Read Luke 18:1-8 Luke 18:1 We should always pray and not give up!
In context, Jesus is teaching about the vindication of the Church. 1. We, who are a part of the Kingdom of God are set apart, separate from this world. 2. As such we will be persecuted by this world. 3. The wrath of God is coming and in that time, the days of the Son of Man, the church will receive its justice. 4. We need to pray diligently for the vindication of our testimony in the world and our eventual full redemption by the hand of God.
Why are we asking the church to pray with the elders? Luke 18:1 – In Luke’s own words, “You should always pray and not give up!” We are at a point where we do not know our next step. We need God to point the way! The elders have committed to set aside additional times to pray specifically for this issue and we need the church to join us.
Why should I fast? Several of the elders have committed to fast during these specific times or prayer. These times are this morning and every Monday in the month of September. We are inviting you to join us.
Why FAST and pray? 1. IT HELPS US TO FOCUS: Fasting helps to loose the ties that bind us to this world and concentrate on the spiritual matters for which we are praying. 2. IT HELPS US TO REMEMBER: That God is our full sustainer. All we need we get from him.
3. IT HELPS US TO MARK AN OCCATION: Fasting helps us to set aside the activity that we participate in and remember that it is set apart, unique, in addition to the norm. 4. IT HELPS US REMEMBER OUR POSITION: It reminds us that we are fully and utterly dependent on God. All we have is from and because of Him.
IT IS NOT MAGIC! We do not fast because we believe that somehow that makes our prayers better or more likely to be answered the way we desire.
What does it mean to fast? To cut ourselves off for a period from worldly things that take up our time and our priority. It is one way of telling God and reminding ourselves that our priority for the moment is Him. As such you can fast from anything. Find what it is that takes up your time and attention and instead of doing it, pray during that time.
If I choose to fast, for how long should I fast? There is no set time. The key is eliminating something you normally do and praying instead. 1. Skip a meal or activity 2. Sun up to sun down 3. 24 hours 4. The entire month (Skip the morning cartoons and pray for FCC )
So what are the elders doing again and what do you want us to do? We are setting apart specific times to pray above and beyond what we normally do for FCC and we are beseeching the church to join us. Those times are 1. This morning 2. Every Monday in the month of September. We are fasting during these time and we are inviting the church to join us.
What if I can not do it during those times? We ask that you do your best. If Monday does not work for you then pick a different time. If you can not fast then please simply pray.
We start with PRAISE! We start by focusing our minds on He whom we are in relationship. As it is normal for friends to shake hands, say high or embrace. When we enter into discussion with our Heavenly Father it is normal and right to praise Him. To praise Him, pray to him His attributes. Let Him know you know Him. Tell him what He has taught you about Himself through scripture and as you do so enjoy how AWESOME He is!
Spend some time thanking Him for all He does and has provided.
Silently or out loud, confess your sins to Him.
Pray for the will of God 1. That the Gospel will be spread to every person on this earth! 2. That the people of the universal Church will eventually receive their full redemption by the hand of God. 3. That the Universal Church will receive justice from the evils of this sinful world in which we live.
Pray that FCC will be empowered by the Spirit to rise up, go out, cast a wide net and boldly preach the gospel! To: 1. Our families 2. Our friends 3. Our neighbors and communities 4. Our co-workers 5. Others God brings to us
That God will give us the courage to be a light shining in and a home for North County. That as we share the Gospel we will also be inviting people into relationship with us and bringing them with us to church.
That we will be driven by compassion and love to develop a relationship with and disciple those who are new to the faith, new to our church and those we already know at FCC.
That God will meet the needs of this church as He sees them. That He will either provide the monetary support we need to meet the budget or give us the direction as to what he wants us to do.
1. Start with PRAISE! 2. Give Thanks to God 3. Confess your sins 4. Pray for God’s will to be done on this earth. 5. Pray that FCC will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to rise up, go out, cast a wide net and share the gospel. 6. Pray that God will give us the courage to be a light to North County and the church home for those we know and have shared. 7. Pray that we will be driven by our love and compassion to invest time in relationships focused on discipleship. 8. That God will meet the needs of this church as He sees them and gives direction based on it.