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Day 13

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“Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!””
Matthew 26:41 NLT

Jesus said this to Peter, James, and John after he prayed to the Lord to take away the insurmountable suffering He was about to endure. He had asked them to stay while He went to pray, literally for his life. When He returned they were asleep. I’m sure they wanted to “keep watch” with Jesus, but like the verse states- the body is weak.

During the 21 days of prayer and fasting (and daily) we are literally surrounded by temptations. We abstain from some of our most wanted desires with the goal of drawing closer to Him, the one who gave His all for us, but everything in our flesh says to give in. We are fighting temptation.

Temptation seems to call me out when I least expect it. Like when I make a PB&J for the kids, and I cut the crust off. I so badly want to snack on the scraps of their sandwich. It’s between my fingers. The smell of the peanut butter is calling my name. How easily I can say, “It’s just a bite, it will be okay.” But I promised God to not have any bread for 21 days. Is that kitchen scrap worth more than my promise to be disciplined for Him? … That’d be a hard NO.

We all have different temptations. It could be sodas, sugar, your phone, a bad attitude, or even just the crust off of a PB&J. And it can be so extremely hard to deny our own flesh. But He is worth it. Every. Single. Time.

Pray over your temptations today. Make sure thank Him for giving you strength to say no to yourself.

Katelyn Albritton

Day 12

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God is first referred to in the Bible as Jehovah Elohim, The Mighty Creator.  When you stop and think about Him as the creator of everything, it’s pretty awe-inspiring.  Not only did he create the very world in which we live, He created us in His very image.

As we’ve all certainly seen over the past year, life sometime throws us curveballs faster than we could possibly catch them. We know as believers that we should trust God in the journey, but worry and fear can still creep in.  When life is pelting us with curveballs, it’s important to step back and remember WHY we can and should trust our Mighty Creator.

God not only created the world and everything in it, but He continues to sustain it through His creative power.  In many work environments, when a project isn’t working out like it should, we are called on to “think creatively.”  Our creativity, however, is limited, and we can even reach the end of our wits, where we don’t know what to do.  However, when we trust God’s will over our lives, we can absolutely trust Him to be faithful because we are trusting in HIS ability, not our own.  HIS ability heals the sick, raises the dead, offers eternal salvation, and always finds a way for his good, good will to be done.

Proverbs 3:6 says, “He directs the path of those who acknowledge Him in all their ways.”  He already knows the end because He created the story. Trust His goodness. Trust His love. Trust His ability.

Jen Lane

Day 11

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The End of the World (As We Know It)

The world seems to be falling apart around us & and everyone is handling it differently. It doesn’t matter what side of the theological or political spectrum you fall on, there has been a noticeably negative shift in people, morality, freedoms being restricted, sickness, depression, anxiety, etc. The question is, how should we interpret these things & respond? Here are a few thoughts with a biblical perspective.

1) God is not surprised by anything & nothing is out of his control. The world & its rulers are moving further away from God & with hostility. This is increasingly more evident with every passing year, administration & decade. But God is aware & has a plan. (Matt 24,Isa 11, Rev 21-22, etc). Pray for our country & those who lead, but put your trust in God alone.Ps 2:1 Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? …

2) There is much worry in today’s world and many cannot shake the anxiety & depression that haunts them. However, Jesus tells us that God will provide what we need. Mat 6:25 Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink….

3) There is no greater comfort than knowing that we have salvation in Jesus Christ. God put eternity in our hearts & as christians it is our free gift for believing & trusting in Jesus. Jn 16:33 … In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

4) The troubles of this world generally lead to a great harvest. When times are hard & the world seems hopeless, many are running from God, but there are also many who are ready to turn to Him. As Christians, we need to preach the good news through our words & actions every day in this dark world. Mat 9:37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;

5) Be a light to those closest to you, pray for them, pray with them and know that God is in control no matter the circumstances. (Matt 5:14) The trouble of this world is just a small link in an infinite chain or time for those who believe in Jesus & have eternity in their heart. God’s will be done, Amen

Michael Poe

Day 10

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Fools are destroyed by their own complacency. But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.””
Proverbs 1:32-33 NLT

Complacency. The enemy of the day. As human beings is it simply our nature to lose our awe and wonder and walk past extraordinary things. Adam and Eve didn’t seem to phased by their communion with God, just chilling in the Garden of Eden with Him. We see this complacency pattern time and time again in scripture. Miracle, awe, complacency. Rinse and repeat. After so many years of seeing God’s glory in creation, His faithfulness, and provision, we eventually become used to the miracles that surround us each day.

I have seen this proverb to be true in my own life when complacency has lulled me to missing the voice of God, missing His power at work right before me, or wasting away hours and days because His goodness was too familiar to even notice.

Through this year’s fast, I’m realizing that social media sings a complacency lullaby in my own life. Highlight after highlight of sacred life, important moments, vulnerability (for better or worse!), shared families, and peoples proudest and lowest moments: All sacred lives. All too familiar to realize that each of those moments could be a call to praise on their behalf, a call to pray and intercede, a call to some response or action other than a scroll.  The hands and feet of Jesus should never be complacent.

It can take a lot to stir us from this state. I think it’s fair to say that the events of the past year and the foreseeable future have provided a stirring, an awakening, a shift from the world we’ve always known. I’m prayerful that like all trying times, we will allow the Lord to work this season for good. That light will be brought to our deepest states of complacency and revival will happen in our hearts and our minds. The harvest is PLENTY, let us wake up to see it before us.

Today I’m praying specifically against complacency in my life, in my home, in my work. I’m praying that the Lord will use every day moments to show Himself in mighty ways! And like the scripture above we who “listen to {the Lord} will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.”  I’m praying it over you today, too, church, and believing that we will worship with brand new eyes and understanding of the Lord and His Righteousness!

Becca Poe

Day 9

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Playing the piano was NOT MY CALLING. Mom took me to lessons, made me practice, dressed me up for the yearly recitals- it just didn’t happen. What did happen was a compromise-ART LESSONS. My first art teacher encouraged me to listen to music as I painted, draw what I imagined as she told a story, or create what I saw in the world around me. She wanted me to see, hear, be inspired-then create. She was more concerned with the connection between what I was creating and what I was seeing/feeling than technique.

As time passed and my ability evolved, she constantly encouraged me to SEE. “Don’t draw what you think you see, draw what is really there. Look harder. Search out the lines, color shifts, shadows.” These words followed me for years. I had to train my eye and practice creating what I was truly seeing, not what I thought something looked like.

The correlation between my creative life and my spiritual life are constant. My soul is fed when I am creating, seeking. My spiritual life is fed when I am asking God to help me see. Many times I have to ask HIM to SHOW me what is really there, not what I think or perceive. I have to take a step back from how I FEEL and ask HIM to show me HIS TRUTH. The more I practice the art of trusting HIM instead of my feelings or desires, the more HE allows me to SEE.

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”
Ephesians 1:17-21 NIV

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
James 1:5 NIV

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and shun evil.”
Proverbs 3:5-7 NIV

Trina Miller

Day 8

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We see prayer and fasting throughout the Bible when there is a need for God to show up.  We see it with David, Nehemiah, Daniel, Esther, Paul, and even Jesus.  I believe this 21 days of prayer and fasting is as important as any for all of us.  It is no secret the past 12 months have been incredibly challenging, a time of testing if you will.  But we have seen God do the impossible after times of testing.

Just as Jesus turned off the dark when he entered this world, we have the opportunity to turn off all the dark in our lives, all the “stuff” that keeps us preoccupied with what He wants to do in our lives.  I love what Joel 2:12-13 says “12 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time.  Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning.  13 Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.”Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”  God so desperately wants us to turn and lean heavily on Him for all of our needs. All that He wants is for us to come into a closer relationship with Him.

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”  I love this quote from Martin Luther King Jr. and it is so true for all of us.  We are all from different places, have different backgrounds, political beliefs, families, you name it, we see differences in each of our lives.  But the one thing we all have in common, is we are ALL children of God.  My prayer is that we will take this time and come together as His Church. That we won’t just dive deeper into our relationship with God, but also with each other. Matthew 18:20 says “For where two or three gather as my followers, I am there among them”. We are all in the same boat now, let’s make sure Jesus is the captain.

Matthew Powers

Day 7

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Here we are again pursuing God in our 21 days of fasting and prayer, or as I call it, fighting and faith. It’s a fight because my body wants food and my soul wants entertainment. It’s faith because I know God has the answers for every decision I need to make and I’m thirsting for His direction in my life more than ever before.

The most important thing in our lives, moving forward, is to be able to recognize and follow the voice of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The problem is there is so much noise going on around us, we can’t hear what He is saying.

We’ve all had this experience, we’re watching television and someone in our family starts talking to us, our spouse, one of the kids, or maybe a guest there watching the “BIG GAME” with us, but we can’t understand them because the television is too loud. So we grab the remote and hit the pause button, and when we do, the noise is silenced so we can hear what is being said.

God’s Word says, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” James 4:8 NLT

During this time, we’re hitting the pause button. Ae we silence social media, TV, the radio, and push back from the table it clears away distractions so we can listen more effectively. The physically weaker we are the spiritually stronger we become. The mentally less stimulated we are the spiritually more sensitive we will be. As we are less emotionally entertained, we will actually start being more spiritually in tune so we can recognize God’s voice clearly and have the strength to carry out His purposes.

Prayer moves us closer to God. God responds to prayer. As we move closer to God, God is mover closer to us and His voice gets clearer giving us the confidence to move forward in our faith.

Pastor Frankie Powell
Overseer, Cultivate Church

Day 6

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Matthew 8:22 “But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.”

I recently read a book that expounded on this verse. It’s a verse that definitely seems callous when you first read it, but when you look deeper into what Jesus is actually saying, it makes perfect sense. As followers of Christ, we have a job- a duty- that no other person in the world can do. It’s to go into all nations and proclaim the good news, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It’s to make disciples. Literally, no other person, outside of those who follow Christ can do this job. It’s up to us.

Whether you are a sales rep, a stay-at-home mom, a doctor, lawyer, mechanic, electrician, politician, pastor, WHATEVER your vocation might be, you are in a position, during one of the most historical moments in time, to lead others to Christ. We have got to rid ourselves of excuses, stop busying ourselves with the things of the spiritually dead, stop arguing and causing more division in our circle of influence, and lean into what Christ is calling us to do. And we need to do it with a sense of urgency.

One thing that has been evident this past year is that there are many lost souls surrounding us. It’s going to get uncomfortable; it might go against every cool fiber in your body, but it’s 100% necessary. It is time to let your light shine and illuminate your small part of the world. Are you doing your part? How are you making disciples in your everyday life? Consider these questions as you finish out your prayer and fasting and ask God to expand your territory so that you can continue to spread His light throughout the world.

Lindsay Efferson
Missionary to Juarez

Day 5

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Welcome to 2021…. I think most of us are not too upset that 2020 is over and we are on to 2021.

I have thought long and hard about………. where can we all start as individuals, small groups, churches, counties, states, countries, nations and on and on to make 2021 better.  The answer that I keep coming back to is prayer and prayer without ceasing.

We can’t expect that just because the calendar flipped (from 2020 to 2021) that all issues are going away.  However, what we can expect and know for sure is that our God is listening to us, loves us, and is still in the prayer answering business.

So what do we do… I would challenge us all to PUSH:

Pray

Until

Something

Happens

We are not only asked to pray but are commanded to pray and persevere in prayer. We are also told that God will answer.  Now in the “instantaneous” society we all live in, we expect prayers to be answered right away….…. Remember God is never in a hurry but he is always on time.  Let’s remember a few things as it relates to prayer:

  1. God is not a Genie in a bottle – We should pray for things according to God’s will
  2. Ask for thing’s according to God’s Desire – We should not expect God to answer when we ask for things that are for selfish reasons
  3. God is Omniscient…obviously we are human and can only see a fraction, but God is all-knowing.  God can truly see everything at once.

We should never, ever give up on prayer……..Remember to PUSH and PUSH and keep PUSHING.

As someone that I admire used to say…… “My time is up and thank you for yours”

Robby Odgers

Day 4

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“GOD continued, “The cries of the victims in Sodom and Gomorrah are deafening; the sin of those cities is immense. I’m going down to see for myself, see if what they’re doing is as bad as it sounds. Then I’ll know.”

Abraham confronted him, “Are you serious? Are you planning on getting rid of the good people right along with the bad? What if there are fifty decent people left in the city; will you lump the good with the bad and get rid of the lot? Wouldn’t you spare the city for the sake of those fifty innocents? I can’t believe you’d do that, kill off the good and the bad alike as if there were no difference between them. Doesn’t the Judge of all the Earth judge with justice?”

Abraham came back, “Do I, a mere mortal made from a handful of dirt, dare open my mouth again to my Master? What if the fifty fall short by five—would you destroy the city because of those missing five?” He said, “I won’t destroy it if there are forty-five.” The men set out for Sodom, but Abraham stood in GOD ’s path, blocking his way.

GOD said, “If I find fifty decent people in the city of Sodom, I’ll spare the place just for them.”

Abraham spoke up again, “What if you only find forty?” “Neither will I destroy it if for forty.” He said, “Master, don’t be irritated with me, but what if only thirty are found?” “No, I won’t do it if I find thirty.” He pushed on, “I know I’m trying your patience, Master, but how about for twenty?” “I won’t destroy it for twenty.” He wouldn’t quit, “Don’t get angry, Master—this is the last time. What if you only come up with ten?” “For the sake of only ten, I won’t destroy the city.” Genesis ‭18:20-32‬ ‭MSG‬‬

This scripture has been on my heart for the past week. There’s something about the timidness meeting boldness meeting honor for the sake of doing the next right thing. Abraham (who has already witnessed the Lord speak to him, make a promise to him, provide a miracle to him) is still discovering The Lord’s ways. I’m so captivated with the back and forth of the conversation. Abraham didn’t have the Old Testament and New Testament to have as a cross and compare. We do! We have the gift of His word to see His character and faithfulness shown time and time again. We also have the gift of now in seeing what His purpose and plan is for our lives all the while knowing WHO HE IS. Last year, ahem 2020, wasn’t pretty in a lot of ways for a lot of people. To be honest, 2019 or 2018 or fill in said year wasn’t good for others. Does that change who the Lord is? Does it change His word? No and no. Remember who He is in your life, who He is in His word. The same patient, purposeful, and faithful God that walked with Abraham, walks with you…if you allow Him.

Danielle Doss
Admin Pastor