Clarity 2020 Prayer and Fasting Devotions

Day Twenty: Argentinian Tango

February 1, 2020

In Cheesman Park, in the heart of Denver, there is a beautiful pavilion. On any given Saturday night, you will find couples dancing an old-school style of Argentinian Tango. It's slow, intimate and beautiful. I have stopped during my walks to watch, listen and capture the moment with a picture. I have been reminded of how our relationship with Jesus Christ is very similar to this Argentinian Tango. The first thing I noticed was that the dance is slow. Strong relationships take time and should never be rushed. Take your time, and invest in your relationship with Christ so that you're both dancing to the same song. Secondly, I noticed that the dance is very intimate and personal. Each couple keeps their eyes on each other and holds each other close. Proverbs 4:25 says, “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.” What we focus on tends to dictate where we invest our heart. As we participate in this “dance” with Jesus Christ, let's focus on Him. It’s kinda like, dance with the one who "bought" you! Ok, that was cheesy. But seriously, our focus determines our future. What are you choosing to invest in? It’s going to take time, and it’s going to take effort. It’s the tango of you and Jesus dancing out life. Finally, I noticed that the dance is beautiful. Why? Well, in the middle of a busy city, people come together to enjoy this tango together. In this day and age, this act of love and intimacy has caught the eyes and attention of us – the bystanders – which has caused us to evaluate what is going on. When we take time to slow down our life and focus on our relationship with Christ, we naturally draw a crowd. Our tango with our Savior is pure, honest and beautiful. In what ways today can you focus on Jesus instead of what you normally focus on? What things do you need to slow down so that you can take time to really see Him?

Day Nineteen: Generous, Unbridled Trust

January 31, 2020 • Sheri Campbell

Proverbs 3:5-6 (TPT) Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision that you make. Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead wherever you go. Generosity is often thought of in the context of giving, but God is calling us to be generous, even lavish, in our faith and trust in Him. Proverbs 3:5-6 encourages us to trust in the Lord completely and with all of our heart. There are many factors that contribute to every decision that we make, but the most important, life-giving, life-altering, peace-blanketing is direction from our heavenly Father. He sees our beginning from the end with clarity and asks that we acknowledge Him and trust Him to direct our steps. Our part is to “become intimate with him in whatever (we) do.” Other translations use the words “acknowledge Him, seek Him, submit to Him and to His will.” Trust can leave us in what feels like a vulnerable position. Have you ever participated in the team building exercise called the trust fall? Leaning backwards, you close your eyes and trust that the person behind you will catch you… that’s a hard ‘no’ from me! What if it’s the Lord promising to catch us, to lead us, to guide us? Psalm 17:4-5 (TPT) says, “Following your word has kept me from wrong. Your ways have molded my footsteps, keeping me from going down the forbidden paths of the destroyer. My steps follow in the tracks of your chariot wheels, always staying in their path, never straying from your way.” As vulnerable as we may feel, we are protected and safe when we are following in the tracks of His “chariot wheels.” The Lord says, “Trust me, let me guide you.” The more we trust and follow, the more we begin to recognize His peace and presence, and we are more attuned when something feels off and we need to course correct. What does generous faith and trust look like for you? Are you trusting God and seeking Him in your present circumstances or going your own way and relying on self? Commit to following the Lord and trusting Him in whatever you are facing today.

Day Eighteen: Soar While You Wait!

January 30, 2020 • Sharon Wager

Isaiah 40:31. ASV But they that wait for Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint. How well do you wait for something to happen? Few of us are naturally patient as is evidenced by the road rage on our highways or the impatience exhibited at a fast food restaurant line! If we manage to resist frustration while waiting, many of us get bored and fill our wait time with social media distractions – again not very productive! Yet many of us are waiting for God to work in some area of our life or family. The prophet Isaiah gives us a powerful analogy. Those who wait (trust, hope) for the Lord will actually end up soaring with new strength above the situation. From that elevated vantage point, everything looks different, perspective is broadened. One can see the end from the beginning of a pathway. Soar while you wait! What an inspiring picture. In practical terms, what helps us soar as we wait? One of the most powerful keys is to WORSHIP while you wait. Acknowledging the big, powerful, omnipotence of God makes my situation seem smaller. Worship puts God in His rightful place as my Creator, my Father, my ever-present help! Worship leads me to an attitude of gratitude which focuses with clarity on what I have, who I am, not what I don’t have and who I wish I was. Lord, this year I want to soar with hope and trust as I wait for you and wait for your answer. I choose today to worship with a heart of gratitude. I acknowledge that you are always working on my behalf and I wait with expectant trust.

Day Seventeen - New Year’s Resolutions

January 29, 2020 • Pastor Donna Lasit

Proverbs 3:21-23 (TPT) 21 My child, never drift off course from these two goals for your life: to walk in wisdom and to discover discernment. Don’t ever forget how they empower you. 22 For they strengthen you inside and out and inspire you to do what’s right; you will be energized and refreshed by the healing they bring.23 They give you living hope to guide you, and not one of life’s tests will cause you to stumble. Happy New Year! Ok, a few days late, but it still amazes me that 2020 is here! Have you joined the thousands of people that have set new goals, or made some ‘New Year’s resolutions’? Maybe you want to lose that extra ten pounds, start an exercise routine, read more, live on your phone less or something of that sort. All worthy goals for sure! And though New Year’s resolutions get a bad rap sometimes, I’m thankful for a new year to start fresh and think about the things that I need/want to shift in my life. I love the chance to reset, regroup and grow in different areas of my life. I love January because it’s a new beginning. Another chance to do things right. But have you ever thought about the two goals mentioned in these verses, “To walk in wisdom and to discover discernment”? They have me thinking in a different way about my own goals this year. I can’t help but feel drawn away from my own resolutions to a more simpler thought for the year. I want to pursue wisdom. I want to grow in discernment. I’m realizing that everything good springs from these virtues. Wisdom will lead me to make better life choices. Discernment will guide me into healthy relationships and a healthy way of living. These verses tell us that these goals do more than that! Solomon writes that we are empowered, strengthened, inspired, energized, refreshed and healed by wisdom and discernment. And finally, the Word says that they give us living hope so that NOT ONE of life’s tests will cause us to stumble. Wow. Now those are some powerful words and a great way to begin the year! Today, make a conscious shift in your prayers. Pray for wisdom. Pray for greater discernment. Pray for these two goals to be front and center this year and watch how they actually spill into all the other areas of your life as well.

Day Sixteen - Old Bike New Gift

January 28, 2020 • Pastor Josh Escobar

The doors slammed on the minivan as we were filled with excitement to go get something to eat as a family. Pulling out of the parking lot, as we normally do when desiring to go to a place to eat, I decided to take a right instead of a left, not knowing what we were about to find down one of the side roads in our community. There is a saying that goes, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." I have gone dumpster diving many times throughout my life, even found a trunk full of brand-new clothes from a high end retail store (story best saved for another time). But now we were about to find out how true this quote really is. We turned on the last bend of the street we were driving on to encounter some trash on the side of the road. I pulled off to the side because I noticed something between some of the garbage. My daughter had wanted a bicycle and she was turning five in a couple of days. Out from the trash was this tiny bicycle peering at us as if to say, "I'm no longer wanted; I'm not needed." We brought the bike home and cleaned the bike some more. We noticed that the tires were flat. I figured that the worst-case scenario would be that we would have to purchase brand-new tires or at least some inner tubes. My daughter asked my father-in-law if he would be willing to work on the tires for her birthday. As he went to the store to find new tires, he noticed that there is a program that this particular toy store offers. The store offers to take old bicycles for a discount on a new one. So on my daughter's birthday, she didn't get a fixed bike or a mended bike, she got a brand-new bike. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" This verse helps me to really realize how important it is to know Christ. That all my work and all my effort to try to fix the issues and problems in my life, by just changing the tires or just trying to clean them up, really doesn't make my heart new. You see, when I try to patch things and I try to fix things in my own strength, I'm still working with the same material, "myself," just like the old bike. But Jesus comes to make all things new. He takes the old bike or all the old things of our life and He gives us a brand-new life if we ask Him to. He just doesn't fix it, but exchanges it for a brand-new life. It is said that the greatest gift is Jesus. I think that to be true. He gives us a brand-new life. He changes our old dirty, sinful way of living for a brand-new life in Him. One that causes us to pursue holiness, righteousness, love and compassion -- a brand-new gift! My hope for you today in reading this is that you've experienced His new life. That you will allow Him to take the things that are old and dirty, heavy and burdensome in your life and let Him give you His new gift of salvation.

Day Fifteen: Road Trip

January 27, 2020 • Pastor Doug Lasit

John 6:35 “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’” When we go on a road trip, one of the first things we do is go and get the snacks. How many will we need for the length of the trip, and what will they be. We all have our favorites. Mine are Redvines Redbull, anything that starts with Red. At the beginning of each year, I sit down and I think about what the Lord is asking me to do this year. What does the next twelve months look like? Where are the challenging spots this year? Who else on this trip am I feeding? What will this cost? What I need for my journey this year, however, is not what I can bring but on who I lean. “Those who come to me…” Powerful words. There is no end to what others may demand of us. We may not think that we have the resources that we need for the journey ahead. But if we continually go to HIM, he supplies all of our needs along the way. If am receiving from HIM, I will have what I need for those who depend on my leadership and support. I love what I do, and I don’t want to run out! The answer, find my source. My Part: Write down what you think this year will look like. What will you need? Who is relying on you? Where is the lack? Are aware now of where some of the challenges will be and when? Write these down and then BRING them to the Lord. Pray for strength and for God to impart everything you need for the year ahead.

Day Fourteen: I’m Not Flying, I'm Resting.

January 26, 2020 • Pastor Doug Lasit

Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” From my house, like so many homes in Colorado I can see the mountains. What people in other states have to pay for, we just get for free! More than once a week I will look out my living room window, and see this one hawk just soaring around over the neighborhood, with the majestic Rocky Mountains as the background. The other day I saw that hawk just floating in the same spot for about half an hour. I went to get groceries came back, put them away and looked out the window and the hawk was still floating around in the same place. I thought, “Man! Does that bird ever get tired?” Of course the answer is no, because the bird is not the one doing the work. The bird just spreads its wings and allows the wind, the thermals moving up on the side of the hill to keep it in place. When the bird looks like it’s flying, it’s actually resting. Amazing! This is how God would like us to view his role in our lives. Regardless of what we are going through, when we think we might want to quit, we have HOPE to keep going. We are active, we are flying, but we are resting. We can accomplish more, go farther and have a better view when the Holy Spirit is lifting us. My Part: Is there an area right now where the struggle is zapping your energy? Are you striving or rest in the strength of God. Name that area. Name that struggle and pray “God I rest in you. You will carry me through. You are my strength and my shield. You take over.”

Day Thirteen: Dormant Not Dead

Here in Colorado, as soon as the cold weather comes, the snow starts to fall and the grass turns grey, parts of every neighborhood can resemble the frozen tundra. Trees, especially in the winter look like they died along time ago, and they are just waiting for someone to pull them up by dead roots. There are days when it can be -10 degrees, the snow blowing sideways and the ground is as solid as concrete. On days like this when you see some poor tree, you think “That tree is dead!” But as soon as the weather warms, and the sun breaks through, those dead trees begin to bud. It’s in that moment you realize that the tree wasn’t dead… it was dormant. Dormant is not dead. There are seasons in each of our lives when there is no fruit, the environment is conducive to growth, and all you can do… is nothing. Whatever you do, despise those moments because it just means that another season is on its way. The tree trusts that when the conditions are right, if it doesn’t quit, that the fruit will come. You see when conditions externally are barren, under the surface the roots are diving deeper to find nourishment. When you are in the dormant season, don’t just wish it end, pray it takes you deeper so the when the winter passes you can grow higher. This is why God allows us to go through things, so that we can go deeper and grow stronger. Colossians 2:7 says, “Rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Those trees in the spring are the most beautiful part of the street corner, every field, and every park. They were established. They were rooted. They were dormant but not dead, just waiting for God to bring a new season. If you are in a dormant season. Pray today that God deepens your roots and speaks to your heart in the deep places that only he sees. He depening you, growing you and preparing for something amazing.

Day Twelve: The Journey Is Part Of The Gift

January 24, 2020 • Pastor Doug Lasit

I heard a story once about a missionary who spent many years working in a village in East Africa. After several years her journey there came to an end. The village, as is tradition, wanted to send her off with a party and many... many gifts. There was one young boy who she was particularly fond of. She had spent more time with him, taught him english, and they had become like a family. The day came for the party and the people were celebrating, opening gifts, enjoying good food and sharing memories. The young boy was waiting in the wings to bring his gift forward with a happy smile on his face, obviously excited about what he had wrapped. He walked up, handed her the gift and stared at her intently to see her reaction. Which is always the best part of giving a gift. However, when she opened the gift her face became serious and heavy. It was not the reaction he was hoping for at all. “Where did you get this?” she asked. “In the village at the seashore.” He replied. The gift was a beautiful shell that inside glistened with beautiful ornate colors. A very special gift indeed and one that was only given to most respected elders and guests. The problem was, the village by the seashore was miles away, at least an eight hour walk and was occupied by bandits and even wild animals. “You shouldn’t have done this.” She spoke to the boy. “The journey is too dangerous to take alone at such a young age.” The boy just smiled, looked her in the eyes and said, “But teacher, the journey is part of the gift.” Consider John 1:14 for a moment. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” This is what Jesus did. The journey was the gift. He came to earth so that he could sacrifice himself for our sins and restore our relationship with God. It was a journey fraught with pain, betrail, false accusation and crucifiction. Yet he made the journey with joy and purpose. In prayer today, consider the gift of Jesus. Thank him for giving his life for you and I. Think about his journey on earth, and then allow it to strengthen you for your journey as you fulfill the call of God in your own walk.

Day Eleven: Glorious Unwarranted Grace

January 23, 2020 • Daniel Preston

Ephesians 2:8 (NIV) “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Grace is the glorious unwarranted result of an unconditional loving God. As a father I have been blessed with the opportunity to experience a small fraction of the love that our Heavenly Father has for us. Their obedience or disobedience does not change the love that was planted in my heart at the very beginning of our relationship. The same is true of God’s passion for each of us. There is absolutely nothing we can do to increase His love for us because he loved us completely from the very start. This means that we cannot earn our salvation, it is the ultimate gift from the Creator of the universe, a token of His very being, that is given freely to those that have the assurance of the things revealed and promised in His Word. My Part: Here is a prayer that you can pray. Or, just pray in your own words. However, take a moment and thank God for His love and grace today. “Heavenly Father, you are the giver of eternal life. You have extended your hand in a manner that allows us to be in relationship with you freely. I accept your Gift of Grace, I acknowledge that you are not keeping score and that when I press into your presence it is pure and untainted not because of what I have done but because of your sacrificial Love for me.”

Day Ten: Every Waking Hour

January 22, 2020 • Pastor Donna Lasit

Psalm 55:17-19 The Passion Translation (TPT) “Every evening I will explain my need to him. Every morning I will move my soul toward him. Every waking hour I will worship only him, and he will hear and respond to my cry.” David writes these four simple lines that if taken to heart could have a huge impact on our lives. But before you picture David sitting in a field, singing these words during a peaceful time of his life, think again. To fully understand the weight of this verse, we must understand the context in which these words were penned. It is believed that this Psalm was written by King David during a time of extreme betrayal and personal pain. David’s own son Absalom, along with his trusted advisor Ahithophel, had formed a rebellion and were attempting to take the Kingdom by force. David is running for his life. And yet in the midst of the chaotic whirlwind of this rebellion, David has an anchor. Something that doesn’t budge with the wind of grief, betrayal, injustice and uncertainty. In this verse, David lays out a pattern to weathering the storms of life, the pain and betrayals that sucker punch us in the gut. Every morning, evening and waking hour he cries out to God. He might even complain at moments, but he is honest with God about what he is feeling and what he is needing. He moves his soul (mind, will and emotions) towards God and worships despite the great devastation and uncertainty that he is facing. He constantly, every waking hour, approaches God, fully confident that the Lord hears him and will respond to his cry. His belief that the Lord is listening causes him to reach out to God with faith and boldness. My Part: Use this verse as a pattern and write out a response to each of the lines in this verse. Make this a pattern a part of your daily life.

Day Nine: ALL Things Are Possible

January 21, 2020 • Pastor Rod Hood

The account of the Rich man in Matthew 19:26 is one of the best passages I can think of in the Bible to live by. It’s a story about a rich man who’s desire was to gain eternal life. Jesus shared a few commandments that needed to be followed to which the man answered that he had, but asked what do I still lack as if he thought there was more to be done. He then asked the man “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me” the man then left sad, because he had great wealth. Many times in our lives the Lord speaks about laying something down for the benefit of our spiritual walk with Him. Some of you will be doing this throughout the 20 days of Prayer and Fasting. For the rich young man it happened to be wealth that he wasn’t willing to let go of. Jesus may already be speaking to you or has spoken to you about laying something down. Something that maybe has become and Idol or stumbling block in your life or your relationships. So how do you overcome this thing or things that may be keeping you from going deeper in Christ. The answer can be found just a few verses down. In verse 26 it says “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to lay something down without first asking God to walk with me through the tough decisions. I’ve learned the hard way enough throughout my life to know now that ONLY through Christ am I able to lay down the things that keep me from experiencing true Joy and Happiness. My Part: What is it that God might be asking you to lay down? Can you identify it? Pray today that God gives you insight to know, and the strength to act. Remember when your facing challenges in life that with God all things are possible. May 2020 be a year of going deeper in Christ.

Day Eight: Can I Really Be Like Him!

January 20, 2020 • Pastor Hugh Fells

Col 3:10-11 “10 Put on your new nature and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. 11 In this new life, it doesn't matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.” NLT. The Greek word for new in this passage is neos; NT:3501 the "new man" in Col 3:10 (neos) stresses the fact of the believer's "new" experience, recently begun, and still proceeding. "The old man in him... dates as far back as Adam; a new man has been born.” Vine’s In Colossians chapter 3, the apostle Paul teaches us how our behavior towards God and Man should change when we commit our lives to Christ. In Colossians 3:10 Paul says that we should put on a new nature (behavior) and be renewed (reading the Bible and talking to the one who created you) as we purpose to become more like Christ. In verse 11 Paul tells us that it doesn’t matter who we are or where we came from, a new life IS POSSIBLE if you have faith and believe it. Christ in us is all that matters. My Part: Today in prayer simply lay your old life down. Once again. During this time of prayer and fasting, purpose to practice the vision for your life that Paul encourages. This process is called discipleship. When you submit to the discipleship of Christ, you will become more like Him.

Day Seven: What Are You Building?

January 19, 2020 • Sheri Campbell

Psalm 127:1 (NIV) Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. At the beginning of this new year, we collectively pause. There are many things that consume our time, our energy, our thoughts, our finances. What is our purpose moving forward into this new year, this new decade? What are we building? King Solomon was very familiar with large building projects, as he had been commissioned to build the Lord’s temple. In Psalm 127:1-2 he writes about the futile efforts that are exerted without the Lord. “Unless the Lord builds the house, the workers labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over a city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat.” No one wants to hear at the end of a project or at the end of their life, that the hours they spent were useless, or insignificant. We have been called to much more than that. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 1:9, “He has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace.” God has called you and purposefully placed within you passions, gifts, and abilities that He wants to use. You are a part of what He is building, He wants to use you. King David urged the leaders who would be helping his son, Solomon, build the temple, “Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God” (1 Chronicles 22:19). These leaders had a purpose, they were going to be a part of a monumental undertaking. David knew that unless they sought God in the building process, their work would be in vain. God must be at the center of whatever He is calling us to do. My Part: Take inventory of what consumes your time, energy, thoughts, and finances. Devote your heart and soul to daily seeking God, asking Him for clarity and wisdom in how He wants to use you in what He is building.

Day Six: Restoration Hardware

January 18, 2020 • Tiffany Escobar

Ezekiel 36:26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” In our modern reality television society, the theme “Restoration” has been a trend. Taking something worn, aged, and unappealing, then transforming it into a repurposed piece of art now dominates the network design shows. Now on Nextdoor, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, pieces that are ugly, and from past eras are now hot items. There’s something about the restorative aspect that is exciting to the Visionary looking at the potential of an object. God sees us with such vision, passion and excitement looking past our hardened exterior to the potential that is hidden inside. All throughout history the Lord has had a plan...to restore humanity to its intended state. Yet, we have resisted it. In Ezekiel, the Israelites had drifted so far from God’s plan for them. They allowed things to invade their lives, pulling them rebel against that plan. Ezekiel 36 was not written reflecting on times of spiritual health for the nation of Israel. In fact, God was declaring that although their hearts were turned and hardened towards Him, HE had a different plan. Yes, it was a promise! But not one that they wanted to be reminded of while living in their sin. He was declaring that His Plan would prevail. He saw past their cold, unfeeling exterior. The Designer, Creator, Perfecter, was ready to make an alteration. Something that would accomplish His purpose. Just like the person who restores a piece of furniture has a vision and plan for his masterpiece, so does the Lord. He will make all things new. He “will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you” and He will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” My Part: Wherever you are in the process of restoration, know that He will see it to completion to accomplish His greater plan of restoration in your life. That might mean you will be uncomfortable. He may request of you something difficult but will only make you stronger, refined, more precious. Is there an area of your life that need to be restored? In prayer, name that area. Give up to God. Let his loving grace fill you, restore and heal you.