Tuesday, 10 January 2012

New Beginnings

Prayer and Fasting

Today marks an interesting season for me, it is the start of our church's annual beginning of the year prayer season. It involves prayer and fasting for 21 days, for the fast, you are free to choose various forms of fasts that you are comfortable with. I will provide a link later on to the church's website where you can get more info on this. For me i am not sure i can go through a full fast for 21 days, so i choose a fast i think i will be able to go through with (with God's help), i will not watch movies for this period and will spend the time i used to watch movies in reading the word and in prayer.

Scripture Readings
Today is day 1 and the scripture readings are: Genesis 16:1 - 15, Matthew 6:1-24, Psalm 7:1-17, Proverbs 2:1-5 

Genesis 16, is the story of Hagar and her son, Ishmael. It is preceded in chap 15, with God making a covenant with Abram that He will increase his descendants to be as numerous as the stars in the sky, in chap 16, Abram agrees to go by his wife's plan to have a child through her maid. This chapter is about what happened after the maid conceived. she was mistreated and later sent away, it is during this bleak moment of her life, that Hagar obtained the promise of God's prosperity and blessings.

I would identify with Hagar, for this year has begun quite in the wrong footing for me, and like her feel like giving up. It must have been difficult for her sitting beside that spring in the desert, not knowing what to do, or where to go. But God came through for her and all she could say is "You are God who sees me, i have seen the One who sees me" vs 13. As i begin this year, i am trusting to see Him who sees me, am trusting that in midst of all this desolation, He will affirm and encourage me in His word and promise.

Perhaps you too like me are wondering what will become of you, or your family this year, believe with me that the One who sees you our Almighty God, will come through for you and encourage, comfort, guide and bless your life.

Matthew 6:1-24, is part of the sermon on the mount. I think it generally addresses the aspect of attitude in our doing the religious duties like giving to the needy, prayer, fasting and what we treasure. As we begin this journey of seeking God and allowing Him to work in us. We are been cautioned of doing it inappropriately as so doing will rob us of God's blessing. My prayer at this point is that God will help us pray, and help us be of such attitude and motive that is pleasing to Him in all we do.

Psalm 7:1-17, what i can get from this is the confidence of psalmist, he is confident that he has lived a righteous life and is not afraid to approach God. As much as i may not have such confidence based on my record, i will entrust my life to Jesus Christ whose blood washes  sin and all sins giving us confidence in approaching the seat of mercy. My prayer is to commit the entire of me to Him in repentance that He may reign in me and guide me in all what i do.

Proverbs 2 1-5, this is a call to be deliberate in our search for God , the fear of God and knowledge of God. We are called to accept His words, storing up His commands, applying our ears to wisdom and applying our heart to understanding. May He indeed help us to be deliberate in seeking Him and living in the manner He directs.
Prayer Items
The prayer items of the day were posted as:
Today is the first day of something new. Regardless of where you are in your relationship with God, 21 days of prioritizing the Lord over essential needs in your life will draw you closer to him and transform whatever needs to change. Pray for the following;
• That God will help you to envision how you will resemble him more closely at the end of these 21 days.
• Repent of your sins and wherever you have not been walking in God’s will (Ps 51:7).
• Pray that the Lord will continue to transform you (Ps 51:10)
• Pray that God’s will be done in your life as it is in heaven (Matt 6:10)
• You will continue to grow in your spiritual life and disciplines that would help your growth, such as prayer and fasting, reading God’s word, fellowship and witnessing (Acts 2:42-47)
• Pray for your personal needs such as, financial, social etc. (Phil 4:6).

According to me, the verse of the day is:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4: 1-7 NIV , Verses taken from Bible Gateway)