As week 2 of my 21 days of prayer and fasting began, I couldn’t help but to thank God for all that He has already done. I have experienced deep healing and answered prayers. I am so grateful to have a God that loves me in such deep, personal ways. Daily, I am amazed by the grace and love of God.
Day 8: Iron and Clay
I started week two by diving into the book of Daniel. The book of Daniel is filled with beautifully written depictions of visions and the interpretations of these visions.
“Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron-for iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all others. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united any more than iron mixes with clay” (Daniel 2:40-43).
Over the course of the 7 months that I have been in Colorado, Godly community has been a consistent prayer in my life. In July of 2019, I felt God speak a response: it will be slow but it will be lasting.
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he scattered the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seeds fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop-a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown” (Matthew 13:3-8).
After walking through a season of painful rejection from people I considered spiritual mentors and friends, I found this promise to be reassuring. I crave true, Christ-like community. Unlike the past, I don’t want an abundance of quick-springing, surface-level relationships. I want something more deeply rooted. The vision described in Daniel 2 perfectly explains the community I once had. There were people of iron and some people of clay. I had people who made me better and illustrated God’s love so gracefully; however, I also had people who only valued me for what I could do. I want friends who make me more like Jesus, not more like them.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).
As I expand my community, I am searching for friends of iron. Within my connect group, I have found people who encourage me and draw me closer to Jesus. I am seeing the fruit of healthy community, and enjoying the process of slow growth on good soil. In my time of worship and prayer, God placed a vision on my heart. I saw a heart-shaped, iron vase filled with an abundance of colorful, flourishing flowers. Praise God for friends of iron who encourage and promote healthy growth within our life.
“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22).
Day 9 + 10: Trust
On day 9 and 10 of prayer and fasting, I had my second week of clinicals. During week one of my labor and delivery clinicals, I got to assist during a rather stressful delivery. This left me feeling overwhelmed at what was to come. Throughout Monday, I felt anxiety poisoning my spirit just knowing that clinicals were quickly approaching. I felt God asking me, “How much do you really trust me?” Sitting in worry + anxiety pointed out the areas in which I lacked trust. For years I have struggled with anxiety. In 2020, I’m declaring in faith that anxiety will no longer be a driving force in my life. I am declaring peace and making Joshua 1:9 my mantra. I am reminded by Daniel 6 that even in the lion’s den, I can trust that God will protect me. He may not change my situation, but he will provide protection in ways that bring glory to God’s great love.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
I truly felt the peace and confidence of Christ show up during my clinical rotation. I spent my first night caring for babies in the NICU (talk about an illustration of strength + courage), and had many opportunities to try (and succeed at) new skills on night two.God is with me, I cannot fail. I will fully trust in God.
I Will Trust by Red Rocks Worship has been especially encouraging this week. I will link it below so maybe it can encourage you as well.
Day 11: On Call
On day 11, I was supposed to work a night shift; however, I got a call that they were over staffed and putting me on call for the night. This allowed my 15 minutes of prayer and worship to be extended which is exactly what my soul needed. As I drank coffee and spent time in God’s presence, I felt him challenging me on how I was positioning myself for His call in my life. See, because I knew I may get called into work, I stayed in my scrubs, drank coffee to energize, and kept my phone nearby in anticipation. I had to stay alert and ready just in case I got called in. I felt God challenging me with this idea in my spiritual life. How can I prepare to be ready + alert for God’s call? How can I prepare my spirit? I was reminded of this verse:
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:13-17).
In order to be “on-call” spiritually, I have to be equipping my mind with God’s truth daily. I have to mindfully live with an empowering awareness that God’s spirit lives in me. I have to be intentional to walk towards things that provide a spirit of peace, and question the things that disrupt God’s peace in my life. I have to make time in the word a priority in my routine, and I have to place my faith in God’s ability rather than my own. God is always calling us to love our neighbors, help those in need, and to encourage those around us. I pray that I can be quick to respond, and that I can carry a culture of the cross with me wherever I go.
Day 12: Highly Esteemed
“While he was saying this to me, I bowed with my face toward the ground and was speechless. Then one who looked like a man touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing before me, ‘I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, my lord, and I feel very weak. How can I, your servant, talk with you, my Lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe.’ Again the one who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength. ‘Do not be afraid, you are highly esteemed,’ he said. ‘Peace! Be strong now; be strong.’ When we spoke to me, I was strengthened…” (Daniel 10:16-19).
Who else can relate to Daniel? I know I can relate to feeling tired, worn out, anxious, discouraged, unable to find the words to pray, and unworthy. But, God does not look down on us when we are burnt out and struggling to keep our head above the water. In contrast, His response is that of encouragement and love. We are highly esteemed by heaven. I love the order in which encouragement is spoken. Courage precedes peace. Peace precedes strength. Some days, it takes all the courage I have to trust God; however, when I place my life in His hands, I receive supernatural peace in return. Heavenly strength is required to declare peace and reject anxiety. Heavenly strength is found in God’s word.
Day 13: Rebuilding
For day 13 of my 21 days of prayer and fasting, I felt compelled to read the book of Haggai. I felt thoroughly blessed by this story of restoration and rebuilding.
“‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty” (Haggai 2:9).
As I read this verse, I felt that it was a prophesy over my life. I had put so much of my own ambition and strength into building the life that I was previously living. I was pursuing a degree that I thought would give me peace. I was striving to be the “perfect Christian” through my own works. God had to tear that old house down in order to restructure my foundation. I had to learn what building a house looked like on His terms and in His grace. In the past few months, I have felt genuine supernatural peace like never before. I have become disciplined in patience. I am learning to say yes to the God things, and I am setting my own agenda to the side.
Day 14: God Remembers
On the final day of my second week of prayer and fasting, I am reminded of this simple truth: God remembers. I decided to read the book of Zechariah. Zechariah means “Yahweh remembers”. When I lack trust or find myself becoming impatient, I find assurance in knowing that God knows the desires of my heart. He crafted them. He knows my deepest hurts and how to heal them. He knows my deepest prayers and when to answer them. He knows my greatest struggles and how to grace me through them. He knows my potential and how to nurture my growth. God remembers. God knows. I will trust.
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalms 37:4).
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it…. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” (Psalms 139:13-14,16).