I was reading Luke’s gospel the other day and I was struck by the poem Jesus quotes when He is talking about John the Baptist (Luke 7:27),
“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.”
At the time I had been praying that the Lord would prepare the way for some things I thought He had called us to do, particularly in Headingley. It then dawned on me that I had things upside down, again. I am meant to prepare the way for Him, not the other way around. It’s up to us to discern what the Lord is doing, look where He is going, and then clear the rubble from the path so that He can come and do what He wants to do.
Tom Sine says, “The call to follow Jesus is not a call to give our lives to the Western dream with a little devotional add-on … It is not found in seeking life, but in giving our lives away.” Prepare the way will mean giving away – stepping away from the distractions and pleasures of this world and instead seeking the kingdom of God.
So, in September, I am inviting you to fast and pray for the whole month with this specific focus: Prepare the Way.
Preparing the Way means removing distractions so that we can hear and see what the Lord is doing; (2) preparing ourselves, our attitudes, our hearts and minds; (3) preparing our lives, our priorities; (4) preparing the church as a community of faith, ready to trust and obey.
For each week the Prayer Guide will provide: (1) an introduction to the theme, (2) a challenge to consider, (3) a scripture for us to read, ponder and meditate upon with the help of a short commentary. Then (4) there is some guidance as to how to pray. Finally, (5) there will be an action to take. You can spread the exercise over the week or do it all in one go or repeat it every day.
If you don’t already write in a journal – this might be a good time to start. Just jot down your prayers and what you sense the Lord saying in reply. Make a note of decisions or questions or thoughts. If the Lord gives you a prophecy or a word of knowledge for the church or others, write it down. At the end of the month you can look back and see what He has been saying to you and through you.
In the Notes For Joining In Prayer there will be a range of suggestions for praying on your own and with others – it is a glorious thing to be able to reach out to the Lord alongside those who are on the same kingdom adventure as us, so please do join in if you can.
In Notes For Joining In The Fasting you will find notes about fasting your phone for the month. You can find other guidance on fasting on the website: just search for “fast”.
And then on Sunday 2 October we will give time to hearing from everyone about what the Lord has been saying and doing.
Prepare the Way intro talk