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Wednesday, May 20: Romans 7:15-8:1
           BY GRACE, today I will fast from carrying my regrets instead of carrying Your cross.
TODAY I will feel the weightlessness of Your Grace-feel how Your Cross-grace is enough to cover not only the hard things that we wish we had never done, but also the good things that we wish we had got done, the things that can weigh heaviest of all.
WE REPENT and give to You things we wish we had never done and pray for grace to cover the things we wish we had done.

May 19: Matthew 6:33,34; Mark 1:35; John 15:5; Philippians 4:13; Colossians 3:1-3
BY GRACE, today I will fast from independent thinking and acting.
TODAY I will come to You before I do anything at all.
WE REPENT of coming to You only when we think there’s nothing else we can do, of coming to You like You are our last hope-instead of coming to You first, because you are our first love.

#People of the Cross (Ann Voskamp)

"Make prayer your first choice, not your last chance."
-Al Whittinghill

May 18: Ephesians 1:3-14
BY GRACE, today I will fast from trying to perform because in Christ we are 100% accepted before 1% performance-because only in Christ can we experience extravagant acceptance without experiencing exhausting performance.
TODAY we will keep close to Jesus. We are already loved.

WE REPENT of not walking with you, Jesus, every moment which too often leaves us driven hard by pride and fear every day.


May 17: Nehemiah 8:10; John 15:11; Philippians 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:16
BY GRACE, today I will fast from frowning because smiling can be an act of defiance against what’s pressing in hard and smiling can be an act of sheer bravery.
TODAY we will practice our faith-because we will Practice Joy. Practice Thankfulness. Practice smiling, practice Counting Gifts.
WE REPENT of too often forgetting that we are the Resurrection People and joy is our endless refrain.

May 15: Exodus 33:18-23; 1 Samuel 16:7; Proverbs 31:30

BY GRACE, today I will fast from mirrors and magazines and catalogues.
TODAY I look to You more than I try to look good.
WE REPENT of taking pride in what we see in mirrors more than what You, God, see in my heart, for being part of a culture that spent $11 billion last year on face lifts, Botox injections, and unnecessary aesthetic cosmetic augmentations, when $12 billion could eliminate world illiteracy in five years. Forgive us, God, for caring more about our faces than facing Your face.

May 14:Proverbs 15:1; Proverbs 16:32; Romans 12:18; Colossians 3:8; James 3:13-18
BY GRACE, today I will fast from wrath and anger because anger is often just the costume of fear.
TODAY I will live at peace with everyone, as far as it depends on me, and I am depending on You.
WE REPENT of living angry, violent lives in angry, violent countries that kill playing children unexpectedly, and kill unborn children unknown by anyone, and that spend more on war than on world hunger, instead of asking for a shattering of all violence with Your shock and awe grace.

#People of the Cross (Ann Voskamp)

May 13: Matthew 26:39; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

BY GRACE, today I will fast from idolizing my agenda instead of interrupting my agenda because I love Your ways more than mine.

TODAY I will thank God for every interruption on my list-as I’ll see it as a manifestation of my Lord.
WE REPENT for not loving the unexpected, the unlikely, the marginalized when you told us that its in the margins You write the greatest Words.
#People of the Cross (Ann Voskamp)

“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's 'own,' or 'real' life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life -- the life God is sending one day by day.”  
―  C.S. Lewis ,  The Collected Works of C.S. Lewis


May 12: Matthew 13:44,45; Philippians 3:7-14 Hebrews 11:1-6

           BY GRACE, today I will fast from my comfort zone, because comfort zones can be death traps. TODAY I will take one step out of my comfort zone because that is where I meet the comfort of the Comforter. WE REPENT of claiming the name Christian, of claiming the Crucified King, but not wanting to pay any price, have any cost, take any risk.

May 11: Proverbs 6:6-11; Romans 13:11-14; Ephesians 6:10-18            

BY GRACE, today I will fast from sloth and all time wasters. TODAY I will make time for one eternal thing because You have given me the gift of time. WE REPENT of opportunities lost…for dragging feet, for dabbling in distraction, for playing in procrastination, for not being persons of action, for loitering about in little and trite things when there is a cosmic battle to be fought and an eternal race to be run and a feast the starving need to find.

May 10: Colossians 3:1-3; James 4:1-10  

         BY GRACE, today I will fast from the idols of Approval, Affirmation, and Applause. TODAY I will live only for an audience of One. WE REPENT of a heart that is an idol maker instead of making You the sole King of our hearts, repent of stealing Your glory, photo-bombing all of Your fame with this insertion of our selfie-selves, thinking almost incessantly about ourselves instead of being relentlessly focused on You and thinking of ourselves less.

May 9: Matthew 6:1-8; Matthew 20:20-28; Mark 10:28-31; Revelation 2:1-7
               BY GRACE, today I will fast from wanting to be seen and noticed. TODAY I will do things in secret, to be seen only by you. WE REPENT of wanting a work that will be seen by others instead of yearning for Kingdom work that is seen by you, for wanting to be the greatest of all instead of wanting to be the Greatest Servants of all, for wanting to be first in everything instead of returning to our first love.                    
May 8: Luke 9:23-26
           BY GRACE, today I will fast from hypocrisy and being a pretender. TODAY I will not pick up a mask, but pick up a cross. WE REPENT of the church carrying around our hipster coffee cups, on trend on the outside yet filthy on the inside-instead of carrying our cross and pouring our lives
right out. Cause us to pick up our Cross and pour out in one real way today.

May 7: Jeremiah 9:23,24; Luke 12:16-21; James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6
 BY GRACE, today I will fast from comfortable Christianity.

TODAY I will boldly do one thing counter-culture because I am a citizen of the upside down kingdom.  

WE REPENT for the collective church being about lavish buildings instead of lavish love, being known for offensive arrogance instead of offensive grace, for wanting to climb ladders to be somebodies instead of climbing lower to help somebody.

Wednesday, May 6: Galatians 3:26-29
BY GRACE, today I will fast from the ignorance of systemic racism.

TODAY I will look for one way to be a bridge because the people of God must reflect the heart of God for unity in the kingdom of God.

WE REPENT that even though blacks and whites have similar levels of drug use, blacks are ten times as likely to to be incarcerated for drug crimes, and as African American male is sentenced an average of 20-50 times longer prison terms than a white male convicted of the same drug crime. 

            #People of the Cross (Ann Voskamp)

May 5: Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:4-7; 1 Peter 5:7
 BY GRACE, today I will fast from worrying because it dethrones God.    

TODAY I will not be a persistent worrier but be a prayer warrior. 

WE REPENT of worrying because it implies we need to be king and God is incompetent. When the King really rules your world, you really don't need to worry.
                   #People of the Cross (Ann Voskamp)


 May 4: Matthew 23:8-12; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
BY GRACE, today I will fast from the lie that my calling isn't great enough because God isn't calling for people great in skills, schooling, or spotlights-He's calling those simply great in community, in confession, in communion, in courage, great in Christ.  

TODAY I will do ordinary things with extraordinarily great love.                                                                                          

WE REPENT of wanting to be greater instead of loving greater.
                   #People of the Cross (Ann Voskamp)


 May 3: Proverbs 18:21; Ephesians 4:9; James 3:1-18
BY GRACE, today I will fast from negative words and hold fast to the Word.    

TODAY I will only speak words that make souls stronger.

WE REPENT of unclean lips because they reflect our hearts. The tongue is the tail of the heart-make our hearts to be formed like Your Cross-shaped heart

 May 2:  Psalm 46:10

 BY GRACE, today I will fast from my addiction to noise because I confess I've cared more about what the world says, than what Your Word says.

TODAY I will make space to simply be still, so You can still everything and fill the willing space of me.

WE REPENT of letting the noise of the world define our lives, instead of letting the love of Your Word refine our lives. 

 May 1: Hebrews 13:3
BY GRACE, today I will fast from chaining myself to petty and purposeless things instead of praying for the Persecuted Church in chains.

TODAY I will not take my faith for granted but take it out from underneath its bushel and share it with one person.                                                            

WE REPENT of not humbly living our faith when our brothers and sisters are daily dying for theirs.

Ann Voskamp's exhortation to prayer as the foundation for becoming people of the cross:

"May we fast from idol worship because  the only reason we don't pray enough is because we've made an idol out of our work and busyness.  We repent of our own inflated sense of self-importance that keeps us from the most important: time in Christ's presence.   Let us make hard stops to truly pray because prayer is more of a priority than food, because the soul is more of a priority than the body."

All prayers are from Ann Voskamp's Blog 

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