Don’t you want to consecrate the new decade to God with a time of extraordinary prayer? I do. O, how I want to give myself afresh to God for this last decade of the twentieth century! I want to dedicate this new decade to God in a deep and special way.
This is a rare turning point in our lives—entering the last decade of the second millennium A.D. Please don’t let it pass with no special acts of devotion to the Lord. Set apart some time for special fasting and prayer. Why fasting? Because this is the way the Lord began his ministry—40 days of fasting! And because Jesus said, “The days are coming when the Bridegroom is taken away; and then they will fast in that day.”
But mainly what we need to do is set apart time to focus on God and seek his will and his power for the coming year and decade. God makes himself known when we honor him with time and attention. And O how we need to discern his will and receive his power for the mission of our church, and for our personal spiritual warfare. God will be so pleased if we send up the sweet smelling fragrance of corporate prayer in the first week of the decade. Let’s do this together!
Here are some ways to consecrate the first week of the decade to the Lord.
Daily morning Prayer: 7:00-7:30 AM (Monday, Jan. 1 - Friday, Jan. 5) third floor. Start your day with a band of believers going hard after God for power and love. “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning…”
Midweek Concert of Prayer: 7:00-8:30 PM (Wednesday, Jan. 3). The focus here will be on the great needs of our city and the cities of the world. Other churches are invited. This is a follow-on from PRAYER '89 at the Dome, but will be only half as long. Here we stretch ourselves to intercede for God’s work beyond our little corner in the great urban centers of the world in the coming decade.
Night of Prayer: 10:00 PM—6:00 AM (Friday-Saturday, Jan. 5-6). These all night prayer meetings have been times of great power for us at Bethlehem. Last year there were clear answers to prayer: one person, for example, over whom we prayed, was decisively freed from the use of alcohol. Our focus is simply to seek the face of God in earnest pleading for all the fullness and blessing and power that he is willing to give us. You can come and go as you need to. There are breaks on the hour for refreshment as needed. Each hour has a different focus and a designated leader. You will be surprised how quickly eight hours goes by. But come for as long as you can. Isn’t it a wonderfully radical way to consecrate the decade to the Lord!
A Personal Prayer Retreat: We have 150 copies of Ablaze for God, by Wesley Duewel. We will make them available for $7.00 each. This book has the potential of fanning your heart into a flame for the coming decade. It has kindled my heart again and again. Use it for a personal prayer retreat. We will fix the fireside room in a way conducive to quiet retreats of solitude Jan. 1-5 (or 6?). Or find your own place. But be alone with God for a significant time this week.
Whatever you do, don’t let this tremendous moment in history go by without a special act of consecration. Plan now for the first week of the decade. And plan it with God. O, please plan it with God!
Seeking a new dedication for a new decade with you,