A CALL TO READ + PRAY + FAST

If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

A BIT ABOUT FASTING

Why should I fast? 

Simply put, fasting is an active pursuit of breakthrough. 

Fasting and prayer are two ways the Holy Spirit can transform your life, waking you up to a vitality you may have once had earlier in your Christian journey or would like to experience for the first time.

Much like the shoulder on a road or margins in a book, God created space in our lives. In our attempt to make things happen and control where we are going and how we will get there, it is too easy to fill that space. Fasting encourages us to reveal that intended space and increase our passion for God and enjoyment of Him. Fasting is not so much about a momentary commitment, but a lifestyle with the excitement of getting to experience God.


What is fasting?

Fasting is setting aside something in your life that you hunger for and that may have gotten in the way of your relationship with God. While this is most commonly thought of as food, it may be something that has taken a greater place in your day and heart than it was intended to. Whatever you decide to fast, you will now have more time to re-align your heart with God.

LECTIO DIVINA

THE PURPOSE OF THE JOURNAL

Lectio Divina is about one thing: developing an intimate relationship with God by reading, listening, and praying the Scriptures that have been given to us. 


WHY PRACTICE LECTIO DIVINA?

We are hoping to hear God’s voice and do God’s will - to move from simply attaining information and move toward a communion with God that is transformative. This means we are listening for the voice of God communicated through the Scriptures and revealed by the Spirit. 


HOW DOES LECTIO DIVINA WORK?

First, you listen with your heart to the text of the Bible for what God seems to be speaking through the text. The classical form of Lectio Divina includes four elements - “elements not marching in precise formation but one calling forth another and then receding to give place to another: none in isolation from the others.” 


These four elements are: 

READING OF LECTIO

The first element is simply reading the text. Do it slowly, unhurried, prayerfully, out loud, and then read it again at least 3 times. Allow yourself to experience the text and not just intellectualize it, paying special attention to words, phrases, or sentences that seem to take hold of you. In faith we wait for God to speak through Word and Spirit to our soul. 


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REFLECT ON MEDIATIO

This second element calls you to reflect on the word, words, phrases, sentences that took hold of you, allowing them to become primary. Write them down, let them begin to sink down deep into your heart, repeat them over and over in your mind while reflecting on what feelings or emotions they provoke. Ask yourself; What is the Lord saying to you through them? What do these words mean to you? What is God speaking to your heart through them? This element is like Mary’s response in Luke 2:51 where “she pondered all these things in her heart”. 


RESPONDING TO ORATIO

This third element is moving toward a prayerful response. As you have read, and re-read, reflected on words, phrases, sentences, and even asked questions to help you navigate why these words have taken hold, now draw these thoughts into your heart and make your own personal response to the Lord in prayer. Tell God what’s on your heart, offer a prayerful response of love, thankfulness, petition or intercession, sit in silence, write a prayer, draw a picture, actively respond to the word you have received. 


RESTING IN CONTEMPLATIO

This fourth element is where we rest in God, we become inactive and simply dwell with God as the beloved. This may not come easy, and may take patience and discipline. Simply be still for a moment, allow the Lord to love you, to continue etching on your heart the words He has given you through this process of Lectio Divina. This is a prayer of presence, it is the movement from conversation to communion. 

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