Week 3 Devotionals
Use these devotionals to assist you in your daily prayers.
These daily devotionals are available here and on our app.
DAY 15 The Spoken Word (Jan. 25)
When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”
JOHN 11:43, NIV
The story of Lazarus’s death and resurrection reflects the power of Jesus’ spoken word. Jesus was so in tune with the will of His Father that He already knew in His heart the miracle that was about to take place, but His words spoke the miracle into existence.
While prayer is our declaration of our dependence on God, our spoken words can be the manifestation of what’s happening in our hearts. There is power in our spoken words, whether they are used to build up or tear down. It is important to keep our hearts filled with the truth from God’s word so that our words will produce good fruit.
As you seek God in prayer, ask Him for discernment to know a need and the words to help someone today. Pray that your words would be encouraging, edifying, and aligned with the truth of God’s Word. Building others up around us with our words allows us to be God’s instrument to accomplish His good work.
As God continues to fill you through this season of prayer and fasting, He wants to take what is now in your heart and share it with others. How can you use the power of your spoken words to speak God’s truth in the lives of others?
The key to praying with power is to become the kind of persons who do not use God for our ends but are utterly devoted to being used for his ends.
– JOHN PIPER
When God wanted to fill believers with the Holy Spirit, the most amazing filling of all, He didn't ask them to think it all through and figure out how that was going to happen. He also didn't force it upon them. He revealed what was in store for them and asked them to be ready, but then He asked them to create a space where it could happen.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:3-4, 6, 17-18 how we can create space. In these verses He doesn't say, "if". He says "when" you do these things. He assumed that, as His children, we would want to create spaces in our lives for Him to fill with His rewards. When you give, pray, or fast, you are creating space for God to do amazing things in your life.
Make a choice to finish this last week strong, and ask God to help you keep your momentum (or even strengthen it) as your year goes on.
DAY 16 Taking off the Grave Clothes (Jan. 26)
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
JOHN 11:44, NIV
When it comes to the transforming power of God working in someone’s life, God often uses people to bring about divine life change. The story of Lazarus in John 11 illustrates how it was the power of Jesus’ prayer and spoken word that resurrected Lazarus from the dead, but the disciples played a role in this miracle too.
Lazarus was bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face had been wrapped with a cloth during his time in the tomb. When he arose from his death and came out of the tomb, Jesus called on the disciples to help in the transformation process. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” The disciples needed to help Lazarus. Likewise, we all have a part to play in the lives of those around us.
God has done some incredible things around us during these 21 days. Could it be that someone around you is still walking around in grave clothes? What do you need to help him or her let go of?
Who in your world is still walking around in grave clothes? Think about friends and family or those you know who may not know God. What part has God called you to play in the life change He wants to bring them?
Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still.
E. M. BOUNDS
True prayer is measured by weight - not by length. A single groan before God may have more fullness of prayer in it than a fine oration of great length.
CHARLES H. SPURGEON
Sometimes it is easy to getI distracted. It is so easy to get distracted by all the things going on in our lives. We can get wrapped up in all of the things that we have to do that we constantly find ourselves living in the fast lane of life. It may be okay to be in the fast lane, as long as you are making regular rest stops to get alone with God. Even Jesus had to create space for His Father to fill.
Both Moses and John the Baptist created space for the Father to fill. They were in the desert when they heard God's voice. It's not necessary to get a machete and hack your way out in the wilderness or travel to some desert somewhere, but whether it's in your car, your bedroom or whatever, get alone with God so you can hear the voice of your heavenly Father.
Hearing from God doesn't need to take a long time, but neither can it be rushed. You don't have to pray and cry out to God for two hours a day every single day of the week to hear His voice. Reading your Bible doesn't mean it has to be four chapters a day. We make this more complicated than it has to be. What you do need is a time that is set aside, a time for nothing but you and God, and you need to guard that time. Pick a place that works for you where you can really get alone with God and detach from the usual distractions. Come prepared to hear from Him, having things like your Bible, a pen, a highlighter, and a journal readily available. Have worship music within reach too. Keep your time with God fresh and new but also simple and sustainable. Find out what works for you and create space for God.
DAY 17 Humility (Jan. 27)
And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him."
What a great example of humility: this man approached Jesus and knelt before Him in the midst of a crowd. As the father approached, he believed that Jesus would bring his son relief. But even in his belief, his approach was humble and submitted to what Christ would choose to do.
Looking further into the story, we find the father was also persistent and resisted taking offense. Though the disciples were not able to help him, he set aside his temporary disappointment in their failure and continued to seek after Jesus - the solution to his circumstance, the source of relief through his trial.
Being humble before God is realizing our need of Him, submitting to His will, pursuing Him, and being confident the outcome will occur in God's perfect timing.
Be encouraged that approaching God with a heart of humility will always position you to find relief in Jesus. Don’t be ashamed to humble yourself before God, even in the presence of others. Though offenses and disappointments may come, continue in your pursuit of Jesus. You may not get relief right away, but know this: God is never late and His solution is always perfect!
Prayer is a posture of humility. Humble yourself before the Lord each day and bring your cares to Him. He wants to meet you where you are and answer your every need. Pray, too, that God will help you with the disappointment and discouragement that we all face along the way. Is there discouragement in your heart today? Write it down and release it to our perfect God.
The higher a man is in grace, the lower he will be in his own esteem.
– CHARLES H. SPURGEON
Making prayer a priority is important. Make sure you don't turn it into work. If your motive is to seek God, to enjoy God, to pursue God, then pray away. Don't let prayer turn into legalism. Legalism is when you think you have to pray each day without fail at the same time, for a certain amount of time, and according to a certain format. And if you don't look out - God will be unhappy with you. Remember the primary purpose of prayer is relationship building as you draw near to God as you talk and listen to Him.
Prayer can easily become about our performance rather than about knowing God. When that happens, prayer turns into a legalistic obligation, and the joy goes right out of it. Such a performance mentality sets you up for an inconsistent prayer life, because every time you fail to meet your standards, you will fall under condemnation, and instead of looking forward to your next prayer time, it will seem like a joyless burden. Instead of coming to the throne of God boldly and confidently, you will begin apologizing for missing your prayer time for a day or two or for cutting it short by a few minutes. It is important to keep our prayer times fresh. It is time to have an awakening in our prayer life.
Try changing up your prayer routine today. Listen to a worship song. Pray through a Psalm like Psalm 62 or 63. Take a prayer walk.
DAY 18 Pray Instead (Jan. 28)
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7, MSG
Worry seems inescapable in modern life. No doubt there is plenty to worry about: our kids, the economy, global warming, war, disease. Sometimes it might seem that worry has even replaced Jesus as the focal point of our lives. Jesus Himself admonished us several times not to worry. And the apostle Paul told us that there is an antidote to worry…prayer.
When we worry about something, we are spending energy on it, wondering what might happen, rehearsing the “if onlys” and “what ifs” in our mind. Why not take that same energy and refocus it on prayer instead? When we worry, we are simply talking to ourselves about our fears, but when we pray we are taking those fears to God. We can’t control the future, but as Anne Graham Lotz said throughout her book Fear Not Tomorrow, God Is Already There, our timeless God owns the future. He knows exactly what is going to happen, and He promises to be with us every step of the journey.
As we are nearing a close to this season of prayer and fasting, let’s heed Paul’s words to “let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers.” Then the peace of God will guard your heart.
What consistently causes you to worry? Today, recapture each worried thought and send it to God as a prayer. See how dramatically your outlook improves when the peace of God is activated through prayer!
Growing an unshakable trust in God as you face your tomorrows is not about self-improvement or mastering your circumstances, but about God – who He is, what He does, and how we can trust Him.
– ANN GRAHAM LOTZ
Jesus told his disciples to pray in HIS name. Do you understand what that means? Jesus has given us His name to use! Just imagine if some billionaire gave you his credit cards and authorized you to use his bank account. You could use his name and his resources to get whatever you needed. Wow, that would be a blast! But here is the catch. You knew there had to be a catch right? Everything you did with his money needed to be in line with his tastes and values. To pray in Jesus' name means to pray in alignment with His values.
God has given us total access to His incredible power and unlimited resources. When we pray in the name of Jesus, it has the same power as if Jesus were praying Himself. The difference between us and Jesus is that Jesus is always in complete alignment with His Father. That is why periodic seasons of prayer and fasting are so important. Fasting is the most effective way to really get in alignment with God. Thus the first step to praying prayers that avail much is praying in alignment with God's will.
We can come to the throne in such outrageous boldness because Jesus was outrageously righteous! When we pray, we can come to God in the authority of Jesus' name, and we can be confident that we will find grace, mercy and perfectly timed help. Be bold in your prayers today!
It is important to remember, "Fasting is not an end in itself; it is a means by which we can worship the Lord and submit ourselves in humility to Him... (Fasting) invites God into the problem. Then in the strength of God, victory is possible. - Elmer Towns
DAY 19 Walking in the Power of the Holy Spirit (Jan. 29)
Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region.
After praying and fasting for forty days, Jesus returned to Galilee empowered to do all the Father had called Him to do. Jesus was so powerful in public because He was so prayerful in private.
To accomplish the assignments God has for our lives, we also need the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us. God does not expect us to go through the challenges of life without this power.
Prayer and fasting brings us to the place where we can power up. Walking in the power of the Holy Spirit is living with a comprehension of the God-given strength and authority in our lives to walk out His will.
Through prayer and fasting, God can prepare us for what lies ahead. We might not know what obstacles we’re going to face, but we can know that God will be faithful to us. He will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5) and He will empower us to meet whatever challenges life may bring.
Today as you worship God in prayer, let Him know that you refuse to go into the future without His power and that you want all the spiritual resources He has for you.
Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.
– D. L. MOODY
Meditate on this question, "Do you know what God's Word says about your situation?" Effective prayer is based on the Word of God.
Effective prayer is not based on our authority, but on the authority of God's Word! We need to know the Word well enough to pray Word-based prayers. Prayer is not so much about getting what we want but aligning ourselves with what God wants. Matthew 6:33 clearly tells us what He wants. He wants us to seek Him first! Are you pleading for financial breakthrough? Then you need to be aligned with what God says about resources. Are you tithing? We have a part to play in the effectiveness of our prayers, and it has to do with alignment with God's Word.
Can you see how prayer is actually less about getting from God as it is about aligning ourselves with what God already wants to do. Many times, though, we can get so focused on our own comfort or our own preferences that we don't even take the time to examine ourselves to see what God's Word has to say about our situation. We have to align our prayers with the Word, and we may also need to align some aspects of our lives with His Word.
Prayer and fasting is the preparation we go through to create the container that is ready for the new thing God wants to do in and through us. God's new wine always changes us by expanding our faith, enlarging our purpose and bringing renewed vision. Pray that the Lord will expand your life to glorify Him, giving you boldness to step out and be used by Him.
DAY 20 A New Wineskin (Jan. 30)
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the new wine would burst the wineskins, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine must be stored in new wineskins.
Two things that do not mix are new wine and old wineskins. The reason is simple: old wineskins cannot grow and stretch to hold the new wine.
The new wine God wants to fill you with is a picture of God’s Spirit, and this wine is expansive. A container that is dead, dry, stiff, and shrinking cannot be trusted as a storehouse for God’s valued treasure. Our vessels must be prepared for the fresh, dynamic, living presence of God, because everything we do will flow from that.
This preparation comes through prayer and fasting, during which we produce a container that is ready for the new thing God wants to do. God’s new wine always changes us by expanding our faith, enlarging our purpose, and bringing renewed vision.
God is not into old wineskins; it is up to us to shed them. As we seek Him in this season, let’s shed the old wineskin and ask God to fully prepare our hearts for what’s to come.
What has caused you to shrink back in your expectation of what God wants to do in your life? Are you ready to be expanded beyond recognition? That’s what God’s new wine will do in and through you. Pray that the Lord will expand your life to glorify Him, giving you boldness to step out and be used by Him.
God became man to turn creatures into sons; not simply to produce better men of the old kind but to produce a new kind of man.
– C. S. LEWIS
We all want our prayers answered. The number one reason why our prayers are not answered is, "We are not focused on the glory of God!" Think about the prayers in your life. Do you want to be happy in your marriage, or do you want God to be glorified in your marriage? Do you merely want your kids to be nice and not get in trouble or do you want God to be glorified in their lives? Do you simply want to get out of your financial mess and feel some relief, or do you want God to be glorified in your finances.
Our motivation for prayer should not just be centered on ourselves so we can have what we need. God thrives when He can prove Himself. He wants to be glorified in and through us, and He wants to be glorified in the earth. God will share that glory with no one. He deserves nothing less than all the glory, all the honor, and all the praise. Glorifying God has to be the motive of our prayers, not just our relief.
Fasting empowers us. God does not expect us to go through the challenges of life without His power. Prayer and fasting brings us to the place where we can power up. As you worship Him, plan to go into the future with His power and be intentional about using all of the resources that He has for you
DAY 21 What's Your Assignment? (Jan. 31)
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry… Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised Him. Luke 4:1-2, 14-15, NIV
Fasting and prayer are essential to receiving a clear vision of God's specific path for our lives. Many times after a season of prayer and fasting we have a more defined understanding of the part we play in the body of Christ, as well as a greater sense of our particular spirit giftings (1 Corinthians 12).
We learn a lot from observing the circumstances surrounding the beginning of Jesus' public ministry (Luke 4). Notice that He went into the desert "full of the Holy Spirit." However, He returned to Galilee "in the power of the Holy Spirit." Being full of the Spirit is to know God and His character; walking in the power of the Spirit is when we know that we have the God-given strength and authority in our lives to walk out His will.
The power of the Spirit is essential for us to accomplish the assignment God has for us. God could be leading you to fast so that you can receive His specific instructions for your life. He will equip you not just to know Him but to walk in His power to accomplish what He has called you to do.
Are there areas of your life that need more clarity? Are you walking in the power of the Spirit and living in God's purpose for your life? Write down those things God is speaking to you. As you conclude these 21 days, pray that God continually reveals His purpose and gives you ever-increasing clarity and strength to walk it out.
A man can no more take in a supply of grace for the future than he can eat enough today to last him for the next six months, or take sufficient air into his lungs at once to sustain life for a week to come. We must draw upon God's boundless stores of grace from day to day, as we need it.
D. L. MOODY
We are at the end of your 21 days of prayer and fasting. How are you feeling? Are you feeling closer, more connected to God? Has there been an awakening in your spiritual life?
Do you feel like obeying God? Let me put it to you this way, "If you don't feel like obeying God, then something is wrong with your feelings. So much of our Christian teaching focuses on obeying God regardless of how you feel, but the Bible is clear that for the majority of the time we should feel like obeying God. This is where awakening comes in. This is where prayer and fasting comes in. When you have an awakening with God, you begin to have a desire to obey Him and walk the path of righteousness.
Are you fueled and aflame as a result of the last 21 days? It is so important for your obedience to flow from "want to" and not "have to." Though we are not led by our feelings, they are important. We are created in the image of God, and God created us with emotions and feelings. God wants your heart, your passion and your love to increase and overflow in obedience. Remember passionate Christianity is the norm, not the exception.
The principles you have practiced in these twenty-one days are very easy to sustain long term. Prayer, fasting and personal devotion are all quite simple to incorporate into your everyday life. Over these last twenty-one days, you've created space for God to fill. The best way to continue in these same practices is to keep that space open indefinitely. Don't allow it to fill up with other things! Protect that time and space with God and make it your priority each day. You can live your best life now, if you are living your best life spiritually!