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21 Days of Prayer & Fasting 2018 - week 2

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Day 8

You can know God and never completely surrender your life to Him. Your sins can be forgiven, and you can be on your way to heaven, but you can still be in control. You can add God to your life, but it can still be your life. You can still be in the driver’s seat. Prayer and fasting is about getting out of the driver’s seat and getting in the passenger seat. To truly surrender means giving God your whole life and discovering the reality, joy, peace, freedom, feelings and experiences that come with truly knowing God. We often believe this is a one-time decision, but it is a practice we must regularly engage in to keep our spiritual fervor. God is asking you a question, “Will you let me drive? Will you give me complete control? If you want all of me, then I need all of you.” Today will you tell Jesus have His way in your life? Is there something that you need to surrender to God today? What have you been holding on to that you need to give back to God? During your prayer time today give God the things that you have been holding onto and watch how He moves mountains in your life. Excerpts taken from Awakening: A New Approach to Faith, Fasting, and Spiritual Freedom by Stovall Weems (pp. 10-11)

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Day 9

When we experience staleness in our relationship with God for whatever reason, surrendering again is the first step to rekindling the fire within! We need to start each day with complete surrender. Surrender is more of an ongoing process rather than just a one-time decision. Full surrender to God means no more going back and forth with one foot in the world and the other foot in God’s kingdom. Following Jesus is all or nothing. The surrendered life is the best life. It’s really the only way to live as a believer. But to get there, you’ve got to go all out. This means total surrender. No more halfway stuff; you can’t be a part-time Christian. God wants you to be a full time follower of Jesus. When you fully surrender to God, you are filled with His Spirit and are awakened to His presence in your life. God will energize you and give you a hunger for His Word. About this time in your fast, you may be experiencing some fatigue. Let yourself have extra rest if you need it. You also may be experiencing achiness, irritability, or fogginess. All of these symptoms are normal and will pass. Make sure you keep your water intake up. Keeping your water intake up will help flush out the toxins that your body is releasing and help relieve the symptoms more quickly. Finally, more than ever, this is the time you have to be vigilant about your spiritual focus. Great days are ahead, and you will be glad you pushed through this day and didn’t give up! Excerpts taken from Awakening: A New Approach to Faith, Fasting, and Spiritual Freedom by Stovall Weems (pp. 12 and 165)

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Day 10

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am passionate about hunting and fishing. It is easy to talk about what you are passionate about, right? I love talking with other hunters and fishermen about hunting and fishing. God created us to be passionate about what we love; therefore, we should always be passionate for Him! When I went to a football game as a boy, no one had to teach me how to cheer for the LSU Tigers by saying, “Stovall let me instruct you here. It’s okay to clap if the team makes a good play, and you can shout and get excited. And this may really surprise you, but you can raise your hands if your team scores a touchdown.” There is one undeniable truth about true fans: they are passionate. Just watch any professional or college football game or any World Cup soccer match. As the cameras pan the crowd, you will see passion. The fans have pompoms. They are wearing team colors. They are screaming. They may even be singing. They are just straight up into it. You know what it’s like in the stadium – loud! The place rocks with passion, because real fans are passionate about their team. Whatever you are passionate about, you will also be emotional about. Awakening is about igniting a deeper passion for God in your heart. Put on a worship song! Lift your hands, open your hands, open your mouth, tap your feet. Ask God to ignite passion in you, to help you feel Him and express your feelings. Excerpts taken from Awakening: A New Approach to Faith, Fasting, and Spiritual Freedom by Stovall Weems (pp. 15-19)

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Day 11

Grace is the foundation for a relationship with God. If we get grace wrong, then we pursue God in wrong ways. We don’t pray, fast, or read our Bibles to get God to love us more. It’s not possible for God to love us more than he loves us right now, and His love for us never changes. His love is not based on what we do, but it is based on what Jesus has done! Grace is undeserved favor. Some people think that telling people about God’s grace encourages people to sin. I contend that it will do just the opposite. Understanding the fullness of the goodness of God actually causes us to sin less. The way we love God more is by focusing on His love for us. We will live more holy on accident by focusing on the goodness of God than we will by focusing on all the “thou shalt's and “thou shalt not's.” I pray for a grace awakening in your life that you will realize how loved and accepted and forgiven you are by God. You can’t earn God’s love and grace; you have to accept it, receive it, believe it, and trust in it. Have you been looking at God through the lens of legalism and religion? Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you see God through the eyes of grace and truth given to us in Jesus Christ. Excerpts taken from Awakening: A New Approach to Faith, Fasting, and Spiritual Freedom by Stovall Weems (p. 29)

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Day 12

Today we are focusing on God’s love. The way we can grow in our love for God and others is by focusing on His love for us. God’s love is endless and it comes freely without any condition; He loves us no matter what we have or haven’t done. When you focus on God’s love, His joy and peace will follow. Your feelings will follow what you focus on. That’s why it’s so important to focus on the goodness of God through His Word. When you focus on your faults, you’ll end up feeling condemned. Make sure you don’t fall into the performance trap. If you perform well, then it can lead to pride. On the other hand, if you don’t perform well, the fruit is condemnation. Either way the fruit of having a performance-based relationship is a lose-lose situation. If we try to come to God based on our performance, guess what? It will never be good enough. None of us could ever be that good; only Jesus was able to do that. That’s why we have to focus on God’s love for us. Make sure you regularly meditate on verses that help you focus on God’s love. Today be intentional about focusing on God’s love for you and ask Him to give you a fresh revelation of how much He loves you. Excerpts taken from Awakening: A New Approach to Faith, Fasting, and Spiritual Freedom by Stovall Weems (p. 30)

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Day 13

A great way to begin each day is by focusing on who God is! Today focus on the goodness, the greatness, and glory of God. Focusing daily on these three attributes of God gives us a complete picture or filter of grace. The Lord’s Prayer is a great prayer to help us think about the goodness, the greatness and glory of God. When we call God our Father, it reminds us that we are His children. He loves, cares for, and provides for His children. He is a great dad. But that’s not enough, is it? You can know that you are loved and that God is good, but you can still be going through hard times. So we not only need to focus on God’s goodness, but we also need to set our minds on how great God is. Our great God is in heaven. When we think about our God in heaven, it reminds us that he reigns and rules and is in control. He has all the power that we need to make it through tough times. Lastly we need to give God glory. When you “hallow” God’s name (or make it holy), it is a helpful reminder that life is not all about us. When you get up in the morning, your number one priority should be to get in the right mindset for your day. First things first – simply focus on who God is! Focus on His goodness, greatness, glory, and ask Him to help you see everything else through that filter. Remember, it’s not about what you do., it’s about who God is. Excerpts taken from Awakening: A New Approach to Faith, Fasting, and Spiritual Freedom by Stovall Weems (pp. 33-34)

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Day 14

Prayer and fasting is about creating space for God, clearing a runway in our lives for God to land. When you want something new and exciting to happen in your life, then you have to create some space. An expectant mom goes to great lengths to create the perfect nursery space for her new little one. Think about that new thing that you want God to do in your life. Think about that problem that is blocking your path that you need God to remove. As much as God wants to do something amazing in your life, He is a filler, not a forcer. Too often we spend so much time and energy trying to figure out and anticipate every scenario. We want God to do this; we want God to do that. But all the while God is saying, “Just create a little space for Me, and I’ll come in and fill it.” By seeking God and by following Him fully, you are creating space for God to move. As you fast and as you pray, you are making room for God to do what only He can do. He is a filler, not a forcer. Maybe you have tried to participate in this fast but have found yourself stumbling along the way. I want to encourage you to keep going. Don’t be discouraged by looking at the times you gave in to hunger or messed up. Be encouraged by this: when we draw near to God, He draws near to us. Excerpts taken from Awakening: A New Approach to Faith, Fasting, and Spiritual Freedom by Stovall Weems (pp. 37-38)

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