Preparing Our Hearts to Encounter God
Make Yourself Ready
“Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.”
— HOSEA 10:12
Since 1995, we have taken the first full week of the year to seek the Lord, to worship Him and to Hear what He is saying to us about the coming year. It is significant that we do this the first week of the year…demonstrating that He is first in our lives.
- Reboot Your Spiritual Life
- Restart Your Spiritual Engine
- Refresh Your Soul
- Reset Your Priorities
- Align Your Heart with God’s Plan
- Spiritually Prepared for the Coming Year
Presence is a time to reboot your spiritual life. There is something powerful about getting together every day for one short week. Coming together each day at noon to celebrate communion and to pray together will restart your spiritual engine. Worshiping together each night will exhilarate you and refresh your soul. Hearing God’s Word together will reset our priorities and align our hearts with God’s plan for us. By the end of the week, you will be refreshed and invigorated. Your heart will be realigned and reset for the life God has prepared for you in the coming year!
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
— JAMES 4:8
How do we draw near to God and make ourselves ready for an encounter with the Lord?
1. Prayer & Fasting
- Fasting is a spiritual discipline endorsed and practiced since the time of Christ.
- Fasting is the deliberate and voluntary abstinence from food and some activities for a spiritual purpose.
- Fasting does not change God’s disposition toward us, it changes our disposition toward Him.
- Fasting doesn’t get God to speak. Fasting gets us in position to hear what God is already saying.
2. Prepare our Heart to Encounter God
We humble ourselves by subordinating our life and our schedule to join our spiritual family in seeking the Lord.
- To REMIND us
- To REFOCUS us
- To RECONNECT us
- To RENEW us
3. The Plan for Prayer and Fasting
- Duration: Sunday evening thru Friday evening
- How to Fast:
- PAUSE your Obsession w/ sports, Social Media and the news
- FAST at least one meal each day, Monday-Friday
- READ your Bible. Read through the entire book of Acts
- PARTICIPATE in Communion with Ps. Dave Larlee: Monday – Friday at 12pm, at the Highland Park Campus
- ATTEND Presence Night Sessions: Monday – Friday at 7pm, at the Uptown Campus
- GIVE your best financial seed
- P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens
The goal of fasting is not just to do without food or certain activities; it is to draw nearer to God. Fasting is not an exercise for the super-spiritual, it is available, as a periodic spiritual discipline, in the life of every believer.
The constant demands and pressures of daily life on the mind, will and emotions can weigh down the best of us, cause a loss of focus and even feelings of spiritual disintegration. Fasting hits the reset button of the soul, renewing the whole person from the inside out.
Fasting is a way to celebrate the goodness and mercy of God, preparing your soul to expand and contain fresh new purpose, work, and rest God desires to bring into your life (Matthew 9:14-17).
Choosing the Right Fast for You:
- Your personal fast should present a level of challenge, but it is very important to know your own body, know your options and, most importantly, follow the Holy Spirit’s leading.
- Accountability with another believer is an important part of fasting as well.
- If you have a medical condition, are on medication, or in a seasoned age of life please consult with your doctor before choosing a fast.
- If you are a minor please plan your fast with your parents or guardian.
Types of Fasts:
- An absolute fast is what Moses did when he was on Mount Sinai for forty days when, “he neither ate bread nor drank water.” (Exodus 34:28) Rarely is an absolute fast practiced for a long period of time. Some will abstain from all food and all water for a short period, but longer periods are not recommended since physical complications could result.
- A normal fast is when only water is consumed. This would be the type practiced by Elijah (see 1 Kings 19:8) and Jesus (see Matthew 4). They abstained from food for 40 days while drinking water.
- A partial fast is when some foods are restricted. Two of the most common partial fasts are:
- A juice fast: Consuming vegetable and fruit juices and water instead of solid food. Some include protein in their liquid plan as well. This is a popular and effective fast. Substituting liquids for one or two meals is an alternative.
- A Daniel fast: Based on the fasting principles of the prophet in Daniel 1 and 10. Daniel 1 states that he ate only vegetables and water, and Daniel 10 states that he ate no rich (or choice) foods, as well as no meat or wine. The foundation of the Daniel fast is fruits and vegetables. The website www.daniel-fast.com is a good source of information about this fast.
- An activities fast is when some pursuits, actions, or interests are set aside. For example, dropping social media, not watching TV, turning off talk radio, or not engaging with screens or technology. Replace the time you would have spent on those activities with time in prayer, scripture, worship, or meditation on the Kingdom of God.
Remember, the power of fasting has less to do with setting aside food and activities, but more to do with setting yourself apart for a specific period to deepen your relationship with the Lord.
Presence 2024 Opportunities:
- Commit to a daily personal devotional time
- We are asking everyone at Trinity Dallas to commit to reading through the book of Acts during Presence 2024
- Meditate and pray on the scripture
- Noon Prayer
- Pastor David Larlee will host noon services: a one-hour prayer, communion, message, and ministry meeting at the Highland Park Campus, Monday through Friday, January 1st – 5th, from 12pm – 1pm.
- Night Sessions
- Every evening at 7pm, the Uptown Campus will host Night Sessions with a time of praise and worship and a message from a Guest Speaker each evening
- Spend time in prayer, throughout the day, every day
- Pray until something happens
- Make Room for God
- We are challenging everyone to make room for God this week
- We believe God has something in store for you during this week