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1 March 2014 - 2 March 2014
Members of Parramatta Salvos are encouraged to spend this weekend in prayer and fasting.
This is an opportunity to place ourselves before our great God and seek His will. It’s a cry to Him to meet with us, forgive us, and show us what we need. I have every confidence and excitement in our great God that He will reveal Himself as we seek Him. We need Him more than ever.
You are welcome to pray in any manner you prefer, but I offer a format for focussed prayer as a guide.
May God be our God and we His people – people about finding freedom.
Give God the glory for who He is. Read a Psalm of praise (e.g. Psalms 8, 19, 33, 47, 66, 93, 95, 96, 100, 111, 134, 135, 148, 150); sing and/or listen to worship music; dance, paint; lift your hands; create/write your own Psalm of Praise.
Give God thanks for what He does. Read a Psalm of thanksgiving (e.g. Psalms 46, 57, 63, 84, 89, 98, 103, 105, 108, 113, 117, 138, 145); write a list of His blessings; thank Him for His love, for Jesus, His salvation, His faithfulness, His goodness, His healing, His kindness, His forgiveness, His presence.
Place yourself before Him in surrender and confession. Read a Psalm of personal petition (e.g. Psalm 13, 32, 38, 40, 42, 51, 70, 90, 121, 130, 139, 142); seek forgiveness and cleansing; ask the Holy Spirit to fill you afresh; pray for personal holiness, strength to obey His Word, to resist evil and to trust Jesus more; ask Him to show you how to grow in Christ. And claim 1 John 1:8-9 and 2 Peter 1:3-4 for yourself.
Pray for freedom ‘within’ – this is prayer for the fellowship of believers (e.g. name them; pray through a Corps Directory); for unity of faith and worship (that we are one people united in Christ; loving relationships; deepening of relationships; marked by love, respect, acceptance and togetherness; and against gossip and a spirit of disunity); other churches; discipling; building bridges; small groups; lives changed by Jesus Christ in the corps.
Pray for freedom ‘without’ – this is prayer for a passion for the lost; taking Jesus to the world; being Jesus; being The Salvation Army at its true purpose of ‘saving souls, growing saints and serving suffering humanity’; lives changed by Jesus Christ through the corps.
Pray for action – that we are united in the fight against injustice; being people of mercy, of love, acceptance and embracing all people without discrimination; to be people of both practical and prayer support to all whom God reveals to us; proactive pastoring; utilising our resources where God wants; being unselfish and sacrificial. Being an ‘army’ with every ‘soldier’ engaged in the war. Personally ask God to show you who your ‘neighbour’ is (as per Luke 10:25-37) and how you love him/her/them with your actions.
*’fasting’ is a spiritual discipline. It has been a common and powerful feature of God’s people for thousands of years. Jesus fasted. There are different types of fasts. Some are personal and private while others are corporate and public, but essentially a fast is a denial of self in some form (traditionally from eating meals**) for a certain period, in order to seek God and His will. Fasting is not dieting, it is letting go of an appetite in order to seek God on matters of deep concern for others, oneself and the world.
"Fasting clears us out and opens us up to intentionally seeking God's will and grace in a way that goes beyond normal habits of worship and prayer. While fasting, we are one on one with God, offering Him the time and attentiveness we might otherwise be giving to eating, shopping or watching television." Adele Ahlberg Calhoun
** If you have health problems, fasting from food is not recommended.