Our ministry is about to enter into a capital funding campaign.
During this campaign, we will be asking our entire congregation to consider how God would have them to be involved in Rock Prairie’s Vision for 2020. It is clear that the challenge we face is a great one and will require a time of personal reflection.
Great campaigns are common in Scripture. There was an organized effort to build the tabernacle during the days of Moses (Exodus 35-40), another led by Joshua was established to conquer and settle the land that God had promised to the Nation of Israel (Joshua 1-12), King David led the entire nation in a campaign to build a temple for the worship of God (1 Chronicles 29 – 2 Chronicles 7), Nehemiah did the same to reconstruct the walls of Jerusalem that had been destroyed by the Babylonians (Nehemiah 1-7), and the prophet Haggai speaks of the campaign that took place to reconstruct the temple that had been earlier destroyed (Haggai 1-2).
It is interesting to note that there are five characteristics that are common to each of these major efforts and it is our goal that they might be replicated as we enter our campaign. There was, in each case:
- An uncommon focus upon God – Israel didn’t know how to build a tabernacle or to conquer a hostile land. God did. And in their time of need they could only look to God for help and direction. In each example individuals stopped looking to everyone else for help and focused their attention like a laser upon the God of heaven.
- An uncommon Unity – The entire nation drew together in unusual ways to do together what they knew they could never accomplish alone. In each instance there was a celebration of community that was unlike what any of them had ever experienced before.
- Something very significant was accomplished – The job at hand was accomplished in remarkable ways. The tabernacle was completed, the land conquered, a temple constructed, walls rebuilt in record time, and temple worship was restored!
- Personal spiritual renewal – In the midst of the great challenges confronting them, people grew a deep respect for the power and sufficiency of God to meet all of their needs.
- Great spiritual revival – Each of the campaigns ended with a time of great spiritual revival.
Our Goal is that each of these same things be accomplished in conjunction with our Vision 2020 campaign. We are committed to seeing God magnified in this important year of our growth and development. With that in mind, we are asking each member of our congregation to commit over the next several weeks to a time of prayer and fasting.
Commit – Our desire is that everyone associated with Rock Prairie seek the leading of God as to how they should be involved. In keeping with that goal, our focus will be appealing to everyone to commit to pray and fast (one meal each week).
Pray – We believe that all of us need to hear from God!
The creator of heaven and earth has made Himself accessible through prayer. The idea of sacrificing food in times of need has been a long standing practice of godly men and women throughout the centuries. We are asking you to join a long list of others who throughout history have found God to be faithful in providing direction in a time of extraordinary need.
Ask Questions – We are suggesting a series of questions for all of Rock Prairie to ask God. We would like each person to ask one question each week, and take time to listen to what God has to say about that in relation to Rock Prairie and our work of ministry.
Respond – Learning to “hear” from God is a discipline enhanced by practice. There is a manner you will discover for yourself by which God will speak to your needs. In confidence ask, in faith listen, and experience a level of intimacy with your Heavenly Father that perhaps you have never before known. And as God directs, accept His wisdom and respond in faith.
Encourage – A primary benefit of belonging to a church is that we are able to encourage one another. Share with others your experiences, encourage them to participate with you, and support one another along the way in your journey of faith!
GUIDELINES TO FASTING
Select a time – Schedule fasting into your calendar. You are being asked to fast one meal each week. If a meal is impossible, determine a time (minimum of two hours) in which you can devote your total attention to focusing on God. Write it in your calendar with words like “lunch with God”, and prepare for your meeting with your loving Savior.
Create an Agenda
- Release – take 10 – 15 minutes at the beginning of your time with the Lord to “let go” of all those things that you feel might be preventing you from hearing from Him.
- Receive – Read the portions of God’s Word that has been selected for you. Take 30-45 minutes to read and re-read. Sometimes reading another translation can provide interesting new perspectives to a confusing portion of God’s word.
- Reflect – Follow your Bible reading by an additional 30-45 minutes of asking God questions and waiting in silence to hear from Him. Write down impressions you receive in your journal, reflect again on the message of His word, and “listen” to what God has to say to you.
- Remember – Take 15-20 minutes to remember all that Jesus Christ has done for you. Reflect on the cross and the reason why it was so essential to your redemption. See the suffering Savior dying on your behalf, and thank Him anew for the price He willingly paid for you.
- Respond – you might choose to end your fast with a song, by prayer, or even writing a poem. Enjoy God’s presence.
Pick a Place – Find a place where you can go for your appointment with the God of heaven. Take time to prepare the place, removing distractions that might keep you from concentrating on God.
Enjoy! – Enjoy your time with God. The wonder of grace is that God has invited us to enjoy Him. He has promised us a helper, a comforter who will be with us and teach us His ways (John 14,16). Enter His presence with joy and thanksgiving; enjoy the relationship He died to secure.
Reflection – Take time to jot down impressions and feelings of your appointment. Reflect on your words and review them regularly; the God of Heaven has chosen not to be silent.
The Questions – The questions that are being asked are included in this booklet. Included with each question is a passage of God’s word which you are being asked to read and meditate upon. A devotional is also included to guide your thinking with the question.