Monthly Archives: January 2012

Day 21: Vision

Today is the last day of our 21 day fast and my God!… how God has simply blown our minds!  When we started out on this journey, we knew it would be a sacrifice, but how it has paid off in such a tremendous and profound way!  Meet us at The Rock Church of Raleigh every Sunday at 10:00am!

As we conclude this season of fasting and prayer, I want to end on Vision.  Caesarea is an amazing place for many reasons, but mainly because of a vision given to a hungry man on a rooftop—a vision that changed the world. Peter was staying at Simon the tanner’s house in Caesarea, and went to the roof to pray. While there, he fell into a trance and God showed him foods that, according to the Law of Moses, the Jews were not permitted to eat. But God told him in this vision to eat them. When Peter refused, God said to Peter, “What God has cleansed you must not call common” (Acts 10:15).

Stunned and astonished, Peter heard a knock at the door—the result of another man’s vision. A Gentile man named Cornelius had been crying out to know the God of the Jews. God answered his cry, and told him to send for Peter. When Peter heard why the men had come for him, he understood the vision and went to Cornelius’ house to preach the gospel. This was the first time that the Gentiles received the good news of salvation!

God gave Peter the vision as he prayed to prepare his heart for the purpose he was about to serve—to deliver the news of salvation to the Gentiles.  Just like Peter God has given you a vision to prepare you for where you are going!

Are you in a season where you don’t know what the next step is for your life? Maybe you feel that God has given you a particular vision, but circumstances make it seem like it will never come to pass. If God said it—then it is your responsibility to believe, to hold on to your faith and though it tarries … wait for it.

As you fast today, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal more to your heart about the vision, the plan, the purpose, the dream that God has for your life. Pray for things to come into alignment for your assignment.

Prayer Focus:  Vision
Scripture Reading: Acts 10, Habakkuk 2:1-4

Pastor Derrick Phillips

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Posted by on January 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


Day 19: What is Your Purpose?

Day 19 of the fast and it seems like the last fews days are becoming just as hard as the first few days, but we must still keep pressing.

Today I want to talk about PURPOSE.  Many times we wander aimlessly through life trying to figure out what we were put on this earth to do or to accomplish.  Purpose can be very frustrating because there are no signs on the road to life to tell us we are heading in the right direction.

One of my favorite scriptures on fasting is found in Acts 13:2-3, “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.”

The Holy Spirit will begin to speak to you about your purpose and your destiny when you fast and pray. God has a specific destiny planned for you, one that your choices and your response to Him will unlock. Fasting is an intentional choice to press into the depths of God’s heart to hear His plans and move forward in your divine destiny through the power of the Holy Spirit.

I can never cease to be amazed by how God connects people to accomplish His purposes and His plans. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God gives us talents, gifts, discernment and insight that—when brought together with what has been given to someone else—can change the world.  You are a world changer!

That is what the fast that God has chosen accomplishes. It breaks the bondages and limitations off of your life so that God can release His power through you to help others. God chooses a fast that loosens bonds of wickedness, lifts heavy burdens, frees those who are oppressed and breaks every yoke.

There is a list of ordinary people in the eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews who did extraordinary things for God because they never lost the vision, and they refused to turn back even in the worst of times. When you follow God, not everybody will go with you. Go with God when He is calling you out of your comfort zone. Continue to trust Him to lead and guide you into the purposes and plans that He has for your life.

Prayer Focus: Healing
Reading: Hebrews 11, Psalms 103

Pastor Derrick Phillips

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Posted by on January 27, 2012 in Uncategorized


Day 18: Promises, Promises…

Great Day!  Today is day 18 of our time of prayer and fasting, as we enter the final few days, let us think back of the last 3 weeks how God is transforming us and blessing us.  Later today, I will be blogging about my experience in Washington DC and The White House so stay tuned!  Make sure you join us on the 5:30am prayer call (218) 862-1300 access code #937420.  I am so excited about what God is doing for his people!

Many of us can tell of all the many promises throughout our lives that family, and people have made to us.  Some promises were honored and some were broken.  Although mankind is subject to not keeping promises from time to time…I know someone that is a Promise Keeper!  He will never break his promise to us!

The bible is full of his promises…as a matter of fact that is the way I usually posture my prayers, is by praying his promises.  Take some time to search God’s Word and mark down some of His promises to His people.  It is a very encouraging way to study God’s Word. In Jeremiah 29:11-13 we find, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

The Apostle Paul writes, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Meditate on Scriptures like Isaiah 53, where Isaiah describes the punishment that the Lord endured so that we could be healed. Scripture reveals that on several occasions God instructs His people to do one thing and promises that He will do something in response. You see this in Isaiah 58, where the Lord is explaining the goal of genuine fasting to His people. Even in that chapter, the Lord promises:

Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ (Isaiah 58:8-9)

In these last few days of the fast—continue to set your heart and mind on things above. Cling to the promises of God, as Paul tells us, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). 

Prayer Focus:  Godly Leaders in Our Church
Scripture:  Isaiah 58

Pastor Derrick Phillips

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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Day 17: Are You Sleeping?

We have reached day 17 of the Fast and please join us each morning at 5:30am for our prayer call.  The number is (218) 862-1300 #937420.

The night came when Jesus was about to be betrayed and arrested (Matthew 26:36-40). He took His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, but He kept finding them sleeping instead of praying. Jesus finally asked, “Could you not tarry with me one hour?”

What a disappointing question that the Master had to ask of those who he deemed to be his inner circle and  trusted advisors. Unfortunately, that same question, is one the Lord could ask many of us who profess to follow Christ, every day.

Many people simply give up and throw in the towel at the first sign of trouble, or God takes to long to answer their requests.  Or are you like the three disciples who were with Jesus, who were so tired and weary from the day to day operations, that you can’t stay up with Christ through the most turbulent times.

As you continue on this fast, make it a daily habit to spend time with Christ in prayer and regular fasting.  Whether its 30 minutes or an hour a day with the Lord,  it needs to be part of your daily routine, I encourage you to take take time each day and just say, “Lord, today I’m going to read the Word and pray, and wait (tarry) to hear from You.” The only way to learn how to pray is to pray. If you don’t ever start to pray you’ll never learn. Prayer time is not just about you filling the air with words and requests. Prayer is also about waiting—tarrying. It is about quietness before the Lord. Don’t force it if you don’t really know what to pray. Just be quiet and let the Holy Spirit begin to bring things up in your mind to pray about. Sometimes you might have a song of worship. Sing it to the Lord and reflect on His goodness. That will often lead to prayer rising up out of your spirit.

When you seek the Lord through fasting and prayer, you empty yourself so He can bring out those things that He put in you for His purposes. Jesus knew how important it was to “come away” and be with God in prayer. When you fast, it is a season to set yourself apart from the routine of life, business, mindless entertainment and sink deeply into God’s Word. When you are empty, quiet and broken before Him, you can hear His voice more clearly. Don’t quit now. Keep on fasting and praying.

Prayer Focus: Today, we pray that the Financial Prosperity
Scripture: Hosea 6:1, 3, Psalms 141

Pastor Derrick Phillips

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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Uncategorized


Day 16: In His Hands

Growing up in nursery school, we used to sing a song that said “He’s Got the whole world in his hands.”  Do you remember that song?  If so, the tune is probably already ringing in your head.  What an amazing care-free display of faith to know, that God has everything in His hands, so why should we worry.

Then you grow up, go to work, get married, have kids, have in-laws, and did I forget bills??  Sometimes the pressure will make you feel like giving up and just throwing in the towel? Maybe you have grown tired of all the battles and struggles because all the disappointments have caused your hope to fade. I understand that. What is more important is the fact that Jesus understands, too. Don’t forget that He was tempted to take short cuts and quit when He was fasting in the desert for 40 days. But He pressed on. He did not quit. The number one thing the enemy would like to get us to do is to quit. It may be quitting your marriage, quitting your hopes, quitting your dream or even quitting your walk with the Lord.

There are times when we all go through the pit of life and we all go through times when it feels like we’ve hit rock bottom. But Deuteronomy 33:27 says, “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” What powerful imagery that God undergirds us even when we take refuge in Him!  No matter how bad it seems or how low you feel—you are still safe in His arms, never out of His reach.

I have experienced the joy of prayers being answered and I have experienced the disappointment of prayers going unanswered. I have had miracles happen and I have endured huge disappointments. I have had high mountains where God gave me things, showed me beautiful insights into His Word and in specific situations, amused me in amazing ways. I have also had low, low valleys where I felt God had forsaken me. But I am not in this for what I can get out of God. I’m in this because He loved me first and gave Himself for me. Scripture says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

He will not forsake you. He will never leave you (Deuteronomy 31:6). As you’re drawing close to Him, He’s drawing close to you. Don’t let this time of prayer and fasting just simply be about material things for they will come and in Hebrews 13:5 (KJV) it says, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  Be encouraged as you enter this 16th day fasting and praying for more of His presence. He’s Got you in His Hands!

Prayer Focus:  Property & Territory
Scriptures: Psalms 23, Joshua 24:13

Pastor Derrick Phillips

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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Uncategorized


Day 15: Pray Hard!

We have entered into day 15 of our 21 days of prayer and fasting.  I remember growing up in the pentecostal church and the church mothers would have us all around the altar praying and seeking God.  They would encourage to hold on and pray harder.  They understood the power of prayer.   It is important to continue pray because as we enter the final days of the fast, we can become subject to the devices and tricks of the enemy.  Fasting without prayer is simply a diet. Combining prayer with fasting raises the intensity, like pouring gas on a fire. It’s a powerful combination. As we join with those who are fasting and crying out to God during this period, we can believe that something powerful is taking place.

The Word of the Lord declares, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). God invites us to seek Him. Intimacy with God is not something that can be rushed. It must be worked on day by day. Jesus was frequently surrounded by large crowds of people, but He often would withdraw from the crowds to get alone with God and pray. He knew that He needed to stay tapped into the Source of all things, and so do we. Prayer and fasting were a big part of Jesus’ life. Why should it be such a small part of ours?

There is both reward and wisdom to be found when we tune out the noise of the world and come away to hear God’s heart through fasting and prayer. Spend extra time in prayer today. Make a prayer list – a “hit list” – of people who are not saved, and pray over their names. Pray for people that you know who are sick or struggling with family or financial issues. Fasting is persistent prayer!

The Bible tells us that Jesus is our High Priest in Heaven who ever lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25). He’s been praying for you today. Maybe you are having a tough day. You’re hungry. The devil has come against you as he often does on a fast. He’s tempting you to give up, to just quit. Remember that when the devil is tempting you—Jesus is praying for you! Keep asking! Keep seeking! Keep knocking!

Prayer Focus: Timing and Dreams
Scripture: Hebrews 7

Pastor Derrick Phillips

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Posted by on January 23, 2012 in Uncategorized


Day 14: Bloom Wherever You Are Planted

Today is Day 14 of the fast!  We are almost there.  So continue to sacrifice to the Lord!  Keep pushing and keep pressing.  Wilderness places are dry, lonely places. David cried out to the Lord in the desert of Judea,

“O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land, Where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1)

Wilderness seasons can be extremely hard to endure. Have you been hit hard by the economic woes and tought times that are so prevalent? Perhaps you have suffered a tragic loss of a loved one and endured a long season of grief. Sometimes wilderness seasons come where we just don’t feel God’s presence like we once did.  Have you ever felt like David did, in a season of complete dry and never-ending desert?

We all have different wilderness experiences—the key is to never let go of your faith. God has not abandoned you. He will faithfully lead you through as you hold on to Him. He can cause you to bloom in the midst of that desert wilderness!

David says in Psalm 63 that he is in a dry place, without even water to drink. He was running for his life and seemed quite far from his calling and anointing as king. But even in that dry place, his hunger and thirst were not focused on his own lack or discomfort, but on the Lord.

I so believe that God can take the worst mess of our lives and turn that mess into a message that ministers hope and healing to others. You can endure. You can bloom even in the desert. As you fast and pray today, trust God to encourage your heart and guide you through. He provided a path to victory before you ever entered the wilderness season, and He will lead you on the way you should go as you press in to Him.

Reading: II Timothy 2:26, Psalms 136
Prayer Focus:  Godly connections and relationships

Pastor Derrick Phillips

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Posted by on January 22, 2012 in Uncategorized