Hi Red Hills Church! On Sunday I told everyone that we would be observing a church-wide fast during February. I want to give everyone a little more context and direction so we can be prepared to start on Thursday, February 1.
In December, I was praying for God to show me what messages He wanted me to teach in 2018. I was also praying for ways our church vision could bear fruit this year. During this prayer time, I felt the Holy Spirit speak to me about calling a fast, so I am asking us to follow God’s leading.
Red Hills Church will join together in a time of prayer and fasting from February 1-28. I am asking everyone to pick at least one, food-related item, to surrender in February. It should be something that you enjoy eating, so when you think of consuming it, you instead turn to God in prayer. That is the hidden power of prayer and fasting. When you take something that you love and say “God, I want you more than this thing” your spirit grows. That is what I want for our church, spiritual growth.
During our fast, I would like all of us to focus on three key prayer points. That way, when we deny our flesh and turn to God in prayer, we are all praying the same thing. The key points are to wake up, stay alert, and join in.
When we pray “wake up” we are asking God to open our eyes to areas of laziness, ignorance, or blindness in our life. Examples of this can be issues of sin and spiritual immaturity or a need for fresh revelation from God’s word and a renewed passion for prayer. The Bible often uses the imagery of someone sleeping to help us understand how we can be oblivious to what God is doing, and we need to wake up.
When we pray “stay alert” we are asking God to keep our hearts ready for what He is doing, and what Satan is doing. God has plans to build His kingdom and the enemy has plans to tear that down. 1 Peter 5:8 reminds us that we should always be sober-minded and alert so that we can help build God’s kingdom and resist the enemy. This prayer point is about learning to hear God clearly and pushing back the kingdom of darkness.
When we pray “join in” we are asking God to show us open doors where we can participate in building His kingdom. God is doing 10,000 different things in the life of every believer, and we are usually aware of two of them. This prayer point is about asking God to show us where and how we can join Him in reconciling people back to Jesus.
In addition to our month of prayer and fasting, we are going to increase our Sunday morning prayer time. Starting February 4, we will have prayer every Sunday from 8am-10am at the Young Actor’s Theatre. Everyone is invited to join us and the prayer time will be drop-in, so feel free to come the whole time or just for a few minutes.
I am excited to see what the Holy Spirit does in our church during February, and thank you for joining us in this season of spiritual growth.
-- Pastor Marshall Ochs