July 6-26, 2020
God is always working in our lives; however, we are often consumed with the cares of life that we do not always pay attention. Prayer and fasting are two spiritual disciplines that keep our attention on the Spirit of God at work in our lives. In prayer, we seek to directly communicate with God. In fasting, we deny our bodies of certain necessities such as food and liquid, enjoyments or pleasures, for a specified period of time for the purpose of building and strengthening our relationship with God. Even though we may be seeking certain blessings or requests, the point of prayer and fasting is not to sustain our will, but to submit to the will of God for our lives.
According to Biblical scholars, fasting as a way of connecting with God is mentioned at least 70 times in the Bible. Reasons for fasting vary, but there are three primary reasons for fasting: repentance (Deuteronomy 9:15-18), interceding for someone (2 Samuel 12:16-23), and preparing for something significant (Esther 4:16). Fasting was an important discipline in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ (Matthew 4:1-4; 6:16-18) and the apostles in the early church (Acts 13:1-3; 14:21-23).
There are several reasons for fasting; however, in this season, Pastor Cowser and the Leadership Team is inviting those who are physically able and feel called by God to join them in 21 days of prayer and fasting to discern God’s will and purpose for our lives and our ministry together. Our hope is that during this time, God will reveal extraordinary things for the Kingdom of God through our lives and the ministries of the church. If you decide to fast, it is extremely important to consult with a qualified medical professional. If you are in poor health or if you have concerns about your ability to fast, first consult with a qualified medical professional.
Deciding What to Fast
The type of fast you choose is up to you. You could go on a full fast in which you only drink liquids, or you may desire to fast like Daniel, who abstained from sweets and meats, and the only liquid he drank was water (Daniel 1). Others may decide to give up something like television, social media, internet, etc. Remember to replace that time with prayer and Bible study.
1 So then, my friends, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer.
Romans 12:1 (GNT)
Make worship and prayer the priority of your life. Express your complete dependence on God. Ask for a renewed passion for His presence and fresh revelation of His Word.
28 So we preach Christ to everyone. With all possible wisdom we warn and teach them in order to bring each one into God’s presence as a mature individual in union with Christ.
Colossians 1:28 (GNT)
Our purpose is the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20). Pray for people to be saved, connected in a local church, disciplined and fulfilled in their ministry.
Tuesdays—Our Nation, State, and City
1 First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, requests, and thanksgivings be offered to God for all people; 2 for kings and all others who are in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceful life with all reverence toward God and with proper conduct.
I Timothy 2:1-2 (GNT)
Pray for America and our elected representatives of our country, state, county, and city. Pray for businesses, schools, police departments, fire and rescue services. Pray for justice, peace, healing, and racial reconciliation.
14 If my people pray to me and repent and turn away from the evil they have been doing, then I will hear them in heaven, forgive their sins, and make their land prosperous again.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (GNT)
Pray for the restoration of our communities—the communities in which we live and the community in which we worship. Pray for families, homes, and jobs. Pray that our communities become a place of security and prosperity for all our neighbors both near and far.
31 they answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your family.”
Acts 16:31 (GNT)
Pray for God’s blessing on your family (spouse, significant others, children, grandchildren, grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins, etc.). Pray for family members to be saved and other personal concerns.
Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. 7 And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts
and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (GNT)
Believe God for answered prayer for your specific needs (spiritual fulfillment, finances, relationships, health, etc.).
To him who by means of his power working in us is able to do so much more than we can ever ask for, or even think of.
Ephesians 3:20 (GNT)
Pray for Center Grove Church and our ministries. Pray for Pastor Dedric Cowser and Pastor Ruth Smith and their families; staff members and their families; those who serve on ministry teams. Pray that God will be so powerful among us that every person connected to our ministry will hunger and thirst for a closer walk with God. Pray that lives are being transformed.
What’s Happening at CG?
A Note From Pastor Cowser
Dear Center Grove Family & Friends:
For the first time, as your Senior Pastor, I greet you in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Words cannot express how excited and grateful I am for the opportunity to serve the people of God called Center Grove. I consider it a privilege and honor to journey alongside one of the most dynamic congregations in the North Alabama Conference. After much prayer and discernment for God’s will for my life, I sense that God has called me to this task. Center Grove is truly a testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit at work within the Body of Christ to reach people for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
As we begin our journey together, my prayer is that you will join me in renewing the vow that each of us made as we entered the membership of the church. This vow was to support the church with our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. As we seek to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, let us live as people of expectation and hope by giving of ourselves to the mission and ministries of Center Grove.
Center Grove has a vibrant history, an exciting present, and an even more promising future. I look forward to serving among you and I anticipate, with great joy, what God has in store for this church and the surrounding community.
Overjoyed to be your Pastor,
Dr. Dedric A. Cowser
Sunday Morning Worship
July 5, 2020
Join us for Sunday Morning Worship at 11:00 a.m. via Facebook Live on the Center Grove United Methodist Church Facebook page.
You can also join our live streaming worship service via the following media outlets:
21 Days of Prayer & Fasting Guides are Available on the Center Grove Website.
Don’t forget to give your Tithes and Offerings! Your generosity enables Center Grove to continue to be the hope for our community and the world!
Here are Three Ways to Give:
1.) Visit the Center Grove website (www.centergroveumc.org), click on Stewardship, and then click the “Ready to Give” tab.
2.) If you prefer to mail your donation, you may send it to:
Center Grove United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 5957
Huntsville, AL 35814
3.) UMCgo is available for your Smartphone through Google Play, or IPhone through the App Store.
*Download the app; search for Center Grove (2969 State Rte 53, Huntsville, AL 35806); press the heart to Give!
Virtual Vacation Bible School!
Created by a coalition of children’s ministry leaders, and presented by the United Methodist North Alabama Conference.
Synchronous Week: July 13-17, 2020