The Sermon: Living Life in the Kingdom

Jesus, show us what it means to follow you

Spend some time this week praying through the "transformational pathway" with one worry in your life right now.

1. Thoughts

Name the worry. Why is it hard to trust God with this?

2. Emotions

Describe how you feel when you are thinking about this thing.

3. Desires

What is your deepest desire relating to this part of your life? Talk to God about it.

4. Choices

How is Jesus inviting you to respond?  What choice is He leading you to make?

Church-wide Day of Prayer and Fasting

Franklin Campus: Friday, February 5

16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6:16-18 (ESV)
What is fasting?

Abstaining from food for spiritual reasons.

Why fast?

We fast not to get something we want from God, but for God to change our wants. We fast because Jesus fasted, He expected we would fast, and we see that the early church fasted. In fasting, we choose a period of time in which we forsake what we need to live physically (food), in recognition that our greater need is to live spiritually, and that means we need God.

How do I fast?

We’ve set aside this Friday, February 5 for our church to fast and pray together. (If you’re not able to fast with us on this date, choose a different date that aligns with your schedule.)

  1. Decide ahead of time which meal(s) you plan to skip. If you’ve never fasted before, or have only fasted rarely, start small. We encourage you to fast through one meal (or two at most.) However long you fast, it’s important to stay hydrated and consider any existing medical conditions that might make fasting unwise for you. If you’re unsure, check with your doctor before you fast.
  2. Set your alarm for 12 noon to spend time in prayer using the prayer guide below. If you’re not able to pray at noon, find a different time during the day.
  3. Every time you feel physically hungry during your fast, turn it into a physical reminder of your spiritual need for God by praying this simple prayer: Lord, I need You more than I need food. Thank You for meeting my need.

Our prayer is that individually and corporately the fruit of our time of prayer and fasting will be a deeper hunger and thirst for God, that results in a greater hunger and thirst for the things of God – His glory made known through Jesus Christ. He alone is the hope for our world!

Prayer Guide

Use the guide below for your noon prayer time – or any other time throughout your fast.
Pause

Take a moment to take few deep breaths. Slow yourself down. You may want to close your eyes. Or, you may want to stand up and walk outside. The point is, whatever you were doing, you want to make a conscious and intentional break from that activity as you set aside these moments to pray.

Read

1-3 The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 (MSG)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
Pray
  1. Pray for our country

    • Pray for wisdom and courage for those in leadership locally, regionally and at the highest levels in Washington D.C.
    • Ask God to grant us unity in our diversity.
    • Ask God to grant us empathy and compassion for those who hold different views than our own.
  2. Pray for our community

    Ask God to bless the work of our local partners:

    • All Nations Soccer Club – that the gospel would be proclaimed as people from many nations gather to play and connect around soccer.
    • Barefoot Republic – that Christ would unite kids and adults from various racial, cultural, socioeconomic backgrounds.
    • El Shaddai Christian Church – that Pastor German Castro and his team would be fruitful in their work among the Hispanic community, and the people from 16 nations who call El Shaddai home.
    • New Hope Academy – that a biblical worldview would be instilled in students such that it shapes how they see the world and engage the world.
  3. Pray for our church

    • Ask God to shape our hearts that we would increasingly become more and more of the “Kingdom Citizens” that the SOTM tells us we are and calls us to be.
    • Pray for poverty of spirit, deep mourning, meekness, hunger for righteousness, mercy and purity of heart.
    • Ask that our saltiness and light would be more tangibly expressed.
    • Pray that God would save the lost through our witness.
  4. Pray for your own heart

    Gracious Heavenly Father, maker of heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them – may the words of my mouth, the meditation of my heart, the choices that I make and the counsel that I give this day be a reflection of my ‘leaning on your understanding’ and not my own.

    Amen.

Praying Matthew 5

Download the Matthew 5 Prayers document here.

Praying Matthew 5
White Board Illustration

Lloyd's white board illustration, God On His Throne.

Lloyd's white board illustration, God On His Throne
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