Taking our cue from Nehemiah 1:4, And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, we begin today our 40 Days of Prayer & Fasting at BCBC. As I shared in the introduction of yesterday’s message from Nehemiah, “Nehemiah is the story of God reviving and changing his people so that they have the courage, conviction and clarity to step forward to both pray and act as the people of God for the glory God.” May this be our goal, our heartbeat, our motivation, our joy—that God would so revive and change us that we would both pray and act as the people of God for the glory of God!
As we take this 40 day journey (Feb. 3 – March 14), may I ask that you participate in the following way?
1. “Sit down” (Nehemiah 1:4 and yesterday’s sermon). Every day have a regular place where you get alone with God in personal worship. Do not set a time limit; just make sure that you have really met with God. This is where fasting comes into play. What is distracting you from really meeting with God? What good work/thing do you need to set aside for the greater meeting (i.e. Mary & Martha, Luke 10:38-42)?
2. Keep a spiritual journal. Write down every day what God has said to you from His Word, the scripture reference that you read and/or prayed through, and what you learned about God and yourself. Be honest and transparent. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a long recording, but enough that you can be reminded of your meeting with God on that day.
3. See this as a delight and not something you check off each day or as a daily duty. Sing, worship, listen to God, talk to God, sit at His table and feast from His Manna. Perhaps you will see prayer become more a blessed time of fellowship than only petitions.
Each day, I’ll be sharing a passage of Scripture to read and pray as well as some directives toward our goal (see above, 1st paragraph).
Day 1: Focus on God
This is where Nehemiah began. This is where we will begin today.
Read: Psalm 29 – God’s power
Answer the following:
1. Do I sometimes forget how powerful and awesome God is?
2. Do I tend to put myself at the center of the Bible instead of recognizing God’s supremacy?
3. Do I daily meditate on God as the omnipotent One Who is my glory and strength?
4. Do I seek to glorify Him in all areas of my life?
Pray: Use Psalm 29 as a prayer guide to praise God for His power, as a prayer guide for your fellowship with Him and as a prayer guide for your petitions.
Meditate: Put into a sentence what God has revealed to you about Himself, that you can meditate on today.