3 Days of Prayer and Fasting (2022/11)

Exodus 20:1-17
1 And God spoke all these words, saying,
2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Day 1: Loving God
Commands 4-8 in the middle all deal with actions, what we should do or not do. Command 3 and Command 9 flanking the middle commands deal with speech, what we say, not taking the name of the LORD upon our lips in vain, and not bearing false witness against our neighbors. And at the beginning and end of the Decalogue, Commands 1, 2 and Command 10 all deal with the heart and the mind. So the Tenth Commandment peels off the layers of our actions and speech and gets right underneath to what’s going in our hearts. What do we worship? What do we love? What do we desire?
For this reason, the heart of covetousness is idolatry (cf. Isa. 44:9-10). Colossians 3:5 says “covetousness … is idolatry.” Ephesians 5:5 says a person “who is covetous … is an idolater.” It’s not an accident that the Decalogue begins with the first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me,” and concludes with the tenth commandment as “You shall not covet (Exod. 20:7). Because when we desire what belongs to another, when we desire that which is not ours, what God has not given to us, we’re desiring it more than we desire God. John Piper helpfully defines covetousness this way: “Covetousness is desiring something so much that you lose your contentment in God.” If you covet money, if you love money, Jesus says that your money is your god (Matt. 6:24). If you covet earthly things, and your mind is preoccupied with worldly pleasures, Philippians 3:19 says that “[your] god is [your] belly. When you desire or are devoted to someone or something more than God, you are idolizing it.
Recommended Song: “My Worth Is Not In What I Own” by Keith and Kristyn Getty (Find it on our church’s Spotify playlist, “Trinity Hymnal.”)
  • Confess the idols that are robbing you of your contentment in Christ.
  • Thank God for “the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:8), and praise Jesus for all that He has done for you.
  • Pray for joy, thankfulness, and contentment in Christ.
  • Pray for a renewal in your heart of worship and love for God.

Day 2: Loving One Another
Desiring for ourselves what belongs to our neighbor is sinful, because it is a failure to love our neighbor. Coveting prevents us from “rejoic[ing] with those who rejoice” and “weep[ing] with those who weep,” as Romans 12:15 commands us to do. If we are covetous, we begrudge our neighbor’s good fortune and gloat over their misfortune. We weep when they rejoice and rejoice when they weep. When we covet, instead of humbly “count[ing] others more significant than [our] selves” and “look[ing] … to the interests of others” (Phil 2:3-4), we are counting ourselves more significant than others and looking only to our own interests.
And coveting is a bitter root that brings forth many bitter fruits. James 4:1-2 says, “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel…” Coveting what belongs to another leads to murder, which is a violation of the sixth commandment. Covet[ing] your neighbor’s wife” leads to adultery, a violation of the seventh commandment. Covet[ing] your neighbor’s … [servant] … or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s leads to stealing, a violation of the eighth commandment. Ahab’s coveting of Naboth’s vineyard in 1 Kings 21 led to the setting up of false witnesses, a violation of the ninth commandment. In this way, coveting can lead us to break every single one of the commandments intended to help us love our neighbors as ourselves. Coveting is by its very nature anti-social.
Recommended Song: “Crowns” by Hillsong (Find it on our church’s Spotify playlist, “Trinity Hymnal.”)
  • Confess the ways you have envied others and coveted what belongs to them.
  • Pray that God would help you love other members of our church, so that you rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep, rather than rejoicing when they weep and weeping when they rejoice.
  • Pray for our elders, Matt Huckins, Paul Buckley, and Shawn Woo, and our pastoral intern Ed Kang, that they would minister the word of God effectively and grow in humble, prayerful dependence on God.
  • Pray for our deacons, Jen Cook, Jon So, and Lauren Miller, that God would grow them in wisdom and discernment as they minister to the temporal needs of our members.

Day 3: Loving Our Neighbors
“Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction(1 Tim. 6:9). No one falls into a snare because he wants to. He gets caught in it unawares. One might “desire to be rich” for what he or she thinks are noble reasons, but the desire to be rich ensnares. Jesus says that “the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things … choke the word [of God]” so that it does not bear fruit in people’s lives (Mark 4:18-19).
The prosperity gospel, which says, “if you follow God and are faithful to Him, God will make you healthy, wealthy, and prosperous,” is not the gospel! The world looks at the prosperity gospel and says, “well, if I were healthy, wealthy, and prosperous, I’d be happy too, I don’t need God to be a part of that picture.” It makes Jesus a means to an end—second fiddle to our other, more important pursuits in life. It should never be. Instead, we make Jesus look precious, when we say, “Whatever my lot in life, wealth or poverty, health or sickness, a podium or a prison, fame or forgottenness, a long life or a short life, Jesus is enough for me!”
Recommended Song: “Christ Be All” by Grace Worship (Find it on our church’s Spotify playlist, “Trinity Hymnal.”)
  • Pray for the idol of money to be torn down from our neighbors’ lives, so that their eyes might be opened to the priceless treasure that Christ is (Matt. 13:44-46).
  • Pray that our church would so cherish Christ that people around us notice that Jesus is our supreme treasure.
  • Pray that God would embolden all of our church members to share the gospel with unbelievers.
  • Pray for specific unbelieving family members, friends, and neighbors, that they would come to Jesus and believe in Him for salvation.
  • Pray for faith, hope, and love for Mattea, as she grieves the death of a fellow missionary and prepares for her return to the U.S.

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