Day 1/21 - The Journey Begins

Welcome to Day 1 of our 21 Days of Prayer! We want to start by congratulating you for joining us on this journey that we believe has the power to change your life forever.  

5 Minutes - Worship
We made a worship playlist that you can use during this time of worship!
Apple Music 

5 Minutes - God's Word
Pastor and Author, Mark Batterson wrote this...“Who you become in life is determined by how you pray. Ultimately, the transcript of your prayers becomes the script of your life.”
This powerful statement serves to remind us of the power that prayer. But the truth is that many of us struggle with prayer because:
-We think we don’t think we have time to pray.
-We aren’t convinced that prayer makes any real difference.
-We don’t know how to pray.  
Be encouraged with this can learn how to pray powerful prayers.
Effective prayer is not so much a skill to be mastered as it is an art to be learned by practice.
Luke 11:1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray….”
The disciples that Jesus called to follow him were Jewish boys raised with Jewish customs.  
They had heard many, many prayers. They had been taught to memorize prayers.  But after they heard Jesus pray, they knew that His prayer life was different.  
There was something passionate and real about the way that Jesus prayed and they asked, “Lord, can you show us how to do that?”  
You might be thinking, wait a minute, I thought prayer was “just...talking to God.”
It definitely is that, but we believe there are higher heights and deeper depths that God wants to take us in prayer!
In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches us how to pray prayers that make the difference:
Matthew 6:5-6  And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
You can experience this difference that prayer makes.
Prayer that makes the difference is personal.
In other words, it is not for show.  
Maybe this isn't a big concern in our culture, but in Jesus' culture it was.  Religious people would pray out loud in public places in to promote their own righteousness.  
Now, if you do that in today's world, you're just weird.
Jesus reminds us to go to your room.  In other words, get alone, turn off everything, shut everyone out.  
Psalm 46:10 Be still and Know that I am God…
When we are alone with God and wait upon His unseen Presence, we will then learn to recognize His voice and build upon our relationship with Him.
Difference-making prayer should be a priority in our lives!  
Set an appointment with God every day for the next 21 days.  
We set appointments for things that are important to us: Dr. appointments, tee times, you set an appointment to get your hair done, so forth and so on.
So, set a prayer appointment with God.
Set a time and set a place.  
Mark 1:35  Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Jesus consistently spent time with the Father in prayer.
It may seem difficult for you to find time to pray, but know this:  life is more difficult when you don’t.
Prayer that makes the difference is powerful.
When we pray and when we fast, it does two things:
1. Connects us with God.
2. Disconnects us from the world.
In Matthew 17:14-21 we see an interesting occurrence.  A man desperate for help brought his boy to Jesus. His son was possessed by a devil. He had first taken him to Jesus’ disciples, whom Jesus had given authority to do such work, but they were unable to bring freedom to the boy.  
Here is Jesus’ response:  
Matthew 17:14-21 Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.  19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief;  for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.

Jesus was saying, the power you’re looking for comes through prayer and fasting.
Now,  that word “fasting” can scare a lot of us, but it shouldn’t. We have resources on our website and app that should help you with that.
Maybe in your life there are times when you feel like these disciples and you need more of God’s power in your life to accomplish what He has called you to do.
Jesus recognizes this about these guys and he diagnoses their problem in verse 17.  He says guys, you’re faithless and you’re perverse. What does He mean by that?
1.  Faithless - not connected to the power of God.
2.  Perverse - connected to the things of this world.

But he offers the solution to their problem in verse 21.
He says, the power you’re looking for comes through:
1.  Prayer = which improves our connection with God.
2.  Fasting = which disconnects us from the world.

You have the ability to experience the power that comes through prayer.
This prayer season can make a profound difference in your life.
Jesus said, something special happens when we pray alone in secret.  He rewards us!
Matthew 6:6 Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
That Greek word for rewards means: "to pay off, discharge what is due, to give back, to restore".
God has some special things with your name on it! He can answer your prayers and meet your needs so that your life can give Him glory.

It's time for you to receive your rewards.
Let’s start this year off strong!

5 Minutes - Prayer (can be read aloud)
Thank you for meeting me right where I am. Today I surrender to you completely. I come to you not in perfect condition, but fully ready to give you control and trust you. Please help me over the next 21 days to draw closer to you. I know that through my prayers I will begin to see your power working in my life. If there are things in my life that need to be adjusted, I pray that you will help me recognize it and make any necessary changes. I want to see the rewards that you have in store for me. Help me feel your presence and hear your voice as I seek you first.

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David - January 6th, 2020 at 6:55am

As I talked to my 10 year old daughter about fasting her attention was automatically like mine a worldly comfort leaving me, but as we discussed it further her heart opened up to the promise , from Jesus , of getting closer to God.

Becca - January 6th, 2020 at 11:33am

You never realize how much your flesh runs your day until you deny it something. As Americans I feel like Most of us don’t really understand hunger, but fasting even for just a day or two puts a very sharp point on it. I catch myself with food in hand on its way to my mouth before I realize what’s happening! Praying for everyone during this time of reflection, fasting, and prayer.

Pamela - January 6th, 2020 at 12:29pm

I told a few people at work what I am doing and they are joining the fast! Thanks for posting everyday to keep me focused!