A New Year Is Upon Us! August Prayer And Fast
Since I was mid-stream on the principles of home discipleship, I decided to write a separate piece for our monthly prayer and fast items. I am excited as I begin to think about what God will do when we Christian homeschoolers in Illinois start off the school year with a day of corporate prayer and fasting, committing this year to the glory of our Lord.
Is. 58 is probably the most prolific and extensive passage on fasting.
“Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?”—Is. 58:6,7 (NKJV)
The prophet Isaiah reminds us that fasting is not to be a religious activity which overrides daily obedience but instead is an outworking of that daily relationship with the Creator of the Universe. As Samuel told a backslidden Saul, “to obey is better than sacrifice.” We do not do daily obedience OR sacrifice; we do them both.
I would encourage you to gather your family around and read this chapter in its entirety. Share with them the difference between fasting as a ritual and fasting as an extension of a lifestyle of obedience. If your children are old enough, let them fast a meal or, if possible, the day with you. Share with them what happens when we fast aright:
“Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’”—Is. 58:8,9 (NKJV)
What tremendous promises are ours! For those of you who are newcomers to homeschooling, this fear of the Lord will be your confidence (Proverbs 14:26). There is no reason to be anxious (Phil. 4:6) but only cast your cares upon Him and He will say, “Here I am.” For those of you who are more established, remember Paul’s words to the Galatians:
“Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?”—Gal. 3:3 (NKJV)
It is so easy, after we experience some success by His grace, to put our hands on the ark of God’s glory by trusting in man’s pragmatic wisdom and efforts instead of His. We must remember that anything of good, which finds its way into our homeschooling experience, comes from the hand of God.
With this in mind, will you join me this month in praying for the following?
That the model of home discipleship would continue to spread and produce godly character as well as academic excellence.
Which He commanded our fathers,
That they should make them known to their children;
That the generation to come might know them,
The children who would be born,
That they may arise and declare them to their children,
That they may set their hope in God,--Psalms 78:5-7 (NKJV)
That there would be a fresh exaltation of the Word of God in every Christian homeschooling family in the state
Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.–Psalms 119:97 (NKJV)
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.–Joshua 1:8 (NKJV)
That God would renew the mind and spirit of every homeschooling parent and that a fresh impartation of the Spirit of God would be theirs this year
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.–Is. 40:29-31 (NKJV)
That God would birth in each of our children a real motivation to learn of Him and His world through disciplined study.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;
I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in
My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.—Ez. 36:26,27 (NKJV)
Oh, that my ways were directed
To keep Your statutes!... Blessed are You, O Lord!
Teach me Your statutes.—Psalms 119:5,12
On an organizational level:
Pray for the board to know how to meet the changing needs of homeschoolers throughout the state while demonstrating constancy to vision
“The Lord God has given Me The tongue of the learned,
That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear To hear as the learned.”–Is. 50:4 (NKJV)
“…meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains,”–Col. 4:3 (NKJV)
Pray that God would anoint the support group leaders with strength and vision and that the support groups would experience tremendous life and vitality this year
“Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6 that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”–Romans 15:5,6 (NKJV)
Pray that Christian homeschoolers throughout the state will see the need to connect with one another and make a united stand in Springfield and beyond.
“that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” –John 17:21 (NKJV)
Thank you for joining ICHE’s monthly day of prayer and fasting.
Executive Director, ICHE