Athens Daniel Fast Prayer Guide

Thursday, May 21 through Saturday, May 30, 2020

Between the day of Jesus’ ascension and Pentecost, Jesus’ followers waited, watched and prayed in obedience for the promised Holy Spirit. Then on the day of Pentecost all the followers of Christ were together in one place and they heard the roar of a mighty wind from heaven. Suddenly there was what seemed like flames of fire lighting on everyone, they all were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues (Acts 2:1-2).

Over the ten days of the Daniel Fast, we are crying out for God to prepare us for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Remember this fast is simply simplifying your diet (i.e. no meat, no desserts, no alcohol, no TV, etc…). Please use this prayer guide as a starting point to launch into powerful, Spirit-led prayer! Meditate on the scriptures in it and allow God to speak to you through them. As there are ten topics, feel free to focus on one topic and saturate it each day OR fly over the whole thing every day and scatter your prayer bombs all over the place, OR do something in between. Please take time each day to listen to what the Lord is saying to you, even journal it. The priority right now is for you to get your heart, your home and your church ready for a fresh outpouring. Ask Him to do whatever it takes in you, your family and church to be ready. Invite the Holy Spirit to fill you and meet you as you fast and pray these ten days! Ask God for fresh revelation of who He is and what He says about you. Since we really don’t know what to pray, invite the Holy Spirit to help you (Romans 8:26-27). And pray expectantly! Come to Jesus with a hungry heart, eager for Him to feed you, right where you are at. Come hungery for truth, for light, for the word and for God! And He will do just that! After all, Jesus said “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6 NIV).

Prayer topics…

Humility

“The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God.” Psalm 51:17 (CSB)

“I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at My word.” Isaiah 66:2b (NLT)

“Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5 (CSB)

“And He gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ … Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor.” James 4:6 & 10 (NLT)

God hates, opposes, resists pride! Those are pretty strong words! But He is attracted to and releases favor, even blessing to the humble. Want more of God? Humble yourself before Him! Crazy thing is, we often can’t even see the pride in our own life that is hindering God’s blessing to us. Ask God to show you any trace of pride, arrogance or false humility. Be willing to ask those closest to you if they see it in you. Be willing to be decisive and deal with it quickly and with whomever you need to confess it to!

It’s from the place of humility we can step into absolute surrender and holiness. Humility keeps us from being offended, because the root of offense is entitlement and the humble person has crucified any sense of deserving anything! Ask God to show you places in your heart where you have not surrendered to Him, or where you have any sense of offense, or entitlement. Respond as the Lord shows you!

Now ask God to expose pride, every trace of it, in your church and across our city. Pray for humble hearts around our city, that are ready to receive what the Lord is bringing.

Holiness

“But if we confess our sins to him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” 1 John 1:9 (NIV)

“If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer.” Psalm 66:18-19 (NLT)

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8 (NIV)

God desires us to be pure vessels. He looks for Holy vessels to fill. None of us would drink water if we knew it contained even a small percent of excrement! But we tolerate much worse defilement in our hearts and still expect the Holy Spirit to be happy there. Ask the Lord to show you your sin, not just the biggies, but everything that displeases Him and defiles you!  This can include things like pornography, addictions, lust, impure thoughts, etc… But it is as much about pride, unforgiveness, greed, selfishness, ambition, disbelief, etc… Ask God to make your heart, your home and your church holy! If God prompts you with something, don’t argue with Him. Remember He sets the standard. Confess the sin that He shows you for what it is, a violation of His law. Ask Him to cleanse you of it, and then thank Him for His forgiveness and His washing you of all your filthiness. Ask Him to cleanse your home. If you have things that are blatantly, or subtly unholy, get rid of it. Ask God to reveal unholy things in your church, and for the leadership to have courage to address it decisively.

Idolatry

“Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His Holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.” Psalm 24:3-4 (NLT)

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT)

When we think of idols we conjure up manmade figures that people bow down and worship. Yes, those are idols. But there are many more ways that we can have idols in our hearts and home, and we may not even know it! Recently, we found some items that were used in Japanese worship. They were family heirlooms, something passed on through several generations. Something we were familiar with, and really didn’t even see any more. But God convicted us of these idols and they were summarily removed, destroyed and repented of. An idol may not have actually been used in worship, well at least not functionally. An idol is anything we put before the Lord and are thus an offense to Him. The first two commandments are all about not putting anything above God, but to love Him with all your heart. It can be money, jobs, relationships, possessions, security, reputation, your kids, status, etc. Ask the Lord to show you any idols in your heart, or home. And when He does, deal with it decisively. Usually we have some sort of emotional connection to the idol. So, if you are reacting strongly to destroying this thing in your life or home, it is probably an indicator that it does have an improper place.

Ask Him to reveal any idols in your church. These can simply be man’s traditions that have taken a higher place than God desires. These are being exposed through this Covid19 pandemic and all the carnage that is surrounding it! May God show us all the idols that have embedded themselves in our lives.

As these idols are removed, ask God to fill the space that they had once occupied.

Watchmen

“I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give Him no rest till He establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.” Isaiah 62:6-7 (NIV)

“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before Me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” Ezekiel 22:30 (NIV)

“So, He declared He would destroy them. But Moses, His chosen one, stepped between the Lord and the people. He begged Him to turn from His anger and not destroy them.” Psalm 106:23 (NLT)

“Lord, I have heard of Your fame; I stand in awe of Your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” Habakkuk 3:2 (NIV)

Throughout history, God has looked for intercessors to stand before Him crying mercy in a day when His wrath was due. Our nation has turned its back on God and His ways. And sadly, the message of the church and the authority of the word of God has been watered down. This is an hour in history when God is looking for people who will cry out to Him relentlessly, passionately and unitedly, until He turns and moves powerfully in our land. The Holy Spirit is calling praying people to build up the wall and take their position on it as watchmen! Please pray that this invitation from God would be clearly heard across our city, and that praying people would respond and step into a new level of fervent 24/7 prayer. Ask the Lord if you are meant to be one of them! And today cry out for God’s mercy in the church and our city!!!

Truth

“Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.” Psalm 51:6 (ESV)

 “Our courts oppose the righteous, and justice is nowhere to be found. Truth stumbles in the streets, and honesty has been outlawed. Yes, truth is gone, and anyone who renounces evil is attacked. The Lord looked and was displeased to find there was no justice.” Isaiah 59:14-15 (NLT)

“Jesus answered: ‘Watch out that no one deceives you.’” Matthew 24:4 (NIV)

“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 (CSB)

A meaning for deception is to be thrown off course. There is so much garbage going on right now, no one knows what to believe! It is a huge distraction! People need the truth, and as Jesus said, it’s the truth that will set us free. Even our courts have moved away from justice based on truth. Right now, up is down, right is wrong, well at least it depends who you’re talking with. There are things we have been told by “trustworthy people” that are not true! Be praying that God would expose falsehood, deceptions and distractions in your life, and in your church. Repent of any places where you have not been completely truthful (i.e. exaggerating)! Ask God to give you the faith to stand up for truth. Ask God to give you, your pastor and others in your church discernment to distinguish truth and error, right from wrong, what’s of God and what’s not.

Ask God to stir a hunger for truth in your heart, your home, your church and across our city.

Shaking for awakening

“At that time His voice shook the earth, but now He has promised, ‘Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ The words ‘once more’ indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire.’” Hebrews 12:26-28 (NIV)

“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 4:31 (NIV)

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NIV)

“Everything exposed by the light is made visible, for what makes everything visible is light. Therefore, it is said: Get up, sleeper, and rise up from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:13-14 (CSB)

During this season everything that can be shaken is being shaken. Ask God to use this shaking in your life to reveal the things that have been hidden, things that need to be brought into the light, things that have influenced you from deep within for way too long. Invite God’s consuming fire to burn these things away. Ask God to empty you of worthless things so He can fill you with more of Him!

Also, be praying that hidden strongholds, lies and pretensions would be exposed in your heart, your home and in your church. Ask Him to do whatever needs to be done to be ready for the Holy Spirit to come and fill His body once again. Ask God to prepare and to fill every believer in your church with the Holy Spirit and send them out to witness boldly!

Ask God to use this shaking across our city to awaken hearts that have slumbered. Ask God to prepare hearts for what He is about to do, both in the church and across our city. 

Our Children

“But the Lord says, ‘The captives of warriors will be released, and the plunder of tyrants will be retrieved. For I will fight those who fight you, and I will save your children.’” Isaiah 49:25 (NLT)

“You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject Me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love Me and obey My commands.” Exodus 20:5-6 (NLT)

 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!  I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’ Luke 15:17-19 (NLT)

“He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” Malachi 4:6 (NIV)

As we are praying for God to prepare our hearts and homes for Him, let’s be crying out for God to move among our children. Whether they are in the next room, or on the other side of the world, ask God to be stirring, shaking and revealing Himself to them! His promise is to fight on behalf of those who love Him and He will save our children. Remind Him of this promise and ask Him to do it now. Ask God to reveal Himself to any prodigal children you may have, or know of. Ask Him to prepare them for what He is about to do. Cry out that they would not miss out on it!!! Ask God to cause things in their world to draw their attention to Him and to their home. Ask God to also move among the kids in homes right now where they are not loved and cherished but are abused and used. Ask God to turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the children back to their fathers!

Also, be praying that toddlers through teenagers would experience this outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and become vehicles of awakening in their circles! Ask God to prepare your kids and all the children you know to receive His blessing, and to become vessels for His glory!

Realize that your sin impacts your children, as has your parents (and their parents…) sin has impacted you! Confess your sin. Break the sinful patterns. Confess generational sin, things that have been passed on to you from your parents. Proclaim them broken off of your children!

Pastors

“And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.” Psalm 78:72 (NIV)

 “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11 (NIV)

“Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains, so that I may make it known as I should.” Colossians 4:2-4 CSB

“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Ephesians 6:19-20 NIV

Pray for your pastor to hunger for the word, and to dig into it with a new zeal and that out of that to preach the full gospel with passion and courage. During these 10 days, ask God to break any chains off that hinder your pastor from preaching boldly and freely. Ask God to prepare your pastor to be ready to preach more frequently across Athens as more opportunities to bring the gospel open up. Pray that when your pastor preaches on Pentecost, rivers of living water would flow through him/her. Pray that your church would be prepared for a fired up, freshly, Spirit-empowered preacher in your pulpit! Ask God to increase their anointing, and that His word would not return void!

Ask God to give your pastor purity, integrity and skillful hands. Your pastor has never been here before (Joshua 3:4), and right now is needing to draw on God’s wisdom in ways they have never done before. Pray that God would grant them wisdom and creativity 10 times greater than that of the world (Daniel 1:20). That God would grant them rest and stamina. That they would be able to trust the LORD with all their hearts and not lean on their own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). Ask God to prepare them for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit and whatever the Lord releases on Pentecost! Pray that God would prepare your pastor (physically, emotionally and spiritually) to lead with skillful hands and integrity of heart in this new season of revival.

Outpouring

“So, if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.” Luke 11:13 (NLT)

“Once when He was eating with them, He commanded them, ‘Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift He promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’” Acts 1:4-5 (NLT)

“Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and He will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah.” Acts 3:19-20 (NLT)

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” John 14:12 (NLT)

“For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News?” 1 Peter 4:7 (NLT)

“Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” Luke 18:8 (ESV)

“God gives the Spirit without limit.” John 3:34b (NIV)

Thank the Lord for the promised coming outpouring of the Holy Spirit. God promised His Holy Spirit to all His children who ask of Him. Ask Him passionately, fervently, intensely and wholeheartedly for more of the Holy Spirit! Cry out for this outpouring upon you, your home and your church. Prayerfully watch and wait for Him to do something amazing among us at Pentecost. Please don’t limit Him by your expectations of what you think this outpouring should look like. Ask Him to grant you brand new eyes to see what He does in this season! Again, ask Him if there is any more sin He would like you to confess. If so, confess it so that you would not miss the coming times of refreshment. This coming great move of God is all about preparing for Christ’s return. We are going to need faith and stamina to finish the work He has laid before us. Cry out for Him to bring His judgement and correction upon His people so that we are ready for Him. Ask God to release a new level of faith within you, your church and the churches across Athens for the days ahead. Ask God to prepare you to receive His Spirit without limit!!! 

Ears to hear what God is saying

“Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plan to his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7 (NIV)

 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying to the churches.” Revelation 2:7a (NLT)

“Whoever belongs to God hears what God says.” John 8:47a

“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27 (NLT)

There is much chatter right now that God is about to do something amazing in our time. It is not an issue of whether God speaks or not. The Bible is very clear, He speaks! The issue is, are we listening. God is speaking quite loudly right now, and we all need ears to hear what He is saying to us individually, to our church and to the churches across our city. The psalmist says that we labor in vain if we build where God is not building (Psalm 127:1). Jesus said He only does what He sees the Father doing. We need eyes to see what He is doing, and ears to hear what He is saying, and faith to believe it and courage to join Him in it! Ask God to give you ears to hear and eyes to see how He is moving right now. Ask Him for faith to believe it and courage to act on it. Pray this same way for your church and the churches across Athens! Thank Him for the fact that He is not silent!

Thanksgiving

It is always good to praise and thank the Lord! Begin and end your prayer sessions with thanksgiving. Carry a heart of thanksgiving throughout the ten days. Thank Him for hearing you. Thank Him for allowing you to be alive for such a time as this. Thank Him for what He is about to do. And thank Him for faithfully answering your prayers with awesomeness (Psalm 65:5a NLT).

Thank you for participating!!!

Together preparing for Pentecost 2020!
Steve