The Daniel Fast

21-Days of Self-Sacrifice and Connecting to God

Beginning January 9, you’re invited to join New Hope in a church-wide 21-Day Daniel Fast.

We believe that prayer will get you more connected to God and fasting will help you get less connected to the things that we make more important than God. There really is no better way to reset our spiritual compass and bring about refreshing in every area of our lives.   We pray that God will bring spiritual breakthrough in areas where you’re desiring personal breakthrough, but we are also praying that God will bring breakthrough in the ministries of New Hope, specifically in these six areas:

1. Individual Evangelism
2. Growth of our Worship & Prayer ministry
3. An awakening of holiness in the church
4. Signs, wonders, & miracles in our community
5. Spiritual impact of our Global missions partners
6. Financial outpouring to fund God’s purposes

We encourage you to take this journey with us and to see what God can do in the next 21 days!

Fasting 101

This is intentionally designed to be flexible so that you can participate at any level. Whether you have done a twenty-one-day season of prayer and fasting before, or if this is your first time, you can start where you are and experience what God has in store for you in a powerful way. Below is a practical guideline to help you navigate through your personal journey. We pray that you will experience the presence and power of God in an extraordinary way as you commit yourself to Him over the twenty-one days.

It is important to choose a fasting plan that works for you. There is nothing more inherently spiritual about one type of fast as opposed to another. These are simply guidelines and suggestions on different things you can do. Do not let what you eat or do not eat become the focus of your fast. Keep the main thing the main thing, which is drawing closer to God. Remember, this is a time to disconnect enough from your regular patterns and habits in order to connect more closely to God. Here are a few tips to keep in mind before getting started:

Start Where You Are

We are all at different places in our walk with God. Likewise our jobs, daily schedules, and health conditions are all different and place various levels of demands on our energy. So most importantly, whether you’ve fasted before or this is your first time, start where you are. Your personal fast should present a level of challenge to it, but it’s very important to know your own body, know your options and, most importantly, seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do. Remember, the goal of fasting is not just to do without food. The goal is to draw nearer to God.

Find Your Fast Zone

When most people start fasting, there is typically some level of discomfort. However, it is possible to get used to the fasting routine pretty quickly. Quite simply, you must learn to fast in a way that works for you. While any true fast does involve abstinence from food or at least certain types of food, typically, different fasting combinations work better for different people. The goal to having a successful fast is all about finding what we like to call your Fast Zone, and that is different for everybody and can change depending on the season you are in.

The best way to describe your Fast Zone is that it’s the place where you feel light and spiritually in tune. Your mind is easily focused on God and spiritual things. You have an increased spiritual energy—you can feel the fast working. Just like runners know what their target heart rate is to see the benefits of their physical training, the Fast Zone is similar in a spiritual sense.

Finding your Fast Zone helps you choose both the type and length of fast. Let’s say you choose to go on a Daniel fast (only fruits and vegetables). Should you eat beans? If you can eat beans and stay in your Fast Zone, go ahead. But for some people eating beans takes them out of the zone. Should you eat peanut butter? Probably not. Peanut butter is more of an indulgence, and not many people can stay in a Fast Zone while enjoying indulgences. Should you completely cut out caffeine? It depends. The great thing is, when you fast, your body automatically craves less caffeine. If you can stay in your Fast Zone with a little caffeine, great. If you are going on a longer fast and want to cut it out of your diet completely, that’s great too. But ease yourself off and make it your goal to be completely caffeine free about two-thirds of the way into your fast.

If you drink coffee regularly, one of the worst mistakes you can make is to fast for one to three days and cut caffeine out abruptly and completely. Please don’t do that or you will spend this time grumpy and in withdrawal instead of enjoying God’s presence. Mixing things up a bit during a twenty-one-day fast is what typically works best for people. For example, do a fruits and vegetables fast for a week. Then do all liquids for a while. Maybe even mix in a few days of only water if you think you are ready for that. Then go back to fruits and vegetables for a few days.

There isn’t one approach that works the same for everyone. Follow the Holy Spirit, mix it up, find what works for you, and stay in your Fast Zone! Some people can’t stay in a Fast Zone eating any type of solid food, so they prefer all liquids. With today’s protein drinks and juicing machines, it is so easy to get a healthy dose of all your nutritional needs even while taking in only liquids. Certain people can’t do anything other than drink only water. If they eat a salad or drink a glass of juice, they get out of their zone. Or if they allow themselves to eat cantaloupe, they will end up eating twenty cantaloupes a day!

Choose Your Type of Fast

While preparing for your fast, it is important to choose ahead of time what type of fast, or what combination, you will pursue. Not only will this help with making the necessary preparations to implement your plan, but as you commit to a specific fast ahead of time and know how you’re going to do it, you will position yourself to finish strong.

You may choose to fast all twenty-one days. Or you may choose to fast several days out of the twenty-one days, such as three or four days a week throughout the twenty-one day period. Maybe you will do that and do three to seven consecutive days at the end. This is your personal decision and should be prayerfully considered.

There are different types of fasts:

Full Fast.

Drink only liquids – especially water. On this type of fast you may also take in clear broth and 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices in order to maintain your strength. You establish the number of days for your fast in your prayer time.

Partial Fast.

There are many options for partial fasts. Below are just a few for you to select from. The most frequently used example of a partial fast is found in Daniel chapter 10. The Daniel Fast is a fast from meats, sweets, breads and any drink, except water, for a specific time period (Daniel 10:2-3). The easiest way to think of this fast is eating only vegetables and fruits, and drinking only water.

The following are examples of other types of partial fasts.

  • giving up one item of food or drink such as caffeine, coffee, soft drinks or sweets
  • giving up one meal a day for a specific amount of time, one meal a week, etc.
  • fasting for a specific number of days [one day, three days, so on] choosing to fast from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. or from sun-up to sundown.

Specific Food or Activity Fast.

In this type of fast you omit a specific item(s) from your meal plans. For example, you may choose to eliminate all red meat, processed or fast food, or sweets. Most people can incorporate this type of fast relatively easily. It can also prove to be a great solution for people with specific dietary needs or medical conditions that may cause certain limitations. While fasting typically refers to refraining from specific food items, you may also find it extremely beneficial to fast from a regular activity or habit. This might include things such as television, social media, and the like.

Prayer and fasting are not just about connecting to God but also about disconnecting from the world. Try to tune out some of the regular distractions from your day as much as possible. Replace that time with things that will nourish you spiritually.

Daniel Fast.

The Daniel fast is a great model to follow and one that is extremely effective for spiritual focus, bodily discipline, and purification of the body and soul. It is probably one of the most commonly referred-to fasts; however, within the Daniel fast there is room for broad interpretation. In the book of Daniel we find two different times where the prophet Daniel fasted. Daniel 1 states that he only ate vegetables and water, and in Daniel 10, while the passage does not give a specific list of foods that Daniel ate, it does state that he ate no rich (or choice) foods, as well as no meat or wine. So based on these two verses, we can see that either of these, or combinations of the two, constitute a Daniel fast.

Again, it is important to mention that there is nothing inherently spiritual about one type of fast as opposed to another. The foundation of the Daniel fast is fruits and vegetables. Some starchy vegetables and dairy could be included, but that depends on the individual. Your goal should be to seek God in prayer about this and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do. Just remember: find your personal Fast Zone.

Juice Fast.

A juice fast is simply consuming vegetable and fruit juices and water instead of solid food. Many people include whey protein in their liquid plan as well. This is one of the most popular and effective fasts. Even if you choose not to make your entire fast liquids only, substituting one or two meals for liquids is a great alternative.

Water Fast.

A water-only fast is the normal fast referred to in the Bible. This is how Jesus and the New Testament church fasted. A water fast is just that—no eating of any food or drinking of any liquids except water. Periodic water fasts can be very beneficial, but extreme precautions should be taken. For some people it is hard to perform effectively at their jobs and have energy for their families while drinking only water. We recommend consulting your physician first, and water fasting only for a day or two unless you can get away or your job allows you to really disconnect so you can give your best energy to the fast. Remember, when Jesus went on His forty-day fast, He went by Himself out into the wilderness. Having said all that, there are some people who can water fast and work, and they function fine without much fatigue and are able to work well. You are blessed if you are one of these people.

Total Fast.

A total fast is where nothing—neither liquid, solid food, nor even water—is consumed for a very short period of time. There are examples of this type of fast in the Bible. It was an Old Covenant type of fast associated with mourning, or deep grief, such as when David engaged in a total fast for a week, hoping that God would spare the child he had with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12). Under the New Covenant, we do not fast to mourn or to seek forgiveness. God has already forgiven us, and we are commanded to celebrate Jesus because He is alive. Plus, complete abstinence of food and water can be very dangerous to our health. Attempting to go without water for any period of time can be extremely harmful to the body. We strongly discourage the total fast.

What do I do during my fast?

Scripturally, fasting is almost always partnered with prayer (e.g., Ezra 8:21,23; Luke 2:36-37). During times when you would normally eat you may want to or need to couple fasting and prayer with one or more of the items below:

  • Worship (Nehemiah 9:1-3; Acts 13:1-3)
  • Petition (Daniel 9:3,17)
  • Reading the Word of God (Nehemiah 9:1-3; Jeremiah 36:6)
  • Humbling yourself before God (Ezra 8:21)
  • Asking for direction and guidance (Judges 20:19-46; Ezra 8:21)
  • Mourning (1 Samuel 31:8-13; Nehemiah 1:3-10; Esther 4:1-4)
  • Confession of sins (1 Samuel 7:6; 2 Samuel 1:12; Daniel 9:4-18; Nehemiah 9:1-3)
  • Repentance (Joel 2:12-17)
Begin and Break the Fast Well

Depending on the type of fast you choose, it is very important to prepare your body ahead of time before beginning the fast. Take a week or so to transition into your fast; otherwise, you could get sick. For example, if you would like to go on a fruits and vegetables or juice fast, start eliminating meat, white grains, and refined sugars from your diet the week before. Also start to cut back quite a bit on dairy products and some of your caffeine intake. The same principle applies to breaking your fast. When your fast is over, add foods back in very gradually. Please don’t break your fast with a greasy cheeseburger! Because your body is so cleansed and detoxified, you will most likely get sick if you do that. There are also several supplements you can take that will help support the detox process during your fast. Your health-food store can give you recommendations.

Creating Your Personal Fasting Menu

To keep your energy up throughout the day, it’s important to eat or drink every two and a half to three hours. If you go longer than that, you can experience an energy lull and be tempted to over-stuff yourself at your next meal. Even if you’re fasting on fruits and vegetables, over-stuffing is never a smart thing to do. It is very important to drink lots of water while fasting. Drinking about one hundred ounces of water per day will help to support your critical liver function. The liver is the filter for the body, so when you don’t drink enough water, the liver doesn’t function at its highest capacity.

Select your food items wisely. Below is a graphic that can help you in selecting your individual fasting menu. The key is to prepare a plan ahead of the fast, to not get legalistic about it, and to choose menu items well. For example, if you prefer dressing on your salads, choose a healthy, organic option with natural ingredients—and don’t pour a gallon of it on your plate. If you’re drinking fruit juices, try to go as natural as possible, and don’t drink ones heavily processed and laden with sugar. Remember to not let food become the focus of your fast, but make wise eating choices.

Final Tips
  • As you select your type of fast, make a fasting calendar that fits your plan.
  • Determine what each day and week will look like.
  • Keep your fridge and pantry stocked with the items you need. Being unprepared to fast sets you up to give into temptation. Choose well when selecting products, stick to raw food as much as you can, and limit artificial ingredients.

Make it a priority to attend church during your twenty-one-day fast. Being around other believers will encourage you to keep on going when fasting gets difficult. If you mess up, don’t get discouraged. Just get right back on track and keep going. God’s mercies “are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22–23). He wants you to finish, and He will give you the grace and strength to do it.

Personal Devotions

Just like prayer and fasting, reading your Bible is about connecting to God in a more powerful way. It is not about duty but about relationship. When we engage God through reading His Word, we engage the very presence of God. His Word is living and active! As we read our Bible, we are drawing closer to God and positioning ourselves to hear from Him in particular ways. Once again, as with prayer, choose the time and the place where you are going to read your Bible and devotional every single day, and come prepared to hear what He wants to tell you. Here are three quick things we’d like to share with you about how to get the most out of your devotional time with God. At the bottom of this page is a great resource to read along with your 21 days of prayer & fasting.

1. Read Consistently

It is better to read a little every day than to try and knock out two hours of Bible reading or devotions in one sitting. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, and certainly don’t compare your “performance” with that of others. If you miss a few days, pick up at the next reading, but stay with it and don’t give up. You can read through the entire bible in about 13 minutes per day! The key is to keep this simple and make it sustainable.

2. Read Prayerfully

Talk to God as you’re reading. Don’t rush through. Remember: the point is not to get through the scripture, but let the scripture get through you! If you come across something you don’t understand, pause for a moment and ask God about it. Reading prayerfully is making space and time to talk to God and giving Him time and space to talk to you. Taking time to meditate on God’s Word is just as important as reading it.

3. Read Expectantly

You are about to partake of the bread of life, so foster an attitude of expectancy. Believe that God is going to speak to you through His Word. With meditation on the ideas and thoughts recorded in your journal, be prepared to do something with what He shows you. A great, simple way to journal your devotionals is to use the SOAP method. SOAP stands for: Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer.

The SOAP method works like this:

  • S for Scripture.

Read prayerfully. Take notice of which scripture(s) catches your attention and mark it in your Bible. When you’re done, reread the verse(s) you marked and look for one that particularly speaks to you. Write it in your journal.

  • O for Observation.

Focusing on that scripture, tune in and listen to what God is saying to you through His Word. What is it about this scripture that specifically stands out? What does God want to reveal to you or teach you? Ask the Holy Spirit to be your guide and show you what God is saying.

  • A for Application.

Think of how this verse(s) applies to your life right now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or correction for a particular area of your life. Use your journal to write how this scripture applies to you today.

  • P for Prayer.

Wrap up your SOAP time in prayer. Talk to God about what you’ve just read. This can be as simple as thanking Him for revealing a truth from the scripture, or it may be asking Him for greater insight or wisdom as to how it applies to your life. Remember, prayer is all about relationship. It’s a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say.

Our prayer for you over the twenty-one days is that your passion for God and His Word will be ignited, and that you will develop a hunger for His presence that is greater than ever before! Don’t ever settle for anything less than a life full of passion and spiritual zeal for God. Keep the fire for God burning in your heart and do whatever it takes to feed your spiritual hunger for God.

Each day during your fast, we encourage you to keep a daily journal. Write any revelations that God gives you about yourself and about life in general.

Daniel Fast Devotionals

Acknowledging God the Creator of Heaven and Earth

Devotion

Have you ever wondered who or what created the heavens or even little things like flies and ants? If so, what caused you to think that there is someone besides God who can bring things like that into existence? Colossians 1:16 says, “for by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” When we acknowledge the Creator of heaven and earth it leaves no room or doubt in our minds that our Heavenly Father is the creator of the Universe. Take a look around outside today, and behold the beauty of the sky and the things around you; and look at how detailed our Father God is. If we serve a God who is that detailed in the smallest things of His creation, like a fly or a tiny ant, then think of how detailed His plan for your life must be. Take some time today to thank God for what He has done for us in all creation. God loves it when we brag on Him and about Him. Watch how He will begin to fill your heart with joy!

Prayer

Father God, who is like You? There is none in heaven or on earth like our Mighty and Awesome God. O Lord, You have created all things and by You all things exist. Heaven is Your throne and the earth is Your footstool. God, we your children cannot build anything large enough to contain You and Your glory, the heaven and heaven of heavens can’t contain You, and yet You have chosen to have Your Holy Spirit live inside of us. Thank You Father for all the things You have done for us. Thank You for the wonderful creation of life we partake in each day God. Lord, we acknowledge that You are God of every living thing. We say that You are God of all flesh, the Creator, the Great I Am, The Ancient of Days, and we bless Your Holy and righteous ways. Thank You Father for Your Creation.

Scriptures to Meditate On

1 Kings 8:22-23,27; Psalm 103:1; Psalm 148, Isaiah 66:1; 2Timothy 1:14

One Nation Truly Under God

Devotion

Today in our society we have become passive about how and what people do, especially our own children. We now look at the wrong people do and call it right, and the good that people do, and call it bad. The word of God tell us in Psalm 33:12, “blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” If we continue to go silent and watch as our families, children, homes, schools, and government become a bunch of modern day pagan worshipers, how can we be called one nation under God? I challenge you to stand for what is right even when you are the only one standing. Remember, with God there is more with you than there is against you (see 2 Kings 6:17). God is watching (see Proverbs 15:3) us to see what we will do in these times when He has given us a voice to make a difference. You might think that you are just one person, and how can one person make a difference, but all God need is just one person; ask Daniel, Jeremiah, and Moses. One person’s actions could help God save a whole nation from destruction. Will you be that one?

Prayer

Father, first forgive me for silently standing by while watching people make bad

decisions and not sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them. Help me to not be afraid to share Your goodness to the world around me. Father, I have a desire to see my home, city, state, and country be changed by You. I want You, Lord Jesus, to rule in our nation. I want what You want for our Nation so that we can continue to be blessed by You to be a blessing to other Countries. Help our nation to be one who calls You our God.

Scriptures to Meditate On

Psalm33:12-15, Psalm52:4, Job 24:1-25

Guidance for the President-Elect of the USA

Devotion

The President-Elect and VP-Elect have been chosen by a democratic vote. It is our job as believers to keep them lifted up in prayer, whether we like the choice or not. God is the one who lifts some up and sits some down. We must understand that God has the last word and whatever decisions these two new people make our God is STILL in control of them also. The bible tells us that He is the God of all flesh. So let us make a decision to pray for guidance for our new leaders of these United States of America. Let us purpose in our hearts that we will ask the Father to lead and guide every plan, purpose, thought, and decision they make. Remember, these leaders have a huge load to carry with the state of our economy, healthcare, our soldiers in harms way, and other war-torn countries. Let us also remember that they need people they can trust to help them in there decision making. Like all of us, one of the most important things we can ask God for is guidance. Can you imagine what the White House would be like if you knew that the President asked our Lord and Savior each day for guidance in his actions, motives and plans? WOW! Well, we can ask for them and that is just as good.

Prayer

Lord God we pray our President and Vice President will trust in You, Lord, with all their hearts; and that they will not lean on their own understanding. We pray that in all their ways they will acknowledge You, and You will make their paths straight. For You, Father, lead the humble in justice, and teach the humble Your way. A man’s way is not in himself; nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps. The steps of our nation’s leaders are ordered by You, and You delight in their way. Make them to know Your ways, Father. Teach them Your paths. Lead them in Your truths and teach them, for You are the God of their salvation; for You they wait all the day. Thank You Father for surrounding our new leaders with people who will serve them with pure motives and help them make the best decisions for our Country. Thank You Lord for leading them and guiding them.

Scriptures to Meditate On

Psalm1:1-3, Romans 13:1-7, 1Timothy 2:1-4

The Elephant in the Church

Devotion

Have you ever heard the saying “Elephant in the Room?” I’m sure you have. Around the office, with friends, or even at the dinner table, it’s an old English idiom that many of us use to describe an obvious truth that is either being ignored, or at times, rarely being addressed. We all have seen elephants at the zoo or maybe on TV, and we know how impossible it is for an elephant to be ignored. They are the largest land animals in the world, weighing anywhere between 9000-12,000 pounds. So you would think that if you and I were in a room with an elephant, we would probably know it! While doing some soul searching this week, I began to ask myself this question: as Christians, what are the elephants you and I have in the room today? What are the biggest elephants we have in the church today? I’m sure, depending on whom you ask, the answers to that question would differ greatly: money, divorce, racism, homosexuality, politics, and sexism. The list is endless. There is, however, one “elephant” in particular that we as Christians rarely seem to uncover enough. Despite its size and ability to frighten all in its path, this elephant has been chained to the rooms (and hearts) of every believer by God Himself. It simply cannot be avoided. That elephant is ACCOUNTABILITY.

Romans 12:16 says, “Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.” If we are really honest with one another, we can all say at one point or another that we have a hard time asking for help. Whether it was from a family member, friend, or even fellow believer, for some reason we equate a need for help as a sign of weakness. There is nothing like figuring things out on your own, or so we think, until our “elephants of accountability” grow bigger than the rooms we hide them in. As Christians, there is nothing more important than seeking out and embracing the accountability of the friends and loved ones God has placed around us. More often than not, many of us can fall victim to a dangerous belief system that our relationship with Christ (and no one else) is all that we need to be successful in our daily walk with Him. Without accountability, the voice of God can sound a lot like your own. I encourage you today to become a person of accountability.

Prayer

Dear Lord, I humble myself before You and ask You to forgive me of thinking that I am wise in my own opinion. I ask You Father to help me see when I need to be held accountable for wrong actions or thoughts. Father take away the shame and help me to see that my need for help is not a sign of weakness. Father I want to please You in all that I do and say, I want to be a true Ambassador for Christ sharing Your Gospel without any issues that will hold me back from being who You want me to be.

Scriptures to Meditate On

Romans 12:16, Matthew 12:33-37

God wants to use you!

Devotion

It absolutely thrills me when I think that the God of Heaven can actually use me! We all should be very grateful to know that we can be an instrument to accomplish His will here on earth. Faithful Christians are the tools God uses to do great things that have eternal value. He uses His followers as witnesses to the entire earth to tell everyone about Him and His love. When you stop to think about it, you and I can truly alter the course of history and the world. Unfortunately, some people are not being used by God because they are either unwilling or unfaithful. It is said that Leon Trotsky, who was a key part of the Communist revolution in Russia, actually attended a Sunday school class one day during a visit to America. But the teacher of the class was absent that morning, and did not bother to get a substitute. So no one taught the Bible that morning, and as far as anyone knows, Trotsky never attended church again. What if someone had been faithful enough to show up that morning? It may have helped to alter history! All that God asks of us is to make ourselves available to Him. Tell the Lord today that you want to faithfully serve Him. Who knows what wonderful things might happen when you are faithful to the Lord!

Prayer

Dear Lord, forgive me for not being available for Your use in the Kingdom. Lord, I want to be used by You to bring about change in my community. I yield myself to You to do whatever You want me to do.

Scripture to Meditate On

2 Timothy 2:20-21

What is Freedom?

Devotion

The concept of freedom is one that most Americans would claim to comprehend. But after generations of living free, do we really understand what would be lost if just a piece of our freedom were taken away? Remember the days just after September 11, 2001? The airlines where shut down, and air travel suffered for months. Professional football games were postponed. Large events were canceled. The security measures implemented since then have cost billions of dollars and demanded countless hours. Imagine what life would be like if we suffered a barrage of suicide bombers, truck bombs and armed assaults similar to what happens in places like Iraq and Israel. An old saying warns that you don’t know what you have until it is gone. Truly, we take so much for granted in this country that it is easy to lose sight of how much is at stake. We must not allow terrorism to shut us down and isolate us from the rest of the world. Our soldiers are risking (and some losing) their lives to protect our freedom. The rest of us must do our part to secure the future for our children and grandchildren, not only for the sake of our loved ones, but also for the sake of freedom. This is where our prayers for freedom and protection, not just for America, but for all those other countries like Darfur, and Israel, etc. that suffer through terror everyday, become very important. We must pray for the protection of this country. God is waiting to hear from us about everything that concerns us–not just about attaining the nice house with the two car garage and the six figure-a-year job, but also about our safety. If we don’t pray to the King of the Universe, Jesus Christ to protect us then we are in trouble.

Prayer

Thank You, Lord, for the freedom we enjoy in this country. You have blessed us beyond what we deserve. Thank you for the gifts of transportation, recreation, financial security and so much more. We are guilty of taking Your blessings for granted. Remind us continually of how You protect us and cause us to prosper. Help us not to squander the freedom You have bestowed upon us. Help us to protect it as the treasure that it is.

Scriptures to Meditate On

Psalm 91 and Psalm 100

What is Freedom?

Devotion

If you hang around church folk very long, you will hear them speak about “covering.” I remember when I first heard this phrase; I assumed they were talking about covering up. But there is a huge difference between covering and covering up. There is only one time in the New Testament that the word “cover” is used in that context, and that is in 1Peter 4:8, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” Sometimes this passage is misinterpreted to mean that our love for each other blots out our sin. Make no mistake, the only love that can cancel out sin is the love of Jesus manifested in His death on the cross. What Peter is talking about here is the unconditional love and acceptance that should be present in the Body of Christ creating an environment where we feel safe and secure to confess our sins to one another and repent. Sadly, in some church fellowships that love and acceptance is not present. This results in an environment where we dare not confess our faults to each other for fear we will become exposed and put through a gossip mill. There is no doubt in my mind that the epidemic we are currently seeing in moral failure, divorces, and scandals among church leaders and pastors has its roots in the lack of “covering love” present in the church. In most cases, these leaders and pastors may have been too proud or too isolated to seek out accountability partners. For every high profile leader who falls, there are scores of deacons, elders, teachers, and others in the church who suffer the same fate out of the spotlight. This is why the divorce rate is higher in the church than outside the church! You don’t dare come to church and admit you and your spouse are struggling and need prayer, help and support, so you suffer in silence while your marriage and family crumbles around you. This lack of “covering love” in the church is the spirit of the Pharisees, not that of Jesus! When Jesus encountered those struggling with sin He responded with compassion and understanding, saying “I don’t condemn you.” He did this, even though He is the only person who has the right to condemn sinners. You and I don’t have the right. We are like the Pharisees with rocks in their hands waiting to throw them at the sinful woman. When Jesus reminded them of their own sin, one by one they dropped their stones and walked away, knowing they were every bit as guilty as she was. Covering up your sin will only result in repeating the same behavior. So through prayer find someone in your fellowship who you can be transparent with, and ask them to help you be accountable.

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank You for putting me in a body of believers that I can be accountable to and who won’t gossip about my sins or shortcomings, but will pray with me and for me. Help us Father, Your children, to truly edify and pray for each other the way You intend for us to.

Scriptures to Meditate On

Hebrew 10:24-25, 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Salvation for the Lost

Devotion

Do you know of someone who does not know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior? Chances are, you do. It may be a co-worker, a friend, a neighbor, and even your own mother or father. The fact is almost every born again believer knows at least one person who is not saved. Why then do you think that God has placed you in their life? Is it to witness to them or to let your light shine before them so that they will desire to know your God? Today take time out to pray for someone specifically you know who is not saved. Ask God to show and tell you exactly how to witness to this person or people He has for you to share your faith with. God desires for everyone to be saved not just a select few but everyone!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I come to You now in the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father I pray for (_________), and the lost of the world this day and that every man, woman, and child from here to the farthest corners of the earth be saved. As I intercede, I use my faith, believing that thousands this day have the opportunity to make Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior. I ask the Lord of the harvest to thrust the perfect laborers across these lives this day to share the good news of the Gospel in a special way so that they will listen and understand it, that it will touch their hearts.

Scripture to Meditate On

Isaiah 52:10

Your Destiny

Devotion

This life is but a grain of sand on eternity’s beach. Your ultimate destiny is more magnificent than you can possibly imagine. However, God wants to give you a taste of it right here in this life. He has a plan for you to accomplish. He has set you on a prearranged path with an intended destination. Has God told you to do something that looks totally impossible to your natural eyes and understanding? Do you hear God calling you to go to the left instead of the right? Are you saying to God how, who, what, when or I can’t do that? Step onto that path that God is calling you to, and stay on it. Every step on this path is covered in God’s wisdom. Follow the flow of the favor He gives you. Listen and watch as He guides you past every obstacle and distraction. Know that your Heavenly Father is always guiding you with His right hand. Your destiny of greatness is inevitable. You have your Father’s word on it.

Prayer

Dear Lord, in my heart I have determined the direction that I will take, making plans and setting all of my goals in accordance with the will of God. When my dream is made plain and I am focused on my destiny, You Lord direct my every step to fulfill it. Help me Father to accomplish every plan and purpose You have already set for my life, even when I don’t understand it or can’t comprehend Your predestined plans for my destiny.

Scriptures to Meditate On

Proverbs 19:21; 20:24, John 5:20, Romans 12:2

Promotion

Devotion

No one in the Body of Christ is bound to a dead-end job. We serve a God of increase and prosperity. He will promote you to positions you never thought you could do and then give you the ability to do them better than anyone ever has. Never forget that your Father prospers everything you set your hands to do. So set your hand to the plow and don’t let up. Maintain a good attitude. Don’t be a complainer. Complainers are always last in the promotion line. See your present job as a proving ground. Do it as unto the Lord and to the very best of your ability. And don’t be selfish. If the opportunity arises, teach others to do your job as well as you can. You will reap the benefit of sowing into someone else’s life and ensure that you have a replacement when you get the promotion you’ve been expecting. Remember promotion does not come from the east or the west, but promotion is from God!

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank You for raising me from the dust (the place where I am easily driven by the wind). Thank You, Lord for delivering me from the dunghill (the place of deep and filthy poverty). You Lord have set me with kings and nobles. You Father have made me righteous in the earth. You have guarded my ways and given me strength to do Your will. Lord Your word says that You are the one who promotes and I believe Your word for my life. I thank You Father that You have come to give me life and an abundant life. Amen.

Scriptures to Meditate On

Deuteronomy 8:6-18, Psalm 75:6, 7

Waiting on God

Devotion

As children of God we often find it hard to wait on God to answer our prayers. For some reason, we think God needs our help in answering our prayers so we might tend to do things our own way instead of waiting on God. God’s word tells us that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts, so why is it hard for us to wait on God? Maybe it is because of our impatience, immaturity, or lack of trust that will cause us to jump ahead of God instead of waiting and listening for His voice. Do we really trust God to answer us when we call on Him? He did say that He will answer us when we call, but sometimes it may not be the way we were thinking He should answer. Are you willing to wait on the Lord to answer all your prayers, even if it takes longer than expected?

Prayer

Father show me Your ways, Lord God, and teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me. You are the God of my salvation. I wait before You with expectant hope all the day long. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me as I wait on You. Father God, help me to remember to wait on You at all times and to be of good courage, for I know that as I do these things, You will strengthen my heart. Thank You, Father, for this precious promise from Your word.

Scriptures to Meditate On

Psalm 25:1-5, 21; Psalm 27:14

Life Balance

Devotion

When more time is spent at work than at home, there’s a greater possibility of missing out on a rewarding personal life. However, when there is significant stress in the personal life, increased focus on the work life may sometimes serve as a coping mechanism. We should seek to bring glory to God in what we do and in how we spend our time. Neglecting ourselves or avoiding something at home isn’t really God-honoring behavior. 1Corinthians 6:19 says, “Do you not know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God?” The impact of overwork on the body is physically destructive and harmful and can lead to hypertension, depression, fatigue, and exhaustion. To keep work and personal priorities in check, seek Godly advice from other believers and pray for God’s guidance as you seek to honor Him with your time. Then, keep a log of how you spend your time. Remember God has given you a life to enjoy and not to overwork yourself until the point of sickness or maybe even death.

Prayer

Father, please show me any areas where I need to reorder my priorities. Guide me to solutions that will help me live my life in a way that is pleasing to You. Jesus, I desire for my steps to be ordered in Your Word. I want to be faithful to the time You have given me on this earth. I want to please You Lord in all that I do. Help me Holy Spirit not to neglect my body in which You dwell, help me not to neglect my family by being too busy for them. Forgive me Lord for using my time unwisely. Thank You Lord for being faithful to me when I am unfaithful to the time You have given me.

Scripture to Meditate On

Ecclesiastes 3:13

God Works through Families

Devotion

Whether we know it or not our families are a classroom for God’s character traits, including forgiveness, mercy, justice, grace, trust, loyalty, and love. God put us in families to teach us how to be more like Him. As we care for our aging parents, we learn to serve as He served us in the person of Jesus Christ. As we raise our children, we learn to love as He loves us as His own children. As we carry out our marriage vows, we learn to sacrifice self as He sacrificed Himself for our sins. As we stand by our brothers and sisters in trials, we learn to care for their needs as our Father cares for us. Through the family, God also teaches us about His covenant. God works through families. Over and over in scripture we see His hand touching generations to bring His plan to fulfillment; Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and even through the genealogy of Jesus Christ. God also uses the family to teach us about community. In walking through life with our families, we share the good and the bad. We care for one another, pray for one another, and learn the value of standing together in tough times as well as rejoicing in good times. Scripture says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). So inevitably we will wound one another or let one another down in some way. But in our family, we can hold each other accountable and walk through forgiveness and repentance. No matter our family situation, God can use it to teach us more about who He is and to help us rely on Him.

Prayer

Dear God, thank You for what You have taught and are teaching me through my family. Help me to continue to grow in love, joy, peace, forgiveness, self-control, kindness, and goodness. Help me and my family to glorify You in all that we do. Use us to teach another family about Your true love so that they may want You as their Lord and Savior. Help us Lord to love what You love and do what You would do.

Scriptures to Meditate On

Genesis 17:7, Romans 3:23, Galatians 5:16

Restore Relationships

Devotion

Today as you continue in this fast and prayer ask the Holy Spirit to help you restore any of your relationships that you know ended in an abrupt way. You may not be angry or hold any ill feeling towards the person but maybe you feel as if they are upset with you. Sometimes the enemy blinds you into thinking that someone is angry at you or you have done something wrong to them. Walk in boldness today and with help of the Holy Spirit go to that person and ask, “Can we talk?” Don’t be tricked by your own thoughts, it may not be what you think. How many people do you know are not communicating with distant loved ones just because they think that the other person is mad at them when in fact it’s not that way at all? Maybe they are waiting on you to make the first move.

Prayer

Father, today I ask you to help me take all of my thoughts captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ. Help me to see all people the way you see them. Help me Lord to be a person of reconciliation, restoring all that may have been lost in the relationships with others you have placed in my life. I ask You to restore a good relationship between me and all of my family, friends, co-workers, and others.

Scriptures to Meditate On

Proverbs 19:11, Ephesians 4:30-32, Romans 12:10

Enlightenment

Devotion

Do you have a desire to be more in tune to the word of God? Do you want a bigger understanding of the things of God? Today, let us challenge one another to really seek and ask for the wisdom of God and divine revelation of our Holy Father and His Word. Remember you must do your part in reading and studying the word of God. It does not come to those who are slothful, unwilling to study, or to those not spending time with God. Give the Lord something to work with; put forth some effort.

Prayer

Lord of Glory, I pray that You might give to me Your spirit of wisdom and revelation in the sphere of a full knowledge of Yourself, with the eyes of my heart being enlightened, knowing what is the hope of Your calling, what is the wealth of the glory of Your inheritance in me and what is the super-a-bounding greatness of Your inherent power to me as one who believes, as measured by the operative energy of the manifested strength of Your might (see Eph. 1:17-19). I pray that You would make known to me the mystery of Your will according to Your good pleasure which You have purposed in Yourself (see Eph. 1:9).

Scriptures to Meditate On

Daniel 2:21, James 1:5

God’s Provision and Protection

Devotion

When we seek God and are thankful for all He has given us, we will not lack anything we need. And when we give to those less fortunate than ourselves, He will bless us (Ps.41:1-2). But if we close our eyes to the needs of those around us, God will do the same with our needs. When we put all that we have, especially our finances, in His hands and do with it what He is telling us to do, He promises to bless us. Remember if you give nothing you get nothing, and if you give little you get little, “you reap what you sow”. Now for protection, we should never take for granted the protection of the Lord in our lives. We should not enter a plane, train, or automobile without praising God as our Protector. We should not enter a day without asking Him for His protection and then thanking Him for it in advance. How many times have we been protected and spared from harm and disaster that we are not even aware of? God’s word tells us that we are in His hands and no man can pluck us out.

Prayer

Lord, I worship You as my Almighty God. You are my King and Lord over all my life. I surrender everything I have to You because I recognize that every good thing I have has been given by You as a sign of Your goodness, mercy, and love (James 1:17). Thank You that You are my Provider and You provide everything I need. Lord I praise You as my Protector. Thank You for hiding me under the shadow of Your wings. You have delivered my soul from death. You have kept my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living. Thank You, Lord for providing and protecting me, my family, and all that I have.

Scriptures to Meditate On

Psalm 28:7, 34:10, Matthew 6:25-34, Psalm 91

You are on the last week of your prayer and fasting. Great job; you have hung in there! This last week will focus on more praying and reading the scriptures, instead of devotions. We will focus more on praying specific prayers from specific scriptures for specific topics, such as unity, sanctification, guidance, and thankfulness.

A Prayer for Spiritual Strength

Praying Ephesians 3:14-21

Father, In the name of Jesus, I praise and thank You that You saved me for a purpose, and that You have a plan for my life that exceeds my most imaginative hopes and dreams. For that reason, Father, I bow my knee to You, the God of heaven and earth from whom Your whole family receives our name. I pray that by Your glorious riches You would strengthen me on the inside through the power of Your Holy Spirit and that Christ would truly live in my heart and live through me by my faith in You. Help me to understand with all of the saints the breadth, length, depth, and height of Your love which surpass all knowledge. Fill me with all of Your fullness, Your wisdom, strength, and power, so that I would live constantly to Your glory! Now unto You, Father, who is able to do exceedingly far above all that I ask or can imagine, be the glory in the church through Christ Jesus throughout all the ages and forever. Amen!

Destroying Generational Curses

Heavenly Father, I (we) come to You now in the Name of my (our) Lord and Savior Christ Jesus. I (we) believe that You are the Son of God; that You died on the cross for my (our) sins; that God raised You from the dead and You ascended to heaven. I (we) repent of any sins in my (our) life (lives) and my (our) ancestors’ lives, going back 25 generations, that have resulted in a curse or curses. I (we) repent of all and any sins of: not keeping Your commandments: having other gods before You; making or buying images, bowing down to or serving images; for taking the Lord my (our) God’s Name in vain; for not observing and keeping holy the Sabbath day; not honoring my (our) father and/or mother; murder; adultery; stealing; bearing false witness; coveting a neighbor’s spouse, house, land, servants, donkey, or anything that is my neighbor’s; not loving You with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my mind; not loving my neighbor as myself, or not loving myself (see sin list). I (we) ask Your forgiveness and cleansing through the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ according to 1 John 1:9 and John 14:14. I (we) repent of all of my (our) sins and I (we) thank You for forgiving me (us). In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I (we) now ask You to destroy all curses, generational curses that have been placed on me (us), my (our) spouse, and my (our) children, including ten generations.

A Prayer for Spiritual Strength

Praying Philippians 1:9-11 for your wife, husband, child, and yourself (just insert the name of the person or people for whom you are praying for)

Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray that Your love that was shed abroad in __________’s heart by the Holy Spirit would abound and grow more and more, strengthening their knowledge of You and of the things You have called them to do, in the discernment and spiritual insight of the Holy Spirit. I pray that ________ can prove Your excellence by always knowing the right things to do and doing them with excellence. I pray that they will remain sincere, genuine, and real in all their/my encounters with others and free from blame or even the appearance of evil until the day of Jesus Christ’s return. Make _______ a constant glory and praise to You under all circumstances and in all things.

A Prayer for Unity

Praying Romans 15:5-6 for your Loved Ones, Your Church, Your Organization or Business, or Your City

Heavenly Father, I know that it is by Your Spirit that we have the power to forgive, and that it is through the fruit of Your Spirit that we can overcome the challenges of life and become encouragers to others around us. I thank You that You have called us as Christians to be unifiers, reconcilers, and peacemakers on this earth as a display of Your love and grace in our everyday lives. I also thank You for giving us an example of true unity in Your relationship with Your Son, Jesus, as He walked upon this earth and that we can be one as You and He were one because of His prayers for us in John 17. For this reason, Father, I pray for unity for ___________. I pray that You would not only use __________ to be a unifier, reconciler, and peacemaker but that the Holy Spirit would also be present with _________ every day to help ________ overcome with Your joy and encourage others as __________ follows Jesus. I pray that in unity with one heart and one mouth _________ may glorify You, the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

A Prayer for Total Sanctification

Praying 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Father, in the name of Jesus, I praise and thank You for being the God of Peace. I pray that You would sanctify me completely from my inner spirit to my outer actions, making my life stand out to others as an example of Your grace, mercy, love and righteousness. Father, help me to walk worthy of my heavenly citizenship even as Jesus has made me worthy through His sacrifice on the Cross. I pray that my entire spirit, soul and body would be sanctified and complete for the purpose to which You have called me. I pray that I would live blamelessly, above reproach, and without any appearance of evil, fit for Your use in all things and ready to spread Your kingdom upon the earth until the return of Your Son, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Now unto You, who called me, be the glory forever and ever, even as You will be faithful to walk out and make certain Your sanctification and will are fulfilled in my life.

A Prayer of Praise and Thanksgiving

Father, You alone have the power to establish all of us according to the Good News of Christ. You have chosen to reveal through the Church the mystery of Your manifold wisdom, a secret You kept from the beginning of creation until the day You raised Jesus from the dead. You now are making that wisdom manifest to the entire universe through those of us who obey You. To You, the only wise God, be glory through Jesus Christ forever more. You, Father, who through grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, have enriched us in all utterance and knowledge and examples and testimonies to the greatness of Jesus. Therefore we will come behind in no gift. You have enabled us to be steadfast and blameless until the day Jesus returns for us. You are faithful who has called us into the fellowship of Your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. You always cause us to triumph in Your Son and You raise the aroma of salvation in every place we preach of You and bring people to know You. You have enabled each of us to be ministers and ambassadors of Your grace regardless of our past and abilities. To You the only wise God, the King eternal, immortal, unseeable by human eyes, who is the blessed and only true and Living God, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, be the glory through Christ Jesus, the Church, and my life forever and ever.