Greetings all PEPpers!
It is that time of the year – today is Day 1 of 40 days of prayer & fasting. I thought I’d take a moment to review some of the top reasons for you to get involved in this year’s 40-day season. While this is not an exhaustive list, it is a good start. Tell me what you think.
#1 – It is a chance to spend more time with God.
It’s like celebrating an anniversary by getting away with the one you love. The main goal is not getting God to answer a prayer or even to become a better Christian; it is to simply be with the One you love.
#2 – It is a time to listen.
Don’t go rushing into 40-days with your demands and expectations. Be still, cool your jets and first listen to what God has to say.
- Psalm 37:7 (NLT) Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act.
- Psalm 46:10 (NKJV) Be still, and know that I am God.
#3 – It is a chance to recalibrate your use of time.
The use of our time is like a moon that orbits around a planet. Whatever has the strongest gravitation pull on us uses up the majority of our time. 40-days allows us to review what has been pulling on us to determine if our lives are orbiting around God and his will for our life or if we have drifted away from Him seeking our own desires and pleasure.
For 40 days our evening prayer service and your personal devotional commitments will be pulling on you causing you make a choice of how you will plan your day and use your time. That pull will help you recalibrate your use of time.
- Ephesians 5:15-17 (NKJV) See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
#4 - It is a chance to recalibrate your eating habits.
Your body is the temple of the Lord / it is the number one instrument that you have to worship, relate and serve God. Don’t underestimate the physical benefits of fasting and mortifying (abstaining from, putting to death) your appetites. The Centers for Disease Control reports that the No. 2 instrument of death is food \ more than car crashes, drug overdoses, alcoholism and firearm accidents combined!
Active participation in 40-days of prayer and fasting can literally extent/save your life!
- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV) Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
#5 – It is a chance to experience a special season of community.
The fast pace of life has a way of isolating us and separating us from those we love. Our nightly prayer services will give you the privilege of spending time with your family and church family. This season of the year is probably when we are most like the early church.
- Psalm 55:14 (NLT) What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God.
- Acts 2:42 (NKJV) And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
#6 – It is a chance to care for others through prayer and encouragement.
There will be hundreds, if not thousands of prayer requests placed on our altars. You will have 40 chances to pray specifically for people. Furthermore, nightly you will have the chance to pray with those in attendance at the prayer service and encourage them in faith.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT) So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NLT) Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.
#7 – It is a chance to pray for your own needs.
This is our 15th 40-days of prayer & fasting. Experience has taught us that prayers are answered during this season like at no other time.
- 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NKJV) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
- 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
#8 – It is a chance to starve the flesh so that your spirit can be fed and grow (through prayer and the ministry of the word.
- Acts 6:2,4 It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables…we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.
#9 – It is a chance to be a witness to those outside your community of faith.
People will begin to notice the difference in you (physically, emotionally and spiritually) and it will open doors for you to bless others.
- Matthew 5:16 (NKJV) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
#10 – It is a chance to offer the firstfruits of your year (time) to God.
40 days equals a tithe of your year + an offering of 3 ½ days. There is no denying that 40-days of prayer and fasting is not easy. However, when you willing offer to God acts of sacrifice and worship it honors Him and moves His heart. Be assured that your labor will not be in vain.