Day 8 | Monday - 01•16•23
Matthew 7:7-8 Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks the door will be opened. NLT
A few weeks ago, I was out volunteering, and my task that day was delivering holiday gifts to people’s homes. The gifts were being delivered to individuals that I did not know personally but was connected to through this organization. It’s a little awkward to just walk up to someone’s home that you don’t know. So I would somewhat slowly walk up, knock a couple of times and- If I didn’t get a fast enough response — leave the gift and walk off. More than once, just as I stepped off their front porch, the homeowner would open their door… I’d stopped waiting, stopped knocking, just too soon. In today’s passage, Jesus tells us to be persistent in our seeking of God. KEEP GOING. Maybe today, at the start of week 2, you’re feeling like quitting. Keep going! Maybe you want to stop praying prayers that you feel like you’ve brought before God countless times. Keep going! Today, I want your faith to be strengthened and to press in even more during this second week. Keep seeking, keep knocking, keep asking, keep waiting… don’t stop just before the door opens.
Day 9 | Tuesday - 01•17•23
Jeremiah 33:3 Ask Me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know NKJV
Have you ever pretended you knew something that you did not actually know? Come on, we’ve all done it at least a time or two. Just smiled and nodded, given the subtle “mmhmm”. And the whole time, the ribbon in your mind is screaming, “what on earth does that mean?!” My husband recently received a compliment, except the person used a slang term that he had never heard before. Instead of just staying confused and saying “thanks.” (Like most of us would do.) He asked. He asked what it meant. And in return, he learned. God knows ALL THINGS. To break that down, more things than you know. So the big questions about “who am I?”, “Where am I going?”, “Why am I here?” Take them to God in prayer. Ask, listen and learn straight from Heaven.
Day 10 | Wednesday - 01•18•23
Philippians 1:6 I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will (continue to) perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus (the time of His return) AMP
Today’s verse is for anyone who feels like they have unfinished business in their life. For anyone who feels like there are some messes that still need to be cleaned up. There is good news, everything that God has started in your life will see its fulfillment. I am notorious for taking far too long on projects. I had a small home renovation project last year that took me most of the second half of the year to complete. I really drug on! If you feel like there are areas of your life that are dragging on, left in shambles, and unfinished, don’t lose heart; God is a finisher! Before you leave this time today, take a moment and write out every unfinished area of your life. Present them to God in prayer, ask for guidance, and confess your hope and confidence in Him.
Day 11 | Thursday - 01•19•23
1 Peter 2:9–10 But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. MSG
Have you ever thought about that thought that you are chosen by God? It’s hard for me to think about choosing without the imagery of a junior high gym class and choosing a dodgeball team. The great relief it is to be chosen — picked, wanted, welcomed! God chose YOU. He called us and chose us from out of our pasts and into a beautiful partnership with Him. This scripture tells us that God has called us for a great purpose. In a cultural context, the idea of being called to “priestly work” would have been among the highest honors. The writer is saying that God has called each of us to minister to Him in worship, sacrifice, and declaring Jesus. What a huge honor. And God, for that special purpose, God CHOSE you. Intentionally picked you. Looked at you and said, “I choose _______ (fill in your name).” Sit today with that thought. You are not God’s leftovers, He chose you.
Day 12 | Friday - 01•20•23
Psalms 16:11 You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore AMP
Feelings of heaviness can be overwhelming, soul-crushing, leaving us in deep despair. It shouldn’t be surprising that in a time when we hear of every major disaster and act of violence (a thing, by the way, that I don’t think our souls were designed to manage) that, we see spiking rates of anxiety, depression, and self-harm. When we take time to intentionally seek God, none of those things disappear or become any less tragic, but they become quiet. The troubles and worries of this world are quieted in the grandeur, power, and awe of His presence. During this time of prayer and fasting, I want us to lean into the goodness and joy of life with Jesus. It is in the place of prayer that we find purpose and passions revealed. May your heaviness be lifted, and may you experience life and that more abundantly!
Day 13 | Saturday - 01•21•23
Romans 8:28 And we know (with great confidence) that God (who is deeply concerned about us) causes all things to work together (as a plan) for good for those who Love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. AMP
You know what is a blast to watch? Those competitive cooking shows. People taking ingredients and battle it out for the best dish. My absolute favorite are not when they get to pick their ingredients, but when they are given a basket filled with mystery ingredients. No doubt, there will be one or two curveball items in that basket; and, to my amazement, every time they turn it into something decadent. God is the ultimate master chef. He can take all of the ingredients of our life — even those curve ball, don’t tell anyone, moments — and work them together into something amazing for His people. As we continue in our 21 days of prayer and fasting, today, I am thinking about the person who believes they have “ruined” their purpose by past mistakes or missed moments. Untrue. In today's scripture Paul assures us that as we draw near to God, that He will take all of the amazing, celebrated, joyous and painful, tragic, regretful moments of our life and work them together for a good purpose. So, whatever makes you feel disqualified, unworthy or too late, take a moment today and offer it all before God. He is doing something incredible in you.
Day 14 | Sunday - 01•22•23
Jeremiah 29:11-12 For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. NLT
There is a solid chance that you have heard this scripture, whether you have been a Jesus follower for 2 days or 20 years. Honestly, there is a good chance you’ve heard it even if faith is not a part of your life. It has to be among the most quoted verses in scripture. Today's encouragement, don’t skim past it because you have already heard it 100 times. Maybe, it has been repeated again and again because it’s just that powerful. I want to start with that final line, often left off, when we pray GOD LISTENS! That is a really big deal. Listening, being present, is one of the greatest gifts we can give someone else. Sometimes prayer can feel like talking to an empty room, but it’s not — you are communicating with the Creator of Heaven and Earth and God is listening. And if you are searching for purpose, listen in return, because He already has plans laid out for you and they are SO GOOD!