Today is a guest blog from Pastor Dan Gay, our 217church East Windsor Campus Pastor.
This week we kicked off our 40 days of Prayer. The first 10 are about praying for God to increase our Faith. I have a confession, it may not surprise those who know me, but my nature is to be in control. Yes I know you are all nodding at your screens now. I try to control events, situations, plans and unfortunately sometimes even people… but I used to be MUCH worse. I don’t like the unknown, so I figure if I can control it, then I can always be prepared. My controlling things would be the way that I would minimize the pain of not knowing what is next or the fear of getting in over my head and then possible failing. The problem is over time, I began to eliminate my need and eventually my desire to walk by faith and to let God control not just the destination but the path as well. I had reduced God to an emergency switch to be pulled when I didn’t know what else to do.
So can you guess what started to happen? Yup, things in every area of my life started to fall apart. It was like God was saying to me, “I want a relationship with you and if you only come to me when there’s chaos and you are out of answers, then okay lets try it this way.” Family, finances, relationships, harmful addiction behaviors, work… it all went into disarray with the very real risk of losing it all. I tell people that in my “pit” experience, when I was at my lowest, I cried out to God, not to deliver or heal me (and I wasn’t even sure he was still listening), but rather because I had no one else to cry out to.
That day was the beginning of my life transformation, where I realized, I couldn’t, He could and I needed Him in every area of my life.
“The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it would obey you” Luke 17:9
4 Simple Ways to Increase Your Faith
#1 Let Go – Control and Faith are in direct opposition to each other, they can’t coexist. To walk in faith is to step out when you don’t know where, how and sometimes even why, but you know you are supposed to.
#2 Pray Often / Listen Constantly – Be open with God on how you’re feeling especially if your feeling down or angry. He already knows but wants to hear it from you. Learn to tap into the Holy Spirit within you, that voice will get stronger as you learn to listen.
#3 Simple Obedience – This means you need to instantly obey God. Excuses come and go, just obey. My wife, Bonnie has been an amazing example of this. She has the gift of faith, so when God ask her she does it. She doesn’t rationalize it away or water it down…Just DO it.
#4 Take A Risk Be Willing to push outside your comfort zone. God will probably not call you in the direction or the way that you want to go. I tell people that if you are willing, His spirit will make you ready.
Increasing your faith is a journey not a destination; one that will draw you closer to Jesus and will change you forever. Hard at times, but worth every ounce of sweat, blood and tears.
In case you missed it, here is our 40 Day prayer focus. Its not too late to start praying!
The Prayer Guide
Increase Our Faith Readings: March 9 – 18
Day 1: Luke 17:1-10 It starts small
Day 2: Hebrews 11:1-40 Our faith legacy
Day 3: Genesis 12:1-20 Just go
Day 4: Joshua 1:1-9 Faith & courage
Day 5: 1 Samuel 2:1-11 Faith and barren land
Day 6: Nehemiah 1 Desperate faith prayers
Day 7: Psalm 31:1-24 Faithfulness of God
Day 8: 1 John 1:1-9 Gospel & faithfulness
Day 9: Proverbs 3:1-12 A lifestyle of faithfulness
Day 10: John 17:1-26 Jesus Prays boldly (Prayer Night)
Release The Finances Readings: March 19 – 28
Day 11: Exodus 16:1-36 God provides
Day 12: Matthew 6:1-14 The Lord’s prayer & provision
Day 13: 1 Timothy 6:1-10 Finances & contentment
Day 14: Luke 6:27-42 It all comes back to you
Day 15: Malachi 3:6-15 The Tithe and God’s blessing
Day 16: Luke 21:1-4 The all-in lifestyle
Day 17: Psalm 132:1-18 Provision & worship
Day 18: Romans 13:13-14 Jesus as your provision
Day 19: Mark 10:13-31 Provision & perspective
Day 20: Acts 4:32-27 The church and possessions
Give Us Focus Readings: March 29 – April 7
Day 1: Acts 4:23-31 Boldness in prayer
Day 2: Matthew 6:19-34 Priority of the Gospel
Day 3: James 1:1-17 Perseverance
Day 4: 2 Chronicles 7:11-22 Do one thing (Prayer Night)
Day 5: 2 Peter 3:8-13 Holy living
Day 6: Romans 8:1-17 Freedom from guilt
Day 7: Romans 8:18-39 God’s promise
Day 8: Colossians 3:1-25 Family focus
Day 9: Colossians 1:1-29 Jesus & disciple making
Day 10: Mark 2:13-17 Priority of sharing our faith
Grant Us Favor Readings: April 8-17
Day 11: Luke 2:22-40 Jesus and the favor of God
Day 12: Genesis 18:1-21 The favor of God for Abram
Day 13: Luke 1:1-25 Mary receives favor
Day 14: Jeremiah 29:1-23 Plans for good
Day 15: Philippians 1:3-18 Completion of God’s plan
Day 16: John 1:1-34 Jesus defined
Day 17: Galatians 2:15-21 Participation in the favor
Day 18: Matthew 27:1-31 Jesus and stress
Day 19: Matthew 27:32-66 Jesus crucified
Day 20: Matthew 28:1-20 Jesus resurrected
This is going to change us…
Josh is the lead pastor of 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ planted in 2010. 217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 9:30 & 11am and Grace Rogers School in East Windsor, NJ at 10:15. Our new East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday. If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information.