Hope@Home – April 2, 2020

AnnaUncategorized7 Comments

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL: SUSAN

Brought to you by Susan Leonard, who along with her husband Mike leads our Celebrate Recovery ministry. She shares from Proverbs 29:18 in this devotional- be sure to check it out!

UNITED PRAYER: Spiritual Renewal

Let’s pray as a Hope Chapel family for spiritual renewal amongst believers in this time! Spiritual renewal is something that we need to focus on a daily basis. Spiritual renewal can be defined as a divinely-initiated work in which God restores spiritual vitality to His people as they pray, repent of their sin, and return to a holy, spirit-filled, and obedient love relationship with God.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly, we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18  

FAMILY RESOURCE: Practice Thankfulness Today

Let’s practice thankfulness together as a family or within your group of friends! Here’s a craft to try together:

  1. Each family member or friend creates a thankfulness journal with this easy, step by step YouTube tutorial. 

  2. The first person to write down 100 reasons to be thankful gets a prize.

  3. Take the next couple days and have each family member or friend write down everything they did that day in their journal. Read over them as a family or group and talk about how even though sometimes it’s hard to see in the moment, there are little things that each person does every day that are blessings!

HOW-TO: Fast and Pray

Church family, in a time like this, we believe that we are called to fast, pray and seek the Lord together! Starting tomorrow, we are asking you to fast and pray on Fridays. Here’s a little background on the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of fasting:

Fasting is a spiritual discipline that is taught in the Bible. Jesus expected his followers to fast, and he said that God rewards fasting. Fasting, according to the Bible, means to voluntarily reduce or eliminate your intake of food for a specific time and purpose. 

“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Matthew 6:16-18

Fasting helps remind us to hunger for God more than anything else.

How to fast: If this is your first time fasting, consult a doctor and listen to your own personal needs. A great place to start is by fasting for a meal, or part of a day. Instead of sitting down for a meal, use that time to read a passage of scripture, pray, and seek guidance from the Lord. Journaling is a great way to gather your thoughts and stay prayerful in this time. Once you’re comfortable skipping a meal or two, try fasting for a day. Some people try a liquid-only fast in order to get enough nutrition for active jobs or lifestyles. In any case, go at your own speed and start just by taking one step.

WHY FAST?

There are many good reasons, and even health benefits, for fasting. Here are three of our reasons: 

1. Fasting gives you more time for prayer. You can use the time you’d typically spend eating as time in prayer for what God wants to do among us during this time. In the Bible, fasting is always connected with prayer. 
“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me, Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them and sent them off.”
Acts 13:2-3

2. Fasting demonstrates the depth of your desire when praying for something. It shows you that you are serious enough about your prayer request to pay a personal price. God honors a deep desire and praying in faith. 
“Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.”
Joel 1:14 
“Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.”
Joel 2:12

3. Fasting releases God’s supernatural power. It is a tool we can use when there is opposition to God’s will. Satan would like nothing better than to cause division, discouragement, defeat, depression, and doubt among us during a time like this. United prayer and fasting has always been used by God to deal a decisive blow to the enemy! 
“So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.”
Ezra 8:23
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?”
Isaiah 58:6 

THE IMPORTANCE OF FASTING

Often in the Bible, God’s people fasted immediately before a major victory, miracle, or answer to prayer. It prepared them for a blessing!  

Moses fasted before he received the Ten Commandments. 
“So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.”
Exodus 34:28 

The Israelites fasted before a miraculous victory. 
“Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar” (that is, Engedi). Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.”
2 Chronicles 20:2-3 

Daniel fasted to receive guidance from God. 
“Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.”
Daniel 9:3 

“While I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding.” 
Daniel 9:21-22  

Nehemiah fasted before beginning a major building project. 
“When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days, I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.” 
Nehemiah 1:4 

Jesus fasted during His victory over temptation.
“For forty wilderness days and nights, he was tested by the Devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when the time was up, he was hungry.” 
Luke 4:2 

The first Christians fasted during-decision making times. 
“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me, Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” 
Acts 13:2-3

7 Comments on “Hope@Home – April 2, 2020”

  1. Thanks, Susan! Your devotion hit the spot for me. I’m going a little stir crazy and lazy as I’m working from home. Putting some goals down to embrace this season is such a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *