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Seeking God

At the beginning of the year, some people reflect on the past, celebrate, and start anew. For some, thinking about the future can be overwhelming and cause fear and anxiety. Considering past experiences can also make one worried about what the coming year might bring, especially if there are challenges in marriage, health, finances, and relationships. Despite this, there is hope for better things to come.

In the Book of Ezra we read of how he faced a huge task and knew he needed God’s help in the face of overwhelming odds. Simply put, he needed God to protect his people and their valuable resources as they travelled to rebuild the temple. This included 7500 pounds of gold and 25 tons of silver. There were robbers along the way who could harm them, deviate their course, and put their lives, as well as the lives of children, in danger.

Ezra 8:21-22 (ESV)

Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods. For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.”

In today’s fast-changing world, with significant social, economic, geopolitical, and cultural changes, it’s easy to be distracted. Instead of getting distracted by these big changes, it’s suggested that we trust in God, who knows the seasons and times.

Fasting and Praying

So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty. – Ezra 8:23 (ESV)

God gave Ezra the solution as to what, where and how.

When facing challenges beyond our capability, fasting and praying can provide direction. The goal is not to escape problems but to seek God’s solution. The problem may not disappear, but by seeking God’s perspective, we can navigate it with His guidance. This is what happened when Ezra and the children of Israel fasted—God heard their prayers and provided a solution.

In January 2024, as a church family, there is an opportunity, similar to Ezra and the children of Israel, to ask God for guidance, solutions, and protection as we embark on the journey through the year. It’s a time to humble ourselves before God, draw closer to Him, and align ourselves with His promises.

Prayer Book

To accompany the series, we have produced a Prayer Book.

Inside you will find Prayers for each week of the series, alongside helpful encouragement and guidance on prayer and fasting.

Download a copy or read it online using the buttons below.

Download the Prayer Book
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