Day 46: “While They Were Worshiping and Fasting…”

Center Down

Our breath prayer for today: As you inhale, whisper, “Holy Spirit, set us apart…” As you exhale, whisper, “…for your service.”

Slowly read aloud the following Scripture

Now there were in Antioch in the local church prophets and teachers, both Barnabas and Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius the Cyrenian, and Manaen, the foster-brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.   While they were [worshiping] and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,  “Set apart for Me  Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. So they, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived in Salamis, they began to proclaim the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews, and they also had John [Mark] as their assistant.

(Acts 13:1-5, MOUNCE)

For further exploration:

Video: http://b.link/PaulBarnabasMission1

Kingdom Prayer

Heavenly Father, we thank You for The Velosia Kingdom Builders’ Center in Kenya. Thank You for the volunteers and staff, for ministry and leadership of our  brother Daniel Kibe and the blessed memory and lasting impact of Pastor Velosia Kibe. We thank You, Father, for providing food, clothing and shelter for each child. Thank You for the financial resources for the orphanage.  We give thanks to You, Lord, and proclaim Your greatness. As Your grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving and You will receive more and more glory!  Redeeming Father, we will let the whole world know what You have done.  May the nations praise You, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise You.

Worthy Father, we come before You confessing continual success for The Velosia Kingdom Builders’ Center in Kenya. Your Word tells us that pure and genuine religion in Your sight means caring for orphans in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt us. We will assist the poor in their need and the orphans who require help. We command justice to operate for each child in the orphanage and we destroy the assignments of oppression and devastation.  As Your people, we will uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. We decree that the children are being well-cared-for and protected. We declare that the spirit of excellence that was upon Daniel, Meshach,

Shadrach, and Abednego presides upon each child in the Children Center.  In Jesus’ Name, we decree that The Velosia Kingdom Builders’ Children Center in Kenya is well maintained and managed.

Holy Spirit, touch the hearts of people to continue to give generously of their financial resources to aid in the expansion of the building projects so that more children can be served. Open doors of opportunity for more missions team to go and serve on the Children’s Center campus.  Lead the people of Kenya who are blessed with skills in construction to volunteer their time and service to the residential housing, agricultural, and library projects. Holy Spirit, touch the heart of the local medical personnel to give of their time and expertise to provide medical services to the children. Send anointed teachers who will inspire each child to fully develop the gifts and talents You have created in each of them.

Holy Spirit, show me how I can pray and fast for and be a blessing to The VKBC in Kenya:

Righteous Father, please forgive our sins. Forgive us for not praying and fasting consistently for the Children Center. Forgive the sins of those involved with The Velosia Kingdom Builder’s Center in Kenya. Forgive any staff member for any mismanagement of time or resources.  Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that you have committed).

Holy Spirit, remind those involved with The Velosia Kingdom Builders’ Center in Kenya of those they need to forgive and help them to be quick to forgive.  As for me, Holy Spirit, bring to my remembrance those I need to forgive.  (Take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal names or faces of people that you may need to forgive. As He reveals them say, “I forgive name of person(s).”  Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in your soul caused by unforgiveness.)

Holy Spirit, remind those involved with The The Velosia Kingdom Builders’ Center in Kenya not to yield to temptation but deliver them from the evil one.

Sovereign Lord, You alone stretched out the sky like a canopy and laid the foundations of the earth.  You stir up the sea, causing its waves to roar.  The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is Your Name!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Concepts to Consider

In the Scripture reading today we observe that Barnabas  (“son of encouragement”) and Saul (Sha’ul was his Hebrew name, who for the sake of relating contextually to non-Jews was later called Paul, his Roman Latin name. Similar name, different language)  were commissioned by the church in Antioch (Syria) and “sent out by the Holy Spirit” to spread the Good News of Jesus “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8; Mark 16:15; Matthew 28: 19 -20).

It’s important also to notice that the call upon Saul and Barnabas was revealed while the assembled group of Church leaders was worshiping and fasting.  Fasting here wasn’t for repentance or mourning–which was historically common–but rather, as a normative part of Christian worship and prayer to seek what God might desire to do next to further the mission of Jesus Christ.

For you see, up to this time the Church was still generally centered in Jerusalem, even some 15 years after the ascension of Jesus.  Saul and Barnabas had just returned from a “mission of mercy” to Jerusalem to take offerings from the Antiochian believers to help feed the church members in Judea who had been affected by a regional food shortage (see: Acts 11:27-30; ca. 46-51AD). Upon their return, the prophetic and teaching leadership team of the Antiochian church gathered. They got into alignment with God’s agenda through worshipful and prayerful fasting.

Reflection Questions
  1. Personal Reflection: Have you ever considered fasting to be a normal, ordinary part of Christian practice? Why or why not?
  2. Kingdom Reflection: What would happen if the whole Body of Christ began to worshipfully fast and pray?  What might God reveal about His mission and agenda for the world?

Optional Time of Centering/Soaking:

If possible, take some time, perhaps 5 to 15 minutes, to get into a comfortable position and simply allow the Lord to minister to you at a deep level (Psalm 42:7).   Turn off or put down all distractions.  Close your eyes.  Hold in your thoughts a meaningful word,  phrase,  or image from the Scripture you read today.  Release all other thoughts and concerns into the Presence of the Lord.   If your thoughts wander, that’s okay, just gently return to your Scriptural word, phrase, or image.  You may want to set a timer.

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