21 Day “Faith at Work” Devotional

–  WEEK 2 –

 

DAY 8 – 1/16/23

And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (Mark 5:25-34 NIV) When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. 55 They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was.56 And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed. (Mark 6:53-56) 

Holy desperation breeds holy desperation and the power of Jesus flows to and through holy desperation. Hannah’s desperate prayer for a son impacted the generations to come as God answered her prayer by bringing forth the Prophet Samuel; “In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly.” (1 Samuel 1:10 NIV) 

Imagine the desperation of the woman suffering with an issue of blood for TWELVE YEARS. After spending all she had and getting worse instead of better, her only hope was this: “she heard about Jesus.” Let that sink in for a minute. Then she thought: “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Then she acted: “she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak.” It was not an easy thing for this woman, depleted of strength, trying to be undetected, to press through, reach out, and receive her miracle, but, SHE DID.  She heard, she thought, she acted and then power went out from Jesus and she was healed!!!  

Awesome, but not the end of the story.  Fast forward to the end of the next chapter in Mark and it seems that everyone heard about the woman healed of the issue of blood by touching Jesus’ cloak because we read this: “And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.” Holy desperation breeds holy desperation that breeds a move of God! One act of faith can ignite the fires of revival, awakening and reformation. 

Prayer and Proclamation: 

Lord, in our deep anguish we cry out to You for healing, for salvations, for the fires of revival to hit Your Church and to spread all over the land.  We will boldly tell others about You.  We will boldly step out in faith, acting upon Your Word. Amen

DAY 9 – 1/17/23 

Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: “I am with you,” declares the Lord.14 So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God, (Haggai 1:13-14 NIV)

The context of this passage of Scripture is that the work on the rebuilding of the Temple of the Lord had come to a standstill. The people had returned from exile and became so busy building their own homes and being about their own agendas that they forgot the assignment from the Lord and the building of God’s House. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33 NIV). 

We can get so caught up in, and consumed by, the everyday affairs of life that we lose sight of the most important relationships and responsibilities in life, as well as the primary purposes of God.  The Lord sent a prophet named Haggai to His people to shake them out of spiritual slumber, and overactive unproductivity, and shift them into a Kingdom productivity fueled by the Holy Spirit.  We can come up with every reason why it’s impossible for us to fulfill the assignment of the Lord but it’s amazing how a simple message from the Lord like “I AM WITH YOU,” can get us out of our own heads and back into the heart of God and the possibilities of God. 

That prophetic message (which came after a stinging prophetic rebuke) stirred the spirits of a governmental leader, a church leader, and all of the people, and they came together to resume the Lord’s work. Many times, our activities and efforts seem meager and of little consequence, but the Lord speaks to that too. 

“Speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jozadak the high priest, and to the remnant of the people. Ask them, ‘Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing? But now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord. ‘Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work. For I am with you,’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.” (Haggai 2:2-9 NIV) 

The church, and the world, is in the midst of a shaking from the Lord and, in order for us to stand and make headway in the purposes of God, it’s going to require an unwavering faith, an unyielding resolve and an unquenchable hunger and thirst for the Lord and His Holy Spirit activity and power.  He will grant us great provision, a greater “present house,” and He will grant us peace. 

Prayer and Proclamation:

Lord, forgive us for putting other things before You, remind us of what You have saved us for and called us to, and fill us with Holy Spirit fuel to put our hands to the plow and not look back.  Thank you for peace to stand strong, power to work, provisions to build and the promise of the greater glory.  We believe it and receive it.  Amen.

DAY 10 – 1/18/23)

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. (John 9:1-7 NIV) 

There is so much in life that we do not understand, and the usual tendency is to place blame and affix shame rather than to realize that this is why Jesus came and there is power in His Name for us to work the works of Him Who sent us. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. (1 John 3:8b NIV) The devil’s works are destroyed when the works of God are wrought. 

There are people and circumstances all around us that are just waiting for the works of God to be displayed.  It’s time to stop placing blame and pointing the finger of accusation and to start displaying the works of Him Who sent us by the power of the Holy Spirit. His works are needed, His light is necessary, and His ways are perfect.  Let’s not be offended by the way God chooses to manifest His work.  Spitting and making mud may seem revolting to us but it got the job done and it may be just the jolt we need to get moving. 

Prayer and proclamation: 

Lord, we want Your works and Your ways.  Help us to see the situations that are waiting for Your works to be displayed and help us to move with You.  We want Holy Spirit firepower.  Amen and Amen!!

DAY 11 – 1/19/23 

Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city.13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (Acts 1:12-14 NIV) When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:1-4 NIV) 

The greatest expression of faith at work, oftentimes, is praying and waiting. The apostles, and other close disciples, of Jesus had just undergone a month and a half rollercoaster ride for the ages.  Jesus was betrayed, arrested, denied, severely beaten, sentenced to death, and crucified. He died on the cross and was buried in a tomb. The men went into hiding, the women mourned, and questions about the future loomed heavy on all concerned.  Then, “Up from the grave He arose!!” Jesus was alive again, walking with them, eating with them, speaking with them about the Kingdom and God and the glorious future He had in store for all of them: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”(Acts 1:8 NIV) 

Jesus told them not to leave Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high and then He ascended, bodily and visibly, right before their eyes.  The One Who Is the “all-consuming-fire” ascended into Heaven and would descend in holy firepower a week or so later.  The only thing that was needed was praying and waiting. “They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” 

Something special happened during those days of prayer (and probably fasting). A “one-accord-ness” was forged, a holy expectancy of faith was conceived, a spontaneous combustion of Heaven-sent power was ignited, and a revolution of a Holy Spirit empowered gathering of souls erupted with signs, wonders and various miracles.  O, how we need that NOW!!! The time is now for Holy-Ghost-fired prayer that produces sustained revival.  

Prayer and Proclamation: 

Lord, send Your fire again!! Lord, unify us in heart and mind that we might flow with You in Heaven-gazed prayer, Heaven-sent revival, and awakening.  Ignite us with fresh flames of spiritual fervor and help us to fan into greater flames, the gift of God that is within us. AMEN!!

DAY 12 – 1/20/23 

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. (Acts 3:1-10 NIV) 

The stored-up explosives of consistent prayer will eventually be detonated by a Holy Ghost set-up and a Spirit-prompted act of faith.  The results will bring devastation to the dominion of darkness and advancement to the Kingdom of Light (God). There are coming moments when the bleakness of every day begging will be instantly transformed into the everlasting joy of people knowing Jesus, the Savior, Healer, Deliverer and Restorer.  

The everyday humdrum of this lame man’s life was suddenly changed from that day forward.  “What a difference a day made!”  Faith at work through Peter and John made the difference.   What difference is the Lord looking for us to make?  I don’t think I’ve ever seen more people begging than what we are seeing today.  They’re not lame in their bodies, but they have probably been crippled in their souls and spirits since birth, or since some traumatic experience paralyzed their lives, maturity, progress and success. They are just waiting for God’s Hand extended (Christ followers) to reach out and lift them out of the miry quicksand and into the abundant life of Jesus. 

Prayer and Proclamation: 

Lord Jesus, thank you that you have sent us.  We want to make a God-sized difference in the lives of those around us.  Give us a sensitivity to Holy Spirit and great boldness of faith to reach out holy hands and release the power of the resurrection.  As a preacher once said: “Reach one hand into the Glory and the other hand into the gutter.” AMEN!

DAY 13 (1/21/23) 

“Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” (Acts 4:29-31 NIV) 

The first response of the Book of Acts Church when their faith was tested and their mission taunted was to lift their voices in fervent prayer, pray the Word of God, cry out for divine intervention, and ask for boldness to continue the mission in victory.  We need the same ferocity of faith and fervency in prayer!! The establishment religious leaders, jealous because they were losing their following and furious because they couldn’t deny a genuine miracle manifested through the hands of the uneducated followers of Jesus, were trying to shut down the fledgling church.  

The healing of the lame man afforded Peter and John the opportunity to testify of the resurrection of Jesus and the miracle done through the power of His Name.  

“They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day.But many who heard the message believed; so, the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.” (Acts 4:2-4 NIV) 

God-sized growth is possible, and should happen, through a people of Kingdom-focused prayer and Spirit-led outreach.  They were commanded not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus, but they decided to inquire of the Lord to see what He had to say about that.  God answered their prayer by shaking their meeting place and filling them afresh with Holy Spirit. He granted them boldness and stretched forth His hand (Just what they asked for). 

With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all.” (Acts 4:33 NIV) I want the presence of God to shake our meeting places! I want the fresh infillings of the Holy Spirit!! I want the 21st century version of the Book of Acts!!! “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished, and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13 NIV) 

Prayer and Proclamation: 

Lord, we want to be a people that have been with Jesus.  We want the courage that astonishes and boldly testifies of Jesus. We humbly, yet fervently, lift our voices and ask you to stretch forth Your hand to do what only You can do, fill us to overflowing and show forth Your power and glory to a church that’s desperate for revival and a world that’s desperate for Jesus. Amen and Amen!!

DAY 14 – 1/22/23

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” (James 5:16b-18 NIV) 

Faith-fired prayer can shut the heavens in divine judgement or open the heavens in divine restoration.  Prayer is a dialogue between man and God, but it’s best to let God do most of the talking and us do most of the listening.  We won’t have a Word from the Lord if we won’t listen and without a Word from the Lord, we won’t know what His will is in a given time or situation.  

“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.” Colossians 1:9b-12 NIV) 

In 1 Kings 17:1, Elijah comes out of total obscurity with a Word from the Lord for Ahab, the wicked king of Israel. “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” We didn’t know anything about Elijah until this verse but, from James 5:17-18, we know Elijah was a man of prayer. He prayed that it wouldn’t rain because God said it wouldn’t rain, then he prayed that it would rain because God said He was sending rain. If we don’t know what God is saying, then we don’t know what we should be praying. 

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:14-15 NIV) 

Genuine prophecy and prayer are strongly linked together. We need to know the Bible, we need to know how to hear from God, we need to know how to pray God-informed prayer. The fate of nations hangs in the balance. 

Prayer and Proclamation: 

Lord, fill us with the knowledge of Your Will, speak to us through Your Word and intimacy with You, that we might shift the destiny of nations with God-informed prophetic prayer.  Your Kingdom come; Your Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. By faith we declare: THE DROUGHT IS OVER, THE RAINS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS ARE FALLING, NATIONS ARE TURNING TO YOU. AMEN!

*Written by Pastor Angelo Sarna, Sr (2023)

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