Belize Day 4 –
This is the fourth message in the series: Simple Discipleship.
Here is what we will be studying for next week:
Holy Spirit/Power of God
Here are my Notes: Simple Discipleship Week 4
Here is the Audio Sermon: Prayer and Fasting
As we begin to look at prayer and fasting, we must first ask two important questions:
What is Prayer?
What is Fasting?
In studying this topic, my definition of prayer would be inviting God into our lives and situations by bringing things to Him.
We are encouraged to pray without ceasing. We are not supposed to go around with our eyes closed and heads bowed all the time, but wherever we go and whatever we are doing, we are to be in constant communication with God inviting Him into our situations and surroundings and making Him a part of our everyday activities.
In coming to understand more about it, my definition of fasting is giving up legitimate pleasures as a sacrifice to gain breakthrough and a deepening relationship with the Lord.
God has given us necessary things, and it is the blessing of the Lord to us for them to be good. However, in talking about sacrifice, we saw that we were to give up something important to us to gain a deeper relationship with God. Fasting is a sacrifice of something that we enjoy (Food, Entertainment, Sleep…) so that we get breakthrough and walk into a deeper communion with the Lord.
Fasting always works together with prayer. Everywhere that fasting is mentioned it is in combination with prayer. Fasting without prayer is just dieting. The point of fasting is to give up a legitimate pleasure and use the extra time that we have to spend praying.
In Daniel 10, in is clearly evident that as Daniel was praying and fasting, he was empowering God’s spiritual forces to bring about change. Something happens as we fast in conjunction with prayer that empowers heavenly forces to win spiritual battles. As a result of this, Daniel was strengthened, encouraged, and given answers that he was seeking. You have the ability to empower heavenly forces to win spiritual victories through fasting and prayer!!!
In Isaiah 58, it is even more evident that fasting with the wrong motives and wrong heart is no good and not even accepted by God. As we fast, God brings revelation to us and we then have the choice whether to repent and be obedient or to ignore the revelation. When we ignore what God is saying, our fasting and praying is not powerful or effective but our hearts become increasingly hardened to the voice of God. Fasting and prayer is powerful when we repent and walk in obedience to the revelation of the Lord.
Look at a few of the benefits of the right type of fasting and praying from v. 12. God is able to build where there was once destruction. The enemy is constantly trying to bring destruction in our lives, but through fasting and prayer, God is able to build something that lasts on top of this destruction. God strengthens our foundations, revitalizes our spiritual heritage for us to pass on in greater measures to our children, fortifies our defenses and clarifies our paths. This is the kind of fasting and prayer that I want to be a part of!!!
In Matthew 6, we come to find the importance of not being religious. In regards to both prayer and fasting, Jesus mentions the secret place. The thoughts and intentions of our heart is what God judges so we should never do these things out of obligation or for other people to be proud of us. We should have a genuine desire to grow closer to the Lord and out of that heart in the secret place, God is able to give spiritual treasures. I would rather be rewarded by God rather than men any day!!!
It is also important to realize that the prayer and fasting that we do right now affects eternity. When we are in heaven, there will be no need to pray or fast because we will be partying with Jesus face to face. Right now, we have the unique ability to affect eternity with our pure prayer and holy fasting!!!
In Habakkuk 2, we find out that it does not matter how you pray, but that you are actually communicating with God. The prophet says clearly that he was waiting to be corrected. Habakkuk’s prayers would raw and filled with emotion. He did not come with proper words and civilized emotions. He came as he was and expressed himself honestly and was willing to repent and be corrected.
We also find the importance of prophetic revelation or vision. Revelation from God gives us tiny glimpses into our God-sized destiny and this compels us to align ourselves with Him and move more into it. As we write these things down, it is an encouragement to us when it takes longer to get here than we want (which is 99.99% of the time), an encouragement to others when it does finally come about, and a testimony to the glory and faithfulness of God.
The most important lesson from Mark 9 and Matthew 17 is that in the middle of our hopeless situations that we do not feel as if we can pray or have the faith to pray for complete deliverance and healing, we pray for the grace to overcome our doubt and for God to strengthen our faith.
I encourage you to pray and ask Holy Spirit to bring revelation as you meditate on these questions:
What am I praying for right now?
What are the things I have given up praying for?
Is my secret place worthy of being rewarded?
What has God revealed and called me to that I am not being obedient or repentant to?
What legitimate pleasure am I willing to give up that I might receive a spiritual breakthrough in myself and the lives of others and be launched into a deeper communion with the Lord?
I pray even now that God would give us all hungry hearts to know Him in deeper and mightier ways than ever before. Help us all to repent of the things which you reveal in our hearts and surrender to walk in full obedience to what He is calling us to. May our secret places be worthy of reward, and may God bring forth mighty spiritual rewards because of our faithfulness and perseverance in the secret place.
I would like to encourage you to pray and give something up in fasting so that you are able to step into a deeper walk with the Lord and that greater spiritual breakthrough would come in your life!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
It’s been about a month since we arrived back to Texas. The 9 month-long faith journey we were on has ended and we have now begun a new one! Here is our newsletter update for the month of June. We pray that you are encouraged by what the Lord is doing! here in the U.S. Please pray about partnering with us as this new chapter of our lives begins. We would love to sit and share with you all that God has done in us and where He is leading us next. Please contact us if you are interested in getting together or having us speak. 🙂
Love, Jeremiah and Katie
Again, it seems as if we have not updated in a while, but God is doing amazing things. I just want to give testimony to something that happened last week. One of our friends here made us some dinner and we sat to talk with her and another guy on staff about how we have seen the Lord work. Talk ranged from the fallacy of Calvinism to the amazing power of the Lord working through healing, both physical and spiritual. After talking for about an hour, one of the guys, Ben, asked for prayer. It was almost a “I’ll take some of that” moment. We began by praying for his kidneys. Apparently, he was born with one kidney a lot larger than the other. Along with this, he was never able to sleep on his back because of the constant pain from his kidneys. As we were praying for this, Katie got a word to check his legs, and one was shorter than the other. So, she prayed and his leg grew to be the same length as the other. By the time we were done praying, his kidney pain was gone, and he has slept on his back since with no pain. We also prayed for his eyes to be healed so he would not have to wear glasses and scoliosis. In the other areas, he was instantly healed, but not his eyes.
While we were praying for Ben, another guy on staff named Richard came in and began praying with us. After we finished with Ben, he asked for prayer for his back and neck. He had trouble with them for a long time. As we prayed, my wife felt led to check his legs as well, and one leg was shorter before she prayed. We prayed several times and each time, Richard felt something happen, (muscles loosen, stiffness gone…). When we were done praying, he was not fully healed, but it felt better than it had in a while.
I do not know why both guys were not completely and instantaneously healed. I do not know why God had us do abnormal things like standing on a chair and picking Richard up and holding him in the air. But, I know that we were obedient to pray and do what He called us to do. These two guys had enough faith to ask for prayer, and they saw a measure of healing.
After we were done praying for these two, we sat around talking some more. Another girl came in and mentioned that she was having trouble with her neck and Sonya, the girl who made us dinner and the one we were talking with before the healing broke out was so filled with excitement to pray for her. We did not see anything happen then, but it was great to see how God reawakened the desire to pray for people because of what she had seen. Interestingly, two evenings later, we had a gathering of young adults here and one of the young men had a word to pray for someone with neck pain. It was the same girl that got prayer. Again, I do not know why she was not healed the first time, but God cared about her enough to reveal prophetically to someone to pray for her. In the end, I noticed something that was key to this whole situation.
These things happened because we began to speak and declare who God was. We were speaking about principles of healing, and the things that we saw God do on our trip and that led to Ben asking for prayer. We acted on it and saw Ben healed and this led to Richard’s healing. Before the young man gave this word, we had been sitting and talking about how good God was and I shared with Him the testimony of two nights earlier.
As we speak out the wonderful works of the Lord, it strengthens the faith in people and causes things to happen. God has called us to be witnesses of what we have seen and know to be true! The more we share this with the people around us, the more He is able to come and build the faith it takes for miracles to take place.
May our prayer be like the Apostles in Acts 4:29-31 (“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your Word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the Word of God with boldness.)
No matter what other may think or how they may feel about you, you are a witness and are called to speak of what you have seen and know to be true! Today, begin speaking boldly about the wonderful works of God and be obedient in whatever He calls you to say or do and watch Him do greater things still!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
So, we are here in Cambodia now. It seems that Wifi is much harder to come by in the day to day happenings that take place than it was before. We have been here nearly a week, but have not updated and for this I apologize. However, such is the life of those who are on adventure for the Lord.
Our travels here were uncertain and unplanned. After trying to reach our contact for two weeks and still not hearing from him, we came knowing that this is where we were supposed to be. The Lord rewarded our faith and when we got here, we were able to get ahold of our contact Both, and he took good care of us in Phnom Penh. Good Friday, we went out with some of his family to a nearby mountain and got to pray over the nation from a high vantage point. Here, every high mountain in covered with temples and idols to demons. However, we claimed this mountain and the area for the Lord, and prayed that He would change the hearts of the people from darkness to the Truth.
After talking with Both and his pastor, they invited us to share with their church on Easter Sunday what God revealed to us to be praying for Cambodia and lead the people in prayer. At that time, I agreed to it even though God had not spoken anything yet. But, the testimony of the Lord is that He is forever faithful to His word, and He revealed three areas that we are praying over Cambodia, and are important for all of us to pray for ourselves and our nations.
First, God spoke to me from Matthew 9:35-36 that Cambodia is the heart of Southeast Asia, and as such, the Christians should be praying that they would receive the heart of compassion of the Father. Every time Jesus did miracles (feeding the 5,000, raising Lazarus from the dead, raising the widow’s son to life) it was because He was moved with compassion for the people. In the same way, we must be continually praying that God would give us His heart of love for Him and for His people. I remembered that last time I was in Cambodia two years ago, this was one of the main things I was praying for myself. It makes sense that this would be an important point of prayer for the nation.
Second, God continued speaking to me from vs. 37-38 of the same chapter in Matthew. The harvest here is plentiful, but the laborers are few. So, we need to be praying that God would send forth laborers into the harvest and be willing to go as He calls us to go forth. It is interesting that the word Jesus uses here for sending forth the workers is the same one in Greek that is used when He is casting out demons. God is calling His laborers to go forth with power and purpose into the harvest to reap the souls that He rightfully deserves and bought and paid for with His blood!
Lastly, God began to speak to me that we are all called to be martyrs! For us, when we think of martyrs, we think of those who have died for being Christians. But the Greek word we get martyr from literally means “ones who gives witness of what they know to be the Truth”. We know more than anyone else what and Who the Truth is, and therefore, we are called to share it in the same way Paul was (Acts 26:16,18). The Christians in the early church were so willing to share the witness of what they knew to be true that they did not care what persecution, trouble, life, or death became of them. So many early Christians gave their lives as a witness for what they knew to be true, that we took the word and have used it for those who die for the Gospel. This is how we overcome the enemy as it states in Revelations 12:11 “…By the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony.” Jesus was The Faithful Witness unto death (Rev 1:5) and we must follow His example no matter what the outcome may be. For the people here in Cambodia, surrounded by Communism and Islam, there is much more to lose than people in the US.
I want to call you to not just pray for Cambodia, though this is something I ask you to do, but to pray and apply all of these areas to your own life.
Pray that God will give you His heart of compassion and love and that everything you do will flow out of that same love!
Pray that God will send forth laborers with power into the ripe harvest, and be willing to be one of these, as He speaks, that He may receive the reward He bought and paid for with His blood!
Pray that God would help you to be a faithful witness to everyone around you of what and Who you know to be The Truth, and that He would use you just like Paul “to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” Acts 26:18.
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
This past week, we were able to return to Dharmapuri, Tamilnadu, India; where Jeremiah visited on his last adventure here in India. Jeremiah was stoked to be able to finally go. We took rest when we arrived there on Friday after very long and hot bus rides. We stayed on the second floor, above Pastor Daniel’s church, and one floor below where the girls from the orphanage stay. On Saturday evening we went to 5 different houses to pray over the families and people of the villages. Some of these people lived in very small “hut” houses and did not have very much to offer, yet they still gave us something to eat and glorious chai tea.
On Sunday, we attended Pastor Daniel’s church and I got to experience what a real Indian church is like, 5 hours full of clapping and bouncing, loud prayers and Holy Spirit happenings. Jeremiah preached about tasting the Lord. Afterwards we prayed for everyone in the church and I was part of a deliverance of a woman who was afflicted by something I could not understand due to language barriers; but I was really challenged to seek the Lord for more discernment when it comes to those type of things. That evening, we went to two different leper colonies and I spoke about the compassionate love of the Father; we fed them and Jeremiah and I laid hands on and prayed over them.
I knew it would be difficult for me going there and seeing these people’s lives and bodies being rotted away through the death sentence the enemy has placed on them. Even then, I was overwhelmed with compassion, as I read so much that Jesus was, and filled with faith that God would bring healing to them. We did not see anything physically happen when we prayed over them, but so many of them asked for prayer and I believe that God touched them and will continue ministering to their hearts, bodies and lives. Afterwards, we went to a street corner where there were some homeless people gathered. I spoke again on God’s love, we sang some songs, and we fed them and prayed over them.
Jeremiah and I were very excited when we found out that we were going to be teaching at the first YWAM DTS in Dharmapuri during the week. This DTS is all local natives to the surrounding area, except for a few staff members that are from a different state. These 16 students, some families, are going on their outreach in three weeks to Sri Lanka and Malaysia, however, a few of them are having issues with getting their visas and passports, some due to finances, so please be in prayer for them that God would provide all they need so that they can be sent out to these needy nations.
We felt that God was calling us to talk about missions throughout the week. On Monday, we talked about original design vs worldly thinking. Our original design is who God made us to be apart from sin, but the enemy through the ways of the world tries to separate us from the truth of who God says we are. I taught them the 4 R’s: Repent (Confessing the sin of believing the lie – Acts 3:19), Receive (Receiving God’s forgiveness and asking Him to fill you with more Holy Spirit – Psalm 103:8-12) , Rebuke (Rebuke the enemy’s grasp on you because of the sin – James 4:7), Replace (Declaring the sin as dead and “paid for” and asking God to come and flood your heart and mind with Truth and empowerment to walk it out – Galatians 2:20.) We then took them through breaking the chains of the past, negative self-image, and false humility; and broke them into groups so they could all ask the Lord for each other’s original design. Great blessings came from this!
On Tuesday, Jeremiah talked about waiting for the word, promises and call of the Lord. I shared on counting the cost and taught primarily from Luke 14:25-30, which talks about the cost of being a disciple. Afterward, I had them ask God for 2 promises for the present time and 2 promises for the future and to write it down, as instructed by God through Habakkuk 2:2-3: “This is what the Lord said to me, ‘Write My answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.’” On Wednesday, Jeremiah shared on faith and perseverance out of Hebrews 11 and faith without conditions. I taught about fear of the Lord vs fear of man and told some of my testimony of how bound up I was in every type of fear there is and how God set me free. I also taught out about unbelief out of Mark 16:9-18 and how unbelief can hinder us from receiving the promises of Jesus through this passage. Then we took them through the 4 R’s again and broke off fear and unbelief. There was so much freedom and fruit brought forth this night!!!
On Friday, Jeremiah taught on bearing fruit out of Luke 8: Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seeds, avoiding burnout, and planting seeds. I talked about the importance of the secret place (Psalm 132:1-5) and how intimacy fuels missions (Luke 10:38-42). It was obvious by the time we left Dharmapuri that we were sent there for reasons other than what we had in mind. From the fruit that was brought forth through teaching at the DTS, we see we went there for that seed planting. Proverbs 16:9 says, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” At times we can be so set in our plans, but God has the ultimate plan. So be encouraged that even when things might not go our way, God’s way brings forth far greater fruit and blessings than our way ever could!
Katie, Pure Fire of Yahweh!!!