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Nehemiah 4:14 “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses”.
God is sovereign, but man is responsible. As far as I know, no one ever accidentally ends up in heaven. There is a fight that must be fought. There was a fight that was fought to make it possible.
The people of Jerusalem had grown accustomed to the walls being torn down and lying in rubble. Decades had passed, and they had done nothing to remedy the situation. They lived in distress and reproach, but that was the new normal for them. Shame, embarrassment, stress and danger was what they settled for. They were a disheartened people.
God gave Nehemiah a burden for the people, and for the glory of the City where God dwelt. He labored in prayer, and then he labored with his hands. He inspired the people to live the way that God wanted for them. He moved them to change. They had a newfound “mind to work”.
The enemies of God and His people were quick to attack verbally, with threats and mocking. Nehemiah countered with prayer and exhortation to the people. He told them to fight and build. They wore swords as they worked. They were inspired to do something that they had neglected for decades. They were discovering who they were in God.
Dear Christian: Is there anybody you are willing to fight for? Will you fight for them in prayer and fasting? Will you deny yourself pleasure and entertainment and even rest in order to bring the truth, hope, and love of God to them? Will you visit them, wait for them, pay for them, drive them, help them, listen to them, serve them, again and again?
Will you fight for children that are going in the wrong direction? Will you fight for your marriage, and for your spouse Will you fight for your neighbors, your community, your city, your extended family?
Will you fight for people with addictions? Will you fight for those who are self destructive? Will you spend and be spent for others? (2 Corinthians 12:15)
Does the sphere of your existence start and stop at your front door, or do you have eyes and a heart beyond your own personal world? Do you simultaneously enjoy the blessings of life, but always carry a holy burden for people, or do you avoid any “heaviness” of life, and leave people to fight for themselves?
If you know Jesus today, there was probably someone that fought for you, prayed for you when you didn’t care, thought of you when you were confused and lost, and yearned for you when you were selfish and lived only for yourself. Someone prayed you into God’s kingdom, longed for you, spoke to you, waited for you. Someone gave of themselves so that you would have ears to hear the invitation of Jesus.
Dear Christian: Be a Nehemiah. Fight for the souls and well being of others, and then inspire others to fight as well.
Why is it that you think we are here?
Our church just finished a week of prayer and fasting. The week began with a great message from my friend, Pastor Daniel Fusco, as he preached at our church, his sermon being entitled “The Ministry Of Withdrawal”. Give it a listen and prepare to be challenged.
Some people in our church put great forth great effort in fasting from food and certain beverages. Others fasted from media, i.e., T.V., Facebook, etc. What was withdrawn from was up to each person. Time was set aside to seek God. Unnecessary things were set aside in order to seek God. We met each night from Sunday-Thursday, and joined other churches via webcasts, and we prayed, worshiped, and took communion.
I was greatly blessed by withdrawing from certain things. For me, they are things not needed, and at times, are wasteful. I believe that the greatest hindrance to the American Church is what Jesus called “the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches”. (Matthew 13:22) There is much unfruitfulness in the Body of Christ in America. I include myself in that statement.
This week I was blessed to taste more deeply of the Lord, and I was refreshed and reminded that He is indeed good.
I pray for myself, our church, and every Christian I know, that we would withdraw from that which us from Jesus, and which does not satisfy, but rather, leaves us thirsty. Recreation and entertainment is fine to a point, but we are over saturated with the temporal and suffer leanness in things spiritual.
As far as I can see, prayer is neglected, holiness is a concept, and Jesus is our “bro”. I want that to change in my life.
“Father, bring revival to my heart and the hearts of every Christian I know. Save us from materialism and the addiction to entertainment, and cause us to be hungry for you as never before. We do not ask you to empty us out. We ask you to help us empty ourselves out. We ask that you would break our hearts over our carnality, that we would empty ourselves out, that you may fill us”.
About 45 of us gathered last night. I don’t remember what we prayed for. It was 14 hours ago.
One of the things born out of this week of fasting and prayer is a deeper burden and conviction towards more fasting and prayer. Cornerstone will be invited by me to fast every Thursday until God directs us otherwise. Our Thursday night gatherings will include a time for prayer at the end of the service. I believe that the conviction for that came forth from being involved in it, and experiencing the work of God through it.
Another thing born from this week of prayer and fasting is a new blogsite I have created. It is, very simply, a prayer blog for Barak Hussein Obama, our new President elect.
1 Timothy 2:1-4 tells us…1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Either we believe that to be true, or we just say we believe it.
Do you desire to see us live quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and reverence?
Do you desire to do what is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior?
If yes, then pray for Obama. You can do that privately, or you may want to join others at this new blogsite.
The link is here: http://prayforobama.wordpress.com/
Blessing all, and may God continue to shed His grace upon us.
About 40 of us tonight. We prayed for youth. We prayed for ourselves and those there with us, that blessings would flow. We prayed for the border towns and cities along the U.S./Mexico border, where drug cartel activity is resulting in many murders, including 14 killings today in Tijuana. We prayed for the missionaries in these border towns: Tijuana, Rosarito, Mexicali, Tecate, Juarez, and Ensenada.
We shared in communion once again. We worshipped, and spent time with one another.
Tomorrow night (November 7), after out time of prayer we will share in a soup potluck. For some, this will be their first meals since Sunday night.
I am blessed.
35 gathered tonight. Even more special as we prayed.
We worshiped God. We prayed for our military. We prayed for those who are needing healing. We prayed for the healing of marriages. We remembered to thank God for our salvation. We took communion together. We gathered for a group embrace and prayed again. This feels very, very right.
I urge you to fast and pray. Skip a meal, skip your coffee, have smaller portions of food, turn off the T.V. Deny your flesh and be redirected to prayer. More prayer. Less needless self gratification. More of the mind and heart of God. More of Jesus.
If you need tips on fasting, scroll down two articles for a link. Don’t be intimidated by the thought of fasting. There are many methods and ways to fast, that you might focus more on spiritual things.
If you want to join us over the internet, go to www.weekofprayerandfasting.com
If you live near Napa, join us for prayer from 7-8:30 p.m. Childcare is provided.
Cornerstone Ministries, 3305 Linda Vista Avenue, Napa.
Monday Night November 3
We were blessed tonight. About 50 of us gathered to be led in prayer via webcast by Pastors Mike MacIntosh, David Rosales, Bob Grenier, and Pancho Juarez.
Churches all over the U.S. and as far away as Thailand and Chile joined together in this effort.
We prayed for our cities, counties and states; for revival; for the youth; and for those going through trials.
Pastors shared 3-4 minute messages, and then we prayed. We rotated around and prayed with different people each time. It was great being in fellowship with others I normally don’t pray with.
If you live near Napa, come and join us from 7-8:30 p.m. each night this week. Childcare is provided.
You can also join us via internet. Log on at www.weekofprayerandfasting.org
Cornerstone Ministries will be joining many other churches for a week of prayer and fasting. The dates are November 3-7. We will gather each evening and join other churches via a webcast, as different pastors throughout our region lead us in guided prayer.
If you have never fasted, I encourage you to pray about it and consider it. It is a Biblical principle that is not often practiced, but that can bring great benefits.
I have attached a link which offers information on fasting. If you have any questions or concerns about the physical aspects of fasting, I recommend that you speak to your health care provider.
Information on fasting can be found here: http://www.ccci.org/growth/growing-closer-to-god/how-to-fast/index.aspx