Summary: The first key to renewal/revival from a biblical and historical context is making the commitment to reconnect with the Holy Spirit through prayer and fasting.
Series: Renewal 2021
Key one for Renewal – Reconnect with the Holy Spirit thru Prayer & Fasting
Thesis: The first key to renewal/revival from a biblical and historical context is making the commitment to reconnect with the Holy Spirit through prayer and fasting. These two spiritual disciplines are a powerful link to revival and renewal.
Scripture Texts to ponder:
Introduction to text from sermon Reconnecting with God by https://freetobelieve.org.uk/uploads/3/4/5/7/34574639/reconnecting_with_god.pdf:
“In the 42nd Psalm the Psalmist cries "As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God." He has lost his sense of personal contact with God. Today a great many people share that experience. When in 1882 the prophetic German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche announced that God was dead it was a sign we were entering a period when belief in God was becoming problematic. Today increasing numbers of people find it hard to believe in God or find such belief unreal. Quite a few dismiss religious faith as obviously untrue without even seriously considering the possibility…”
Psalms 42:1-11 (NIV)
1As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.
2My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
3My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
4These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.
5Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and
6my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
7Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
8By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life.
9I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?”
10My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
11Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Scriptures on Prayer:
9Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.
Matthew 7:7-12: Ask, Seek, Knock = ASK!
7“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
9“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?
11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
12So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
18The Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh had 44,760 men ready for military service—able-bodied men who could handle shield and sword, who could use a bow, and who were trained for battle. 19They waged war against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish and Nodab. 20They were helped in fighting them, and God handed the Hagrites and all their allies over to them, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him. 21They seized the livestock of the Hagrites—fifty thousand camels, two hundred fifty thousand sheep and two thousand donkeys. They also took one hundred thousand people captive, 22and many others fell slain, because the battle was God’s. And they occupied the land until the exile.
For many the question races through the minds “Why should I pray and fast?” Some think it’s religious and even old school thinking! But I would like to answer that question today. Over the years I have heard many people who say we need revival. We need it in the church and in this nation. I want to remind us of what we did in January when we made the Covenant Contracts with the Lord and sent them up to Him in a Burnt Offering! How many did a contract? Do you remember it? What you put into it? The promise you made to God?