Prayer Guide

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Encourage Someone

When I started attending church at Merced New Life, a friendship began to develop between myself and a mature and faithful saint.  As I continued on my journey towards Christ, this person was always encouraging me and teaching me about the ways of God.  In addition, this God-fearing individual was continually telling me that I was intelligent, capable and a great example for others.  At first, the accolades were difficult to accept.  I thought that maybe I really had this person fooled, but as time passed, I started acting on the words of this saint.  Little by little these words became a self-fulfilling prophesy as my conduct, habits, and life began to change for the better.  I started doing the work that was required to develop my skillsets in relation to communication, interpersonal relationships, and leadership.

This saint has helped me to believe in myself and the abilities that God had already given me.  Sometimes, all it takes is one person to believe in you and encourage you.  With the support of others, we can overcome any obstacle and even move mountains.

As we begin this 2018 Prayer and Fasting Journey, please take the time to encourage someone in their pursuit of holiness, seperation, development and growth.  You will be blessed by it.

Proverbs 11:25 The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.

Philippians 2:4  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

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What If I Can’t Make It To Prayer?

During the New Life Prayer and Fasting Journey, prayer is scheduled at the church building most evenings, but if you can’t make it, no worries. In place of corporate prayer, create a plan to dedicate time each evening to pray at home or during your break time at work. Or, if you wish, find an accountability partner and schedule with them a meeting time and place to pray. Once you develop your plan for prayer, commit to it. Keep in mind that this journey is a special occasion where we dedicate extra time to God. If you have been a member of Merced New Life, then prayer is nothing new to you. You should already have a consistent prayer schedule set in place that you were informed about during your new converts lessons. Hmmm. You say you’ve never gone through new converts? Speak to your friendship group leader and schedule your lessons today!

Now, let’s get back to the main point of this article. To reiterate, our goal in this journey is to spend extra time with God in prayer. If you dedicate fifteen minutes to prayer each morning, then commit another fifteen minutes or more to “prayer and worship” in the evening.

Don’t make the mistake of comparing yourself to anyone else when it comes to prayer. Don’t get disheartened by sister or brother so and so who pray three hours a day. This is your personal time with God. It’s your opportunity to draw closer to him, to seek his guidance and pray for your needs and for the needs of those you love.

Of course, if you are able, we’d love to see you at corporate prayer.  You can find the schedule here.

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What is Corporate Prayer and Fasting?

Corporate Prayer and Fasting is a special time for the New Life Apostolic Church congregation.  This is a time of repentance, renewal, and revival to develop within the body of Christ.  Various forms of fasting are permissible and encouraged, as there may be health conditions or complicated work schedules involved for some individuals.  There are many examples of corporate fasting in the Bible where groups of people fasted and prayed for a common goal.

Joel 1:14 Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders [and] all the inhabitants of the land [into] the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD,

Acts 13:2-3 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid [their] hands on them, they sent [them] away.

Esther 4:16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which [is] not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.

Ezra 8:23 So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.

According to Bishop J. Fortino, President of the Apostolic Assemblies of Faith in Christ Jesus:

Nothing important ever happens without prayer and nothing significant happens without fasting. Even more so, nothing creative happens without fasting and prayer. We live in a time where we have to be creative. We need new ideas, new methods, and a new structure that drives us to achieve the mission statement that supposedly unites us all. Exalt Christ, Evangelize the World, and Equip the Church. Today more than ever we need for God to give us: Wisdom, Guidance, and Unity in Mission and Purpose.

Go to our Prayer and Fasting page to view more information regarding this year’s Merced New Life Prayer and Fasting Journey.

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Live a Victorious Life in 2018

On this New Year’s Day set your mind on Christ and meditate on all the promises that you made to him and yourself for 2018.  You said you would read more, pray more, and serve more.  You even said you would eat less and exercise with greater frequency.  Thankfully, there is no need to wait.  Start the year off right by dedicating some time to Christ today.  Find a quiet place.  If you have a full house, sit in your car or go in your closet and turn on the light.  If there’s no light switch, take a flashlight.  Find a notepad and take it with you.  When you get yourself situated, tell him what you plan to do for him in 2018 and make a list.  After you’re done, place the list where you can see it daily, whether on your bathroom mirror, on your work desk or your refrigerator.  Consider him every day by taking account of everything that he’s already given you.  That includes your hands and feet, your ability to walk, your friends and family, your children and spouse, your job and your vehicle, your vision and your ability to learn, think and develop.  If you want to experience true joy this year don’t look to be entertained, look to be developed.  Don’t allow this world to crowd God out of your life.

Goals cannot be completed successfully without the proper planning.  Make a plan for whatever you set out to do.  If you desire to grow and develop in Christ and draw closer to Jesus, then detail out a strategy for success.  By doing so, you will set yourself up for a victorious life in 2018!

Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)  Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Prayer – Human Communication With God

Prayer is human communication with God.  God knows our hearts, but he wants us to share our thoughts with him willingly through prayer.  Speaking to God is like talking to a trusted friend or confessing to a loving parent.  As followers of Christ, one of our goals is to learn how to be honest with God, developing the ability to freely share our faults, desires, and concerns with him.  Our God is a God that responds to needs!

1 Peter 5:7 (KJV) Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

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Prayer Schedule

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Set Your Intention

Set your intention for your fast and don’t allow others to deter you from your spiritual goals regardless of how much they protest.

The Alabaster Box

The women who broke the alabaster box, pouring the precious ointment on Jesus’ head, had her intention set.  She didn’t allow the ridicule of onlookers to deter her.  When bystanders became indignant, viewing the use of the ointment as a waste of a precious resource,  their protest didn’t stop her.  She knew full well that she had entered the home of a Pharisee, where Jesus was, and she knew that they viewed her as a sinner.  Regardless of those things she continued with her intent, “and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.”  As a result, Jesus said, “And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.””  Jesus honors those that honor him.

Supporting Scriptures

Mark 14:3-5 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. 4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? 5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.

Luke 7:37-38 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, 38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.