Day 2 – Choosing Obedience

Find the Seed: God’s Word

“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

John 14:21 NIV

Prepare the Soil: Devotional & Prayer

As a child, did you ever wonder why mom and dad set parameters and established disciplines for you to obey? Why do I have to have a curfew? Why do I have to eat my vegetables? And why do I have to eat Grandma’s mystery meatloaf? While it might have been difficult at the time to understand these trivial guidelines parents set, you realize that they weren’t just setting rules for rules sake. They knew that if you kept in mind the things they asked of you, it would nurture character, keep you safe, and lead you in the way that would be best for you. Ultimately, they did it because they love you. And, if you’re a parent, you probably do that now. This is exactly the way our Heavenly Father loves us. He has given us His Word as instruction and wisdom, and when we choose to obey God’s Word, we’re obeying God, Himself. The reasons we choose obedience to the Word of God is so that we don’t sin against Him, we’ll know what steps to take and places to go, and we’ll have understanding.

While we do have the Word of God to follow, know that God doesn’t expect you to live an obedient life in your own strength. Truth is, we can’t. He has provided us with everything necessary to make obedience a reality. That is, Himself. The reality is that through the help of the one living inside of us, we can live without fear of anything in this world. As you continue in the beginnings of this journey of prayer, tune your heart to the things God wants to do inside of you.

Prayer: Father, I thank you for your heart for us. You have lovingly given us direction and instruction so that we will not go off the course that you’ve set for our lives. Lord, give me an attitude that desires obedience. Let my heart desperately seek your ways. Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to comfort me and guide me. I pray for courage as I choose to remain obedient to your Word, so that others might see what I do and glorify You. I love you, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Get Rooted: Apply it Today

What specific area(s) in your life do you need to turn away from and show God your love by choosing to walk in obedience to Him? When we choose to go our own way, we begin to distance ourselves from our Heavenly Father. Choose today to lavish God with love by becoming closer to Him through obedience.

Dig Deeper: More Scripture

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Day 1 – Thankfulness

Find the Seed: God’s Word

“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT

Prepare the Soil: Devotional & Prayer

At the start of these 21 days of prayer and fasting, we may find it easy to start well. Many of us have set goals or resolutions to kick off the New Year. You may even have specific prayer requests or areas where you would like to see the hand of God move. However, let’s take a pause from asking and expectation and begin this season of prayer and fasting with thankfulness. Gratitude is not only a powerful force that both spiritual and secular communities recognize, but it is in fact a command of God. 1 Chronicles 16:34 says, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” Though we are not naturally wired to be grateful, we must cultivate gratitude in our hearts. Gratefulness causes our perspectives to shift, and we are able to see more clearly.

Imagine a person who feels stuck in their current career path. They are not where they expected to be 5 years ago. This experience can be weighty and lead to discouragement. If the person in the example spent a few minutes of their prayer time simply writing down some specific things they are thankful for, they might see a significant change in their outlook.

God wants to give us His perspective. Having gratitude is one of the many ways He is able to speak to us and to our situations, no matter how difficult they are.  Grateful hearts acknowledge who is Lord of our lives. In essence, we allow God to be God, when we are thankful.

Prayer: Dear God, as we enter this time of intentional prayer and fasting over the next 21 days we begin with gratitude. We give thanks to you God, for every good and perfect gift is from you. You are good, and your love endures forever. We thank you for our families, community, and the resources you have placed in our hands to carry out your will. Regardless of my circumstance, I will choose to pour out my gratitude to you. Awaken us as believers to realize how truly blessed we are to be in the family of God. Let our hearts turn toward you in gratitude in every season of our lives. In Jesus’ names, Amen.

Get Rooted: Apply it Today

Think of a situation or challenge you are currently facing. As difficult as it might seem, write down two or more specific things about that circumstance that you can thank God for. It doesn’t matter how small, just be specific. Now, thank God for those things you wrote as many times as you can today!

Dig Deeper: Go Further

Start each day by thanking God for His blessings from the least to the greatest. Write out a list of at least 5 things that you’re thankful for.

  • Set a daily reminder on your phone to stop and thank God for something.
  • Write a note and post it around your house that will remind you to be thankful. Have the entire family get involved in this one.
  • Create a prayer list or goal list, thank God that He hears your prayers.