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God blessed in some amazing ways in the last year.

As we look forward into the new year, we must seek to grow from the things that has spoken to us.

The one “word” that keeps coming to my mind is “acceleration.”

This word from God was spoken to us during our “Home Coming Event” this last year

I am convinced that God was speaking about the spiritual growth of the church.

I have prayed that we don’t grow numerically beyond what we are able to take of

As we fast in the month of January,

I am asking you to consider today’s sermon and add it to the things that God is laying on your hearts for 2013

I know that some of you have already started your fast but for those of you have not

I am asking you to consider joining with me and thousands around the globe today as we seek for God’s wisdom and blessings in the year to come.

The “21 Day Fast” comes to us from the book of Daniel, when Daniel seen the presence of the LORD following his time of

Fasting and Prayer.”

Dan 10:1-6

n Cyrus' third year as king of Persia, a message was revealed to Daniel

(who had been renamed Belteshazzar).

The message was true. It was about a great war. Daniel understood

the message because he was given insight during the vision.

Dan 10:2

During those days I, Daniel, mourned for three whole weeks.

Dan 10:3

I didn't eat any good-tasting food. No meat or wine entered my mouth.

I didn't wash myself until the entire three weeks were over.

Dan 10:4

On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, I was by the great Tigris River.

Dan 10:5

When I looked up, I saw a man dressed in linen, and he had a belt made

of gold from Uphaz around his waist.

Dan 10:6

His body was like beryl. His face looked like lightning. His eyes were like flaming torches. His arms and legs looked like polished bronze. When he spoke, his voice sounded like the roar of a crowd.

1. There is only one required fast in the Bible…

a. The only required fast in the Bible in during “Yom Kippur” or what we call in English the Feast of Atonement.

b. However there are a lot of other times that the people of God have chosen to fast and pray for various reasons, some personal and some corporate. In fact I have discovered in my thirty plus years of ministry that some people are called to fasting and prayer on a different level than others.

c. Daniel understood the times and committed three full weeks prayer and fasting before God in response to what he understood.


2. Daniel mourned for three whole weeks…

a. The mourning of Daniel should not be confused with the mourning for the dead. It was time when he chose to afflict himself in order to pray. This mourning is often seen in Bible as a time when people would separate themselves for the daily routines in order to seek God’s face.

b. It is important to note that people in Biblical times did not fast just to be fasting, there was a reason, a cause to fast, and in most situations it was in response to God. Let’s examine a few.

Jonah 3:5

So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on

sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.

c. Jonah the prophet preached in Nineveh about God’s displeasure with them and declared God’s judgment upon the city, the people heard the Word of God repented with fasting and God forgave and did not judge the city.


3. Call a sacred assembly… (Jan. 6, 2013)

Joel 1:14

Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the elders And all

the inhabitants of the land Into the house of the LORD your God,

And cry out to the LORD

a. Often in Biblical times the whole assembly was called on to fast and seeks the face of God. These times were normally in response to a Word from God. Such is the case in Joel, the fast was called concerning the coming Chaldean invasion and war.

conscrate/sanctify; קדשׁqâdash

to consecrate, sanctify, prepare, dedicate, be hallowed, be holy,

be sanctified, be separate

b. As the Christian church we need to have special occasions and forums like fasting and prayer to address the things that the church is facing in modern times. While there time for personal fasting, there were a many times for cooperate fasting mentioned in the Bible. These times were called and all were encouraged to participate on different levels.

c. One thing that we need to be aware of is the attack on the church and seek God so as to be spiritually prepared for success.


4. Things to pray and fast for in 2013…

a. Forums for prayer. In our church there has been a Monday night prayer gathering/forum for years. Over the months it has grown somewhat smaller. There are those who have been called to prayer and I am calling those out and asking you to consider this forum for prayer and maybe even expanding beyond Monday to other forums of prayer and fasting.

2Chron. 7:14-16

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves,

and pray and seek My

face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven,

and will forgive heir sin and heal their land

2Ch 7:15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in

this place.

2Ch 7:16 For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may

be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.

b. Greater engagement in praise and worship. I am asking for more to be participants in praise and worship.

c. One of the most impressive things about God is that He is always surrounded by Praise. His awesomeness requires Praise.

Psa 89:15

Blessed are the people who know how to praise you. They walk in the light

of your presence, O LORD. (GW)

Heb 13:15

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God,

that is, the fruit of Our lips, giving thanks to His name.

d. There are a lot of people in our church who have gifting and anointing from God and I hope to see some new ways of these gifts being used in the church.

1Pe 4:10-1

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good

stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1Pe 4:11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.

If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies,

that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong

the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.