Last Thursday, March 18th, 2015, I attended a community meeting entitled “Kids to Cops Dialogue”. It is an initiative to bridge the gap between the kids in lower income communities and the law enforcement. Apparently, there is lack of communication between our AA children and cops. At a young tender age kids have no bias towards cops. What happens between adolescence and their teens age years that causes our children to distrust law enforcement? The senseless killings of young black males at the hands of cops does not help. During our discussion, I learned that the problem begins at home. I must mentioned that I was the only parent at this meeting. Everyone in attendance worked for the city, county, or state. When asked to attend many parents refused because they either had some run in with the police or they just didn’t care. When given the opportunity to confront the issue, these parents declined. At this point, ignorance of the system is no longer an excuse. As parent, we have the power to change the lives of our children and community. Stop being reactive and start being proactive.
Before we begin a period of fasting, we must prepare ourselves, and in most cases, our families. Here are some steps to consider to help prepare yourself for a fast.
Before you fast, you must set your objective. Are you fasting for spiritual renewal, for healing, restoration of your marriage, relationship issues, or a new job? Many of us have set an objective but never followed through with our fast because we lack commitment.
What will be your commitment: one meal, one day, one week, several weeks, or longer? What type of fast does God want you to undertake? It could be no meat, no sweets, no sex, or water only. Will you be willing to restrict any physical or social activities during your period of fasting? How much time will devote to God each day? It is important to spend time with God daily.
3. Prepare yourself spiritually and physically
The very foundation of fasting and prayer is repentance. Unconfessed sin will hinder your prayers. Here are several things you can do to prepare your heart:
*Ask God to help you make a comprehensive list of your sins.
*Confess every sin that the Holy Spirit calls to your remembrance and accept God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
*Seek forgiveness from all whom you have offended, and forgive all who have hurt you (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3,4).
*Make restitution as the Holy Spirit leads you.
*Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit according to His command in Ephesians 5:18 and His promise in 1 John 5:14,15.
*Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master; refuse to obey your worldly nature (Romans 12:1,2).
*Meditate on the attributes of God, His love, sovereignty, power, wisdom, faithfulness, grace, compassion, and others (Psalm 48:9,10; 103:1-8, 11-13).
*Begin your time of fasting and prayer with an expectant heart (Hebrews 11:6).
*Do not underestimate spiritual opposition. Satan sometimes intensifies the natural battle between body and spirit (Galatians 5:16,17).
Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Consult your physician first, especially if you take prescription medication or have a chronic ailment. Some persons should never fast without professional supervision.
Physical preparation makes the drastic change in your eating routine a little easier so that you can turn your full attention to the Lord in prayer.
*Do not rush into your fast.
*Prepare your body. Eat smaller meals before starting a fast. Avoid high-fat and sugary foods.
*Eat raw fruit and vegetables for two days before starting a fast.
Revival is a means by which we can reconnect with Yahweh on a intimate level. Over the past century, we have continuously devalued Yahweh’s place in society. Rather than seeking His face in our time of need, we have sought the world in order to provide our needs. Drugs, sex, alcohol, social media, and self-help has replaced the word. Revival is not suppose to serve as a quick fix to our problems or an energy booster to get us through the next few months until another revival occurs. Revivals should be occurring everyday within ourselves, our homes, and our places of worship. Their are requirements for revival. In 2 Corinthians 7:12–22 it states:
12And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. 13If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 14If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 15Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. 16For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. 17And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments; 18Then will I establish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel.
19But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; 20Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. 21And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and unto this house? 22And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshiped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them.
As a people, we can not come into revival with our own agenda or expectations. It should serve as time for resurrecting our relationship with Yahweh as well as seeking favor in our land.