DAY 21: PRAY TO LEVEL UP – WILSON MORALES

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WILSON MORALES

SCRIPTURE

COLOSSIANS 2:6-7
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”

DEVOTION

We made it to Day 21, WALK fam! We’re grateful you’ve joined us on this journey of 21 Days of Prayer, Fasting, and Fitness! We hope that you’ve experienced level up in your relationship with the Lord, and that you continue to walk in that freedom!
As we lean into Colossians 2:6-7, Paul is sharing with us a few practical ways to level up in our faith walk with Jesus. First, he is telling us to be “rooted and built up in Him”. Our foundation must be Jesus. The discipline of prayer and fasting is so amazing, in that it helps us disconnect from worldy things, and connect deeper to the Lord. I pray that these past 21 days has helped you unroot from the world, and built you up in Him. Second, Paul is telling us to be “established in faith”. The journey of leveling up is never easy. Just like the discipline of fitness, we must endure stress and pain, but the result of our struggle is a more established faith, able to withstand our challenges and stand firm against trials. Lastly, we should “abound in thanksgiving”. There is so much to be thankful for! He has done great things in our lives, is continuing to do great things, and has so many more great things in store for us! We can’t help but be thankful! One sign that you have leveled up is that you are more grateful.
I’m thankful for WALK Church and I’m grateful to be a part of the team! I’m grateful for every leader who contributed devotions and prayer points, and I am pumped to keep leveling up! Pastor Heiden has a lot of exciting things to share with us tomorrow, so make it to church, and bring a friend! Let’s keep leveling up, WALK fam!

PRAYER

Jesus, I thank You for sustaining me these past 21 days. I thank You for revealing Yourself to me in new ways, and for helping me grow in my relationship with You. I thank You for causing level up in my faith and fitness, and I pray that you continue to work in me. Help me be like a strong tree, rooted in You, established in You, able to stand firm in the trials and triumphs of life, and sprout leaves of thanksgiving that provide life and support to the people around me. Reveal areas in my life that need leveling up, and give me the strength and wisdom to grow in those areas. Thank you, Lord!

ACTION STEP

  • Come to the 6 Year Anniversary, and bring a friend! Let’s level up together! We believe that freedom is experienced in community, and there’s nothing better than celebrating birthdays with the family and walking through the journey with your loved ones.

IDEAS:

  • Keep the momentum going! We’ve built new habits in praying, fasting, and fitness, so let’s keep leveling up in those components. Keep praying and fitness a part of your daily rhythm, and consider keeping fasting a part of your monthly schedule.
  • Keep praying for the prayer points! Our leaders did an awesome job highlighting different areas that we can be praying for, so let’s keep those in our hearts and minds even as we conclude our 21 Days.

FITNESS

IDEAS:

  • Run, jog, or walk the twenty-first mile out of the total of 21.
  • Do 30 sit-ups and 30 push-ups.

DAY 20: PRAY FOR THOSE WHO ARE INCARCERATED – BRANDON WADE

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BRANDON WADE

SCRIPTURE

Hebrews 13:3 (NIV)
Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. 

DEVOTION

As we remember people to pray for we should remember those who are locked up in jails and prisons. If we are honest we can say that those who are imprisoned are “the forgotten” But Jesus has not forgotten them, so neither should we. In fact, he calls us to love, pray, and visit those in prison. We are all created in the image of God and no one is beyond His reach.

Currently, there are about 2.1 million people incarcerated in the United States, and our nation leads all other nations with that statistic. Society has written off those who are imprisoned, They say “do the crime, do the time”. And there’s a lot of truth in that but we still need to love and pray for them. The same God who offers His love and forgiveness to us has offered it to those who are incarcerated as well. Pray that God would change and mold their hearts, and give them a desire to want to live for Him and that they would know and feel His love. Imagine being locked up and feeling hopeless, lonely and that no one cares for you, you might even feel unloved. You’re isolated and away from your family. Those who are locked up need to know that there is a God who loves them, and will forgive them. “The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth” – Psalm 145:18. They may not be able to be physically free, but they can be spiritually free, in and through Christ.

I’m a juvenile probation officer and I work at a lock-up facility called Spring Mountain Youth Camp. I get to work with youth in a lock-up facility and I have the privilege of sharing the love of Christ with them. I get to encourage them and share the good news of Jesus with them. From time to time I will lead a Bible study, and I always have a few youths asking me when the next one will be. That lets me know that there is a hunger for God’s word.

God is near to the broken hearted, and those who are locked up, youth and adults alike are broken hearted. Earlier this week Pastor Josh shared a good devotional about seeing people through the lens that God sees them. What a perfect way to do that here! God’s redemption is for us all. Jesus says “It’s not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners”. -Mark 2:17. We and the prisoners alike are sinners, in need of God’s grace.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father I come before you in Jesus name, lifting up those who are incarcerated in jails and in prisons all over our city, from CCDC to Spring Mountain Youth Camp, High Desert, Indian Springs, and every other institution across the state, and our nation. I pray for those who call you Lord, may you use them to be a light to others around them, and may they feel encouraged and remind them of your love for them. For the many who don’t know you, may you draw them to you. May they experience freedom in you and in your son Jesus. Change their hearts, change their ways. I also pray for protection from the dangers that they face from day to day. As many of them might be missing their families and loved ones, I ask that you help them get through the loneliness that they might be feeling and feel any void they might have with your presence and your peace. Lastly, Lord I pray for Christians all over the world who are incarcerated because of their faith, help them to stand strong in the faith. Amen

ACTION STEP

  • Reach out to someone who is incarcerated.

IDEAS:

  • If you know someone personally who is incarcerated reach out to them by writing them a letter.
  • If you know someone who is locked up and your able to, put commissary on their books

FITNESS

IDEAS:

  • Run, jog, or walk the twentieth mile out of the total of 21.
  • Do 29 sit-ups and 29 push-ups.

DAY 19: PRAY FOR VISION TO SEE PEOPLE THE WAY GOD SEES PEOPLE – PASTOR JOSH CARTER

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PASTOR JOSH CARTER

SCRIPTURE

Matthew 9:35-37 NASB
35 Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness.36 Seeing the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” 

DEVOTION

As Jesus would go from town to town, He was moved with compassion to bless others every place he went.  In Verse 36, it says, “seeing the crowds, Jesus felt compassion.” This word compassion is a word picture in the original language. It means to be moved in one’s bowels.  It means to feel so deeply in your inner being, that it motivates you to act.  Here’s a question, when was the last time you were so deeply moved with compassion for someone that you were moved to do something about it?

But what moved Jesus to compassion?  When Jesus looked upon the crowds, he noticed their physical challenges. As a matter of fact, the scripture tells us that he was healing disease and sickness.  But it wasn’t necessarily just the physical needs that moved Jesus to action, but rather their deep spiritual need to know the God who loves them.  Jesus looked beyond the physical and was broken by the deeper spiritual need. He called these people, “sheep without a shepherd.” These people were created for a deep relationship with a Good Shepherd they never knew.  They were not created to be orphan sheep. They were created to know the comforts, security, and identity of belonging to the fold of God.  You see, sheep without a shepherd are vulnerable. They are lost, confused, easily deceived, and discontented. When Jesus looked at these people, he was deeply bothered by their spiritual condition.  In fact, this is what compelled Him to sacrifice his own life on the cross, on our behalf, so that through faith in Him, our relationship with God, our Good Shepherd, could be restored.

As a church planter and pastor in Portland, Oregon, we would host mission teams from across the country to come help us.  Often, our mission teams would come highly motivated to share the love of Jesus and the Gospel with others. The week would come and go, and we would face many challenges and wins along the way. But it was what happened on the last night of the trip that was so life-shaping for the team. On that night, we would host a final meeting.  We would hear story after story about how God moved throughout the week. But just before we closed the meeting, I often asked this one question. “What is the one thing that you wish you could change about the trip?”  It was a strategic question. In fact, it was rare that we didn’t hear at least one person on the team say, “I just wish I could have had more conversations with people.”  I loved this response!  It seemed the Lord always had this answer given so that we could share a life shaping challenge.  When I heard this, I would always respond by saying, “I love that feedback and here is why…think about all we did and all the places we went this week.  We went to coffee shops, we rode on public transportation, we ate at restaurants, we worked at a school.  In fact, if you really think about it, we were around people all day, every single day.” You see, the reality is, we’re around people all the time, we just don’t “see” them.  In fact, God is working all the time around us, but do we see Him?

I love that Jesus challenges his disciples the same way He is challenging us today. He says, “the fields are plentiful, but the workers are few.” I don’t believe Jesus is saying that there aren’t enough Christians in the valley to change our city or that the harvest field is not ready in Las Vegas. Remember, Jesus started the early church planting movement and changed the world with just eleven disciples.  I think Jesus is saying, God is working in our city but there are not enough Christians who are “looking” for it. There are not enough Christians “seeing” people.

PRAYER

Father, I come before You in Jesus’ name by the power of Your Holy Spirit. I ask that you help me “see” the people around me. I pray you help me “see” where you are working and join You in your harvest field. I pray you would use me to be your physical presence in the lives of those who have the deep spiritual need to know you. Lord, move me with deep compassion for the lostness around me every single place I go today. May that compassion move me to intentional action as I join you on mission today. Help me to see You and see others that need You.

ACTION STEP

  • Use the acronym “SEE” in your life today and join God at work around you.

IDEAS:

S – SLOW DOWN

  • Intentionally slow down and look for an opportunity to join God’s activity today.
  • Pray before you start your day. Ask God to show you someone to intentionally encourage today.
  • At the coffee shop or restaurant, decide not to rush. Go inside and as the Lord brings you to conversations, ask how people are doing.
  • Slow Down. Look For God. Listen. Ask questions.
  • And….

E – ENCOURAGE

  • As you are slowing down, expecting God to show you that person to engage, speak a word of encouragement to someone.  Show them you care.
  • Buy them a meal, coffee, or take a co-worker a small gift as the Lord leads you.
  • Then…

E – EAT

  • If you really want to slow down, spend intentional time with someone else and see how God will use you in their life. Invite them to lunch or dinner with the purpose of listening and encouraging them.
  • Ask them about their story. Tell them your story. Include what Jesus is doing in your life.
  • If you have the opportunity, ask them about their relationship with Jesus, Church, or spiritual matters.
  • Ask them if they attend church. Invite them as your guest to Walk Church.

FITNESS

IDEAS:

  • Run, jog, or walk the nineteenth mile out of the total of 21.
  • Do 28 sit-ups and 28 push-ups.

DAY 18: PRAY FOR OUR COMMUNITY – ANDRES RAMIREZ

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ANDRES RAMIREZ

SCRIPTURE

Hebrews 10:24 ESV
 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

DEVOTION

So far this week we have intentionally prayed for our Nation, followed by praying for our city, and now, today I want you to pray for YOUR community.

As I have studied concepts of memory retention and recall, I’ve learned that people are more likely to remember things, events, or experiences that they shared with the community they share life with as opposed to those experiences that were not shared, celebrated, or endured together. It’s quite possible that we as believers in Christ are living our Christian lives in relative isolation from the community we share life with, and therefore our Christian memories are not as vivid as those we have from the world.

We recently started hosting our sixth semester of Charge Group in our home. I can state unequivocally that our experiences, our relationships, and our memories relating to our walk with Christ are more vivid, enriching and authentic since we started sharing our journey with our Christian community as well as those that are not believers. We’ve grown deeper in our faith, and we’ve grown deeper bonds and relationships with those who are joining us on this journey with Christ.

Proverbs 18:1 states: “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” I want to challenge our Christian brothers and sisters to reflect on how they have lived their journey with Christ. Whether that has been in the context of community or now. Here are some questions to process when thinking about this subject:

  • Are you walking alone, isolated from other Christians?
  • Are you neglecting to meet together with other Christians?
  • Are you celebrating the important events that happen in your life with your Christian family?
  • Do you attend a weekly Charge Group?
  • Are you walking in Christian community?

PRAYER

Lord, thank you for guiding me on this journey. I praise you for being a loving God who is for us and not against us. Lord, I pray that you draw us nearer to you and nearer to each other. I pray that we have the courage to live our lives as Christians together and not alone. Lord, give us the boldness to praise each other as we walk our journey. Remove the habit of neglecting to meet with each other, for we know where two or more gather in your name you are there. Lord, we want to be where you are. I pray that my Christian brothers and sisters walk in community with their other Christian brothers and sisters. Amen.

ACTION STEP

  • Join a Charge Group if you have not done so.  If you already belong to a Charge Group share some news about your life, that you have not shared yet.

IDEAS:

  • Invite someone not in your Charge Group to coffee or for a bite to eat to get to know them better.
  • Sign up to serve at Walk Church. The Dream Team would love to have you.

FITNESS

IDEAS:

  • Run, jog, or walk the eighteenth mile out of the total of 21.
  • Do 27 sit-ups and 27 push-ups.

DAY 17: PRAY FOR OUR CITY – PASTOR STACY JULIAN

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PASTOR STACY JULIAN

SCRIPTURE

Jeremiah 29:7
“Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

DEVOTION

If there has ever been a time in history to pray for our city it’s now. With the passing of the 20thanniversary of 9/11, I can recall crying out for our nation and city in hopes that the Holy Spirit would cause people to awaken from their evil ways and turn to righteousness. We see tragedy happening all over the world and see hashtags such as #PrayforVegas or #VegasStrong. Personally, I like #LordStrong because the word says in Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the LORD is a STRONG tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.”

The words of Jeremiah in the above scripture were directed to the Israelites, who had been uprooted from their homeland and taken into Babylonian captivity. Under such circumstances, it would be easy to complain or grow bitter about the upheaval in their lives. But that was not what God desired from them. They were instructed to pray for the peace and prosperity of their new home. If their city prospered, they would also.

It’s important as believers to intercede for our city and cover it with prayers. We have the honor and privilege to come along side of Jesus and reach our city with the Gospel and the Hope of Christ. I believe just like Nehemiah if we cried out to God for our City his ear would be attentive and he would grant us favor.

As we continue to fast and pray may we be reminded that the word declares in Psalm 33:12, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord”. No doubt blessed is the city whose God is the Lord too! As our cities prosper, so will our states, and our nation. Let’s become an intercessor for our city. Our prayers do make a difference! Let us declare as we do at WALK Church that our city would no longer be known for sin but for the city of Him!

PRAYER

Heavenly Father I pray we would all have a burden on our hearts for our city, leaders, and citizens. Bless our leaders turn their hearts and minds toward you. We desire people to encounter you, know you, and fear you. Protect us and our city from any harm. We pray for peace and prosperity in our city! In Jesus name Amen!

ACTION STEP

  • Pray for our mayor, councilmen, and city officials to serve wisely and with integrity.
  • Pray against crime and unemployment in our city.
  • Pray churches and pastors will boldly declare God’ truth.
  • Pray for revival to ignite in our city like never before.
  • Pray for our teachers, support staff, and students. Pray for our hospitals, police, and fire departments.
  • Pray for local businesses to prosper

IDEAS:

  • Setup a time every morning to specifically pray for our city.

FITNESS

IDEAS:

  • Run, jog, or walk the seventeenth mile out of the total of 21.
  • Do 26 sit-ups and 26 push-ups.

DAY 16: PRAY FOR OUR NATION – PASTOR HEIDEN RATNER

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PASTOR HEIDEN RATNER

SCRIPTURE

1 Timothy‬ ‭2:1-4‬ ‭NIV
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

DEVOTION

It certainly has been a rollercoaster of a season in the life of our Nation. Those who have lived in America much longer than me have made mention that they’ve never quite seen anything like the days we are living in.

Whether that be from the Covid-19 Pandemic that has rocked our world and drastically effected our Nation, to the polarizing political views that flood our timelines and news channels, to the racial tension that is still evident, to the hurricanes and long-lasting fires that are tearing up states and cities we love. I don’t know if there’s ever been a more pressing time for the American Church to be in prayer for our Country.

The Apostle Paul in his first letter to his disciple, Timothy, encourages him to prioritize praying for “kings and all those in authority.” He doesn’t tell Timothy he has to agree with those kings and to endorse their political agendas, rather to prayerfully intercede on their behalf. Paul understood that if the leaders at the top are changed, the nation would be changed, and he called Timothy to pray for these men and women.

I want us as a church family today to follow Paul’s instruction and pray for the authoritative leaders in our country. Let us together pray for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and their administration. Let us pray that they would like Nehemiah, “delight to fear the Lord’s name” (Nehemiah 1:11) and that they would seek the Lord for His wisdom and counsel more than ever before. Let us pray that our Nation would grow in the areas of humility, prayer, and repentance, and that the we collectively would turn to the Lord. God reminds us in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that by doing so He will bring forgiveness and healing upon our land. Let us as a church be the first to pray, believing with faith, God can turn things around in our Nation.

PRAYER

Father, I come before You in Jesus name by the power of Your Holy Spirit. We as a people and nation need You. Today we pray for our leaders. We pray that their hearts will be humble and repentant and look to You for wisdom in our time of need. Lord, bring healing on our land.  In the mighty name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

ACTION STEP

  • Pray for Authoritative Leaders in our Country by name.

IDEAS:

  • At times you feel the burden to complain, use that as a reminder to pray.
  • If you know someone in the political domain, reach out to them and let them know you are praying for them.
  • Start with you. Be the change you want to see in our Nation.

FITNESS

IDEAS:

  • Run, jog, or walk the sixteenth mile out of the total of 21.
  • Do 25 sit-ups and 25 push-ups.

DAY 15: PRAY FOR PATIENCE IN YOUR PAIN – MELISSA DIEP

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MELISSA DIEP

SCRIPTURE

Micah 7:7
“But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.”

DEVOTION

The world that we live in is very fast paced. Now if you are like me and you see that spinning wheel of death when a page online is slowly loading it can cause a little bit of anxiety. We live in an instant culture from instant messaging to instant coffee, to DoorDash, Alexa, and making things happen at the click of our cellphones.

The Lord’s timing is much different from ours and His timing is always perfect. Now, most of you know that my husband and I had gotten Covid in July. We were both admitted to the hospital. I was discharged after 8 days, while to this day (Sept. 12th) my husband is still in the hospital. It’s over 50 days of hospitalization for my husband. How’s that for waiting? When doctors and nurses tell you they are uncertain of what the future holds, your loved one may be in the hospital for days, weeks, months, even longer. Days seem long, nights are sleepless and sometimes it feels like your prayers aren’t heard.

Many great moments were missed in this season of waiting, first birthday, baby milestones, important events, you name it. So, what are you to do when what you wanted in an instant doesn’t happen? When that instant miracle you’ve been praying for is not really happening at the snap of the fingers?

Here’s what you do. In reference to the verse above, you lean in to the Lord. You no longer look left, or right but surrender everything you have in your heart about your situation, all your anxious thoughts, your frustrations, your fears and your dreams, your timeline, you surrender it all to the Lord and wait on Him! In choosing to wait on Him, you are humbling yourself before the Lord and accepting the fact that you are not in control, but you can trust that He is. As you pour out your heart to the Lord, He will give you the peace that surpasses all understanding. As you pour out your heart to Him you are trusting Him in keeping His promises of plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Your eyes, your heart, your whole being is laser focused on the One who holds it all. We have a living God, our prayers do not fall on deaf ears, we can rest assured that God hears our prayers. As we wait on the Lord, we get to experience Him in ways like never before! His timeline may be very different from ours but His timing is always perfect.

PRAYER

Father, you are glorious and holy in all of your ways! You have plans to prosper us and not to harm us. Your timing is good and perfect. Help me Father to be still and patient as I wait on your timing. Give me peace and joy in the wait. Help me Father to encounter you in the wait. Thank you for all that You do and are doing. I pray that I will not be faint when answers are delayed, but rather that I will quietly and patiently rest in Your unfailing promises, as Your Holy Spirit does His work within my heart. Increase my love and dependence upon You so that I may become more like the Lord Jesus in every area of my life, especially in the area of patience as I trust in Your perfect timing. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

ACTION STEP

  • Journal: As you wait on the Lord keep a daily journal of where He is at work in each day. It could be keeping journal of what you are grateful for or prayers that have already been answered. Find God at work in your season of waiting.

IDEAS:

  • Worship to “Wait On You” by Elevation Worship and Maverick City

FITNESS

IDEAS:

  • Run, jog, or walk the fifteenth mile out of the total of 21.
  • Do 24 sit-ups and 24 push-ups.

DAY 14: PRAY FOR SURRENDERED HEARTS – JORGE HERNANDEZ

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JORGE HERNANDEZ

SCRIPTURE

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭22:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬
“Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

DEVOTION

God is asking for all of me, not just a part of me, but all of me. Do you know that you belong to God? All of who you are, everything you own, love, and value belongs to God. He doesn’t want your stuff. God wants your whole life. A life surrendered completely to His loving goodness and perfect plan for our lives. Abraham knew he belonged to God. Abraham also knew everything he owned, loved, and valued belonged to God. Abraham knew even his only son Isaac, whom he loved, belonged to God. So when God asked for his only son to be surrendered as a living sacrifice, Abraham was willing to offer all to God’s command. Why? Because Abraham believed in God’s character and trusted in His promise. Abraham knew that God’s will never contradict God’s promise, so he held on to God’s promise, “In Isaac shall your offspring be named.” You see, Hebrews 11:17-19 says that “Abraham believed that God was able to raise Isaac from the dead.” Abraham willingly surrendered all of it, and he believed that the LORD would provide; he was confident that the LORD would meet every need. God did provide the sacrifice that was needed, and a ram took Isaac’s place on the altar. In Genesis 22, Abraham discovered God’s character, a new name for God—“Jehovah-Jireh (which means “the Lord will provide”).

I want to encourage you to surrender all of it to God. The LORD will meet our needs, but we have to be at the right place. The right place is to be surrendered to His will. God will meet our needs in His perfect timing and not a minute before. Be encouraged. God is never late! He will provide when we are willingly walking in His will. I want to challenge you with the words of the Holy Spirit through Paul says, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God (All of you) because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” Romans‬ ‭12:1‬. A surrendered heart believes and acts like God is telling the truth. A Surrendered heart is a worshiping heart that brings glory to God. A surrendered heart will see God’s provisions for his and her life. Indeed we will know, see, and worship our God as Jehovah-Jireh “the LORD will provide.”

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, help me to surrender all that I am to You daily. Open my eyes Lord to see clearly that I am and have nothing without You. I know You are the great provider and in Your timing I can trust that You will provide all that I need. Lord, protect my heart against the enemy and that I may after Your own heart. Amen.

ACTION STEP

  • Pray that God would empower you to surrender completely to His will.

IDEAS:

  • Start/continue your journey to know who God is, His character, and promises.
  • Worship to “Man of Your Word” by Maverick City.

FITNESS

IDEAS:

  • Run, jog, or walk the fourteenth mile out of the total of 21.
  • Do 23 sit-ups and 23 push-ups.

DAY 13: PRAY FOR CHILDREN WHO HAVE CHILDHOOD CANCER AND THEIR FAMILIES – TERI DODD

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TERI DODD

SCRIPTURE

Isaiah 40:28-31
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

DEVOTION

In the US, 15,780 children 0-19 are diagnosed with cancer each year (43 children per day).  It’s the #1 cause of death by disease among children. 20% of children with cancer in the US will not survive it. Two out of three childhood cancer patients will have long lasting chronic conditions from the treatments.

To watch these little warriors battle each day through horrific treatments meant to rid them of the cancer is heartbreaking.  To see God touch their little lives and give them strength when most adults would give up is nothing short of a miracle.

But the reality of childhood cancer is that I’ve also prayed with moms whose child battled this disease and did not survive. It’s in those times, Romans 8:26 becomes real (…the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express). It’s then that you realize God has answered your prayer to heal a child; He has healed every single child who did not survive cancer. They are healed and whole in the arms of their Heavenly Father.

The miracles in childhood cancer are endless as we serve a mighty God.  The child who is leukemia free four years post bone marrow transplant – alive, well and acting just like a “normal” 7-year-old boy is nothing short of a miracle; in 2015, a 7-year-old boy was given a 4% chance of survival when diagnosed with a Glioblastoma brain tumor and today is a thriving Jesus follower.  But the ugly truth about childhood cancer is that many children (over 3,000 in the US each year) will not survive. It’s for those parents my heart breaks.  It’s for those parents I pray they are able to hang on to their faith or find Jesus while they travel that lonely road of grief.

BUT GOD is the final answer to childhood cancer. The saying goes, “If you ever see a child fight cancer, it will change your life forever.” It did mine because God revealed himself over and over again in the lives of these warriors.

PRAYER

Father God, our Healer, Physician and Creator, we come humbly before You today lifting up each and every child warrior battling cancer today.  We pray that the treatments will eradicate the cancer with no lingering side effects.  We pray these warriors and their families will draw close to You now, trusting You along this journey they never anticipated nor wanted.  We lift those parents up to You whose children did not survive. We pray You will hold them especially close when they feel their whole world has been shattered. We ask that You put people in their lives who will hold them up and point them to Jesus. In the mighty name of Jesus we pray, amen 

ACTION STEP

  • September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – learn more about it. 

IDEAS:

  • Volunteer with or donate to one of the local non-profits who support these families.
  • Most importantly, please pray for these children.

FITNESS

IDEAS:

  • Run, jog, or walk the thirteenth mile out of the total of 21.
  • Do 22 sit-ups and 22 push-ups.

DAY 12: PRAY FOR YOUTH HOMELESSNESS – PASTOR JOSEPH GIBBONS

By 21 DAYS OF PRAYER, FASTING, AND FITNESS No Comments

PASTOR JOSEPH GIBBONS

SCRIPTURE

Isaiah 40:29-31 ESV
“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

DEVOTION

When Kristen and I first heard that Southern Nevada was our nation’s capital for youth homelessness, our hearts sank.  We had invested the first twelve years of our lives into the next generation and to think about this level of injustice was moving to say the least.
We then led a youth weekend (RISE WKND) in Las Vegas where we met a young lady who was without a home.  In this moment the stat became a story and the call became real.  This was a pivotal moment in our church planting call.
I lead with this because we often see youth as resilient at best or stubborn at worst.  However the prophet Isaiah tells us that not even youths are exempt from the trails of this world.
The reality is this.  The youth in our city have been subjected to some of the very worst our world has to offer and the enemy has claimed this territory for too long.
Let us commit to pray for our youth, reclaim the territory the enemy has claimed and take action toward restorative efforts for the next generation.  They are WORTH it! At the end of the day they need the same thing you and I need.  They need to embrace the power of God, mount up on wings like eagles; run and not be weary; walk and not faint!!
Young or old, it is only the power and presence of God that is strong enough to get us help and near enough to give us a home.

PRAYER

Jesus, let me see the next generation the way you see them.  Help me see through their self-defenses of disrespect and self sufficiency so that I can serve them the way that you serve me.  Give me opportunities to meet them where they are to introduce them to who you are.  I recognize, Jesus, that the hope for the next generation is not my power but yours.  I recognize, Jesus, that the home for the next generation is your church and the church is me. Amen.

ACTION STEP

  • Prayerfully consider joining our Walk Youth Director, Jorge Hernandez’s team.  The church is the home for healing!

IDEAS:

  • Connect with and pray for local educators and coaches to see how you can come alongside them as they serve on the front lines.
  • Educate yourself by checking out this recent study from UNLV.
  • Volunteer with an organization like Project150lv. While they remain religiously neutral they are doing an excellent job meeting tangible needs.

FITNESS

IDEAS:

  • Run, jog, or walk the twelfth mile out of the total of 21.
  • Do 21 sit-ups and 21 push-ups.