Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Daily Guide for the Week of Prayer and Fasting – January 2014

Theme for the week. God has brought us to the brink in 2014 to inherit promises both individually and corporately. We are stepping into a season of dreams fulfilled and influence increased. He is calling us to see what belongs to us in the Kingdom, to understand what we must do to prepare, to give ourselves to those things wholeheartedly, to embrace what only He can do for us and through us, and then to receive. We are aligning ourselves with Heaven’s purposes more precisely than before in unity as His body in the Flathead Valley. We have already received the double sign of supernatural birthing in Rwanda, completely by His power. We are positioning ourselves to see the most amazing year in our church’s history and for its individual members.

We will be following daily two main sections of scripture from Isaiah 54:1- 17 and from Joshua 2-6. Both sections speak of God’s work to bring His people into their inheritance and how He would have them prepare themselves to receive it. Let Holy Spirit give you insight, revelation, wisdom and faith as you meditate on these passages each day and pray through them for your individual circumstances and for our church.

This prayer guide is for your personal time with the Lord. Try to make use of all or part of it each day. This will keep you in sync with the rest of the church, even when you can’t make it to the corporate meetings. But then bring this with you and any notes you may have written down to the meetings at night. We will be praying through these things as a church in our evening meetings.

Expect God to speak to you in other ways. You may receive revelations by insight, vision or dream. Please write these down and give them to one of the pastors or other leaders. We want to glean all that God may be saying to us during this week that prepare us more adequately for the year ahead.

Day 1 – Read Joshua 1:10-11; 2:1, 8-11, 23-24; 3:1
  • Focus: God brought His people after 40 years to the border of the land He promised to them for their inheritance and destiny. They were camped at the Jordan River looking across into Canaan and at the walls of Jericho in the distance. You can only possess what you can see in advance. What has Holy Spirit shown you that belongs to you that you would possess in this next year? What are some of the dreams not fulfilled? Ask the Lord to reveal His heart for you and what He has in store for you that you have not yet seen or possessed. Write it down as a record of your faith and what you expect to see come to pass in 2014.
  • Read Isaiah 54:1 – Are there things that seem to have been lost to you and dreams/visions that have died? Can you envision with God something greater than the original?
  • Read Ephesians 1:15-23 – Ask God for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to open your eyes to see what you have not seen, believe what you have not believed, and receive what you have not received. Ask Him to show you who we are as the church in this valley.
  • Intercession: Begin to proclaim what you see from God and what is coming to you by His hand. Begin to thank Him for what only He can do. Begin to shout for joy and sing over this next year, rejoicing over your inheritance.
  • The church: Declare what God has for us in 2014 and what we will see Him do for the church, in the church and through the church to our community and the world. Be specific and bold. Write it down.

Day 2 – Read Joshua 3:2-4
  • Focus: God is taking us where we have never been before. While that is very exciting, it can set us up for mistakes and presumption and bad plans if we are not careful how we move forward. We must have the fear of the Lord and regard this journey as holy. We must let God lead us and not get ahead of Him. We must pay close attention and do what He says, when He says to do it. We must also be ready to act without fear as we keep our eyes on His word, His works and His leaders. Can you see God’s holy hand on your future? Do you believe that He is orchestrating things beyond your understanding? Is there anything in your life hindering you from following God and embracing His plans to get you into your future inheritance? How is your relationship with God’s appointed leaders in your life? Are you a Lone Ranger or in unity with your church family?
  • Read Isaiah 54:2 – In order to move into what God has for us, we also must be ready to expand, take risks and move into new territory. The old must be replaced with the new. We must embrace the extravagance of God and what He believes about us and our future. He is already out front in our future seeing our tent full of children. He is excited! What does enlarging, stretching wide, not holding back look like for you? Write it down. Commit yourself before God to do what He shows you to get ready.
  • Read 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 – Are you as determined as Jabez to experience God’s blessing in 2014 and move into new territory? Is it bigger and better than you think? What do you believe about God’s desire to answer that prayer for you and our church?
  • Intercession: Get your heart right before God to follow Him no matter what into your future, not getting ahead of Him, not lagging behind in fear and unbelief. Recommit yourself to God’s church and the leader’s He has placed in your life. Declare out loud what actions you are taking to receive what God is bringing, describing in as much detail as you can what it will look like and feel like when it comes. Declare what will happen to those around you when this begins to happen to you. Thank God in advance for what He is bringing and how He will do what only He can do. Pray for other churches to be blessed with increase in the next year.
  • The church: Can you see how God is expanding our territory and why? How much are you a part of this? What might you do to be a part of this as it unfolds in the days ahead? Write it down. Prophesy into the heavens what great things are coming for our church body and the blessing we will be to our community and the nations.

Day 3 – Read Joshua 3:5-6
  • Focus: Even though the Israelites had God’s promises and could see across the Jordan River their inheritance waiting for them, they had a barrier between – the river at flood stage. They needed God to do something they could not do. But before they would be able to walk through on God’s supernatural working and presence (symbolized by the ark of the covenant), they had to prepare themselves personally and corporately. Joshua commanded them to consecrate themselves a day in advance of the miracle. The word consecrate means to cleanse/purify/dedicate. It often involved the washing of one’s body and clothing to prepare for a special God assignment. It was sometimes accompanied by the anointing of oil after washing and the wearing of special clothes. The people were going to pass through God’s presence as they passed through the river. Joshua knew that the people must prepare themselves in holiness and reverence for God Who would be in their midst and open up the way for them. If you knew that tomorrow God was coming into your life circumstances to do something for you beyond your imagination that would shock and terrify everyone who heard of it, would you get yourself ready, body, soul and spirit? Or would you be laid back, careless and self-focused? You might be asking yourself in advance, “What’s it going to be like when God comes in our midst? Can I handle being that close to God? What will happen to me/us afterward? Will we be prepared for what God is releasing?” If God is going to do something off your map this year to bring you into your destiny, what do you need to do to get yourself ready? Or are you distracted with lesser things? Ask Holy Spirit to prepare your heart for the experience of walking through 2014 in the midst of God’s fiery presence and on the raw power of God like you have never seen.
  • Read Isaiah 54:2 (second half) – Not only do we need to stretch out our tent curtains but we must strengthen our tent pegs and lengthen your cords to the pegs. Part of our preparation for God coming do amazing things to enlarge our inheritance is to strengthen what we already have with God. You can have a great tent but your tent will not stand without being secured to the ground and against the winds that come up against it. And the bigger the tent, the bigger and stouter the tent pegs and the longer the cords. You and the church cannot ride on yesterday’s knowledge and experiences. How strong are you in God’s Word? How is your prayer life with God? How is your daily worship? How is your fellowship with the saints? How accountable and committed are you to your church? What are you doing right now daily/weekly to strengthen your faith and walk with God? Will your present walk with God hold up with what God is bringing to increase you? Write down what needs to change.
  • Read Revelation 2:1-7 and Hebrews 12:12-13 – Are there areas in your life that you know are weak and could crumble under pressure? What needs to be strengthened? Write those down. What are some of the things that you used to do earlier in your walk with God that you no longer do? How is your love for God compared to then? Would anyone know by watching you that your love is stronger or weaker? Part of your personal consecration and the way you strengthen your church family is to examine what needs to be restored and increased in your walk with God and then take action. After you indentify these things, repent of losing this ground and ask Holy Spirit to strengthen you. Dedicate your eyes, ears, hands, feet, mind, mouth and heart to God for holy purposes in 2014.
  • Intercession: present yourself to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). Confess the areas in your life that may have been neglected and need strengthening. Declare that Jesus is your Lord and you are following Him into 2014. Declare your strength in the Lord and the power of His might (Eph 6:10). Begin to describe what your tent will look like in 2014 and why your tent pegs will hold strong no matter what comes against you. Pray for the whole church body to become strong in God and His purposes. Pray for other churches to be strengthened. Pray for more of God’s power and presence to bring us through into our inheritance. Prophesy the mighty wonders God will do tomorrow as we consecrate ourselves to Him.
  • The church: Can you see what would happen if each believer in our church were strengthened and consecrated to God? What would our meetings look like? What would begin to happen? What great things can you imagine God will do through our church to touch our valley? Write these down as you see them.

Day 4 – Read Joshua 3:7-17; 4:14-18; 5:1
  • Focus: The future and hope that God wants to bring you into in 2014 is supposed to look impossible to the world. Our dreams are to be fulfilled through impossibility. This is how God’s Kingdom is revealed in the earth. This is what gives us the confidence to know that God is with us and will do all that He promised us. This is also what causes our enemies to greatly fear our presence and see us as unstoppable. But know that no one walks across a dry river bottom with the river at flood stage until they put their feet in the water with God. No one walks on water without getting out of the boat first. Are you the kind of believer who likes to see the impossible happen in your life? Do you spend time imagining what God could do to shake things up through miracles? Are you content to live a natural explainable life? Are you willing to embrace the risk of stepping out with God into things you have not experienced yet? Do you believe that your Heavenly Father loves you so much that He wants to do these kind of things for you? Do you know that He would show such favor toward you that others usually don’t see? Write down what an impossible-God-wonder would look like in 2014 for you to receive your inheritance and dreams. Write down what you would need to do to be a part of it.
  • Read  Isaiah 54:3 – When God begins to move out in power so do you. We were made for this experience of heaven invading earth, releasing the impossible. It results in movement and increase. God’s intention for us is to take new territory, to “spread out” to the right and the left. This was His original command to Adam and Eve. But it was never to be by their own power, but by God’s. “Not by might or by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord” (Zechariah 4:6). God sees you dispossessing those who are squatters on your inheritance and restoring places made desolate by the enemy. What a glorious call on our lives! In fact, this is how you know you are really fulfilling God’s plan for your life – when you see these results. We are called to “inherit and inhabit.” The word translated “spread out” actually means to “break forth or burst out”.  This is what happens when God’s power shows up to take us into impossilities. Walls come down. Locked gates open suddenly. Treasures are discovered. Mountains melt like wax. Ask Holy Spirit to help you imagine what breaking forth into your inheritance looks like. How might you see His power in the year ahead? Write down what you thought was impossible in your life or circumstances and how God “bring you through on dry ground” to receive His blessings. Are you praying for supernatural displays of God’s rule and reign that will affect how people see God and His church?
  • Read Nehemiah 6:15-17 and Acts 5:11-16 – Do you believe that God can move heaven and earth in such a powerful way around your life that others are affected and respond to God? Have you ever asked God to make your life a living display of His goodness that powerfully draws even the most hardened sinner to Him? Can God do something so amazing through our church that shakes the whole city and state? What will it take for you to be available for that result through your life? Through our church?
  • Intercession: Ask Holy Spirit to increase your expectation for God-sized displays of impossible break-throughs. Ask God to open your eyes to see what He is already doing and preparing to do. Ask the Lord of Hosts to bring your life and our church into the realm of “exceedingly abundantly beyond what we could ask or imagine” (Eph 3:20) and that it would result in Jesus getting glory in His church (v.21). Pray for those God-ordained “breaking forth/bursting out” events in your life and our church. Pray for this to happen in other churches. Ask God to help you inherit your land of promise and to inhabit desolate places ruined by Satan’s working. Ask the Lord of the Harvest to give you a massive harvest through His power.
  • The church: What inheritance and habitation does the Lord want to give our church in this valley, this state and in the nations? How much impact does God want us to have in our region? With gov’t officials? In shaping our culture? How many people and other churches does He want us to impact with His Kingdom? What will it look like when that happens? How might your destiny be involved/fulfilled when our church breaks forth?

Day 5 – Read Joshua 5:2-10
  • Focus: One of the most remarkable as well as perplexing things that God leads the Israelites to do before they begin to possess the land involves ordering Joshua to immediately circumcise all the uncircumcised males in their midst (which would have been the majority – all the males under 40 that had been born during the 40 year wilderness trek). It is remarkable because God wanted this done before they received their inheritance and before they celebrated the annual scheduled Passover (which was scheduled 3 days later). It is perplexing because circumcision would render their army helpless (from pain and dressing the wounds) against their enemies, who could easily have wiped them out in a moment. Why did God not order this to happen before crossing over? That place which was in full view of Jericho would be called Gilgal – rolling away, rolling off. It would also be known as Gibeath-haaroloth – the hill of foreskins (we’re talking hundreds of thousands). Gilgal would go on to be the main camp for the Israelites while Joshua led them in their conquest of Canaan in the years to come. It would be the place where Samuel would offer sacrifices to the Lord for all Israel. It would be the place where Saul would be anointed the first King. It was the place that Israel piled up twelve stones taken from the bottom of Jordan River when they crossed over on dry land as a memorial to God’s power to bring them in and a sign of God’s faithfulness to fulfill all His promises to them in the future. What a place to have in your life! But it all began with circumcision. God said that through the circumcision He had “rolled away the reproach of Egypt” from them. The word reproach here means shame or disgrace. Circumcision was a covenant sign in the body itself of faith and full submission to God and His Kingdom. It was also a physical sign of separation from the world and from other gods. Is it possible that your success in seeing God go before you with power and your ability to receive your inheritance is directly connected to dealing with your past involvement with another kingdom and past identity? Can we really handle the great things God will give us and be trusted with them if we carry the shame of past idolatry and adultery with the world? Will we be faithful to God without renewing our hearts before God in deepest commitment? Many times after this moment in Gilgal God would talk to the people about the condition of their hearts and call them to circumcise their hearts afresh to love Him and surrender to His ways. How about you right now? Write down any thing Holy Spirit reveals to you about your heart commitment to God that needs to be freshly recommitted and surrendered. Is there anything in you that is distracted by the world? Is there anything from your past that still holds you in bondage? Are you lacking in confidence to move forward with God because you have shame and guilt in not being right with God? Are you ready to let God have His way with you completely? How does the lack of circumcision of the heart affect our whole church and it’s ability to move into our future?
  • Read Isaiah 54:4-5 – Though our past may have limited us in what we have experienced thus far with God and affected our ability to receive our inheritance, God is still the One who is committed to our future fruitfulness. As an amazing husband he invites us back through repentance to experience what only He can do to make our future better than we could have imagined. He says that what He is going to do will be so good that we will forget our past failures and foolishness. Are we afraid to come to God as our Father, our Husband, our Redeemer, our Lord? If we have shame that creates fear to move ahead with God, we will not be successful in our inheriting and inhabiting our glorious future. Write down any fears you have about fully surrendering to God. Write down any shame that have not let God forgive and remove from you. Ask God to forgive you and receive it as done through the blood of Jesus. Now forgive yourself and let it go. Finally, let your super-husband embrace you with love and speak of your amazing future to come. If these things have kept you from pulling in close to our church and being committed in relationships and to leadership, renounce this mindset and purpose to take your place in the family. We need you!!!
  • Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 – Ask God to show you any unholy alliances that are hindering you.
  • Intercession: Pray for our whole church body to embrace a fresh circumcision of heart before God. Pray for a full surrender and total trust. Pray for the Spirit of Holiness to sweep through our ranks. Ask God to grant repentance that enables us to experience freedom and change at the deepest levels. Pray against deception, pride and hardness of heart that keeps us in the dark.

Day 6 – Read Joshua 5:13-15;
  • Focus: After celebrating the Passover as a newly circumcised group of people, still in awe of God’s power and faithfulness because of how He brought them into their land of promise supernaturally, Joshua is now contemplating the next step of how they will take their first city, Jericho, whose walls were high and inpenitrable. He is walking nearby Jericho, perhaps on a prayer walk, looking for God’s strategy of success. He may have been trying to use his previously learned skills of warfare as he planned out the attack. He may have been pondering how God would aid them in giving the city to them. He may have been worried about other adversaries joining with Jericho to fight them. As God leads us into our unknown future according to His promises and we try to move with Him, we often have many questions and concerns about the details about what, how, when and where. We are often in need of a sense of security, trying to second-guess what will happen next and what is required of us. What happens next to Joshua as the leader is not only surprising but necessary. He is seeing a powerful man standing in front of him, waiting with a sword drawn for action. What does this mean? Why is he here? Where did he come from? Is he friend or foe? Am I in danger? Joshua is thinking in purely human terms and tries to place this man in a controllable category to deal with. He is not prepared for the answer to his questions. It is natural for us as followers of Jesus to be nervous about the future God is bringing us into and wonder how well we will do as we consider what might be “out there” to oppose us and stop us. The easiest thing we know how to do, without much thought, is to imagine problems, weaknesses and failures. After all, what we are hoping for requires God doing something we have not seen Him do before. And we usually don’t feel worthy of it anyway. But here you are. You’ve done the best you know how to follow God to this point. You are trying to believe and trust. You are trying to be brave and step forward. What is the number one thing Joshua needs right now? That God is going to answer all his prayers? That everything is going to be perfect with no problems? No! He needs to see God and Heaven’s army going ahead of him to accomplish God’s will in the earth. It’s almost as if this captain of the Lord’s host (which could have been Jesus Himself) was telling Joshua, “this isn’t about you. You are just part of the bigger plan I am working out. Now get in line behind me and recognize who’s really in charge around here. My sword will determine the outcome.” And Joshua chose a very good response – he takes off his sandals and falls on his face in total trust and submission. Where you and our church are going in 2014, what we will experience of His power, and what we receive of His increase, is not about you. It is about God’s Kingdom. Ask yourself what you real priority is for your life. What are you really living for? Write down what of Heaven’s plan will be accomplished through your own breakthroughs and expansions. Write down who is with you and what they are going to do in you, around you and through you. What does taking off your sandals and falling on your face before God before you head into 2014 look like in your life?
  • Read  Isaiah 54:7-13 – What attitudes does God express toward you as He sees Himself taking you into 2014? Compassion? Kindness? Unfailing love? Is this what you are expecting from Him next year? This would be a good time to stop and dance. When He comes with His power to do for you and our church what we could never make happen ourselves, what can we be looking for? While we are enlarging the place of our tent, He will be bringing us back to Himself, establishing us in His unshakable Kingdom, building up a house/fortress around us with precious stones/jewels, securing our children with His wisdom and peace. What does that look like in your life? Write some of that down. Begin to praise and thank Him for how good He is and what you will taste and see.
  • Read Hebrews 1:7,14 and John 1:51 – How much support will you receive from heaven this year?
  • Intercession: Ask Holy Spirit to open your eyes to see what Heaven is doing around you. Proclaim your ability to see with spiritual eyes the hand of God and the working of angels. Proclaim an open heaven over your life and our church. Ask for more angels to show up and accomplish God’s great plan in your life and our church. Declare the release of the sword of the Lord in our city. If these are like the days of Noah to God concerning our blessing, declare what that will look like.
  • The church: Are you praying for your leaders to see God? Are you believing God to show Himself strong for our church? Will you be a part of God’s plan to win His battles through our church?
Day 7 – Read Joshua 6:1-21
  • Focus: After Joshua came into alignment with the captain of the Lord’s host, he was ready to hear God’s plan for action and start receiving God’s inheritance. God’s first command to Joshua was to “see” what was already true in heaven. God did not say, I will give Jericho into your hand. Rather, He said, I have given. Big difference. What does God have in store for you and our church in 2014 that is already accomplished in heaven? It has already been given/done. Write that down. Can you see it yet? We must move from just hope to expectation of the finished work. We must see. What you see you can have. Then God told Joshua how to receive what was already given. God will show us specific things to do in this year that will open up our inheritance. He has His way of doing things. Sometimes His preciseness has to do with His holiness and perfection. Sometimes it has to do with how we will get the glory for what He does. Sometimes it has to do with protecting us from things we cannot see ahead. Sometimes it has to do with testing us in our obedience and trust of Him. Remember, “there is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of destruction” (Proverbs 14:12). To get God’s results His way, it also required total unity of the people. They had to be in agreement, submitted to God and their leaders, ready to move as one unit. If anyone had acted independently, it would have wrecked it for all. And there were no casualties. God knows how to do what only He can do and pull it off in way that shocks us and those around us. They had never seen walls fall down around a city. They had never experienced things move at the sound of their voices and their trumpets. They were in training by God for how heaven invades earth through His people. How much did this affect their expectation for future expansion after Jericho?  What Joshua saw that day was the fulfillment of his prophetic word 40 years earlier of what God would do to give the land to the Israelites (Numbers 14:6-9). But on the day he and Caleb took that stand with God and gave that word, they were not received, but mocked, and almost killed. What have you been saying in past years about the moment you are heading into now? Are you ready to receive what you have been expecting? It is never too late to start declaring the great things heaven has in store for you and our church. Write them down now in advance of their happening.
  • Read Isaiah 54:14-17 – There is a heritage for the servants of God – an inheritance. That has always been God’s plan for His people. And often when it comes to us, it is after so much attack, struggle, disappointment, failure, set-back, misunderstanding and even mocking from the enemy. So when God brings the breakthrough it will also feel like vindication, the evidence that you were right in what you were believing and acting on. It is God’s great joy to display your faith and obedience in Him to the world when He fulfills your dreams and gives you your inheritance. This is the year for your life to show the world that following Jesus is not only right but worth it. This is the year for fruit to be picked and enjoyed from the tree you have been cultivating and pruning. This is the year for Jacob to receive Rachel as his own with riches because of his faithful labor and be vindicated in uncle Laban’s eyes (Genesis 31:1-18). And God has said that He has protection for us even when people are upset at our receiving what they don’t have. God has the final say over weapons people choose to raise up against us. This is not a year for fear but victory. How important is it for you remind yourself of God’s promises and confirm in your own heart that you will not be disappointed? Have you looked into your Heavenly Father’s eyes to see that He is surely faithful to you and knows the plans He has for you? Have you seen that the plans are good? The proof of what you have seen and known is that you have hope and can speak of a glorious future. Write down what your hope is. Plan to speak to someone else about what is coming in your future from God.
  • Read Ephesians 4:11-16; Philippians 2:1-4; Joel 2:8-11 – Do you see God’s plan for unity among His people, living in honor and interdependence with each other? How much power does that release in you? Can our church move into its future any other way? What change might you need to make in your own heart to be in unity with other believers and with your church? Write down how your commitment to your church family will increase the likelihood of fulfilling your destiny. Write down what is preventing this from being more real in your life. Will you commit yourself to be part of God’s last-days army?
  • Intercession: Declare what you “see” as already true in heaven concerning 2014. Declare what God will do to help bring this about and protect you. Ask God to strengthen you in your faith and perseverance to receive what belongs to you. Proclaim God’s plan through our church to fulfill God’s plan for you. Declare how God will use you in the church to make her mighty.