being sarah, faith

21 days of prayer & fasting – week 1

My alarm going off at 5:30am every morning and getting up to get ready for the day so I could sit at my iPad with breakfast in front of me and my attention fully on the prayer service was surprisingly easy this week. Sure, I was ready to go to bed around 9pm every night, but Rylie goes to bed 2 hours beforehand, so it really wasn’t that hard to convince myself to go to bed.


Unlike previous years, Highlands shook the prayer services up this year by giving each week a “focus” and each day a “word of the day.” I found that each day’s word became a challenge for myself to grow in that area and I asked God often to show me what was hindering my growth under that topic. Without fail, God pressed a button every day.


This first week’s focus was: how close can I get to Jesus


With that in mind, here is the first week’s mini-message notes.

{scripture is from The NIV Bible unless otherwise noted}




Day 1 – Chris Hodges


This was a Sunday message, so you can watch the whole message anytime by clicking here. I’ll let you download the message notes, but there are couple side notes I made.


When we buy into the lie, we empower the liar.

I will never change my life until I change the way I think.

When we expose the lie, we defeat the liar.

Nothing is bigger or more powerful than God.



Day 2 – Chris Hodges


Word of the day: worship

Just get close to Jesus!


Matthew 22:36-38 – ““Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.””


Worship is expressing love to God.


Psalm 50:8-15 – “I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices
or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.

 I have no need of a bull from your stall
or of goats from your pens,

 for every animal of the forest is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills.

 I know every bird in the mountains,
and the insects in the fields are mine.
 If I were hungry I would not tell you,
for the world is mine, and all that is in it.

 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?

 “Sacrifice thank offerings to God,
fulfill your vows to the Most High,

 and call on me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you will honor me.””


How can we worship God?

  1. Express gratitude
  2. Express commitment
  3. Express dependence



{Later that day, I found this message in the church’s message archive on the website and there were things Pastor Chris said / verses he used that tied so perfectly into what he mentioned in this mini-service. It was so good to listen to this message in full. You can check it out my clicking here.}



Day 3  - Dino Rizzo


Word of the day: surrender

There is nothing more powerful than a surrendered life in the hands of God.


Matthew 4:18-22 – ”As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.  Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.”


The greatest reward from surrender is Jesus.


Definition of “surrender” || sur·ren·der (verb) – cease resistance


How can we live a life of surrender?:

  1. Choose to poster humility
  2. Choose to poster repentance
  3. Choose to say, “not my will, but your will.”



Day 4 – Hamp Greene


Word of the day: closer

We need to embrace the God that is longing to be close to us.


Psalm 145:18 – “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”


What’s holding you back from getting closer to God?:

  1. Wrong view of God

  2. Wrong view of self


2 Corinthians 13:14 – “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”


Romans 8:1 – “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”



  • You are accepted

  • You are loved

  • You are empowered by the Holy Spirit



{this mini-message spoke so perfectly to what my story was as I came to really know Christ. I had to embrace that God wanted to be close to me, but to do that, I had to get over the wrong view I had of God and of myself (which took time and commitment to relearning and changing the way I thought). You can read my story by clicking here.}



Day 5 – Mark Pettus


Word of the day: dependence

It’s a trust, confidence and reliance on God.


John 6:66-69 – “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.””


“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” -C.S. Lewis


Are you too dependent on people? Money? Vacations? Netflix?


When you want to declare your dependence on God:

  1. Evaluate your life (where have you put your dependence on something other than God?)

  2. Close those doors

  3. Declare dependence on God!



Day 6 – Layne Schranz


Word of the day: anointing

The word “anointing” and “holy spirit” are the same thing.


“I hope I have that anointing one day.” You are already anointed – but do you have the confidence to live with that belief?


Luke 10:17-19 – “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”


1 John 2:27 – “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.”



Day 7 - Chris Hodges


Word of the day: revival


Mark 8:22-25 – “They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.”


Thought: how did the blind man know what trees look like? Probably because he wasn’t always blind.


A lot of people start the Christian journey strong (they see clearly), but over time they can’t see anymore (like the blind man).


You see partially, but you know it’s not as clear as God wants you to see.


Don’t settle for partial anything.


Repentance is #1 common denominator in any great revival.


  1. Changed heart
  2. Changed direction (what areas of my life do I need to turn away from?)
  3. Changed life (what would you [God] have me do? Where would you [God] have me go?)

4 thoughts on “21 days of prayer & fasting – week 1”

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