Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ring in the New Year With Prayer, Fasting


“Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?” (Isaiah 58:6)

       Did you do anything special to bring in the New Year? Two days ago, I visited my friend Pam to meet with two of her friends, so we could dedicate the morning to fasting and prayer. Pam and I have done this before, and it has yielded powerful results.
       We worshiped the Lord in song while holding hands in a circle; we prayed; we read scripture, and we shared how the Lord had worked and was presently working in our lives.
       An hour or so into our time of fellowship, another friend of Pam’s stopped by who was in need of prayer for her mother-in-law and a family relationship. Her prayer group was on hiatus for the holiday, so we prayed for her and encouraged her. We were amazed at how God met her needs despite the fact her prayer group didn’t meet this past week.

Sharing in God’s Presence 
       I truly felt God’s presence, which made our time together in the Lord powerful — and precious. We shared certain aspects of our lives with one another as if we knew each other for years. It was a different kind of sharing because we talked about how the Lord spoke to us personally from His Word in our specific circumstances that helped us get through those difficult times. God got the glory.
       After our prayer time, Pam served a delicious Caesar salad, collard greens, and a spinach pasta dish made with shrimp and chicken. We had lemon cake and ginger bread cookies. It was delish!

Continued Prayer
       When her girlfriends left, Pam and I continued to pray for our husbands, marriages, children, parents, careers, our relationship with God, our ability to hear God more clearly, more of a hunger and thirst for Him, to get to know Him better, and for guidance and direction in 2011. We made sure we covered everything.

Enjoying His Creation
       Afterward, we headed to a nearby park that had wooded trails and a beautiful pond running alongside of it. We walked along the snow-covered trail, flanked by tall trees and flocks of Canadian geese, which swooped down from the sky to rest in the pond. It was an amazing sight. (Visit http://judysphotogallery.blogspot.com to view photos of the park.)
       The day was incredibly blessed by the Lord. I’ve always wanted to bring in the New Year in prayer. Of course praying together with other women of God surely beats praying alone. It’s a powerful experience like none other. I look forward to what the Lord is going to do in our lives and in the lives of our families and friends this year. He promises to untie the bonds of wickedness holding us and our families from serving Him, lift our burdens that worry us, save the lost, draw us closer to Him, speak to us in more exciting ways, give us fresh, new encounters with Him, and lead us down paths of righteousness. We thank you, Lord for all of these promises that we pray will come to pass in the new year. In Jesus’ name, amen!

11 comments:

  1. Hi Judy,

    Thank you for the prayers of intercession, the words of encouragement and inspiration, and the willingness to be available to God. Since I began reading your blog, I have found words that inspire and challenge me to live for Christ with all that is within me.

    I look forward to hearing what the Lord imparts through you. I send you and family my hopes for a new year fulfilling the promise of God.

    Blessings and peace.

    MTJ

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  2. Lovely post. I was especially attracted to the URL name of your blog. I think the world would be such a better place if we had more virtuous woman who stood up for truth and virtue! I will 'follow' you and visit again soon. Please visit me too!!!

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  3. What a beautiful way to start the year Judy.
    Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year.

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  4. Praise the LORD Judy. Keep pressing in in the Name of Jesus...the reward of going deeper in Him is the best! He's faithful!

    Happy New Year and thank you for your prayers. You have mine!

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  5. Judy,
    Just lovely sentiments to start the new year. I am really wanting to develop my prayer life this year. I have one friend that has committed to praying with me - we just have to set up a schedule. (Until we make it a good habit, that is!!)

    Thanks for your inspiring words - what an astounding privilege we have in Christ. To be able to come boldly to the throne of God in prayer, and talk to Him - about EVERYTHING - and to know that He CARES!

    GOD BLESS!

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  6. Amen. Your message encourages my own intention this year to seek God's plan for me more earnestly. May God bless our journeys. Thank you for adding light to mine.

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  7. Judy, Great post as always. That was a great way to bring the New Year in. I was preaching at a New Years' Eve Service. We stopped 15 minutes before midnight and pressed into God through prayer until the New Year came in. I am expecting great things for 2011. I am sure you are too.
    Blessings

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  8. Yes, prayer is the key! It is so refreshing to hear a story about prayer. My greatest moments when God used me all stemmed from prayer. I am asking the Lord to renew my prayer and fasting this year! I realize that I had been slack and I know that I cannot truly be led by God without a life of prayer. Thanks for your blog!!!

    Your writing buddy,
    Deb

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  9. Lovely post. There is something we usually do in Nigeria. The beginning of the year we fast & pray. I follow the 21 days fasting and praying and I must say it has been so encouraging. Usually after this the power and favor of God comes down strongly visiting me and my family. I am looking forward to doing it again. It starts on the 8th of this month.
    Keep up the good work and I hope we become friends. Please you can also check out my blog and become a follower.....www.secretlilies.blogspot.com

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  10. Hello Judy! I have the "Art of Christian Photography" blog. I finally saw your comment on my "beauty in creation" post. Thanks for you kind remarks. About the butterflies, I don't know how I do that, just happens! I thought you may be interested in my other blog about women
    http://proverbs31priceaboverubies.blogspot.com/ and my one about Christ
    http://alondrasthoughts.blogspot.com/

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  11. Hey, I just came across your blog by doing a bit of blog-surfing and I'm glad I did! I've added myself as your newest follower, and I hope you'll check out my Christian devotional site as well: www.nocondemnation81.blogspot.com

    Have a blessed day!

    In Christ,
    Dakota

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