On the 8th of this month, we had our first organized day of fasting and prayer for the ministry of Sports Friends in Malawi. 19 church leaders and sports ministers from all over the city of Blantyre gathered on a rainy day to seek the face of the Lord on behalf of this ministry. Though our stomachs were empty, the Spirit of God filled us on Feb. 8 and it was a day that drew us nearer to Christ on a number of levels. He showed us direction for the future, gave us ideas for sustainability and reproducibility, and fed us with His Word. The day of prayer and fasting was a time where we stopped everything to say to the Lord, “More than our bodies need the basic necessities of life (food, water), we need Christ!”
|Group photo from the day|
The morning opened with a wonderful time of worship as people trickled in and dried off from the pouring rain. The Lord has a way of blessing His people when we stop everything to show Him that He is more important than anything to us. So, right from the start, we danced and sang to our King and experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit. It was a time where I saw many of our sports ministers passionately say, “Apart from You, Lord, I can do nothing! More than my body wants food, my life and my soul need Christ!” It was so incredibly encouraging seeing so many show up in the rainy conditions to seek the face of God and ask Him to do more in the sports ministry in Malawi.
|Sharing from Isa. 62|
After updates and prayer for each individual and church represented in the room, I shared from the Word about why we should pray and fast. The text I taught from was Isaiah 62 and how the Lord honors and listens to those individuals who are like the “watchmen on the walls” and who “give God no rest.” May it be said of all of us, right? Lord make us a people globally who are set ablaze for you fame in such a way that we literally won’t eat but will pray and seek your face until you show up in extraordinary ways!
One specific thing that stuck out to me from the day was that two of our boys (Gift & Harry) from our backyard soccer ministry came. Both of them are only 12 years old and they had approached me the day before saying that they wanted to join in on the day of fasting and prayer. To be honest, I was a bit surprised at their interest to join us all day for such a “difficult” spiritual exercise. I told them I’d love to have them there and they are welcome but they are gonna have to find a way into the city center to where we were going to meet. They live about 5 miles from the city center. I did not expect them to come. But to my delight, I saw them trudge in around 9:30 AM, soaking wet from the long walk but full of smiles and joy. Both of them were a great blessing to me and everyone present at the meeting and were such a reminder to all the coaches who were there, that their kids are capable of doing great things for the Lord.
|Harry saying memory verse to Becca|
I was challenged too by Harry and Gift. They reminded me to not overlook youngsters and think that they were just like me when I was 12. No, we have poured our lives and God’s Word into these kids for the past 2 and a half years and we should be expecting the Holy Spirit to move powerfully in their lives and that God is hearing Becca and my prayers every night for the boys who we share life with that God would give them the “Beautiful feet” that Romans 10 speaks of. He is doing it! God is revealing Himself to the youth of Malawi in profound ways and their hunger for Him is now turning into fasting and prayer for more of His presence in their lives. From an early age, they are learning what it means to be feasting on the presence of the Lord while fasting from food. God may there be more Gifts and Harrys in Malawi! Raise up a generation of youth who long for You more than the basic necessities of daily life. All that to say, we are going to do a lot more of these days of prayer and fasting ;)
“I have posted watchmen on your walls, O 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.”