26 January, 2009

I'm in the upper room

God is moving, doing great things in our church, in our land. I was blessed to be able to go to Saturday night prayer, we met in the prayer chapel with the other 150 or so people from our church. The power of a group of men and women and youth on their knees, standing, sitting and all crying out to God for our nation of America, for nations around the world, and for the next generation was tangible. I am moved, God is stirring hearts here in America. This recent change of power I believe is going to cause us to stand stronger and firmer as we answer the call to separate ourselves as living sacrifices before the Lord.

We don't want to soak in the blessing and hold it for ourselves, the cry of our church is to pour out and to reach those who need it. More than ever before in America I am seeing the fire that was lost through years of corporate complacency is fading. We are done deceiving ourselves, we know this is not a godly nation and that God has called us to change. The best way to change a heart, to change a culture, to change the world is to find yourself crying out to God that he would save, that he would move and that if it be his will that he would use you.

A Call to Prayer and Fasting:
Our church, Calvary Chapel Corvallis is being called to a week long fast. A week of corporate fasting and prayer. We will be meeting every night from 7-8 pm, in the mornings from 6-7am and in the afternoon from 9am-12pm for corporate prayer and worship. Our leadership believes that this is the time to step up, the time to be called into action and move from a church who is comfortable to a church that lives in discomfort for the furthering of the gospel, for the outpouring of the holy spirit all over the world.

Fasting in the Bible is shown in different forms and intensity levels, but always holds power especially when done as a group. There are tons of Old and New Testament references to Corporate or Congregational fasting*, God moves when his children seek and pray. The leadership of Calvary Chapel Corvallis has really emphasized that it is not a hunger strike, but that it is a time to humble yourself before the lord and pray, commune with him, worship and pray with the rest of the church and dive deeper and then dive deeper still. Fasting is depriving your physical self of things in order to humble your personal desires and therefore be more in tune with the leading of the Spirit, of God and to open yourself to hear His voice clearly.

The fast starts on superbowl sunday! Pastor Rob thought superbowl sunday was in January but said that he wasn't going to apologize for the date that the fast week was set for as he and the leadership prayed and that was the week they were lead to. God doesn't care about superbowl sunday. I love being in a church that doesn't schedule God around the events that the culture finds important. They don't worry that no one will show up, God has called them to do something and they do! I have craved for that, a body that hears God and acts and therefore sees Him and move.

In giving us the privilege of fasting as well as praying, God has added a powerful weapon to our armory! In her folly and ignorance the Church has largely looked upon it as obsolete. She has thrown it down in some dark corner to rust and there it has lain forgotten for centuries. An hour of impending crisis for the Church and the world demands its recovery!
-Andrew Murray (from "This Chosen Fast")

* Old Testament:Judges 20:26, 2 Chronicles 20:3, Ezra 8:21-23, Esther 4:3, Esther 4:16, Daniel 9-10, Zechariah 7:5
New Testament: Matthew 4:2 Matthew 6:16-18, Matthew 17:21, Acts 13:2-3, Act 14: 23, 1Corinthians 7:5, 2 Corinthians 11:27


Corinne said...

In my church, we fast together as a congregation on the first Sunday of every month. I think it's a really powerful thing and I always get so much more out of it when I got into my fast praying about something (or someone) very specific. That way, whenever I feel hungry, I think of that specific thing and it gives me power to keep going :)

MamaP said...

Bethany, this is so encouraging!! That's awesome. God is really moving up here in Portland with us too. Our church participates in The Global Bridegroom fast which is the first Mon, tues, wed of the month. Check out http://www.ihop.org/Groups/19844/International_House_of/About_Us/Global_Bridegroom_Fast/Global_Bridegroom_Fast.aspx. We have been moved too to pray for our nation and the things happening around the world. It's so encouraging to see that the Lord is moving believers all around to fast and pray right now, and seek His kingdom.