Currently, my church is in the middle of 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. (Please, check out the link to see the structure and what we do everyday). Each morning, we are up and at 'em praying over prayer cards, other believers, and lists of people that need intercession. We do this every January and August to center ourselves under God after a time of rest. I have gone to God in this time and asked Him to bless my legacy mentality that I have for 2020-- planting seeds even if I don't see the harvest, loving people even if they don't love me back, and giving even if I get nothing in return. God (via Pastor Mark Pettus, Pastor Chris Hodges, and word association) gave me the word ANOINTING through the story of Elijah.
Pastor Chris had recently preached on how to cultivate an anointing in a First Wednesday message. It was so powerfully convicting. He spoke on how we can't allow the things of the world into our hearts, minds, souls, and bodies and expect God to come out. This encouraged me because I have worked really hard in the past several months to get rid of things that don't service my spirit. It's been a detoxing type of experience to get rid of the urge to scream at my kids or snooze through a prayer time, but there is no feeling like going to bed and telling yourself "I kept my promises to myself today." It's been through this discipline that I have felt God's peace and let me tell you, it couldn't have come at a better time. So many things have come across my path in the last several months that have flipped the tables on my life. I might be clinging to the mast as the ship is tossing and turning, but it reminds me of how many people don't even have a boat.
Coming into a new year, I wanted to take the disciplines I had added to my life and really use them. This might be an unpopular opinion, but I believe if anything in life is reduced to checking a box on the to-do list, you shouldn't do it. Take a breather, go walk around the neighborhood, get a snack, take a nap, go for a drive, but recognize when you can't dig in and recalibrate. I never wanted prayer time to become the first thing on the to-do list. I wanted to always respect it as
my time with God,
my confrontation of the devil, and
my time to set my intentions for the day.
I spent so much of my time in a posture of gratitude and humility. I often prayed, "Lord, let you will be done" and a lot of "thank you for what you've already given me." Let me be clear on this. Humility and gratitude is attractive to God. It welcomes Him because He is being exalted as what He is: almighty, a provider, and second to none. Humility celebrates that we don't stand in our own abilities. Okay, so now that we've set the stage for God's power, shouldn't we... ask for it? Seriously, we've done all this work to get His attention, what are we going to do with it?
In an earthly scenario, imagine someone you greatly respect. Maybe a political figure that has helped his citizens or a wounded veteran that is helping other veterans; someone that used their influence to make the world a better place. If you could have their undivided attention, wouldn't you do more than thank them? Wouldn't you ask for a blessing in some way? Whether that be just gaining knowledge from them, bringing another need to their attention, or just ask for advice? I hesitated to do those things with God, feeling like I wasn't worthy to ask even though the Lord has already used me in so many ways. I think I paralleled Elijah.