10 Days of Prayer and Fasting

May 13th, 2015 | By David Bareham

10 days of prayer

10 Days

As we embark on our 10 Days of Prayer and Fasting we launch into a time of waiting on God for his encouragement, empowerment and enabling. We take our 10 Days from the day of the ascension of Jesus until the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon his disciples[1]. During this time there will be opportunities for corporate prayer and an encouragement for us to give a focus to prayer in our private lives (a full programme for our 10 Days can be found here). As we give ourselves for this purpose, I know that God will meet with us and that this will be an important season for us as a church. However, I believe that we should consider how we should approach God, what is our priority in prayer, and what do we trust that God will do for us as we pray.  I know that God will do far more than we can imagine through our prayers, but here are some thoughts that might help us as we join together in prayer before our Lord.

 

A people purified and prepared

John the Baptist was the herald that proclaimed the coming of Jesus. His purpose was to not only to prepare the way for the coming King[2] but to prepare a people for a Messiah.

“…to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” Luke 1:17

We know that we can come to Jesus “just as we are” because of his great grace. However, as we gather together to pray corporately I want to encourage us to come prepared. John preached a message of repentance[3], proclaimed the fulfilment of the promises of God through the coming Messiah[4], and looked forward to new age of the Holy Spirit[5]. Let us purify ourselves through repentance[6], come with prayers full of faith expecting God to answer and fulfil his word among us, and believe for even greater things to come. A people prepared to enter into his wonderful presence.

 

A people passionately pursuing the presence

When Jesus ascended he instructed his disciples to wait until the Holy Spirit came upon them[7]. They responded by meeting together in prayer[8]. I wonder what those prayer meetings would have been like. I do not expect that they were waiting in silence! I believe that they were pursuing God to fulfil his word and send the Holy Spirit, his very presence. We are set apart from the world as the temple of the one true God[9], full of his wonderful presence so that we will display his glory. If we are carriers of the presence of God the world will truly see the glory of God in His Church, and, in the words of Isaiah, we will no longer be called Deserted, but we will be a crown of splendour in the Lord’s hand[10].  Over these 10 Days of prayer let us passionately pursue the presence of God amongst us, for he has promised to fill his Church so that we might fulfil the purpose of our calling.

 

A people of purpose

When the first disciples first received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost things completely changed. Instead of meeting together in private, they started to preach in public[11]. They had been waiting, now they had a work to do. From a place of prayer came a sense of purpose.

When Isaiah entered into the Holy Place and worshipped, he was commissioned to go[12]. When the disciples saw the risen Lord, they worshipped him, then they were commissioned to go[13]. Let us believe that as we pray, worship,  and wait upon God over these 10 Days, he will direct us, commission us, give us clarity of purpose, and send us out on his Mission.

 

As we go through these 10 Days, let us be a people who are purified and prepared, passionate for his presence, and full of purpose for His glory!

 

 

 


 

[1] Jesus rose from the dead on the Feast of First Fruits. Pentecost was seven weeks later. That’s why it’s sometimes called the Feast of Weeks. The actual dates of both were established by counting from the first Sabbath after Passover. First Fruits was the first day after the Sabbath and Pentecost was the 50th day. In Acts 1:3 says that Jesus ascended into Heaven 40 days after His resurrection. Therefore in this 10 days we mark the end of the Lord’s personal ministry on earth with his ascension and the beginning of the church with the arrival of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

[2] Luke 3:4

[3] Mark 1:4

[4] Luke 2:76-79

[5] Matthew 3:11

[6] Isaiah 1:15-16

[7] Acts 1:4

[8] Acts 1:14

[9] 1 Corinthians 3:16

[10] Isaiah 62:3-4

[11] Acts 2

[12] Isaiah 6

[13] Matthew 28:16-20

2 Comments

  1. Lin Tucker says:

    May I share with you an entry in my journal for lst January this year? New Year’s day is always a special time for me as I look to the Lord for His particular word.( The entry has formed the basis and the Holy Spirit has refreshed.)

    It’s also in Isaiah 62!This is verse 10 from the Amplified Bible:

    GO THROUGH, GO THROUGH THE GATES!
    PREPARE THE WAY FOR THE PEOPLE.
    CAST UP,CAST UP THE HIGHWAY!
    GATHER OUT THE STONES.
    LIFT UP A STANDARD OR ENSIGN OVER AND FOR THE PEOPLES.

    I have listed this verse as each line is very direct – there are five things we are strongly exhorted to do.

    The first is to go through the gates from the place where we are and have been. (I believe this refers to the deliverance of the Jews out of Babylon). The Holy Spirit is exhorting us to leave the places of captivity and also confusion that we know are holding us back spiritually and to go through the gates of freedom in Jesus.

    But as we rejoice in our healing and release we need to think of others – prepare the way for the people. How do we prepare a way for the people so they also may walk in freedom?

    By casting up the highway – by making a firm and sure pathway, a pathway for ourselves and others – loving and applying the Word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. True and sure foundations.

    And also by removing the stones which are stumbling blocks or offences which may cause people to fall and to hinder them and us in our walk with the Lord. Isaiah 57:10 –

    And the word of One shall go forth, Cast up, cast up, prepare the way!Take up the stumbling block out of the way (of the spiritual return) of My people.

    Lift up a standard – continually lifting Jesus -His Name and the power and authority in His Name (Acts 4:10); And there is salvation in and through no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by and which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).

    In our intimate fellowship with Him we are under the banner of his love –

    He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love (for love waved as a protecting and comforting banner over my head when I was near him). Song of Solomon 2:4

    For from Him and to Him and through Him are all things
    To God be the glory forever.
    Amen

    Blessings
    Lin

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