Monday, January 3, 2022
By Scotty Priest, Journey Senior Pastor
A note from Pastor Scotty...
Every year at Journey, we begin the year with 21 Days of intentionally seeking God through Prayer and Fasting. It starts today!
The 21 Days of Prayer + Fasting is really about 3 THINGS:
- It’s about declaring our DEPENDENCE on God. (I want to grow. I want to know you better. I want to go deeper. I need your provision.)
- It’s about asking God for DIRECTION. (I need wisdom, Lord. What do I do about _____?, Where should I _____?)
- It’s also about CHANGING YOUR WORLD. (Praying for your family, church, community, nation, etc. – How can I help, Lord?)
During these 21 Days, we are encouraging our church to seek God through two spiritual habits, and the first is prayer.
Daily links will be sent to you with devotionals written by Journey staff and members. These devotionals will take you through a chapter of the Gospel of John each day. They are written in a way to not only help you enjoy what the writers are learning and praying for themselves, but also to teach you how to read the Bible and pray on your own.
So make it a goal for the next 21 days to set aside at least 15 minutes each day to read the Bible and pray.
Also, once a week, walk your neighborhood and pray for your neighbors. Pray that hearts will be open to God.
Not only will we be seeking God through prayer, but we also believe fasting can be a next step to bring clarity and revelation into your life.
Fasting is setting aside something so that you can be more focused on God. It’s saying NO to one thing so you can say YES to something bigger and better. It’s saying to God — I’m more hungry for You and I am for this.
There are many ways to Fast. Primarily, when the Bible talks about fasting it’s speaking of food. So, you could fast from certain types of food or certain days or certain meals. Some people fast from sunrise to sundown. Some people, believe it or not, fast from all solid foods for 21 Days!
You can also fast from certain types of activities. Social media, TV / Netflix, etc. Anything that takes up time and instead use some of that time to focus on God.
It’s not just about what I’m fasting FROM —- it’s what I am fasting FOR.
Maybe it’s clarity or to return to the Lord or for God to work in a particular situation or a breakthrough in a relationship.
For me personally and for our church, I know 2022 is going to bring some really exciting challenges.
Some I know are coming and others I have no idea are on the horizon.
I want to be open to God. I want to have His heart.
So jump in with us starting today.
Let’s seek God together and see where he’ll lead us!
So let’s get started. There are 21 chapters in the Gospel of John. We are going to read one chapter together each day. Ask a few questions as you read.
• What does this teach me about God?
• What does this say about me?
• What should I do in light of what I read today?
Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and you will see.” (John 1:38-39)
The first words of Jesus in the gospel of John are in the form of a question –
“What are you seeking?”
He’s asking me and you that same question today.
What is it that you are seeking? What are you hoping for? Searching for?
The disciples’ answer was simple. And so was Jesus’ response.
Come and you will see.
Make a commitment to seek God through the Bible, prayer, and fasting over the next 21 days. Follow Jesus. Stay close to him. And you will see. You will find what you are searching for.
“Father, thank you for inviting me to seek You, especially over these next 21 days. Please guide, challenge, and help me know you more. Amen.”
Get to a place where you can focus and read the daily Scripture passage several times. From the passage of Scripture you read, highlight one or two verses that stick out. Write them down, and even consider rewriting the verse(s) in your own words.
Make some basic observations about the scripture you just read by asking these questions:
- Why was this written?
- To whom was it originally written?
- What is the author trying to communicate?
- What does the Scripture passage teach me about God and humanity?
After taking some time explaining the highlighted scriptures, begin to think about how they apply to your life. Ask yourself these questions and spend some time writing down your thoughts:
- What do these verses mean today?
- What does this verse(s) mean for my life?
- How does this verse challenge my thinking and actions?
- What changes do I need to make in my life as a result of this passage of Scripture?
Your response to the passage may take on many forms. You may write a call to action. You may describe how you will be different because of what God has said to you through the Bible verses. You may indicate what you are going to do because of what you learned. You may respond by writing out a prayer to God. For example, you may ask God to help you to be more loving, or to give you a desire to be more generous in your giving. Keep in mind that this is your response to what you have just read.