My sister had a heart attack two days before the 21 Days of Prayer. The Doctor’s asked if she had high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol. She said NO! The Doctor’s did not know how to explain the reason for the heart attack. I know that the enemy was mad, because there was going to be victory, for the Honor and Glory of God. My sister is now fine. Her husband and children accepted the Lord. All the victory to my Heavenly Father. God Bless you! Thank you for the opportunity to join this group of 21 days of prayer and fasting.
Again, I had a rough morning on Thursday (pride issue) and confessed Thursday, I attended a CLE in Edinburg. While there I chatted it up with a friend and when we were through she said to the woman sitting next to her (in the lobby) “You need to have him pray for you.” She got up, we went around the corner, and she told me she’d had 24 hour pain for four years, been to MD Anderson 7 to 8 times, underwent a process where they cut a nerve in her head to kill the pain, was taking 27 pills a day and still suffered terrible pain on the left side of her face. We prayed quickly and she became very excited, jumping up and own, the pain was gone. A little later I asked her how she was and she said she was experiencing a little of the pain, we prayed again and the pain left her completely.
I read with the women the pages from the prayer book before week 3 on idolatry, sexual immorality and violence and then we had a corporate prayer of repentance and then stood in the gap in prayer for our families and communities. Several of the women shared testimonies of charges being dropped against them during the fast. One woman had two felony charges dropped yesterday so instead of facing 10 years she is close to being released with time served after her 8 months in county. Another woman asked me about why God had her arrested on a 3 year old charge that she had already resolved. I told her that it wasn’t God….she was under attack from the enemy but God was mightier and she was going to allow God to turn it for Good by getting on fire for God. There was a powerful presence of God in the room. I showed the women some photos of a friend of theirs who had just been released last month and who had ministered at the school last week and told them…..this will soon be you….sharing the light you have received in here. My senior Bible teacher, Jonathan Barnard, brought me 25 lovely devotionals that his wife Celeste had just published that they wanted to donate to the women. It was so sweet getting to give them a gift from a stranger who cared about them….they were so touched. It was really an amazing time and obviously a fruit of our 21 days. Praise God!
Santos is a senior who has angel visitations. Yesterday Samantha brought him to the office last period saying that he was disrespectful to his teacher, Mr. Alvarez. Santos was angry. Mr. A. had told him to move to a front seat and Santos had not wanted to. He wasn’t talking and he felt disrespected. Other people didn’t always move when they were told so he decided that he wouldn’t either. He rebelled and Samantha happened to walk into the room and intervened. I told Santos that maybe his teacher was wrong and ‘in the natural realm’ his anger might be justified but he is a man of God and needs to walk in the Spirit and in the spirit, his teacher has authority whether he is right or wrong. I challenged him to go back into class, apologize and move his desk to the front. Santos was in agony over the idea. He went upstairs to pray first. He consented, but it was hard. I went in with him to add moral support. The class seemed shocked. I stayed as the teacher finished his lesson. After class Santos told me it was the hardest thing he had done in his life. His family does not apologize. I told him that he had won a great victory, but he was still very shaken. He said that he had felt totally humiliated and as if his class no longer could respect him and that he should have walked out of the class. Then God started speaking to him….the basic message was …. ‘think about what I did for you Santos….it was because of my great love….because of that great love, can you do this for me?’ he broke….I told him that I didn’t understand, but I felt as if he had broken some kind of stronghold by his act of humility and that he would be blessed. The next morning he told me that he had told his mom and his mom was angry that he had humbled himself. She said, neither your father or grandfather would ever apologize and be humiliated like that….she flew into a rage against him….he went to his room and prayed, then came down and told her that he honored his father and grandfather but that he was going to follow Jesus and not them, and Jesus humbled himself. She broke and he was able to minister to her. Then God reminded him….Santos, remember when you were stomping around and telling me that you hated the devil and wished you could beat him up….well yesterday, when you humbled yourself, you did beat him up…that is how you defeat the enemy. I told Santos that I felt he had broken the power of a machismo spirit over himself, his family and beyond….something had changed….he had won a victory….it was tangible…I shared with his class how significant it was….Santos was surprised to realize that nobody mocked him…his friend Erih signaled him across the room that he loved him and supported him….it was really amazing.
2012 – Valley Christian High School, Brownsville, TX
Valley Christian High School, next door to Vineyard, has been walking through the 21 day Divine Experiment along side the churches. Some of the students and teachers can attend the evening meetings, but half of them live in Mexico and most of the others do not even drive. The school has been using the prayer book in the four Bible classes and the entire school has been joining together for daily prayer too. There are about 82 participating.
The 23 seniors have been going through a lot in their personal lives, so I felt led today to cancel British Literature class and take them upstairs to the prayer room. I shared my impression that they were all dealing with extreme stress and heartache even though they came to school faithfully every day and were cheerful and hardworking. I share some of what I had been going through personally and asked if they would be willing to share their struggles too. I ended up canceling their history class too. For two hours each of us shared our most personal struggles, family problems, fears, disappointments, shame….we asked each other for forgiveness, confessed sins, affirmed each others’ suffering. It was as powerful as any time of sharing I can remember in my life. Many of them shared the pain they still feel at having lost Paul, their principal and second dad, and how much his love and example is still impacting them. There were several visions seen, including one of Paul and Jesus looking down at us smiling and another of us all picking up our weapons and forming the front rank of a great army.
Most of these teens are doing some substantial sacrificing during this 21 days, even without family and church support.
“The whole theme about the 21 days was about humbling yourself. I heard it over and over. Every day in Bible class it was about the same thing – being humble. Every day I mumbled the prayer points as the teacher read them aloud. Every day it had the same effect on me. I didn’t realize how much pride I had in my heart until today. I didn’t realize that I hurt others…or how selfish I was….I didn’t realize that I had no appreciation for the people I care about. I have this extreme peace because I have finally found the core of my frustration. I feel like my eyes have been truly opened. God truly has done wonders and I hope He continues to do so. (GH)
I fasted twitter at night and instead I pray. I pray every night before going to sleep. Staying up on my phone would help me sleep by getting my eyes tired. I found out that by praying at night it clears my mind and really helps me sleep. I didn’t know that until I started the 21 days. I felt peace when I prayed and didn’t read my phone. My phone is a distraction that separated me in my relationship with God. (MM)
As you know, I am a Catholic and a lot of things that happen at this school are new and different to me. These 21 days were so hard for me, you have NO IDEA. At first I tried to give up music and only listen to worship songs but by the 3rd day I got so tired of the same 12 songs over and over so I decided to give up my cell phone. I couldn’t last a full day, my sister was mad at me because I didn’t call her and my mom never knew where I was. Then I decided to give up my laptop but I had so much homework that needed it. I tried giving up breakfast but my stomach made so many noises in Algebra class. To be honest, I don’t think I did the Divine Experiment correctly but I did pray every single day….and God gave me so many answers…that I never expected….I think God saw that at least I was trying….(AL)
I use to waste my time playing games, but now that I fasted those games, I really don’t find them interesting any more. This fast was of great help and it made me realize that I need more of God…I can see that I changed and that I am acting different and doing things I didn’t do before, like praying in the morning….(EG)
I ate chocolate on day 14 and I felt so guilty. I now have decided to do another week of prayer and fasting. (ES)
What I have experienced during these days is that God is a really good Friend. I have been praying more that I used to….prayer helps a lot! (JL)
I didn’t go on facebook, youtube or instagram for 21 days. It gave me time to really spend with my parents and I hope that this time is just the beginning of the mending of our relationship. (AW)
During these 3 weeks I gave up facebook and that decision was the best one I have ever made. This experiment helped me to get closer to God and God has shown me how beautiful I am and worth it I am. I was having some problems accepting myself and now I can say that I accept myself the way I am because He makes me beautiful. (MG)
It is when one is fasting that they realize that there’s no need to depend on whatever it was that you were depending on before…when you have a wonderful, merciful savior. When you have the Prince of Peace with you. When you find that you can’t tune out anymore with food, music, television, internet or anything else, the scales fall from your eyes at the peak of misery and you turn to the One who has been there throughout the whole thing….throughout all your life. On Friday when the seniors all wept together and were brought near together…….I doubt it could have happened if we had been able to tune out of loneliness, pain and fear….(JG)
What I got out of the 21 days was that God has made me more sensitive to other people’s hurts…but to mine too. I realized that I just have to cry out to God….(DC)
I fasted facebook and it was a challenge because I was addicted. It was so bad that I wouldn’t do homework or get any sleep. When I started it was hard and I even got twitter to fill in the gap. Little by little I began to not pay that much attention to facebook and I started doing my chores and homework. My dependency on people and being accepted doesn’t concern me anymore. I am praying and have a clearer idea of who I am and my goals for the future. When I end my fast Sunday, I won’t forget what I learned and who I am in God’s eyes. (SG)
We are often quick to ask God for things. We ask Him for important things like for the violence in Mexico to stop. If we are not getting the desired results it can’t be God’s fault, He is not a broken wish-granting factory. Obviously something must be wrong with us. We expect God to be like a magic wand and give us what we want. Before asking we need to look at ourselves and realize that we are proud and selfish people. I have realized during these 21 days a truth that I had sung a million times….Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up. (DS)
I have been giving my time to God and I have never felt happier. This 21 days I’ve been truly living for God and things have been wonderful. I think I won’t be watching reality TV shows any more. I won’t worry about the things of the world but to live for God and have His Character. I want to be humble…. (MR)
Slowly something inside of me began to change. Nightly I would pray to God and ask Him to humble me and remind me to think of others and that the world does not revolve around me. As we reached the middle of the 21 days I began to feel less selfish and more concerned for others. God gave me subtle reminders not to think about myself too much and to put others’ needs before my own. I am not as self-centered as I was before. (MA)
During the summer I had lost the twinkle in my eye because of the time away from a Christian environment. I am now getting closer to my personal goals. I feel Him with me more often in a week than I did in a whole month during the summer. I pray to Him as much as I can and try and share and keep my heart open to Him. I want a good relationship with my heavenly Father. Feeling loved by God is the most wonderful feeling in the world and I am so sure of that…. (NA)
Have you ever tried sacrificing something you really like? It is very hard. I really like coffee and cookies and for the last 21 days, I sacrificed it. Although it is difficult, the love of God strengthened me. I thought I had to drink coffee with cookies every morning in order to be in a good mood, but I proved myself wrong. I did eat a cookie, but it was an accident…(AL)
My spirit has become sensitive to the Lord’s heart. Tears fall down when seeing Jesus’ wounds in my mind. He got lacerated because of my fault. He carried the weight of my sin on the cross. We were given the most valuable and precious gift, a reconnection with the Father. He has done so much for my life and thanks to this 21 days of fasting, made me remember everything. Fasting has made me more sensible to God’s feelings. God has shown me some examples….in Ezekiel His people were disappointed by not seeing fruit from their work. Expecting to get out of the valley of dry bones, but not realizing the Holy Spirit is the one blowing life. Hosiah is an example of how God feels about His adulterous people. His heart gets broken when seeing sin in our lives. (AM)
It has been amazing. The fasting has not only given me extra time to do my homework, but also more time to pray and talk to God. I believe my relationship with Him is more open. Thanks to the fast, our relationship is growing and I anticipate that it will not decrease after the 21 days. I hope it will keep on going great. Now that I am fasting I talk more to God in the morning and during the night. Having a busy life distracts me from giving full attention to God, which is wrong. Satan quickly takes advantages of these distractions to take us far from thinking about prayer. I need to ignore Satan’s earthly distractions and truly seek God’s face. …. How hungry am I for Him? What am I willing to do to really find God? (MG)
Testimonies – some comments from Valley Christian High School students after week one:
“I have had more time with my brother, parents, friends and I have more time to pray to God – for all He has given me and my family.” LP
“I feel more in peace and I talk to my mom better” SG
“I experienced the hand of God on me and everything I do” AS
“I have experienced less distractions keeping me away from God during the first week of the Divine Experiment.” JT
“I’ve experienced that I’ve become closer to God and that I feel He is more active in my life.” SG
“I have prayed all week and I feel more that God hears me.” AD
“Being closer to God – telling Him and sharing my bad days and praying…” CL
“I truly repented and heard God call me to Him. I’m seeking after Him!!!” NN
“It feels a little weird doing what I promised not to do and it is hard too.” FS
“It’s very tempting to log in to Facebook!” GQ
“I really felt that God forgave me when we were doing the special praying in groups in chapel and we repented for our sins.” JH
“That I need to talk more to God because He has made all my days the best!” SR
“What I have experienced is that I have come more closer to God.” LG
“Well, it started getting pretty tempted to get on facebook!” BL
“I’ve experienced that I’m not strong and I should be more connected to God praying day and night.” JA
“I thought God didn’t hear me – I was wrong.” KM
“I feel in touch with God at every moment of my day.” AG