This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. | 1 John 5:14-15

Our 21 days of prayer will wind down tomorrow with a full 24 hours of prayer and fasting starting at 5pm. Corporate prayer and fasting is hard to wrap our minds around when both of these activities are so personal. Didn’t Jesus tell us to do these in secret?

He said in Matthew 6:1, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.” But in the chapter immediately before that He said, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

This seems like a contradiction until you realize the difference is all in the heart behind the action and who gets the glory for it. Jesus saw fasting as a joyful experience. He’s not saying that we should put on a fake smile or just “grin and bear it.” He’s actually saying that when we fast for the right reasons, we won’t look gloomy and starved. It’s a joyful experience because we’re nourished from an entirely different source.

Jesus fasted 40 days in the wilderness before Satan came to tempt Him. We often think this was Jesus at His weakest. He hadn’t eaten for over a month! But Dallas Willard said this was Jesus at the height of His strength. He said, “The desert was his fortress, his place of power.” Jesus’ focus was not on the deprivation of food, but on the nourishing, life-giving relationship with the Father.

So when we fast together, when we deprive ourselves of food or something else with a specific focus on drawing near to God, we are feasting together on the true bread from heaven, Jesus Christ. Depriving ourselves of something for a period of time shows us our dependence on it. And fasting is both a reminder and an opportunity to shift our dependence back to our relationship with Christ.

So as we come to the end of our 21 days of prayer, it’s worth noting that our commitment to pray for this church doesn’t stop here. We know the power of these concentrated times of corporate prayer and fasting, but this is only the beginning. As we get ready for a full 24 hours tomorrow, let’s commit to being a people who lead through dependence, focused on the only one who can truly accomplish His mission.

Prayer Journal

  • What are some things in my life I am prone to lean on more than Christ?
  • How can this 24-hour period of sacrifice prepare me for the sacrifices we’ll make throughout this campaign?
  • Take time to listen for God’s voice. How is He prompting me today?
  • What is my response?

Thursday Prayer Points

Legacy Campaign

  • Review Hillside’s Mission Statement and Vision Statement below. Pray that people at Hillside will see how the Legacy Campaign and building this children’s building and paying our debt down accomplishes our Mission and Vision Statements:

Hillside Mission Statement – “To help people discover who Jesus really is and become just like Him.”

Hillside Vision Statement – “To be a church where every person has an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ that leads to Eternal Living Now, so that God’s will and ways are carried out in our everyday lives, our community, and the world.”

  • Pray for people to be involved in our 21 Days of Prayer and our 24 Hour Day of Prayer and Fasting to seek God for how He would want them to respond to the Legacy Campaign.
  • Pray as we provide every week to every group at Hillside lessons/discussion items related to the Legacy Campaign and Pete’s sermons. Pray for God’s Spirit to lead in the discussion around the campaign.
  • Pray that we can have 70% participation in the campaign. We currently have around 800 households that give to Hillside during a year so our goal is to have around 500 households make a promise to the Legacy Campaign.
  • Pray that we can have $5 million promised the weekend of March 3-4 to be given over the next 1,000 days (3 years).
  • Pray for First Fruits Sunday on March 25 that we will take our largest offering ever at Hillside so we can begin the building process in 2018.

Ministry Specific: Men’s Ministry

  • Pray for the men of Hillside to continue seeking out relationships where vulnerability is encouraged and authentic discipleship can take place.
  • Pray that our men will be able to see their entire lives (work, church, hobbies, etc.) as part of a whole life that acknowledges Christ in every aspect of it.
  • Pray that these men will lead their families well and focus on developing healthy relationships at home.
  • Pray for our upcoming Men’s breakfasts in April/May. That there would be a good turnout and it would be a catalyst for spiritual growth, discipleship, and community for this year.
  • Pray for Daniel Starnes as he steps into his new role with the men’s ministry. Pray especially for wisdom, balance, and direction.
    Ministry Specific: Women’s Ministry
  • Prayer for retreat in April. Speaker and those coming.
  • Mops and Momlife. Ladies / Moms to connect to Christ and each other.
  • Prayer to be a priority in the women’s ministry (moms in prayer; Ellen Dibler praying for ladies needs Wednesday)
  • Wednesday and Thursday am and pm studies.
  • Zumba and the community outreach it brings.
  • Jill Bream’s schedule to be more set. To prioritize the right things.
  • Salvations, baptisms, ladies moving along in their walk with Christ.
  • Marriages and good family time for all our leaders. Satan to not get a foothold.
  • Help us be a ministry that glorifies Christ in every way!

Ministry Specific: Worship Ministry

  • We currently need more vocalists.
  • Pray for the team to grow spiritually.

Ministry Specific: Creative Arts

  • Pray for guidance of our team to be unified and oriented toward worshipping God as we serve in a technical capacity. We want to create a space that allows for people as a community to focus on God and grow deeper in His Word weekly.

Ministry Specific: Marketing

  • Pray for wisdom and discernment to keep our community informed in an honorable way. Pray we are able to celebrate and share the life change of individuals and families at Hillside in a manner by which God is glorified and others can be encouraged to seek Him further.