Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
This guide is to help you focus your day and your prayers around the Lord and the needs of Horizon Church. It is divided into three sections so it can be used during the three meals that you are fasting. However, this is just a guide, so feel free to go at your own pace during your day. I suggest you skim through the guide the night before or in the morning to see how you want the day to go. Keep in mind if you’ll be with the littles all day, at work or school, or on your own. Think through what your day will look like and how you can be present with the Lord. Be intentional about your time.
If you’re like most people, you will feel hungry all day and your body will clamor for attention. Don’t try to ignore it; it’s impossible. Listen to your body and its needs. Thank the Lord for this amazing creation and how it works. Use the rumblings as a reminder to pray throughout the day and then give the hunger pangs to the Lord, asking Him to sustain you.
HOW TO BEGIN
This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: “Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you.”
You may want to have a notebook, laptop or journal with you to write down your prayers, scriptures that the Lord brings to mind, promises, insights, etc. Even if you’re praying as you go today, you can write down what comes to mind. God can speak in the car, a cubicle, a shower, or a grocery aisle.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Think about where you will be during the day and where you want to pray. God can create green pastures in the midst of chaos. Ask Him where He wants to lead you. Maybe get outside, take a walk, or sit on a park bench. Maybe find a prayer space in your cubicle, the bathroom, your car, the middle of Starbucks, or the shower. The beautiful thing about prayer is that it can happen anywhere at any time.
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.
Some of us find music is a gateway into the presence of the Lord. Others prefer to start with quiet or a combination of both. If you prefer music, here are some suggested songs that can be used this morning or at any point during the day.
As you listen to the music, ask the Lord to teach you how to pray, to speak to you today as you pray, to feel His presence flowing through you, and to give you insight as you bring Horizon’s requests before Him.
Be still and know that I am God.
Begin by quieting yourself before the Lord. Breathe slowly and intentionally. Remember that the word for Spirit is pneuma or breath, so the Holy Spirit is as close and intimate as our breath. Breathe Him in as you sit in His presence.
Suggested prayers to repeat as you breathe are the Jesus prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner,” or “Come Holy Spirit.”
As distractions and thoughts come, acknowledge them without judgement and then let them go.
From that time on Jesus began to preach,
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Ask the Lord to show you where you need to repent, not just where you need to ask forgiveness for sin but where you need to realign your thinking with Jesus and the kingdom of heaven. Ask him where you need to recalibrate, reset, or reorient your mind, spirit, body, and soul around Him.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
When you feel ready, begin to present before the Lord any personal requests or praises that have bubbled up as you were quiet. Lift them all up to Him, surrendering them all to Him. Take time to listen to His response. It may come as a physical feeling of peace or love, there may be words that He gives you, or it may be a quiet confidence in His faithfulness.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Please pray about the following requests for our community at Horizon.
Horizon Prayer Requests
Link Groups: Pray that our link groups are welcoming, safe, and loving communities for any who visit or attend. Pray that we grow together in depth of the knowledge of the love of Christ for ourselves, each other, our community, and spheres of influence. Pray that we love each other well. Pray that we always look for ways to serve and share the love of Christ, not just with ourselves, but also with our neighbors, co-workers, friends, family, and city.
Loch Raven Village Link Group led by Dan & Ashley Francis, Matt & Kristina Kok, Tim & Katie White
Towson Central Link Group led by Ryan & Kira Casey & Angela Stanford
Parkville West Link Group led by Lauren Raymond & Tyler and Alyssa Bello
Timonium North Link Group led by Mark & Missy Stephenson, Steve & Beth McDonald
Katie Laughlin: Katie Laughlin has made great strides since her brain injury more than two years ago. As she begins to communicate more by writing and with her eye gaze device, we have a more clear picture of her inner struggles. Please pray first and foremost that Katie would be ministered to and encouraged by the Holy Sprit. We pray that she would be free from fear and anxiety. We pray for more communication in all areas, writing, voice, and eye gaze. While her communication has increased, her physical improvements have plateaued. We pray for significant breakthroughs in both physical therapy and occupational therapy. We continue to pray for her husband, Nevin, kids, Ephram and Vera, and extended family. They never dreamed this road would be so long and painful.
Healing: Pray for the people in your life (your family, your work, your link group, friends at Horizon) who need a dramatic breakthrough in physical healing. Step out in faith and pray something risky, something big, something only God could accomplish. Now think through those in your life who need a breakthrough in emotional healing and pray for them in the same way.
“…for I am the Lord, who heals you.”
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
Check in with yourself. How has your morning gone? Sometimes when we take away food, other issues bubble up like anger, sadness, loneliness. As you come before the Lord, quiet your soul. How does He want to speak into you and those emotions? Write down any thoughts that come to mind.
As you go into prayer, you may want to repeat what you did this morning (journaling, listening to music, quieting your mind) or try something different.
Please pray for the following requests for Horizon Church, asking that the Leadership Team has insight, discernment and wisdom in making decisions. You may want to write down your prayers and any insight the Lord gives you for the church.
Horizon Prayer Requests
Purchase of New Property: Horizon is on the brink of purchasing property for the first time in its history. Pray that the process goes smoothly. Pray that all the details are considered and the Leadership Team operates with wisdom and discernment moving forward. Pray that Horizon can be a blessing to the group we are purchasing from and a blessing to the community in which we will now own property.
Financial Provision: Owning land and buildings requires much more money than Horizon has had in the past. Please pray for God’s continual financial provision. Pray that Horizon would have enough to expand and grow and reach new people for the Kingdom of God.
Wisdom for Future Use of Property: We want to be creative and innovative in the way we use this new property in the future. We don’t want to use it in the way a typical church has used property and buildings in the past. We need God’s wisdom as to what it looks like for the future of the church to thrive by using property with wisdom and innovation.
Increased Move of the Spirit: In the last couple of years, there has been an awakening of the gifts of the Spirit at Horizon. More and more people are being ignited in powerful gifts that are being used for God’s glory. Pray that this continues and that as we are filled more and more by the Presence of God, it would overflow to the people around us. Pray that this move of the Holy Spirit not only completely transforms our lives and our church but also the region around us.
By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me…
Check in with yourself again. How are you feeling? What are you learning about yourself? The Lord? Prayer? You may be feeling exhilarated, peaceful, angry or miserable. It’s all part of the process. Again, give it all to the Lord and let Him love you and teach you through all of it. Write down what you are learning.
As you go into prayer, think about what worked about the morning or midday. Ask the Lord to show you how you can incorporate prayer on a daily basis. This evening, you can repeat what worked earlier or try something different.
Please choose several of these organizations that Horizon supports and pray through their requests. Pray for Towson, the United States, and the world as you feel led.
Ministries that Horizon supports
Feeding Centers: There are so many starving children in Nicaragua and the feeding centers are literally keeping many of them alive. Horizon gives a quarter of our missions budget to this program. Pray for more resourcing and for systemic change in the region.
Youth For Christ in Loch Raven (Rob and Noreen Douglas): (http://www.yfci.org/)
Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) at Towson University (http://www.towsoncru.com/)
Our Community and World
Towson: Pray that Horizon begins to have a greater impact in Towson. Pray that God’s Kingdom would come on earth (in Towson) as it is in heaven. Pray for Horizon to have open doors in the neighborhoods, in the business community and in the local government in Towson so that we become a conduit of God’s transforming power in this region. Pray that Horizon becomes a “city on a hill” that brings light and love to our entire community.
Baltimore Region: Our city is hurting and is in desperate need of hope and love. Pray that God unites the Church in Baltimore to address the deep needs and longstanding injustices that have harmed our city. Pray that God raises up Nehemiahs, Esthers, and Daniels to bring restoration to our city. Pray that Horizon would know what part we play in that restoration.
The United States
Pray over a region in the world that is on your heart.
Thank the Lord for being with you and all that you learned today. Thank Him for hard things that teach us about who He is and who we are. Thank Him for hearing your prayers and answering your heart’s cry. Thank Him for His presence in your life.
Thank you so much for participating and praying with us today. You are an integral part of what makes Horizon such a beautiful community.
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.