Invitation to Sacred Assembly
21 Days of Sacred Assembly to Consecrate Ourselves and the New Prayer Room
September 7-28, 2020
God said, “My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy – a place where my name will be honoured forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.”
2 Chronicles 7:15
An Invitation to History Makers
One of the greatest challenges that each generation faces, is the ability to discern the significance of the times they are living in. Our lives are often so overflowing with the demands of daily life that it’s difficult to step back and discern the bigger historical picture.
We will never again have the unique opportunity of consecrating ourselves and the newly built New Life Prayer Room and offices, through corporate prayer, worship and fasting. It is a defining moment in the will of God for us and His purposes in the region.
The Board and Overseers of New Life Church know that we are at a hinge-point in the history of our church family, as well as a transitional moment in history, as we prepare to open our new purpose-built Prayer Room at 8/54 Rockingham Road. We are grateful for the generous gifts of New Life people, past and present, which have funded the construction of the Prayer Room and offices.
We invite you to imitate us as we imitate Christ and to imitate King David who said, “I will not offer the LORD that which has cost me nothing.” (2 Samuel 24:24). David knew how important it is to offer God costly, sacrificial prayer and worship. He understood what that produces in the human heart.
The 21-day Sacred Assembly (Sept 7-28) is a time of re-alignment with God’s vision for His Son to have a place of highest honour and affection in our hearts; that we and future generations will worship Him as He truly is. We want to hear the Lord say to us what He said to King Solomon. “My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place… set it apart to be holy – a place where my name will be honoured forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.”
During these 21 days of consecration (Sacred Assembly), the Prayer Room will be open Monday to Friday from 6am-noon and 7pm-9pm. On Saturdays it will be open from 8am-10am and 4pm-6pm. On Monday 28th (a public holiday) we will conclude the Sacred Assembly at 12pm.
‘…you will seek Me and find me when you seek Me with all your heart.’
The Sacred Assembly is a set-apart time to seek God with all our heart, to face our barrenness and ask Him to refresh us and define us with His presence.
During the Sacred Assembly we will focus our prayers on:
- Knowing God as He is.
- Asking the Holy Spirit to convict and cleanse us of the sin that entangles.
- Loving people as God loves them.
- Understanding the times and season we are living in.
- Becoming disciple makers with a renewed passion to invest in others.
- Establishing 24/7 prayer and worship in this region.
- Raising a Daniel Generation through NLK, NLY and FCC.
The Greater Goal: Worship and His Glory
The goal is to become a dwelling place for God’s presence and Glory. When the glory of God begins to rest in a region, the spiritual atmosphere changes, and people’s eyes open to truth. Transformation occurs at every level and the worship of God begins to characterize that community. The biblical pattern shows us very clearly that prayer, worship, fasting, unity, reconciliation, repentance, forgiveness, pursuit of holiness, are all necessary ingredients for God to manifest His Glory.
The Sacred Assembly is a time of holy consecration; a time to renew our commitment to live lives set apart for the Lord and a time to set apart the physical place where we gather to worship, pray and seek His face. It is a personal AND corporate action. After a season like this our appetite for God’s presence will have increased! When we recover our hunger for God and return to Him in humility and righteousness, He will draw near to us in a tangible way. The presence and reality of Jesus will increase in our midst, bringing us renewed life. His Spirit will empower us to reconcile people to God, and His transformation will flow through us to the community in which we live.
Some New Life History
New Life Church was birthed in September 1997 in response to God’s purpose for people in the Fremantle region to know, worship and obey Him. From its beginning, the Lord has invited New Life to engage in regular times of corporate repentance. These seasons of repentance have released times of refreshing, an increased desire to love and obey God, healing, deliverance and empowerment to persevere in this region for God’s glory.
In 2006 the Leadership Team of NLC called a 21-day Sacred Assembly. In 2008 the time frame for the Sacred Assembly was brought into alignment with the annual Biblical Festival of Shelters (September/October).
In Leviticus chapter 23 we read that God commanded Israel to celebrate specific communal festivals. These festivals have prophetic significance and were also referred to as rehearsals.
In 2020, our 21 day Sacred Assembly will begin shortly after the opening of our new Prayer Room and will end just before the Festival of Shelters. The Day of Trumpets and Day of Atonement will fall during the 21 days.
Humility, Repentance and Intimacy
The first stage of preparation for presence-based transformation is prayer, repentance and seeking God’s face in intimacy (Joel 2, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Hosea 4, Isaiah 59 and Revelation 3).
The Sacred Assembly is a time to humble ourselves before the Lord, recognizing His greatness and our weak spiritual condition. We will pray and seek His face for increased intimacy, determining to turn from all compromise. This means real change from the ways of this world to the lifestyle of Christ’s Kingdom.
Below are some helpful suggestions as you pursue intimacy during the 21 days:
- Resist the spirit of materialism by decreasing spending and increasing giving. Prayerfully consider your contribution to the Harvest Offering for Sunday, October 4.
- To counter busyness, limit or eliminate non-essential meetings and activities.
- Limit or eliminate entertainment, media, internet and replace these with reading the Word of God and/or spending time in the Prayer Room.
- Ask for God’s grace to counter the lust of the flesh by engaging in a food fast of some kind during the 21 days.
- Guard your heart and mouth from gossip, slander and judging others. Fast negative speech. ‘He who guards his mouth preserves his life.’ (Proverbs 13:3a)
- Take steps to deliberately humble yourself in dependence on God and His wisdom.
- Counter the spirit of unbelief by choosing to re-covenant with God to believe and obey His Word. Stretch your faith in God by praying for the sick and those in need.
- Seek God’s forgiveness for any unclean behaviour or thoughts. Re-covenant with your eyes, lips and ears and present your body as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:2).
You can expect resistance on two fronts:
- Our flesh will resist a call to press into God. Our greatest fight is with our own heart. But although our flesh is at war with our spirit, the Lord has promised that if we ‘walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh’ (Galatians 5:16).
- The enemy will come and tempt you to grumble and complain about a pursuit of God that requires denying yourself.
Don’t be surprised at the attempts of your own heart and the enemy to keep you stuck in the status quo of your life. Recognise these attempts to get you to back off. Take the instruction of James in 4:7-8: ‘Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.’
The motivation for our faith is the assurance that ‘He rewards those who diligently seek Him’ (Hebrews 11:6).
You can make a public commitment to be in the Prayer Room for the Sacred Assembly here:
Biblical Festivals Overview:
Trumpets, Atonement, Shelters
“These (festivals) are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Colossians 2:17
What is the ‘Day of Trumpets’?
In Hebrew it’s Yom Teruah or Rosh Hashanah. The trumpet blast (blowing of the shofar) has called Israel to sacred assembly, repentance and worship for thousands of years. The New Testament connects the sounding of trumpets to the return of Jesus, leading up to the day of judgement. The 10 days between Trumpets and the Day of Atonement have become known as ‘Days of Awe’ – days for focused reflection and for realigning our lives with God’s Word, in preparation for the end of the age: “that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return” (Phil 1:10). Each year, New Life Church sets aside time for praying and fasting together in sacred assembly during this God-appointed season. During these days we have a prayer focus on the Jewish people, praying that they will return to the Lord and come into relationship with their Messiah Jesus.
- Leviticus 23:23-25
- 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11
- Revelation 19:5-8
What is the ‘Day of Atonement’?
Yom Kippur (the Hebrew name) is a day for fasting and repentance. Historically, the people of Israel would gather to seek national atonement on this day. The ultimate sacrifice for atonement has been made for all people through the death of Jesus Christ, but the Scriptures point us to a future day of judgement for Israel and all the nations.
- Leviticus 16
- Revelation 20:11-15
- Hebrews 10
What is the Festival of Shelters?
Shelters comes from the Hebrew word sukkot. Sukkah’s are temporary shelters that were to be erected for 7 days to remind Israel of her wilderness wanderings en-route to the Promised Land. The Festival of Shelters connects us to our story as pilgrims who are looking forward to the return of Jesus and the ultimate shelter: the dwelling of God with people (Rev 21). At New Life we also celebrate the first coming of Jesus in this season, as the historical evidence hints that this may have been the time of Jesus’ birth.
- Leviticus 23:33-43
- John 1:1-18
- 2 Corinthians 4:7-5:10
- Revelation 19-22