Choice Winter Greetings, to all those who share in life together with us, as part of the wonderful family of God.
JANUARY IS A MONTH WHEN WE PRAY AND FAST TOGETHER
When we join fasting and prayer, we open ourselves up to God’s Holy Spirit. When we have a sincere desire to seek God, we come to Him with a contrite and repentant heart and by this God promises to minister to us in a powerful way. He is the God of ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE and it is when we obey Him we discover the God of His Word is the God of His Word.
THE DANIEL FAST IS NOT SOMETHING THE BIBLE COMMANDS
As a result, it is a matter of Christian freedom whether to observe a ‘Daniel Fast’. It is one of many types of fast in the Bible that is mentioned and it is not by command but by love that we can chose to fast. As you read, the Bible, you learn that fasting is something that is good, profitable, and beneficial. The book of Acts records believers fasting before they made important decisions (Acts 13:23; Acts 14:23). Fasting and prayer are often linked together (Luke 2:37; Luke 5:33).
“Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping and with mourning” (Joel 2:12).
I want men like Epaphras around me and in the church. “Epaphras, who is…always laboring fervently for you in prayers.”
“Epaphras, who is also from Colossae, sends his loving greetings. I can tell you that he is a true servant of Christ, who always labors and intercedes for you. His prayers are filled with requests to God that you would grow and mature, standing complete and perfect in the beauty of God’s plan for your lives. Epaphras has such great zeal and passion for you and for those who are from Laodicea and from Hierapolis.(Colossians 4:12)
FASTING GOD’S WAY
When people fast they need to be aware that there is a right and wrong way to fast.
Isaiah shows us the wrong way as he makes mention of the Children of Israel. “They seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness . . . they ask of me . . . they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and You see not? Wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and You take no knowledge (notice)?” (Isaiah 58:2-3). It is good to cram your heart and mind full of the Word of God when you pray and fast for instance.
“Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!” (Psalm 31:19). “They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing” (34:10).
Have you ever heard of Abel Clary? More than likely you have never heard of him but he was the Intercessor for Charles Finney the great evangelist in that God used to stir America, in the late 1800’s. Abel Clary travelled with him wherever he went. Finney wrote this about his friend, ‘Mr. Clary continued as long as I did, and he did not leave until after I had left. He never appeared in public, but he gave himself wholly to prayer.’ Finney may have impacted nations, but he didn’t do it alone. Finney’s mention of Mr. Clary, can help us appreciate the words of Job who writes, ‘My intercessor is my friend…on behalf of a man he pleads with God as a man pleads for his friend’ (Job 16:20-21 NIV).
THE PRARISEE’S SHOW CASED PUBLIC SHOW
In Matthew 6: Jesus speaks about the wrong motives for prayer. The Pharisees had turned prayer into a public act to demonstrate their righteousness. Their prayers were not directed to God, but to men. Jesus went on record as to how he felt about these practices, Jesus taught that prayer should be addressed “to your Father, who is unseen.” Jesus presented a sincere prayer for His disciples to follow (Matthew 6:9-13).
This is to be remembered, Jesus spoke out loud to His Father, suggested that a deeper level of interaction and communion with God occurs when we actually pray God’s own words back to Him. Sometimes I find myself praying the scripture back to the Lord, it is certain that He knows what He has had written for our sakes.
For the past several weeks we have had a little one in the NICU UNIT because of premature birth. I saw pictures of him today where his little cheek was red from the tape that held a breathing tube in his nose. His mother was talking about him last night and how hard it was to leave him there all the days without her or her husband there with him. It is because of the seriousness of the situation that he has had to remain in the care of the nurses and doctors where his lungs and body can develop. I can report at this time he is doing well and he is a little fighter but that does not make it any easier on the young parents. What am I saying, I am saying they had to leave him in the hands of the professionals. This is exactly what we need to remember
WHEN THINGS ARE OVER OUR HEAD WE GO OVER OUR HEAD. This is our lesson in prayer today, there have been times in my life that I did not really know how to pray but in times such as this I knew how to depend on the Holy Spirit. God the Father and the Holy Spirit are One and the Word of God teaches us when we don’t know how to pray the Holy Spirit prays on our behalf and it is not necessary for my prayer to be audible (Romans 8:26-27).
Once again thank you for the way you have supported the work of God through the Holiday Season and these few cold weeks that we have had so far this year. It is because of your faithfulness that we can keep on keeping on.
I BELIEVE IN YOU,
YOUR LOVING PASTOR’S
CLEDDIE AND GAYNELL