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Week 1 Devotionals 

Use these devotionals to assist you in your morning, noon, and evening prayers.

These daily devotionals are available here, in your booklet and on our app.   

 

DAY 1  Return to Me  (Jan. 9)

MORNING PRAYERS 

 

"Even now", declares the Lord, "Return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning." Joel 2:12 (NIV)

 

If we look at the kind of fasting that took place in the Old Testament, it would be easy to assume that the reason we fast is to prove our repentance to God in order to obtain His mercy. Under the Old Covenant, such a fast of repentance is seen time and again. But now, because of the complete work of Jesus on the cross, things have changed.

 

Fasting is not something we do to obtain favor or forgiveness. Under the New Covenant, every wrong we have done and will do was forgiven at the cross, and when we accept Christ as our Savior, we get to celebrate the mercy freely given to us through our relationship with Him. Fasting is about drawing closer to God and surrendering at a deeper level.

 

As we walk with God, there are times that we feel far from Him or Dis-connected. Joel's words resonate with us, even if we live in a context of grace: "Return to me with all your heart." There are times we realize that though we have chosen to follow Jesus the flame of our love for Him has grown cold.

 

Your time spent in prayer each day of the fast can result in a new richness, a rewarding connection with the Father. No matter where you are on your journey with Jesus, you can always take a step closer toward Him.

PRAYER FOCUS:

As we begin this time of prayer and fasting, let’s turn our hearts toward God. Make a commitment to seek Him daily. Pray that your love for Christ will be increased and your passion for Him will be reignited over the next twenty-one days.

 

MID-DAY MEDITATION

  

Bible Reading Plan: Psalms 1-2   

I believe the power of fasting as it relates to prayer is the spiritual atomic bomb that our Lord has given us to destroy the strongholds of evil and usher in a great revival and spiritual harvest around the world. – BILL BRIGHT

 

EVENING DEVOTIONS

 

How close do you feel to God? Most of us sense that there's more to a relationship with God than what we currently are experiencing. I have observed that while the vast majority of believers start out with a lot of passion and zeal in their relationship with God, over time that enthusiasm subsides. On a day-to-day basis, their relationship with God eventually becomes passive. There are occasional bursts of excitement, but even that excitement is short-lived. Their walk with God seems to have a few highs, some lows...and a whole lot of mundane in-betweens.

 

Does it strike you, as it has me, that there is something terribly wrong with a passionless, passive, mundane, monotonous relationship with God? Aren't we vaguely unsettled with the idea that somehow a daily relationship with God... the God of the universe... can end up with the flavor of stale bread? The Bible is clear that our passion and spiritual fervor should be constant. (Romans 12:11) So why have so many Christians accepted a faith experience that is so far below what God intended for them?

 

A passionate, thriving relationship with God should be the norm, not the exception for every follower of Christ. Over the next 21 days your relationship with God can be awakened. Maintaining a fresh, exciting, passionate relationship with God is something we must literally fight to protect. Make no mistake about it -- we have a very real enemy who wants nothing more than for our souls to be lulled to sleep, all while we think everything is okay.

 

For the next 21 days, join us in the experience of fasting, prayer, and listening to the voice of God through His Word. Maybe at one time you were excited about God and were full of His life. But now, if you're honest, you know other things have grabbed your attention, and your heart has hardened to the joy and freshness you once felt. Or maybe you are far from God and struggling with addictive behaviors or other issues. (And, by the way, is there really anyone who doesn't have issues?) The good news is that the potential for a lasting, thriving relationship with God really is there. It just has to be awakened.

 

Take a moment to reflect and journal: What is your biggest obstacle to experiencing the zeal and passion described in Romans 12:11-12? Ask God to ignite or reignite a passion in your relationship with Jesus.

 

 

Excerpts taken from Awakening: A New Approach to Faith, Fasting, and Spiritual Freedom by Stovall Weems

DAY 2  Tune In  (Jan. 10)

MORNING PRAYERS 

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." John 10:27

 

Have you ever tried to tune in a radio station only to be frustrated by finding static rather than music? And when you fiddled with the dial again, suddenly you heard a clear signal. The fact is that clear signal always existed on the airwaves. The difference is that now you have adjusted your tuner to the right frequency.

In our hectic lives, there are so many signals bombarding our senses that it can become difficult to distinguish God’s voice from the deafening static noise of life. Fasting enables us to tune out the world’s distractions and tune in to God. As we fast, we deny our flesh. When we deny our flesh, we become more in tune to the Holy Spirit and can hear God’s voice more clearly. If you truly listen for God’s voice, you will hear it. And when you hear it, your faith will increase.

If you desire to tune out the static of life and really tune in to the voice of God, come to Him first and foremost with ears willing to listen and a heart ready to obey what He says (Psalm 34:18; Isaiah 66:2). The more we practice being in His presence, the clearer and more recognizable His voice becomes.

PRAYER FOCUS:

In this time of fasting, what is your mind tuned to? What distractions do you need to remove so that you can focus on God? Prepare your heart to hear the voice of God, and ask Him to help you remove distractions that keep you from focusing on Him and hearing His voice clearly.

 

MID-DAY MEDITATION

  

Bible Reading Plan: Luke 1 

 

Fasting is important, more important, perhaps, than many of us have supposed… When exercised with a pure heart and right motive, fasting may provide us with a key to unlock and doors where others may have failed; a window opening up new horizons in the unseen world; a spiritual weapon of God’s providing, “mighty to the pulling down of strongholds. – ARTHUR WALLIS

 

EVENING DEVOTIONS 

 

It is time to get a new outlook on fasting. When practiced the right way, fasting is something that everyone should enjoy. That's right... enjoy! Fasting is for every follower of Jesus. Too many people fast with a strict mind-set that focuses on abstaining. The fasting I am talking about is different. Of course it involves abstaining from food, but the mindset is completely different. It is possible to have minimum physical emptiness with maximum spiritual fullness.

 

Fasting is one of the most powerful spiritual weapons believers can use. Maybe you've never done it before. There is a serious misconception that fasting is for serious, super Christians or only for times of crisis. Some even think fasting is only an Old Testament thing. Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

Jesus said in Matthew 6:16, "When you fast." He did not say if you fast! There is a closeness to God that you simply will not experience from prayer or personal devotions alone. You must fast. You get a revelation of God's Word when you fast that you simply cannot get any other way. Disconnecting from the distractions of the world through fasting, and connecting into the power and presence of God through prayer, brings a supernatural freshness and newness to our souls.

 

What will you be fasting over the next 20 days? Your fast doesn't necessarily have to be food. You could fast from social media or anything that would help you be more intentional in your focus on God and His Word.

 

DAY 3  Fasting Removes Unbelief  (Jan. 11)

 

MORNING PRAYERS  

 

Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”  Matthew 17:18-21

 

When we pray and fast, we don’t do so to change God or His will; instead, by praying and fasting, we are the ones changed. Coming into alignment with God helps us curb our doubts and fears. When we pray and fast, the thing that leaves – the thing that goes out – is our unbelief. It is when we have faith to believe that we can pray with confidence and know that “nothing will be impossible.”

 

Ask God to strengthen your heart to fully believe Him and His Word.  It is okay to recognize and acknowledge if you struggle with unbelief. That’s the first step in allowing God to strengthen your faith and bring you into alignment with His plan for your life.

 

PRAYER FOCUS:

What do you need faith to believe for? Align yourself with God’s Word and will during this fast. Release your unbelief. Pray with confidence, knowing “nothing will be impossible” for you.   

 

FASTING TIP:

On the third day of your fast, you may experience a headache, flu-like achiness, intense sugar or carb cravings, slight nausea, or fatigue. This is a normal response to detoxification, so make sure you allow yourself some time to rest and keep your fluid intake high. The fourth day is usually much better physically, so hang in there!

 

MID-DAY MEDITATION

  

Bible Reading Plan: Luke 2

 

Beware in your prayers, above everything else, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do. Expect… “above all that we ask or think.”.

 

EVENING DEVOTIONS

 

Why do we fast? You can do it for the right reasons or the wrong reasons. I want to make it clear that under the New Covenant, fasting is not to get God to change His mind about something. Fasting is also not something we do to obtain favor or forgiveness. After you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, your past, present and future sins have already been forgiven! You don't need to fast to obtain favor or receive mercy, because through Jesus you live in a continual state of God's mercy. Instead, fasting is a way of celebrating the goodness of God and that because of Jesus, we have already received God's mercy, forgiveness and favor.

 

Under the Old Covenant, the entire mindset was to "do in order to become." But under the New Covenant, the operating principle is "you already are, therefore act like it" --- rejoice and celebrate that Christ has set you free.

 

You don't have to fast for mercy, instead, celebrate the mercy given to you as a free gift through your relationship with Christ. Under the New Covenant you don't fast to obtain the Lord's favor because you perpetually live in the favor of the Lord. Do you see the difference?

 

Fasting is not about mourning or sadness, but it is about celebrating the goodness of God. Make sure that as you fast you reflect and journal on the goodness, favor and forgiveness of God.

DAY 4  Agreement with the Will of God  (Jan. 12)

 MORNING PRAYERS 

 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?  Amos 3:3

 

In the heart of every believer is the desire to walk closely with God. We know that He, too, desires a close relationship with each one of us. A key to having a strong level of spiritual intimacy with God is living in agreement with His will for your life.

 

In Genesis 5:22, we read of Enoch and see that his life modeled a long journey, walking consistently with God, for it says, “Enoch walked with God three hundred years.” Enoch lived a powerful life. He was a man who walked in agreement with God’s will and lived a life pleasing to God (Hebrews 11:5).

 

It is one thing to know God’s will for our lives; it’s another to live in agreement with His will. In order to enjoy the best life that God has for us, we must first understand that God does not change, but we sometimes must. Let’s earnestly seek to know and agree with God’s will. The level of our agreement with God will determine the degree of closeness in our walk with Him.

PRAYER FOCUS:

Pray today that you can walk in agreement with God and enjoy the life He desires you to have in Christ. 

 

MID-DAY MEDITATION

  

Bible Reading Plan: Luke 3 

 

I believe firmly, that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness and ambition and self seeking, and everything that is contrary to God’s law, the Holy Ghost will come and fill every corner of our hearts; but if we are full of pride and conceit, and ambition and selfseeking, and pleasure and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God; and I believe many a man is praying to God to fill him when he is full already with something else. Before we pray that God would fill us, I believe we ought to pray Him to empty us.

– D. L. MOODY

 

EVENING DEVOTIONS

 

Do you think of yourself as a temple? The Bible says that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. We've got to get "the gunk" out of God's temple so we can hear his voice clearly and prepare ourselves for new things He wants to do in and through us. Even if you are going to church, reading your Bible, and worshiping there are times when you need to give your soul a good spring cleansing to make it fresh again.

 

As we live our lives, over time we can get all "gunked up." While our spirit is eternally made new through Christ, our soul, which is the intersection of our mind, will and emotions, can become weighed down, heavy, negative, and sluggish.

 

The constant demand on our mind, the distractions, and the noise can weigh us down and put us in a spiritual fog. Life has a way of stacking on the pressure and pain, which causes our emotions to get out of whack. As we get tired and weighed down, our conscience can become desensitized, not really bothered by things that once convicted us. God's voice is slowly muffled, and we begin to lose our passion for Him. The fire within dims, and we shift into autopilot, operating from a position of obligation or routine in our relationship with God, instead of one of affection and fervor.

 

Fasting hits the reset button of our soul. To receive the new things God wants to bring into our lives, we have to periodically hit the reset button. This is what I call experiencing a newness of soul. What a powerful gift we have been given through fasting.

 

Along with your fasting, make sure you slow your pace and remove distractions. Try to add some times of silence and solitude along with your fasting.  

DAY 5  When Grace Comes Down (Jan. 13)

MORNING PRAYERS 

 

For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a personal visit with God? What would He say about the state of humanity? About religion? About our propensity toward sin?

 

There is no need to wonder about what God is like or would say, because to know Him, we have only to look at Jesus. In Jesus we have received grace, but there is even something more we have received: truth.

 

The kind of truth in today’s scripture is not a list of laws and rules such as were given to Moses. Make no mistake –the revelation of God through the word of the Law was glorious. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai after receiving the Ten Commandments, his face shone so brightly with the glory of God that he had to wear a veil (Exodus 34:33-35). But the word of the Law cannot compare with the word of life that has been revealed through Jesus Christ!

 

In John 1:18 we learn that no one, not even Moses, with his glimpse of God’s back, has ever seen God. But Jesus has not only seen God – He is God. The truth that John was speaking about is a clear and unveiled vision of the true nature of God.

 

Looking at God through the lens of legalism and religion is like looking at Him through a veil. Only when we see Him through Jesus Christ can we truly get a glimpse into His heart. It is from a state of grace, not legalism, that we will find real and lasting transformation (2 Corinthians 3:7-18).

PRAYER FOCUS:

Have you been looking at God through the veil of legalism and religion? In Jesus, we see the full revelation of the nature of God: His love and holiness, mercy and justice, compassion and power all perfectly and beautifully expressed. Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you see God through the eyes of grace and truth given to us in Jesus Christ. 

 

MID-DAY MEDITATION

  

Bible Reading Plan: Luke 4

 

I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.

JOHN NEWTON

 

EVENING DEVOTIONS

 

One of the reasons I think prayer and fasting are so powerful when combined is that together they activate a chain reaction where we see God's kingdom manifest on earth. This sequence is what I call agreement...alignment...assignment. When we come into agreement with God, we are aligned with God's perfect will on earth as it already is in heaven. When we are aligned with heaven, we find that God can use us in ways we never thought possible; then we begin to walk in our assignment - the purpose that God created us to fulfill.

 

God has given you a specific and unique assignment. You are a master piece designed by God to make a difference in this world. There is a very specific purpose for which you were created. God is the only One who can truly inform you of that purpose, and in order to fulfill it, you will need His power.

 

Here's the deal: when it comes to pursuing our God-given assignment, if you and I are not in tune with God's voice, we will only hear the voice of the crowd and get weighed down by the pressures of life. Like a radio station we can't quite hear clearly, all the voices will cause static and make it difficult for us to tune into the Voice we need to hear.

 

As you fast, let your hunger help you focus on God. Every time you experience a pang of hunger, ask God to increase your hunger for Him in the same way that you hunger for food.

DAY 6  The Spirit is Willing  (Jan. 14)

 

MORNING PRAYERS 

 

And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. Romans 7:18-20 (NLT)

 

 

There’s an internal war that rages within each of us. Paul described this so well in Romans 7. Though we desire to do the right thing, we don’t have the power to do so in our own efforts and we mess up.

 

The good news it that we don’t have to rely on our own strength to make right decisions. We don’t have to be dominated by our sinful nature and end up doing the things we don’t want to do. But the only way we can live this kind of life is by yielding to the Holy Spirit and relying on the strength of Jesus Christ, not our own.

 

When we’re facing struggles, we must rely on God’s power alive within us through the Holy Spirit. When we are born again, the Holy Spirit resides in us and places in us the desire to do what is pleasing to God (Hebrews 10:16). The Holy Spirit always wants to do what is right and to uphold the perfect will of God, pleasing the Father in every way.

 

It is our job to lay down our stubborn fleshly will and yield to the will of God. In that moment, the Holy Spirit will be there to help us. Let’s learn to yield to and become totally reliant upon the Holy Spirit.

PRAYER FOCUS:

Are there areas in your life causing an internal struggle? Make a decision today to yield to the Holy Spirit and lean on His strength, not your own, to overcome obstacles of sin and selfishness in your life. Surrender and release those areas to God, knowing He will help you.

 

MID-DAY MEDITATION 

 

Bible Reading Plan: Proverbs 1

{Prayer} turns ordinary mortals into men of power. It brings power. It brings fire. It brings rain. It brings life. It brings God. 

SAMUEL CHADWICK

 

EVENING DEVOTIONS

 

The hardest decisions to make are usually not between what is good and bad. Usually the most difficult decisions are between what is good, better and best. It is so important to be able to clearly hear the voice of God when facing important decisions. Jesus regularly disconnected from the world to hear the voice of God. This awakening season is all about disconnecting from the world so that we can hear the voice of God.

 

All sorts of things will try to crowd God out of your life. Jesus faced pressure from the crowds, and he had to choose between doing good and doing God's will. The crowds constantly tugged on Jesus to heal them or to do another miracle. What might have happened if Jesus had listened to the voice of the crowds? He would have settled for a very good cause, healing, but missed his primary purpose to preach the kingdom of God to lost humanity. Jesus knew that with so much need everywhere, He had to hear the voice of His Father, or He would have mistakenly chosen what's good instead of what's God. That is exactly what will happen in our lives if we're not tuned in to God and hearing His voice over the voice of the crowd.

 

The voice of the crowd cannot answer the question, "Why are you here?" When you hear the voice of God, you begin to understand His purpose for you and what you are all about. It is then that you can prioritize your life around that purpose; this is a freeing place to be, and it uncomplicates your life. Once you begin to realize God's purpose for your life, you start to understand something foundational about yourself; you're not here on earth simply to exist but - guess what? - you were sent. Your whole life will change when you understand that you were sent here by God.

 

I don't know your specific assignment in regards to your career, relationships, or other matters. I do know that we are all called to be witnesses for Jesus. I want to challenge you to look at the normal activities of your everyday life and see them as opportunities to be a witness for Jesus. During your fast, look for ways to serve and encourage others at work, at home, in your neighborhood or at church.

DAY 7  Fervent Prayer  (Jan. 15)

 

MORNING PRAYERS 

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16

 

Fervency speaks to our level of intensity, passion, and persistence. Many times, we can lose our passion in prayer or stop praying for certain things altogether because we lose heart or give up. But God invites us to keep them before Him and trust Him for an answer in His time (Matthew 7:7-11).

 

The Old Testment prophet Elijah practiced a lifestyle of fervent, intense prayer and witnessed incredible miracles in his lifetime. In the book of Kings, the story is told of a woman whose only son became ill and died (1Kings 17:17-24). When Elijah heard the news, he quickly took action and did what he knew best – he fervently cried out to God. Elijah fully believed that God could bring the boy back to life, and he prayed not just once but three times that the boy’s soul would return to him. He prayed fervently and repeatedly and he wasn’t going to give up. This was the result: “Then the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived.” (verse 22)

 

Elijah’s prayer was answered through his persistence and fervency. God hears your prayers as well and will bring an answer in His perfect timing. But don’t be discouraged or disheartened if the answer takes time to arrive or is not exactly what you expected. Commit to praying to God with passion and persistence, trusting the answer will come in God’s perfect way at the perfect time.

 

PRAYER FOCUS:

As you close out this first week, continue to pray fervently for the main areas of concern in your life. Trust God to bring an answer as you journal your thoughts and inspirations through this time.

MID-DAY MEDITATION

  

Bible Reading Plan: Psalms 3-5

 

We must never forget that the highest kind of prayer is never the making of requests. Prayer at its holiest moment is the entering into God to a place of such blessed union as makes miracles seem tame and remarkable answers to prayer appear something very far short of wonderful by comparison.– A. W. TOZER

EVENING DEVOTIONS

 

 I love an ice-cold coke. Pop the top, and it has lots of fizz! Have you ever drank a canned coke after the top has been off for a while, and it has gone flat? There is no fizz! Yuck! Just Gross. We expect the fizz when we open up a carbonated drink, don't we? We expect the fizz every time!

 

Passionate Christianity should be the norm for every believer - not the exception! We would never settle for a flat coke that has lost its fizz. Likewise, we should never settle for a stale, mundane, dull boring relationship with God. Are you vaguely unsettled with the idea that somehow a daily relationship with God ...the God of the universe... can end up flat?

 

Begin again today with a John 10:10 passionate, expectation of abundance! Don't settle! Guarding the fire of devotion in your heart is the most foundational discipline of your life. Refuse to accept a faith experience that is so far below what God intended for you.

 

As you complete the first week of your 21 day fast, make sure you are writing down the things that God is speaking to you. Continue to pray fervently for the main concerns in your life. Trust God to bring an answer as you journal your thoughts and inspirations through this time.