Updated: Jul 30
Day 5: Prayer & Fasting Journey
If you are a parent, or an aunt or uncle or maybe you yourself have been a child before(lol) you will probably understand this next statement I am about to make.
Kids love the short but loaded question, "Why!"
Why should I eat vegetables? Why can’t I stay up late? Why do we go to church? Why do I have to go to school? Why should I brush my teeth? Why! Why! Why! –
Why can be quite an exhausting and annoying question when asked two thousand times a day.
As a parent blessed with very inquisitive kids I have begun to appreciate that children have a God-given purposeful instinct. They naturally and instinctively understand that there is a reason to the activities we do on a daily basis and as they grow older they begin to gravitate towards Why they are in existence.
This Prayer and fasting week I have had to answer the questions of why we Pray and fast and why we have to do it as a Church. So I have had to tell my Kids of our need to disconnect from world influences in order to fully engage with God and how we can be distracted from the main thing and not live with the end in mind. I had to walk through how fasting as individuals is great and encouraged as it builds a good spiritual discipline, but how doing it together as a Church allows us to encourage each other to pursue God together because we are one body in Christ. There is Power and greater fruit when we act together!
It is as I reflected on these answers that I myself began to understand that while there is indeed a reason to us to be Praying and fasting there is also a reason why God has been telling us to Focus on his Presence. Many a times we engage with God as if he is a God who is far off in heaven and that our Prayer times are like a Zoom link that helps us to connect to him far away. But NOT so! God is near to us, he is our ever present God who wants us to be aware of his Holy Presence. (Psalm 46:1)
God calls us to be aware & to experience His presence for a reason and a purpose. During the past four nights we have had amazing worship evenings where we have been truly aware that God is with us and his presence has been made manifest in a powerful manner as we worshipped and prayed. It has become evident that God is the one who has called us to these evenings to meet him.
As I reflected on how God himself been calling us to meet him, I began to explore the Why question for myself. It dawned on me that just like we have meetings at our workplaces with an agenda, God also has been calling us into his presence and he himself has an agenda. Here is a few things I have learnt about God’s agenda as we experience his presence
1. He wants us to know Him deeply to learn to commune with him
2. He wants us to experience his Love grace & mercy
3. He wants us to be transformed – to make us
4. He wants us to have peace- Peace that helps us navigate this world
5. He wants to send us on a mission
The 5th point had me excited and pensive. What mission does God want me on, Will I be good enough to do this mission and how will I manage?
As these questions buzzed in my mind God reminded me that most great people in the Bible who encountered His presence had the same questions and worries but God dealt with them the same way he will for you and me.
Moses encountered the presence of God by the burning bush – God empowered him to go and set the Israelites free from Egypt – not in his strength but in God’s Power (Exodus chapter 3)
Elijah encountered God in a time of depression and anxiety and God put divine Peace on him and sent Him to anoint a King and become a mentor to Elisha, the next great prophet. (1 Kings 19:15-16)
Isaiah encountered the Lord seated on a throne and he felt he was not worthy to be sent by God – God consecrated him and sent him apart to be his Voice (Isaiah 6:1-8)
Paul encountered the Presence of Jesus on the way to murder & persecute God’s people in Damascus – God transformed him in His presence and Equipped him for a new life of serving him miraculously (Acts chapter 9)
As we draw toward Sunday the last day of the fast, I want to encourage you to use these last 3 days to engage God and take time to listen to what he is saying to you in the here and now. I believe God will Set you apart, Empower you and Send you on a great adventure that will blow your mind! As he does that I want to invite you to the encounter service on Sunday Night at view Church Table View at 6pm where our Lead pastor will be Pray over us and anoint us with oil as a sign of what God has done in us preparing us for the next season of our lives.