The gospel of Mark begins with a wham! Jesus is on point from the start. Preaching, healing, relieving people from under Satan's influence! The first message that Luke records in his gospel is Jesus’ proclamation of Jubilee. Jubilee has arrived with Jesus! Jubilee was the gift that God had given his people. Every 50 years (after 7 sabbatical years) the trumpet would sound and all debts would be forgiven, all slaves would be freed, all land holdings would be returned to their rightful owners and that was to be known as the "Year of the Lord's favor". What Jesus is saying through Luke is what Jesus is doing in Mark. He is blowing the trumpet. The long-awaited Jubilee has come! And surprisingly it’s not a date in a calendar but a person, Jesus. Everywhere Jesus went, people were healed, repentance was proclaimed and captives were freed. It’s interesting that before Jesus ever proclaimed Jubilee, he first went to the desert. That seems puzzling: Why the detour? Why not get into action right away? I used to think that Jesus went to the desert for a time of quiet meditation in order to get ready for the ministry ahead, and here comes mean old Satan, to distract him. In Mark chapter 3 Jesus, himself tells us why he went into the desert. He went because he must first "tie up the strong man" (Mark 3:27). No, Jesus didn't go away for a refreshing, vision stirring retreat before his 3 years of ministry. No, he went into the desert to pick a fight! And he fought with 3 weapons: God's word, prayer and fasting. That is what is needed to tie up the strong man, what is needed to fight for those under the dominion of Satan. Altogether, it seems like Jesus is saying that there can’t be jubilee for people who desperately need it unless their oppressor is first tied up. As you pray and fast, remember that Jesus has already tied up the adversary, Satan. Take this season of fasting to fight for those around you in prayer with great confidence. Then, come back from the desert with Jesus ready to proclaim Jubilee to all. Jubilee, the enemy is defeated!
Day 10 - The enemy is defeated
A Guide to Prayer and Fasting
21 Days Prayer and Fasting
Change. We all long for it. We want to see change in our lives, in our families, in our country, and in our world. Throughout history many people have promised change, from political and religious figures to self proclaimed experts and self help guides. But lasting change and true transformation only comes through Jesus Christ. Our prayers are often for God to change this situation or that person. But what if God is looking to bring about change in and through us? Over the next 21 days we will encounter God through scripture, prayer, and fasting and allow him to change our hearts and minds. Only then we will see breakthroughs in our families, our community, our city, and our world.
Praying the Lord's Prayer
Day 1 - God is at work
Today we begin 21 days of prayer and fasting. As you set apart these three weeks to seek God, know that God has already heard your prayer. He is already at work on your behalf. What specific clarity of vision are you seeking from God during this time? Write down your prayer so you can reflect on it at the end of the 21 days. Spend time praying for God to speak to you and give you strength.