Over the holidays, I indulged. Physical and spiritual discipline were not at the top of my priority list. As a family we rejoiced, celebrated, played, and experienced fullness in Jesus and love from each other, and as a result, contemplation and restraint flew out the window. Taking this month, and maybe the next, to refocus through specific fasting and prayer is what my heart needs.
But, starting this last week was not easy. At all. I was reminded that I'm clearly not as awesome as I had hoped.
Second Mile's annual week of prayer and fasting begins on January 22nd. This year I want to be very focused on day one. I don't want to use any part of the week to get ready for the week. I'm using January 2nd-21st to prepare my heart for the intensive week of praying with my church family.
And, I'm so glad I'm starting this process because like I've already stated, I'm just not as awesome as I had hoped.
This week I experienced loneliness. I pouted. I said extreme statements like "fasting is stupid" and "I'm going to do what I want, when I want." I missed my family so much. There was a big cloud hanging over my head that had nothing to do with hormones. And I squandered a lot of time.
Whew. I'm glad it's gone...the week and the cloud. This last week of physical, emotional, and spiritual detox was necessary.
I'm writing all of this as an encouragement to my Second Mile friends to get your heart ready for the week of prayer. Don't wait until Sunday, the 22nd. Start now. Take it from my experience...we are not nearly as awesome as we think we are.
To those of you that don't attend Second Mile, take at least a week this month to set aside to pray. Set aside each day with something specific to focus your prayers. Our prayer guide will be posted online and I will add a link so that you can adapt it for your church and/or pray with and for us.
Looking forward to the great and unsearchable things God will teach us gets me excited. Enjoying the glory of God's presence in our lives gives me motivation.
How are you preparing for the week of prayer and fasting? Have you considered setting aside a week to fast from something you love to pray and seek Jesus? What is something you depend on that God may be asking you to do without so that you can truly experience Him? Are you anticipating hearing from the Spirit as a body while we seek Him together?
Sow for yourselves righteousness. Reap the fruit of His unfailing love. Break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord until He comes and showers His righteousness upon you.
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.