We are hosting a night of prayer for Ventura this Thursday at 7PM, and I wanted to provide some ways to help you prepare yourself. As you spend time praying for the Lord to posture your heart in a place of worship and prayer, here are four ways to gear up for Thursday:
Read / Meditate
Spend some time meditating and praying through Psalm 47, asking God for a heart of praise, worship, thankfulness for his salvation, and remembrance that he is king over all the earth, including your life and including the city of Ventura!
Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared, a great king over all the earth. He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet. He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves. God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm! God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne. The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted! (Psalm 47 ESV)
When we gather on Thursday night, we will have a focused time of prayer around lifting up the lost, those that do not yet know Jesus. We will be asking God to not only show us those people in our lives, but ask him to authentically break our hearts for them.
Often we become apathetic or callous about the lost, and Jesus is quite clear that our intensity and urgency to reach out to those people in our lives should never dwindle. And times like these, dedicated prayer, worship, fasting and seeking the Lord helps redirect our attentions to the mission Jesus has given us: make disciples.
As you prepare your heart for Third Thursday, pray throughout the day and ask the Lord to reveal more of himself to you, and more of his heart for the lost and the broken to you. We truly believe that nothing on a kingdom advancement level happens outside of prayer. All of our favorite stories in Ventura have not been because of our epic team, diligent administration, or the work of our hands, although really important, our favorite stories have come in moments when we have sought the Lord in prayer, and seen him work far beyond what we could imagine.
We are calling everyone, as they pray throughout the day, and join us for prayer and worship that evening, to fast on Thursday. If you are able, skip breakfast, lunch and dinner (then feel free to break the fast after the prayer night with some In N Out). If this is your first time fasting, eat breakfast, then skip lunch and dinner.
In the Scriptures, fasting is given to the people of God as a discipline to aid our prayers. When we deprive ourselves of something, usually food, it sort of forces our hand and puts in a posture of humility (Ps. 69:10, Ps. 35:13). It is display of our desires both to the Lord and to ourselves, where the petition we bring is of more value than our own well-being. It’s a reminder of the bigger story that we participate in, and Isaiah even points to fasting as a launching point for mission: that our self-deprivation is not meant to make us feel super holy and self-righteous, but to increase our heart and actions for the sake of the other (Is. 58:6-8).
One of the most undervalued aspects of supporting each other is your presence. Simple as that. We would be so encouraged for you and your family to make this prayer night a priority. Kids are welcome to join in!
Here are the details:
Thursday September 17, 7-830PM
36 Figueroa St. Ventura, CA 93001 (Enter through the park side entrance)
Free parking behind the building
LET US KNOW YOU’RE COMING AND SHARE THE LOVE!
If you’re coming and know someone you want to invite, we created a Facebook Event page for you to share! Click here to view the Facebook event.
If you have any questions, or need any information about getting here, what the night will look like, or anything else, please reach out to Bert Alcorn: firstname.lastname@example.org.