#DETOX is designed to prioritize God in the new year as we allow him to cleanse and renew our souls (Psalm 51:10). Together, we are committing to 21 days of prayer and fasting so that we might come into greater alignment with God’s will, purposes and plans believing and trusting in His power alone to create lasting impact and change in our lives, our church and our world.
Over the course of our #DETOX journey, we will have a daily prayer focus that will help guide and unify us as a community in prayer as we seek God's heart together on a variety of topics. You can find an overview of our daily prayer focus topics here. The following post is meant to serve as a reminder and inspiration on what and how you might pray on today's prayer focus, but should not limit how God leads you in praying. Be sure to follow along daily at our #DETOX Daily Blog here.
Prayer Focus: Increased Faith
In seasons like these, I don't know how to believe. I see brokenness in the world, and I see pain and sickness and darkness in loved ones, and I don't know how to believe that God is good. I don't know how to believe that God is in control. I don't know how to believe that God loves and cares about every single person in the world.
I've asked God: Why? What are you doing? Where are you?
I'm tired of looking for answers, and my exhaustion becomes compounded by shame -- how could I not believe after God has done so much for me? That shame feeds into more confusion and isolation, and the weaker my foundation feels, the more I find myself clinging to everything around me, looking for validation and stability. I'm so tired.
I've been thinking of these two verses a lot lately, and they have given me comfort in this time. They tell me that it's okay to ask God for help with faith, the very thing I thought I needed to have first before I could go to God.
In Mark 9: 22-24, Jesus sees a boy possessed by an evil spirit and asks the father how long he has been like this.
“How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
In Matthew 14:28, when the disciples see Jesus walking on water, they get scared. And then this beautiful exchange happens:
Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
In both these stories, people asked God for help when they struggled to believe. And He responded to them.
This means that God invites me to go to Him with my unbelief. God wants to help me believe. And that changes everything. It means I don't have to sit alone in my questions. It means it's okay for me to feel sad and confused. Faith is actually something I can ask for. Somehow, by asking God for more faith, it stretches the very muscle that I feel like I don't have.
I was recently reminded that God acts in ways so that we know it was from Him. I could share so many stories in my life where I've known this to be true -- where I couldn't see what God was doing until I was so humbled and desperate that I knew it was God when I did see Him. I wouldn't have known it was God if He had given me more of the picture any earlier.
So I will continue to pray. I will ask Jesus to say, "Come."
Where are you waiting for God to say "Come"? I encourage you to pray this with me:
God, I believe; help my unbelief. God, if it's you, tell me to come to you on the water. I need to hear you say "Come." Give me the faith to ask, and eyes to see and ears to hear when you tell me to come. And give me the faith to follow you onto the water.
— Sherrie H.