A Rhythm For a New Year
Create a new rhythm for this new year. Starting January 2, 2019 (6:00 AM and 6:00 PM) we will be gathering at the church for 12 days of prayer. The Elders of Southgate Church invite you to join us in a season of prayer and fasting as we launch into 2019.
PRAY FIRST! Since the beginning of Southgate Church, we have endeavored to apply the “first of all principle”. 1 Tim 2:1-5 “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.
Jesus, in the sermon on the mount, doesn’t really give us an option about prayer. Three times in Matt 6:5-7 Jesus says, “When you pray…” and in verse 16, “When you fast…” This statement implies that you are already praying – already fasting. We hear stories of the spiritual greats throughout history. How they prayed and fasted. The hours and hours that they sought God. They saw miracles, they saw revival, they saw healing…Oh, what the Lord will do through a praying people. Oh, that we would see God move in our families, our cities and our nation.
I. Packer says, “Praying is the essence of Christian existence, and it involves beliefs, emotions, values, hopes and fears, certainties and uncertainties, and knowledge and ignorance.” The paradox is that while prayer is unquestionably natural, necessary and normal for Christian people, it constantly proves in practice to be the very opposite and we end up struggling, not just over making time for prayer, but also finding a place for it.
Prayer necessitates the community of the church, participation in corporate worship as well as private devotion, and instruction in the Bible as well as silent meditation. Public and private prayer is at the heart of all the various ways of knowing God.
We are also praying and fasting regarding our property. Our application is presently with the Agricultural Land Commission. We need to pray and fast! As the prophetic word challenges us… “And the Lord would say unto the church at Southgate, the property that you need, the building that you need, it would seem in the natural that it’s almost impossible but if you will agree with me and if you will pray that prayer of importunity even if you will take a fast and a different one fast every day over a period of time, the Lord says I will loosen the strings that bind. I will bring things in your favour. I will cause things to work for your good, as long as you come in unity, in one purpose and in one accord. For even as I loosed Peter from jail as the house church prayed, I will loose land restrictions, I will loose zoning areas for you says the Lord and I say to you even now, it will be a battle, but if you will press it to the gate, if you will stand and remind me of my word…‘ Lord you promised, you promised, you promised...’ “ (Cartwright 2001)
In every situation, good or bad, we try to pray before we act. Understanding the necessity of prayer is only the beginning. When you discover the beauty of daily conversation with God, you will experience His presence that will change your life. In corporate prayer, in your everyday life…before the day begins…before you go to bed…before you go to work or school…before you text or email an important communication…before you eat, drive or travel…when bad things happen…before bad things happen. Pray in every situation. PRAY FIRST!
Prayer changes everything…especially you.