September 10th-17th, 2017
Jesus asks us in Matthew 11:28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Message Translation)
This week of Prayer and Fasting is an opportunity to “learn the unforced rhythms of grace” and “to live freely and lightly” with Jesus. We intentionally pick one of the busiest times of the year to have a week of Prayer and Fasting. For it is in those busy stressful times, that we most need to pause and spend time receiving from God. This week is all about putting first things first. Making sure we are aware of how much God loves us and then because of his love for us, putting our new FCC Vision Statement “To Love God, Love Others and Make Disciples” into practice in our lives. It’s a chance to press the reset button and make sure we are starting this new year with the right focus.
This week is also an opportunity to practice the spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting and meditation on scripture. These spiritual disciplines simply put us in a place to receive from God. Richard Foster says in Celebration of Discipline “By themselves the spiritual disciplines can do nothing: they can only get us to a place where something can be done…God has ordained the disciplines as the means by which He can bless us.” Adele Calhoun in her book the Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, defines spiritual disciplines as “The intentional practices, relationships and experiences that give people space in their lives to keep company with Jesus”.
Different members of FCC, from both campuses, men and women have written one day’s material each. The first two days focus on God’s love for us and then we spend two days on each part of our Vision Statement. After each reflection, there is a section for you to reflect on the scripture yourself, designed to introduce you to different ways of engaging with scripture over the course of the week. At the end of each day’s meditation, we have included a couple of worship songs that relate to that day’s theme.
We are also inviting you to fast this week. Fasting is not easy but it can be a very powerful tool that helps us draw closer to God. See the Prayer Week booklet for suggestions on why and how to fast and a variety of different options.
Click here to view the Prayer booklet.
How to use this daily blog
- Pray first, ask and expect God to speak to you through his Word.
- Read the scripture passage for the day and then read what the blog writer has written.
- Use the “Engaging with Scripture” section to help you connect with God’s Word for yourself. Each day will introduce you to one of 4 different ways of engaging with scripture.
- Try writing down your thoughts and prayers in a journal. It can help you stay focused and remember what you have thought about.
- Share your responses and reactions with others via the Comments part of the blog.
Unless otherwise stated, all Bible references are from the NIV.
John 4:4-26 and 39-42 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was […]
Luke 10:1-9 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his […]
Luke 10:25-27 On one occasion, an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all […]
Romans 13:8-10 &14 8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up […]
Luke 7:36-50 36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. 37 When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. 38 Then she knelt behind him […]
Psalm 145 I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever. 2 I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever. 3 Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness. 4 Let each generation tell […]
Hosea 2:14-15 (NLT) But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. 15 I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble[a] into a gateway of hope. She will give herself to me there, […]
1 John 3:1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! John 15:13-15 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. […]