Archive for February, 2010

40 Days of Focus and Fasting

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

On March 1st, IHOP, the churches of New England and college campuses all across the nation will begin a 40-day fast – crying out to God for a great awakening on the campuses of America. As the IHOPU Student Awakening continues, God has stirred the IHOPU leadership to send out the third and fourth-year students for a forty-day ministry trip among the Ivy League schools. Between March 1st and April 9th, IHOPU students will be leading prayer meetings, meeting with campus groups, witnessing and hosting awakening meetings on the campuses of the Ivy League schools and other New England area colleges. At the same time, thousands all across the nation will be uplifting the nation’s colleges in prayer and fasting – believing God to release His presence and power on the campuses of America as He has in Kansas City in a way that shatters the strongholds of intellectualism in America’s universities and dramatically impacts a future generation of leaders.

We want to invite and encourage the HHOP community to join in these 40 days and give ourselves to a period of focused awareness of and engagement with the Spirit and what He’s doing. Whether it’s a Daniel fast (i.e. no meats and no sweets) as suggested or some other fast, or just joining us for the meetings or praying on your own, let’s lay hold of this moment and press in for what God wants to do in the days ahead. In addition to the focus of this divine moment, we want to take this time to come before the Lord with hearts tenderized by fasting and ask Him to write on us afresh the bigger picture of what He’s saying and doing.

As significant as the outpouring in Kansas City is, and as this outreach in the Ivy League schools promises to be, it is still the beginning of the beginning. Back in October, we looked at the crisis in our nation and came to the undeniable conclusion that to rightly understand our times is to recognize that the need of the hour is not a momentary breakthrough, but a permanent shifting. Even as we celebrate what has begun, the cry is still in our spirits for a great awakening that would shift the face of a nation and change the understanding and expression of Christianity in our generation. That is what we are rejoicing to see begin, and that is what we are pressing into – praise God for “only going forward, never going backward!”

The word that has been in my spirit since late September is “birthing season.” This is a time of beginnings and significant transitions as the Lord begins to set things in place for a great move of God in our day. It is a critical time for us to step back, see with clarity what the Lord is doing and sign up again to go there with Him. Our aim for the 40 days is to position ourselves in agreement with the “now” of God that we are entering into as a nation and as the body of Christ worldwide. Responding to what God is doing is at the heart of who we are, but for 40 days we want to respond in an especially intentional way – setting aside our comfort and our routine to seek God’s face. We have years and decades of pressing in ahead of us, but for these 40 days we are gathering in the presence of the Lord to recognize and celebrate what He is doing, to press in for the next breakthrough, and to ask Him to write on our hearts the revelations that will keep us engaged for the longhaul.

For the next six weeks we are altering our services to better facilitate this time of focus. March 1st through April 9th as we engage in this period of fasting and focus we will be gathering together at HHOP every Tuesday and Thursday night at 7pm (no Sunday afternoon meetings during the 40 days) for a time together in His presence. Rather than our usual services, these times will be a mixture of prayer, worship, sharing and ministry time with a deliberate focus on the presence of God and the present move of God. As we move through the 40 days we will be focusing on different themes that the Spirit is highlighting in the broader move of God that is beginning to touch the body of Christ across the nations. We will be sharing, meditating on and praying into these themes as we ask God to realize them in us, through us and around us.

On New Year’s Eve, a word was spoken that “everything changes from tonight.” While it’s just getting started and may seem slow at times something has shifted. I know in my own life and my little circle of awareness I’m seeing a fresh hunger for God and an unusual willingness to change whatever needs to be changed so long as we gain Him. Hunger is the agent of change in the kingdom, and soft hearts let God write a story far beyond our imagination. With tender, hungry hearts let’s come before the Lord and ask Him to write His word on our hearts – who He is, who we are and where this is all going. Let’s say yes again to all that God would do.

Signing up again,

(Follow the website for weekly focus updates)

HarvestHOP Site Updates

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

As you can see, the HarvestHOP website is undergoing a slight revamp. The main reason is to begin regular updates of what we’re doing, what we’re thinking and what we’re praying – particularly as we go into this 40-day fast. The latest posts will show up on the home page, or follow the blog link to browse/search all posts.

In addition, the resources section is being redone: the messages are now available by podcast, and are categorized, tagged and searchable, as well as archived by date to make them easier to navigate.

Blog Posts