Carey – 5:42 a.m.
Up early to read through Daniel 9 and pray through the phone book. This is day five without food for me (and day five of giving something up for many of you). Random Day Five thoughts (and these are random):
- I am surprised at how I am not hungry. I expected to be starving, and that would remind me that "man does not live by bread alone." Instead, this gentle feeling of being satisfied, content and alive without food reminds me (ironically) that I do not live by bread alone. This is the longest I have gone without food before by two days.
- When praying through the phone book, I just get overwhelmed. God knows every one of these lives. Every one of these lives has a story when it comes to God – why they trust Jesus, reject Him, or ignore him. There is pain, joy and struggle in every family. God knows. I can just pray.
- God has opened up fresh conversations in my life with people from Connexus, people I used to pastor, church leaders and more. It's a unique week. What doors/dialogues is God opening?
- Daniel and Nehemiah's humility amazes me. How two fairly righteous dudes can confess sin and have their hearts broken so long amazes me.
- God's "reputation" is on my heart (as it was for Daniel and Nehemiah). How does my life/our life as a congregation enhance or demean God's reputation? When people see us, does their view of God go up or down? Am I being called to be more passionate about increasing God's reputation in the community through living a life of greater integrity – as a follower of Jesus and together as a community?
- There is no downside to fasting and praying. I am trying to resist the temptation to believe that we can "pull God's strings" when we fast. Instead, I want to come humbly before Him, listen, pray, let Him move and hope that an entire community here's his voice.
Today Rich and I are hosting public prayer at 7 a.m.. Rich is in Tudhope Park in Orillia and I'm at the Georgian Mall (near Moxies) in Barrie.
What's stirring in your heart this morning? What prompting/conviction is God stirring inside you?
Rich – 9:14 am
Another great morning of prayer for the city of Orillia. Today we were spending time focusing on families. It was refreshing to spend time thinking again about the families in our communities. God's heart is that people from all flavours of families would feel welcome and engaged with our ministry. I think we sometimes think families are a mom, a dad, a couple kids and a dog. That just isn't in the picture of "family" in our community today. One in four kids in Ontario is born into a single parent home. Same gender parenting is a growing trend. Just this summer I've had two good friends of mine have their husbands walk out on them and their kids. Rather than bemoan the fact that the family has changed, my prayer is that people from all configurations of families would experience Connexus as a positive part of their journey as a family.
I've also been thinking a bunch about this passage this morning. "We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy." Daniel 9:18 My experience with fasting in the past and indeed this time as well has been that it changes me. It's not about some "grand act of righteousness" but about a normal interaction with God. God has been (and continues to be) so gracious with me . . . coming to prayer seems more about listening to God and being changed in the dialogue than hopeing to "trick 'em" into something that I want. I continue to ask God to show me in concrete ways the things in my world that breaks God's heart. How are you being shaped this week?
(Oh yeah . . . so far this week 24,575 steps have been walked. Getting closer to the goal!)
Carey – 6:55 p.m.
Honesty check. I am tired, grumpy and ready for the fast to end. Funny, because I had a great day. Anyway, two more days to go…praying tonight that God will turn my fatigue and grumpiness into a greater desire to walk with Him and hear His heart.
Thankful, though, that so many are on this journey…what's on your heart tonight?