Our 2023 theme is 'You Promised', anchored in God's word and reflected in Nehemiah 9:8: “You have done what you promised, for you are always true to your word.”
Pray and fast as you feel led. You may choose to go without something, such as a favourite food or activity. Ask God what He would like you to do.
As we spend the next ten days in prayer and fasting together as a community, may you hear His voice and be led by His Holy Spirit. Use this time to write down all that God is revealing to you, and share it with someone when you get the opportunity.
Day One — Monday 13th February
You have done what you promised, for you are always true to your word.
For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.
2 Corinthians 1:20
Before us today are two very powerful passages talking about the promises of God.
Nehemiah could confidently say that God was always true to His word. Paul, with all that he went through, also knew confidently that God always keeps His promises. God was his rock and stronghold. Many people have experienced the same thing. They encountered the promises of God and saw Him come through.
Reflect today on how God has carried you. Remember those times when God clearly answered your prayers, and give thanks.
May this year be a year where we discover again that God is a promise keeper. He can be replied on in every situation you are facing and will face.
l simply want to say thank you. Thank you for what this year will hold and that l can depend on you for all that is ahead.
In Jesus name,
Write down three or four key areas that you would like to trust God for in 2023.
Day Two — Tuesday 14th February
Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
2 Corinthians 7:1
“Even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
There is an old adage that states, whenever you see a “therefore” at the beginning of a text, you need to understand what it’s there for.
Paul is calling the church to be separated unto the Lord — to live not as unbelievers, but as followers of Christ.
As the promise given to King David in 2 Samuel 7 says, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters…” This is the new covenant way of calling believers to “be holy, because we serve a holy God.” (Leviticus 11:44)
In this vein of ‘holiness’, we understand that our own righteousness without Christ is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) and we need the righteousness of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30) when we pray, for the prayers of the righteous carry a lot of weight (James 5:16). Therefore, let us prepare our hearts and lives to be completely separated unto Him who gave His all for us on the cross. Let nothing remain between you and your complete surrender to our faithful Heavenly Father.
When we do this, it is effectively the same as when the children of Israel consecrated themselves before entering the Promised Land and winning victory after amazing miraculous victory. So, give yourself to the redeeming love of God through the forgiveness of Christ and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirt, then pray for victory.
Heavenly Father, I am grateful for your grace and mercy that welcomes me into your loving arms. I ask your forgiveness for all that comes between you and me and ask for strength to overcome all that is in me that does not glorify you.
I thank you for your redemptive work in me and I rejoice, for you have qualified me to share in the inheritance of the family of holy people in the kingdom of God. Show me how to pray for victory in my circumstances, and also for the family of God (the Church). Guide me to be strong and courageous in my faith, both in prayer and a consecrated life.
Proactively view your life in the context of this reflection and prayer.
The sincere, repentant life is forgiven, period! There are no ‘ifs, buts, or maybes’! God is not like man that He would change his mind, nor does he go back on His promises. It is incumbent upon each believer to actively view themselves in the light of His redeeming grace and to define their worth and value not just as one forgiven (as one just scraping across the line), but as an ‘overcomer’, able to do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Phil 4:13). As such, your prayers are valuable, heard and effective.
So, press in relentlessly, know that your prayers make a difference (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
Day Three —Wednesday 15th February
God Fulfills His Promises
Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
While the whole assembly of Israel was standing there, the king turned around and blessed them. Then he said:
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who with his hands has fulfilled what he promised with his mouth to my father David. For he said, ‘Since the day I brought my people out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city in any tribe of Israel to have a temple built so that my Name might be there, nor have I chosen anyone to be ruler over my people Israel. But now I have chosen Jerusalem for my Name to be there, and I have chosen David to rule my people Israel.’
2 Chronicles 6:3-6
The Bible records approximately 2500 prophesies and around 2000 of them have already been fulfilled. Many of these prophesies are referred to in other passages of the Bible as promises God had given. We can be confident that God’s words are not empty, or lacking in authority; they will accomplish His desire and achieve what he has purposed (Isaiah 55:11). In addition to prophesy are the numerous promises for all who call upon His name and walk according to His purpose.
As children adopted into the Family of God by His grace, we have an active inheritance that includes all His promises. You can be confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus’ return (Phil 1:6). This is not a passive promise, for the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him (2 Chron 16:9).
Therefore, I encourage all believers to spiritually ‘stand your ground’. Having put on the whole armour of God (Eph 6:10-17), stand. Stand by declaring the promises of God over yourself; stand by declaring the promises of God over your circumstances. Declare the promises of God over your family, home, health, finances, thinking and stamina, and over everything else that God has given.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for your forgiveness and love. I thank you that you are our Father, and that you are a faithful God.
I am making a choice to surrender to you and trust in your Word and the promises you have given me. I pray that the things I say and my thinking will reflect your promises (Ps 19:14) and I choose to view myself, my family and my circumstances in the context of your promises. I stand before you, knowing that you hear my prayers and you are willing to answer in accordance with you Word. I stand also on behalf of my family, church, friends, country, and those who are against me — and I claim the promises of God.
Consider each part of the armour of God (Ephesians 6) and reaffirm that all of it is in place, or being worked on (where applicable). Then list some areas in your life where you need to make a spiritual stand for yourself, your family or any aspect of your life. God is interested in all of it. Also include the other areas mentioned above. Next to each one, write down a relevant promise from God’s Word and begin to declare it. Importantly, change your everyday conversation and your thinking to line up with your prayers.
Day Four — Thursday 16th February
The Promise of the Holy Spirit
But 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.
Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
I will show wonders in the heavens
and on the earth,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved
How does the Holy Spirit lead us? The Holy Spirit leads and controls the believer who yields and submits to God and to His Word.
Without God’s Spirit a person cannot fully understand God’s Word and will, “for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (John 16:14).
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we also receive the power to tell people about Jesus. We need God’s timing to receive the power to be truly effective. It’s easy to forget the power that is available to us.
Every day, through His Holy Spirit, God speaks into every single circumstance in our lives. Let’s never forget that.
Help me to understand the work of the Holy Spirit and how He operates in my life.
In Jesus’ name,
Ask yourself, “What is God saying to me today, and what are am I going to do about it?”
Day Five — Friday 17th February
Promise of Good Things
Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant.
2 Samuel 7:28
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
So often we come to think of God as a judge, that He is out to punish us. Before us today are verses clearly showing us that He is wanting good things for us. Nothing can separate us from His love. Absolutely nothing. How comforting and reassuring this is.
Whatever you are going through today, please know that God is for you and not against you.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you that you are for me. Thank you that you understand me and love me. I give thanks to you today for your unfailing love.
In Jesus’ name.
Meditate on God’s goodness and love.
Listen to a worship song and reflect on His unconditional love for you.
Day Six — Saturday 18th February
Embrace the Promise
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son
Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead
There are many promises from God recorded for us.
He is not a man that He should lie (Num 23:19).
He made promises on His own name, because there is no greater name (Hebrews 6:13). Abraham embraced that promise and it was fulfilled.
After the birth of Jesus, we read of two others who embraced the promise: Simeon and Anna in Luke 2. Theirs was fulfilled.
Paul lived in the promise of reaching his goal and later said he had fought the good fight, he had finished the race. He embraced the promise that he would receive his crown of righteousness from the Father in heaven.
God’s commitment to us is that He will never leave us or abandon us, He will be with us always (Hebrews 13:5-6).
After Pentecost, the disciples embraced the fact of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, and the promise in Mark 16:17-18 that signs would follow those who believe. That is a challenge for we who believe.
We thank you that you are always with us. We take courage from those who saw your promises fulfilled. As we get to know You better, we embrace the truth of Your Word and long for those signs to follow us.
To embrace is to hold someone or something closely (especially as a sign of affection). It means to accept (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically.
Ask yourself the following question, “Am l embracing and pressing into God with all my might?”
Decide today to embrace God. Look at His Word and follow the example of others. Spend today asking God what it means to embrace Him and His promises.
Day Seven — Sunday 19th February
Promise of Eternal Life
in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time
But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.
1 Timothy 1:16
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.
As you pray and fast today, please reflect on the following words:
Jesus said to seek first the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 6:33), but He also talked a lot about the Father who is in heaven. We can deduce from this that seeking the kingdom of heaven includes seeking the Father who is in heaven.
Jesus said He is preparing a place for us, and that He is the way to the Father. He is preparing heaven for us, but he is also preparing us for heaven by making us more like Jesus. Because we are becoming more like Jesus, let us do the things he did by sharing the kingdom of heaven with others.
Father in heaven,
Let your name be honoured more and more in us and through us as you prepare us for heaven.
In Jesus name,
Share this message of hope with someone today.
Day Eight — Monday 20th February
The Promise of God’s Faithfulness
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever; appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him.
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness
God is faithful.
When Moses asked to see God, God passed before him proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6). That is who God is – faithful and true, ‘abounding in love and faithfulness’.
This means that God does what He says, He faithfully keeps His promises. Yet we may struggle to believe that God is faithful because faithfulness is so countercultural. Mainstream culture asks, with Pilate, ‘what is truth?’ (John 18:38). Jesus says, “I am… truth” (John 14:6). In practical terms, it is unwise in today’s world to use a simple password or to trust the assurances of a stranger, because it is commonplace to deceive for personal gain. But it is wise to trust our God because He does not deceive (Titus 1:2).
God is faithful and so we can trust Him to keep His promises.
Our Father in heaven,
You are faithful and true. You always keep your promises and so again today we give you our ‘yes’ as our act of worship. Grow our faith, hope and confident obedience as we choose to trust and follow Jesus.
Praise God for His faithfulness (Psalm 71:22).
You may like to use the song ‘Promises’ by Maverick City. You may like to journal your praise.
Day Nine — Tuesday 21st February
Perfect Timing and the Promises of God
Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.
For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
Dear Heavenly Father,
This year may l personally encounter your perfect timing in my life and heart. May it be so clear that l can’t help but praise Your name and tell others of Your goodness.
In Jesus name,
Commit to regularly praying the above prayer into your everyday experience.
Day Ten — Wednesday 22nd February
The Blessing of God, Just as He Promised
May the Lord, the God of your ancestors, increase you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised!
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
“‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’
“So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”
“Come, you who are blessed by the Lord,” he said. “Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.”
That night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.”
God blesses us, not so we keep that blessing to ourselves, but so we may use it to bless others. We are blessed to bless and encourage other people.
Reflect on that for a while.
May we not be selfish, but may we use all that God has given us for His glory and for the extension of His Kingdom.
May you use me this year to be a blessing for others. Please use me in any way you desire so that the light of your Holy Spirit shines through me this year to be a blessing to others.
In Jesus’ name
Pray a blessing over someone today. It might be a close friend or a family member, but make sure you pray for them.
A Closing Prayer
Thank you so much Lord for what you have shown me in the last ten days.
I am choosing to be the person that you want me to be in 2023. I give myself to you in every area of my life and l will make you front and centre in all things.
Thank you for your love, guidance and Lordship.
In Jesus name,