By Marion English-Rowe, IPMI Partner
I participated in the IPMI 2005 twenty-one days of fasting and prayer, which took place from September 11 to October 1. During these 21 days of fasting and prayer I learnt that Christianity was a life-style involving a minute-by-minute walk with God, a walk based on progressive sanctification. When I say progressive sanctification I mean not repeating the same besetting sins, but reaching and striving daily to be more like our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The scripture passages and the prayer points in the Prayer and Fasting Guide were great. I found the scripture passages both practical and applicable to my personal life. At times I was totally amazed at some of the readings because they were not only very clear and profound but often times they brought to me the awesome revelation and conviction that these were the very words of God. On a few occasions as I read the passages it seemed like God was actually speaking directly to me through these passages. For example, in Judges 20:26-28 when the people of Israel wanted spiritual direction they sought God’s face by crying, praying, fasting and offering sacrifices and they heard the Lord’s voice saying attack. Here, I fully recognized the importance of an obedient response to the instructions God provide us in His Word, which accounts for the primary reason He speaks so clearly to us through the Scriptures. There were times when I actually heard the voice of the Lord so clearly through the Scriptures that I had no doubt about what I was to do or say that day. The prayer points helped me to focus on my immediate environment and other areas of the world instead of on my own needs only.
One of the goals I set myself during this time of fasting and prayer was to get a clear sense of direction from God concerning His purpose for my life and ministry and also for Him to reveal this to me clearly. I also desired directions concerning the full outworking of the ministry to which He was calling me. During the time of fasting and prayer I became conscious of an overwhelming desire to minister to young women, a desire that I came to fully recognize as God’s will for my life. This is a ministry to which I am now totally committed and fully dependent on the Spirit’s help in equipping me to perform effectively, something He has already begun to do.
On September 19, I wrote these words in my journal, Lord I want my life to be what you created it to be. Today, I commit myself to bring to an end my aimless approach to life and now I choose to fully focus towards your purpose for my life. God help me to surrender my entire life into your powerful arms. Since that day the overwhelming desire to encourage and witness to young women has not left me. In fact God has begun using me in some of the most unusual ways to minister to women on the job. Even as I was in the process of writing this testimony the telephone rang. It was a young woman seeking encouragement and direction for her life. I am so thankful to God for the wonderful opportunity He has given me to serve Him in the extension of His Kingdom here on earth.
This is just a glimpse of one of the things that God has done in my life as a result of my participation in the 21 days of prayer and fasting.