentality and without our ASKing being dependent on circumstances as the necessary occasion to ASK? How might our ASKing be shaped by the life-companionship, and personal presence, of the superabundant Sufficient One? For Enoch walked with God . . . and then he was no more (Gen. 5:24; Heb. 11:5).

Jesus is inviting us into a practice of ASKing that is for the whole of life in all its undulations! He is looking for an ASKing people. His invitation is not merely to come forward with our asking when we are desperately needy, whether in a Peter drowning-in-the-water moment, or in an Oscar Wilde place of honest fear and self-awareness.

TAKE A MOMENT AND REFLECT

Jesus’ invitation is now: Will you come and talk to me about your life, where it is going, what it is becoming? Will you take me on as your interlocutor, indeed, Maestro of life and learning – more serious and care-filled about your thoughts, beliefs, doubts, questionings, wonderings, curiosities, and desires – than even you are?

PRAYER FOCUS

Please take 5-10 minutes and pray over our Nation, Teen Challenge, Convoy of Hope, and for revival in America.

Joseph E. Gorra - Writer and Educator
Founder/Director of Veritas Life Center
Biola Alum

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Day 2: Why Fast?

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 6:16 (NIV)

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”

It is time to get a new outlook on fasting. When practiced the right way, fasting is something that everyone should enjoy. That’s right…enjoy! Fasting is for every follower of Jesus. Too many people fast with a strict mindset that focuses on abstaining. The fasting I am talking about is different. Of course, it involves abstaining from food, but the mindset is completely different. It is possible to have minimal physical emptiness with maximum spiritual fullness.

Fasting is one of the most powerful spiritual weapons believers can use. Maybe you’ve never done it before. There is a serious misconception that fasting is for serious, super Christians, or only for times of crisis. Some even think fasting is only an Old Testament thing. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:16, “When you fast.” He did not say if you fast!

There is a closeness to God that you simply will not experience from prayer or personal devotions alone. You must fast. You get a revelation of God’s Word when you fast that you simply cannot get any other way. Disconnecting from the distractions of the world through fasting and connecting into the power and presence of God through prayer, brings a supernatural freshness and newness to our souls.

TAKE A MOMENT AND REFLECT

What will you be fasting over the next 14 days? Your fast doesn’t necessarily have to be food. You could fast from social media or anything that would help you be more intentional in your focus on God and His Word.

PRAYER FOCUS

Please take 5-10 minutes and pray for your neighbors, family members, and those who don’t have a relationship with Jesus.

Stovall Weems - Writer and Pastor


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Day 1: Why Pray?

Victory Church is thrilled to take you on a 14-day journey of prayer and fasting. Understanding the necessity of prayer is not enough. For prayer to become a part of our life, it needs to become something you look forward to. It is possible that some people do not enjoy prayer because they have never been taught how to pray. When you make prayer and fasting a priority, it declares the sovereignty of God. When you discover the beauty of daily conversation with Him, you will experience the presence of God that will change your life.

Once you learn how to pray, prayer can become a part of everyday life. And then…

  • Before the day begins – pray
  • Before you go to bed – pray
  • Before you go to work or school – pray
  • Before you send that text – pray
  • Before you react – pray
  • Before bad things happen – pray
  • Before you eat, drive, or travel – pray
  • In every situation – PRAY FIRST!

Prayer changes everything!

SCRIPTURE: Romans 12:11-12

“Never be lacking in Zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”


CREATING A LIFESTYLE OF PRAYER

How close do you feel to God? Most of us sense that there’s more to a relationship with God than what we currently are experiencing. I have observed that while the vast majority of believers start out with a lot of passion and zeal in their relationship with God, over time, that enthusiasm subsides. On a day-to-day basis, their relationship with God eventually becomes passive. There are occasional bursts of excitement, but even that excitement is short-lived. Their walk with God seems to have a few highs, some lows…and a whole lot of mundane in-betweens.

Does it strike you, as it has me, that there is something terribly wrong with a passionless, passive, mundane, monotonous relationship with God? Aren’t we vaguely unsettled with the idea that somehow a daily relationship with God… the God of the universe…can end up with the flavor of stale bread? The Bible is clear that our passion and spiritual fervor should be constant. (Romans 12:11) So why have so many Christians accepted a faith experience that is so far below what God intended for them?

A passionate, thriving relationship with God should be the norm, not the exception, for every follower of Christ. Over the next 14 days, your relationship with God can be awakened. Maintaining a fresh, exciting, passionate relationship with God is something we must literally fight to protect. Make no mistake about it—we have a very real enemy who wants nothing more than for our souls to be lulled to sleep, all while we think everything is okay.

For the next 14 days, join us in the experience of fasting, prayer, and listening to the voice of God through His Word. Maybe at one time you were excited about God and were full of His life. But now, if you’re honest, you know other things have grabbed your attention, and your heart has hardened to the joy and freshness you once felt. Or maybe you are far from God and struggling with addictive behaviors or other issues. (And, by the way, is there really anyone who doesn’t have issues?) The good news is that the potential for a lasting, thriving relationship with God really is there. It just has to be awakened.


TAKE A MOMENT AND REFLECT

What is your biggest obstacle to experiencing the zeal and passion described in Romans 12:11-12? Ask God to ignite, or reignite, a passion in your relationship with Jesus.


PRAYER FOCUS

Please take 5-10 minutes and pray for our world. Pray for our missionaries, Live Dead and Light for the Lost.

Stovall Weems - Writer and Pastor


Tomorrow's Focus: "Why Fast?"