21 Days of Prayer and Fasting
Day 1: Psalms 1
1Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.
2But they delight in the law of the lord, meditating on it day and night.
3They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
There’s something about trees in the Bible. The Bible begins by talking about trees in the Garden of Eden and ends talking about the tree of life in the garden of eternity. Psalm 1 was my scheduled reading for day 1 of my Bible reading plan this year and once again, its talking about us being like trees planted by water and bearing fruit and never withering. What a beautiful picture of a life devoted to God. This month we are focusing on changing our family tree so that it looks more like this one. Picture your life like a tree that brings life to all those around you. That is what God made you to be. You have spiritual DNA in you from God that wants you to prosper in all seasons.
Prayer: Today God, I ask you to break every curse off of my life so that I can receive your blessings in order to be a blessing to all of those around me. I’m expecting my best year ever because of what you have done in my life. Amen.
Day 2: Exodus 20:5b
“I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me.”
Long before the psychological world discovered that certain dysfunctions run in families, the Bible clearly told us that “sins” affect our entire family and even the immediate generations that follow. This explains why so many of us struggle with issues that plagued our parents and grandparents. One of the keys to being free from generational baggage is to confess not only our own sins but the sins of our forefathers. Our society still suffers from the cultural sins such as slavery that still is felt in racial tensions today.
Prayer: Father, I ask you to forgive me of my sins today and keep my shortcomings from affecting my children. I also pray that you would forgive the sins that plague my family and that the curse would be broken in my own life. In Jesus name, Amen
Day 3 Exodus 20:6
6But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.
What amazing news! Not only does sin flow generationally, but so does God’s unfailing love! What I notice is that sin can only carry down three or four generations but God’s love can affect 1000 future generations. What if your decision to engage in “right living” could affect people hundreds of years later in history? We are still feeling the affects of the life that Jesus lives over 2000 years ago. I am blessed with godly parents and in so many ways they have made it easy for me. Even if you are the first in your family tree to serve the Lord you can change your family tree forever by turning your life over to Jesus. We are raising our children with the expectation that they and their children will live for the Lord. It makes it easier for our children when we decide to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ..
Prayer: Lord I claim this promise over myself and my children and for my children’s children. Thank you that the power of love is greater than the power of sin. Amen!
Day 4 Matthew 6:16-18 First Day of Fasting: Sundown Tuesday to Sundown Wed. Prayer at 7pm at the church
“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Notice that the passage said “when you fast”. There is often an assumption that fasting is for Christian super-heroes. Fasting, however, is for all of us. What is fasting? According to Richard Foster who wrote Celebration of Discipline, “Fasting is simply voluntary abstinence from food for spiritual purposes. It is the opportunity to express to God in a very tangible way that we need Him more than anything else, even a physical meal. Fasting is always accompanied by focused prayer.”
Today as you fast, focus on keeping a good spirit. Take the time you would normally be eating and spend time in prayer and reading God’s Word. When you eat your first meal after sundown, notice how wonderful it tastes and thank God again for the “daily bread” that He provides us with. You also may consider taking the money you saved by not eating and giving it to some worthy charity like Water Angels who cares for those who don’t have enough food, clothing, and shelter. Expect your prayers to be especially effective during this day. Without the benefit of food, there is a renewed urgency about our need for God.
Day 5 Matthew 3: 8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. 9 Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. 10 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.
On Sunday we learned that we were created to be like trees that are beautiful, useful, and tasteful. Repentance is not about limb lopping, its about cutting the whole tree down and starting fresh. To cut down a tree we have to get at its root or it will just grow back.
Today we invite you to remove any of those things in our life that are ugly and destructive. I pray that you will take it by the root so that I can have a completely new start today. I want to be like that beautiful tree so I willingly invite you to remove unwanted deadly “trees” from the forest of my life. In Jesus name, Amen.
Day 6. How Do I Receive The Holy Spirit and Change My Family Tree?
Acts 2:38-39 “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.”
Baptism is a powerful act that should follow our repentance. While it is a symbol, of the burial and resurrection, I believe it is more than a symbol. It is associated with being filled with the Holy Spirit. Notice that the promise is not only for you but for your children and those in future generations.
Have you repented and been baptized? If so, ask to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. The promise is yours! Amen.
Day 7 Matthew 9:37-38New Living Translation (NLT)
37 He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”
There are plenty of lost people ready to be harvested. The need is for workers to reach them, nurture them, and disciple them.
Please pray today that God will show you your particular role in this process.