The power of prayer deepens our dependence on Jesus and sharpens our faith. When we pray, we posture ourselves in humility and hand our needs and requests to God knowing that He hears us and desires to move on our behalf.
The great reformer Martin Luther once said, “As is the business of tailors to make clothes and of cobblers to mend shoes, so is it the business of Christians to pray.”
The very act of prayer is what cultivates our relationship with God. We can pray knowing that he desires to meet with us even more so than we desire to meet with him. For this very reason, we pray with confidence, knowing that the all-powerful creator of heaven and earth can bring about change in any circumstance.
The power of fasting as it relates to prayer is the spiritual atomic bomb that Jesus has given us to destroy the strongholds of evil and usher in a great revival and spiritual breakthrough we so desperately need.
“Fasting helps us to express, to deepen, and to confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves, to attain the Kingdom of God.” – Scot McKnight.
Fasting is not just about getting something from God but getting to God. While fasting is choosing to go without food, you can choose to abstain from anything over the 21-day period. Consider what Jesus may be asking you to forgo over the next 21 days and know whatever the sacrifice the blessings will far outweigh.
1. “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”
1 Corinthians 1:10 ESV
2. “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”
1 Peter 3:8 ESV
3. “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
2 Corinthians 13:11 ESV
4. “…how good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!”
Psalm 133:1 ESV
1. “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Matthew 16:24-25 ESV
2. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
John 15:9-13 NIV
1. What do you picture when you think of the word Christian? What has shaped your opinion?
2. What are the ways you’re living out being a disciple? How could people observe you following Christ’s example?
3. What are the things that don’t fit neatly into a point on a page that you know you’re called to do as Jesus’ disciple?
1. “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
1 John 4:4 NIV
2. “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”
1 John 5:4 NIV
3. “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:57 NIV
1. Create a list of attributes/traits of someone you would describe as a conqueror.
2. Most of our battles are won or lost in our mind. What are some battles you constantly lose in your mind and what changes do you need to make to begin overcoming them?
1. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Ephesians 2:10 ESV
2. “By which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.”
2 Peter 1:4 ESV
3. “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”
Romans 1:20 ESV
1. What are some flaws in you that you feel may keep you from being his masterpiece?
2. Do you fear there are parts of you He can’t remake? What steps do you need to take to allow God to remake you?
1. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 5:14-16 ESV
2. “For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness”
1 Thessalonians 5:5 ESV
1. Think about a time when you’ve seen someone be salt and light. What was the result of their influence?
2. How have you hidden your light or let Satan blow it out in the past? What can you do to let your light shine?
1. “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”
Matthew 5:13 ESV
2. “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Colossians 4:6 ESV
1. What are some areas in your life that you have lost your saltiness?
2. As we’re called to be salt that creates thirst, heals and melts, what are some practical ways you can fulfill this calling?
1. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Ephesians 5:1-2 ESV
2. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
1 Peter 2:9 ESV
1. In your day to day, who is it that you represent the most? Yourself? An image you want people to think you are? Jesus?
2. Describe a person that you believe represents Jesus well.
1. “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
Romans 5:3-4 NIV
2. “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
James 1:12 NIV
3. “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”
Hebrews 10:36 NIV
1. What eats away at your endurance while trying to fulfill your calling?
2. What will you do to feed your endurance throughout the day?
1. “The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”
Proverbs 28:1 NIV
2. “He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!”
Acts 28:31 NIV
3. “ So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?””
Hebrews 13:6 NIV
1. In what areas of your life would you say you are not bold?
2. Name some of your insecurities that keep you from being bold?
1. “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things”
Colossians 3:2 NIV
2. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV
3. “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
Proverbs 14:12 NIV
1. What is the common frame you look at life through?
2. How far is the perspective you have from the perspective God wants you to have?
3. How will you close the gap?
1. “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land”
Isaiah 1:19 NIV
2. “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.”
2 Corinthians 8:12 NIV
1. Have you recently considered your level of willingness?
2. Do you believe that being willing will affect how you see your calling?
1. “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong”
1 Corinthians 1:26-27 NIV
2. “He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time”
2 Timothy 1:9 NIV
3. “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
Ephesians 4:1-3 NIV
1. Where were you in life when you felt God’s calling?
2. Do you feel qualified for that call? Why or why not?
1. “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
John 15:15-16 NIV
2. “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
1. How would you identify yourself?
2. Does that measure up to how God sees you?
1.“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 NIV
2. “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:7 NIV
3. “When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.”
Matthew 17:6-7 NIV
1. All of us have fears, what are some of the fears that keep you from getting up?
2. What are the thoughts that you will replace those fears with?
1. “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 NIV
1. Take Communion. For instructions on how to take communion at home click here.
1. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
2. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”
1. What is one thing Jesus is telling you to act on, that you have ignored?
2. As you now have identified that one thing and you are accountable for it, what will do about it?
1. “While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
Matthew 17:5 NIV
2. “Hear me, my people, and I will warn you— if you would only listen to me, Israel!”
Psalm 81:8 NIV
3. “To answer before listening— that is folly and shame.”
Proverbs 18:13 NIV
1. Just Listen.
1. “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalm 139:23-24 NIV
2. “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.”
Psalm 27:4-5 NIV
1. Having realized the posture of your heart, how do you prepare your heart to receive from God?
2. What are some things the Lord has shown you about the condition of your heart that you were unaware of?
1. “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.”
Psalm 42:5-6 NIV
2. “My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.”
Psalm 131:1 NIV
1. What is the condition of your heart? Name some areas that are healthy and unhealthy?
2. Having now “taken note” do you believe this a practice you should do more often? And if so, what could keep you from it?
1. “I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul. I say to God: Do not declare me guilty, but tell me what charges you have against me.”
Job 10:1-2 NIV
2. “Away from me, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping. The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.”
Psalm 6: 8-9 NIV
1. On a scale of 1 to 10: 10 being real and 1 being fake. Where do you rate being real with God.
2. Believing that God already knows your thoughts and heart before you bare them why are you reluctant to share them?
1. “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
Luke 5:16 NIV
2. “Be still, and know that I am God!”
Psalm 46:10 NLT
3. “Draw near to God, and will draw near to you.”
James 4:8 ESV
1. Let’s be honest. Do you believe that there is a true benefit to being alone with God daily?
2. Knowing that Jesus calls us to be alone with him daily. What are some of the excuses you have made in the past that keep you from being obedient to his call?