Hey Family Church,
Hope you are ready to experience all God has for you in this 21 days of prayer and fasting. I’m praying for you! I’ll be sending out a daily devotional that contains questions to help you think and apply as well as personal and church prayer requests. As God reveals his plan or answers your prayer requests email them to me – I’d love to hear about them! – Pastor Stephen Harrison
21 Days of Prayer and Fasting
Daily Devotional – Day 1, January 12, 2015
“Jesus Fasted Too”
Read: Matthew 4:1-11
As we begin 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer at Family Church I want you to keep something in mind: Jesus fasted too. Not only does Jesus want us to fast and pray, He shows us how important it is by doing it Himself. Before He preached His first sermon, healed His first person, or started His public ministry, He fasted. Matthew 4:1-11 shows us He fasted 40 days and nights (I wouldn’t suggest a 40 day fast if you’ve never fasted before). After His fast, He was tempted by the devil three times, each of which Jesus responded with Scripture. Matthew 4:2 tells us Jesus was hungry after His fast (because He was fully human). Satan tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread and satisfy His hunger. Jesus replied, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Deuteronomy 8:3).
Jesus showed us the importance of relying on God by willingly abstaining from food for 40 Days. Jesus knew His strength and supply came from the Lord. He truly modeled loving God with all you heart, soul, mind, and strength. Jesus knew He needed His Father’s Word to supply strength when He was weak, tired, and tempted. If Jesus needed to fast in preparation for what was ahead of Him and to overcome temptation, so should we.
- What are you praying for God to do in your life during this fast?
- Jesus was facing major temptations. What temptations are you facing? Fasting trained Him to hear the Father instead of the Tempter (the Devil) and obey the Lord. Are you listening to the voice of the Lord or the vice of the Devil?
- Scripture tells us Jesus was tempted in all ways yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). That verse tells us Jesus understands our temptations. How does Jesus’ victory over temptation and sin encourage you? Verse 16 goes on to say we can approach God’s throne of grace with confidence so we can receiver mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. What area of your life do you need the mercy and grace of God?
Lord, thank you for sending Jesus to be tempted in all ways yet without sin. Thank you Jesus for modeling to us how to overcome sin with prayer, fasting, and God’s word. Give me your grace and mercy today in my situation. Thank you for making a way out of sin. Help me to honor you with my time of fasting and prayer so I can be prepared for the work and ministry you’ve called me to do. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Church Prayer Request:
Pray today that God will show and prepare you for your ministry during this fast. Ask, “How can I live this out in and outside the church walls?”
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.