21 days of prayer and fasting - Galatians 1
As we begin our 21 day season of prayer together let’s remember why we do this.
The All Nations family has a habit - a very good habit - of taking two periods of 21 days in the year to focus on seeking God and hearing from Him. We put a special emphasis on prayer and fasting at the same time as an encouragement to one another. We encourage every household to take time to read a chapter of the Bible together each day. And we encourage everyone near Wolverhampton to find a time when we can be in the Prayer Hub for a while to pray with others.
There is something very special about seeking God together - we are made to live in community with others and He loves to respond when we do!
This year our theme is Freedom. Freedom from anything that holds us back. Freedom from any chains of hurt, fear or addiction. Freedom from unhelpful or ungodly ways of thinking. Freedom from other people’s wrong expectations. Freedom!
It might seem strange to limit what we eat and what we do with our time so we can be free. But true freedom does not come from struggling against any restraints. True freedom comes from God as we ask His help.
In today’s chapter - Galatians 1 - we read about the basis on which God sets us free.
Paul begins with a greeting in which he summarises the gospel. “The Lord Jesus Christ,” he says, “gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age.” We are delivered out of this age that is passing away. It is an evil age that has a tendency to decay and death. Through the Cross and Resurrection Jesus has delivered us.
Later in Galatians we read about other deliverances but they all depend on this key, first deliverance.
It does not mean that everyone is delivered - there are plenty of other passages of scripture that show that we all need to chose to respond to God’s love to receive the benefit of His love shown at the Cross. But this is the key. We are delivered from this present evil age and have become part of the new creation God is making. It may not be finished yet and, as the rest of the letter to the Galatians shows, we Christians are not yet perfect - we need to be changed into His image from one degree of glory to another! (2 Cor 3:18)
In rest of the chapter, Paul begins to urge his hearers to hold to the real gospel and not settle for a watered down version. Only the true gospel leads to deliverance from this present evil age. The main theme of this letter is that the Galatians have settled for a watered down version and Paul is desperate to bring them back into freedom, as we shall see in the next few days.