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TRINITY BAPTIST CHURCH

TBC, 2 Thornlaw Road, West Norwood, London SE27 0SA. Tel: 020 8766 7732. Fax 020 8670 4970 Email: adminstaff@trinitybaptist.org.uk www.trinitybaptist.org.uk

16 Days of Prayer & Fasting


1st June to 16th June 2013
Mondays to Fridays @ 7:30pm each night Saturdays @ 10am-12noon

Theme:

Walking By Faith!

And without faith it is impossible to please Him Hebrews 11:6

Walking By Faith
Hebrews 11:1-6, Romans 4:1-25

Introduction
Faith! Who can fully measure or express the potential represented by this keyword? There are two scriptures that brings out faiths potential into focus namely: Matt 19:26 With God all things are possible Mark 9:23 All things are possible to him who believes The first passage talks about Gods realm the spiritual realm where all things are possible. There are no limitations on God. He is omnipotent and omnipresent. The second passage talks about mans r ealm of experience- the natural. Man can only experience Gods realm of possibilities by Faith. By faith or to him that believes the things that possible to God are also possible to him. Peter describes faith as being precious than gold (1Pet 1:6-9) and (1John 5:4&5) says we overcome by our faith. It is therefore important to understand what faith is. Believe and faith come from the same Greek root faith (noun) pistis and believe pisteuo, they express the same idea. If faith is so important in scripture (appears about 600times in the NT alone) then we need to know what it is and its full potential.

What is Faith?
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for." -Hebrews 11:1-2 There is no clearer explanation of faith in all the Scriptures than the one found in Hebrews 11:1 (NIV): "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." The two key words here are sure and certain. Faith is about being sure and certain of something. This raises the question at the heart of the confusion often surrounding the topic of faith: Sure and certain about what? Hope refers to future expectation that has not been realised and can be classified as relating to the unseen or invisible realm (Rom 8:24-25). Faith therefore has to do with the unseen, invisible or spiritual realm. According to Hebrew 11:3 this is the realm in which God operates. He operates by His spoken words. He speaks from the spiritual or the unseen realm and what we see comes into being and Faith is what connects us to the two unseen realities: God and His word. Faith therefore is total confidence in God and His word. It is total reliance, dependence and trusting of the total person on God and His word. This total leaning and dependence on God produces action. The faith of all the heroes of faith in the O/T produced faith actions. Abels faith produced acceptable offering, by same faith Enoch pleased God and Noah obeyed God and was declared righteous. Faith touches every area of the Christians life; God saved us by grace through faith (Eph 2:8), we grow and live by faith (Rom 1:17).

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF TRUE FAITH


In Heb 11 we are given insight into what constitutes genuine faith through the lives of the Heroes faith namely: Its object is God(v6) Its environment is in the unseen spiritual realm(v1,3) Its basis is the spoken word or promise of God (v3, Rom 4;20,21)

It produces results or faith actions(vs 4,5,7,8,9,11 & James 2:17)


It is patient(v13,10:36-39) It is in the now but sees beyond time into eternity(v10) It separates and sets us apart for God and His purposes (v24) It is not ego centric but surrenders all to God (v17-19)

Misconceptions of the Meaning of Faith


There many Christians who are disappointed with God for the wrong reasons due to the misunderstanding of what faith is. They feel as if God has let them down, as if He didn't answer their prayer requests as they had desired. It is not unusual for us in this situation to stop reading our Bibles, stop attending church, and stop praying. In some cases our disappointment turns to frustration, anger and even bitterness.

Faith is not the means by which we force God to do something


Faith is not a power we tap into. Faith is not a lasso we slip around God's neck to force our will on His. Faith is

not a button we push to prod God into action. Faith is confidence that God will do what He has promised. It means we wait patiently, surrender completely and dont give up. That is what all those men and women in Hebrews 11 were commended for (Heb 3:12).

Dont Confuse Faith with hope


Part of the problem is that the concepts of faith and hope have been confused. If you wrote me a letter inviting me to your home for dinner, you wouldn't include statements such as, "We have perfect faith that you are coming; we know you will be here; we are claiming your arrival; by faith we are announcing to all our friends that you will be here. "On the contrary, you would say things like, "We hope you can join us; we would love to have you; please check your schedule." You would be foolish to believe I was coming until I told you. Once I called you and confirmed the date, you could have faith. Why? Because I told you I would be there; I made a commitment to come; you have a promise to hang your faith on. You can start cooking at some point. And if I don't show up, your disappointment is justified--I broke my promise. But until you heard from me, you could only hope I was coming. As children of God, we are free to ask God for anything we please. And once we ask, we can hope He will give us exactly what we've asked for. But to believe He will do something He has not promised to do is not faith; it is presumption! It is hope that sits on faith that is realised (Heb 11:1a). Use of faith to Control God and cover inaction and confusion Part of the reason for the confusion in this area is poor teaching. But another reason is that we want to be in control. We want God to do our bidding. We don't want to submit to His will; we want Him subjected to ours. We don't really want God to function as the Lord of our lives; we would rather have Him operate like a vending machine. We put in a little faith, and He sends out whatever we think we need. But He doesn't operate that way. And to approach the Christian life as if He does that is to set us up for disappointment. Faith is not an escape hatch from all the trials and tribulations in this life. It is confidence that God will keep His promises (1Pet 2:21-23).

Faith versus our senses


Another area of confusion has to do with the foundation of faith. Believers tend to judge God's interest and involvement in their lives according to what happens around us in the natural realm. When things go well--my health is good, finances are solid, family members get along- we are quick to praise God for His faithfulness. But when things take a turn for the worse, we doubt. "Where is God?" we ask. "Has He forgotten me? I thought He loved me!" We make the mistake of drawing conclusions regarding God's faithfulness based on what is happening in the natural rather than the spiritual realm(2Cor5:7).

Faith and discipline


Every parent knows that what is best for the child is also sometimes painful for the child. Every trip to the doctor or dentist is an act of love on the part of the parent and yet a time of fear and potential pain for the child. Discipline is the same way. From a child's perspective this can be confusing: "Why would someone who says he loves me hurt me or allow someone else to hurt me?" Yet from our vantage point as parents, it all makes sense. Imagine that you are sitting in the waiting room at your dentist's office. You look over and see a four-year-old child crying and begging his daddy not to make him have his cavity filled. You walk over to the child and ask this question, "Do you think your daddy loves you?" Under these circumstances you wouldn't be shocked to hear, "No, my daddy doesn't love me. He made me come to the dentist." The child's faith in the goodness of his father would be at a low point. These circumstances don't communicate love to a four-yearold. And he doesn't have the maturity to think through all the other good and sacrificial things his dad has done for him in the past. The child's attention is riveted to the present. You realise that this is a timing problem. The child doesn't have all of the information. He doesn't realise the importance of having the cavity filled. However, ask him the same question a few hours later when his dad is rewarding him with a chocolate shake! We are the same way. When things aren't going our way, it is hard to look beyond the here and now; it is hard to remember the goodness of the Lord; we forget the significance of the sacrifice made for us at Calvary and Gods kindness to us in the past. Consequently, our faith runs low; we begin to doubt. But as we learn to re-focus on what happened at Calvary two thousand years ago and begin to count our blessings, our faith will grow strong. We will be able to join in with the psalmist who wrote, But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me (Ps. 13:5-6). The boundary lines have fallen into the right places Psalm 16.

THE FOUNDATION OF FAITH- Our trust in God


The foundation for our faith is what God has already done in Jesus for us! The bible says if God did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will he not also with Him graciously give us all things? That is the basis on which we hold fast to God and His word by faith; "Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession" (Heb. 4:14). In other words, "Since our Saviour Jesus died and rose from the dead and went to be with the Father, we have every reason to hang on to our faith. What He has done is enough to merit our faithfulness regardless of what happens in the meantime. His point is that the primary support for our faith is not what is happening now but what happened two thousand years ago at Calvary and later at the tomb. Jesus has demonstrated His faithfulness to us in a way that far surpasses bailing us out of unpleasant circumstances, that far surpasses answering a prayer or two. The fact that He would die on the cross for our sin settles the question of His love and concern. The fact that He could rise from the dead settles the question of His reliability. Recession or no recession we must totally trust Him.

HOW FAITH COMES


Rom 10:17 states, Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. How the do we hear what God is saying? In Isaiah 55:8-13- we are told God has His thoughts His word the Logos in the bible. We as men have our thoughts. We can never convert our thoughts to Gods but God can bring His thoughts His word to us by His Holy Spirit. Gods specific, personal word to us becomes a living word to us - a personal promise. As we hear the living personal promise from God it brings faith to us. The word itself has the power to accomplish Gods purpose. Take Marys in example in Luke 1:31-38: 1. She received a personal promise from God. 2. The personal word from God expressed Gods thoughts and intentions for Mary. 3. As Mary heard the word it imparted faith. 4. Mary expressed faith by a statement of consent Do as thou have spoken. 5. Faith expressed in this way makes room for Gods power to work.

FAITH MUST BE CONFESSED


Heb 10:21-24 and Ps116:10 (I believe therefore I have spoken) Rom 10: 8-10, Rom 4:19 Abraham held on to and never wavered. Living by faith requires that we become familiar with God's promises to us. The Bible is filled with promises for believers. Nothing is more encouraging or nurturing to our faith than reviewing God's promises. How to ensure that our confession does not become mere technique to twist the hand of God1. Renounce your will and submit to Gods will. 2. Our confession must be based on scripture. 3. We must be open and continually to be led by the Holy Spirit. 4. We must constantly rely on Gods supernatural grace not our natural abilities. 5. Where there is conflict between our senses and Gods word we must always take the same stand Abraham took he did not weaken in faith (Rom 4:19).

FAITH MUST BE WORKED OUT


Faith will change your perceptions How you see How you hear How you speak (Job and wife) Faith will not just change our perceptions it will change our actions towards God and man. You will walk in love(James 2:14 and Rom 4:19). We use Gods promises not only for our needs but we tap into Gods resources to change our world. Jesus says Go into the world..I am with you always. He promises to be with us as we believe him for his power to change the world.

CONCLUSION
To apply our faith is to live as if God will keep His promises. Faith lifts us above the realm of our own abilities and makes God possibilities available to us. Faith connects us to God and His word (promises) and as we maintain a relationship with God through faith, we are enabled to endure and overcome the tests and hardships that confront us in our daily lives. These in turn becomes opportunities for God to reveal His goodness and glory. A question you should often ask yourself is; how would I conduct my life if I really believed God is who He says He is and if I really believed the Bible is His Word? How would that affect the way you do business? How would that affect your giving? How would that affect the way you treat your neighbours? Faith is leaning on God with the total person to such an extent that it affects every area of life .

WEEK ONE: 1ST JUNE to 7th June


ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE TO THE BELIEVER!
Matt 19:26 talks about Gods realm the spiritual realm where all things are possible. There are no limitations on God. But it does not end there; God wants the believer to operate in that realm. The believer can only experience Gods realm of possibilities by Faith Matt 9:23.

Day Saturday 1st June Sunday 2nd June Monday 3rd June Pastor Kwame Tuesday 4th June Pastor Alex Frimpong Wednesday 5th June Pastor Sly Thursday 6th June Pastor Kwesi Friday 7th June Pastor Kingsley Saturday 8th June

Topic Focussing and meditating on God and on His Realm of limitless possibilities (Col 3:1-3)
(Before worship - 1, 2 & 3 services) Meditation on the above scriptures

Pray for Genuine Faith in God (Hebrews 11:1-24, Romans 4:20-21, James 2:17). Pray for a deeper understanding of Faith in God. Checkout on Abraham (Hebrews 11:8-19; Gen 12:13, 15, 17:15-27, 18:1-15,22) and Moses (Heb 11:23-29) Pray for the demonstration of faith in God (Heb 11:1, 3,6; Romans 4:17-18) 11:1,3, 6; Romans 4:17-18) Pray for Greater confidence in God and His word (Heb 11:3, Genesis1:1, Romans 4:17,18, 20,21). Pray for total dependence on God (Romans 4:19-21)

Worship God for who He is and His greatness (Ps 8; 104:1-3, 145:1-6; Rev 4:10,11; Col 1:15-20, Romans 11:33-36)

Confession for the week: Isaiah 55:6-11

WEEK TWO: 8TH JUNE - 15TH JUNE


LORD, I WE BELIEVE HELP OUR UNBELIEF (Mark 9:24)
But the righteous shall live by his faith There are two sides to our relationship with God. Scripture is equally emphatic about each. On the positive side God makes His abundant grace available to on the basis of faith. But on the negative side God rejects any other basis on which we might seek to approach Him (Heb 11:6).

Day

Sunday 9 June
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th

Topic
(Before worship - 1, 2 & 3 services) Meditation on the above scriptures

Monday 10 June Pastor Kwame th Tuesday 11 June Pastor Kingsley


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Let us allow the Holy Spirit to deal with any unbelief in our hearts. God says an unbelieving heart is evil (Heb3:12-15, 2Kings 7:1-2, 16-20)
Pray to see trying and challenges times as opportunities to prove your love and faithfulness to the Lord (Romans 8:28; 2Tim 1:12, Heb 12:3-11)

Wednesday 12 June Faith stands on two legs: God His character of being Prophet Nansei Sarkodie Faithful and His promises which are trustworthy. Pray that We will have fresh revelation of the promises of God. (Isaiah 55:9-11) Thursday 13 June Pray that the promises of become a reality in your through Prophet Nansei Sarkodie consistent positive confession (Ps 116:10, Heb 10:21-24 Roman 4:19) Friday 9 June Pray to walk by faith and total dependence on God daily Prophet Nansei Sarkodie in our financial, emotional and spiritual needs (Phil 4:19 2Cor 9:6-15) Saturday 10 June Pray for the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit to be Pastor Johnson poured out afresh so that may see those that God has made readily available to us in Christ (Ephesians 1:3)
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Confession for the week: ( Phillipians 4:19)

Why do we pray and fast? Fasts as practised in the Bible are spiritual in character and never for the purpose of losing weight. We pray and fast for the following reasons: (1) To express the depth of feeling (1 Samuel 31:13). At times when we want to express our deep sense of sorrow over loss or defeat.
(2) In times of deep trouble When we need Gods intervention in a significant way during personal (2 Samuel 12:16-22, Daniel 9:3-19, Nehemiah 1:4) or national (2 Chronicles 20:1-29; Jeremiah 36:1) emergencies. As sign of honest repentance (1 Kings 21:27, John 3: 510,Joel 2:12-15) To get our focus back on God When our flesh seems to be drowning the presence of the Holy Spirit, we may pray and fast to get the flesh out of the way. To hear God more clearly During prayer and fasting we are more likely to be more attentive to Gods voice. Luke 12:47. In prayer and fasting we are more likely to catch Gods answer to our prayers. Increased Faith As we hear God more clearly and more often, our capacity to believe increases - Romans 10:17 More of Gods power is released As we humble ourselves during prayer and fasting God releases more power to us to accomplish His purpose and to overcome the enemy. 1 Peter 5:5-11. Spiritual alertness Jesus had been praying and fasting for forty days so He was fully prepared and ready to confront and overcome Satan when tempted. That victory was significant for the future of the ministry of Jesus and for all of us. Luke 4:1-11

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PRACTICAL STEPS FOR FASTING


1. Reduce your food intake 2. Increase your water intake in the week before 3. Preferably come to the prayer meetings at 7.30 pm with a light refreshment 4. Dont eat too much during the daily breaks of fasting 5. Focus on God (constant communication, reading the word and positively confessing the

word)
6. Have short accounts with God and others (deal with hurts almost immediately) 7. Be strong and spiritually-minded throughout 8. Dont be pious - appear healthy and nice

If for some reason you doubt whether you are a child of God and therefore not sure whether you are operating under grace you can change that right now. How? Acknowledge that you are a sinner because the bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 Acknowledge that God loves you and has made a provision for our sins by giving us His son Jesus Christ as a sin offering on the cross. Accept that Jesus took your place on the cross and rose again as a confirmation of Gods acceptance of His sacrifice. Confess Jesus as Saviour and Lord of your life and receive him into your life by saying this prayer: Lord Jesus, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. But I thank you that you that You died for me on the cross and took my place. I now accept You as my Saviour and Lord. Come into my heart by Your Holy Spirit and help me live my life as Your child. Amen

TBC - An Oasis For Breakthrough