Day 1: Holy Patterns
What is a pattern?
A repeated design
A model or design used as a guide
A recurring design
There is a lot of benefit to following a model or design for different areas of life, but there could also be a lot of danger in following the wrong patterns.
In Romans 12:2, the Apostle Paul says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world…” It’s not difficult to observe worldly patterns in our culture. Most of these patterns are born out of selfish desires, pride, and envy, with a heavy focus on pleasure, material goods, and fame.
When it comes to renewal, individuals need to confront the worldly patterns that have captured their hearts and replace them with holy patterns. God calls us to implement holy patterns that we need to continually weave into the fabric of our lives. This whole week you will focus on a variety of holy patterns to bring about personal renewal.
Below are a few passages of Scripture that contain our first holy pattern: confession and repentance. Read through the passages and then take steps to make these a regular part of your day/week.
1 John 1:9
2 Corinthians 7:10
Day 2: Fasting and Prayer
Read: Matthew 6:16-18
Fasting and prayer has been a holy pattern used by God’s people throughout history. Fasting is traditionally the giving up of food or drink. It’s where we get our word breakfast, because we are very literally “breaking” a “fast” from not eating throughout the night while asleep. I like to describe fasting as giving up something physical to gain something spiritual.
Fasting from food is an easy reminder to prompt you to pray because you get hunger pangs, and you normally have set times that you eat (morning, noon, and night). When it’s time to eat or when you feel hungry, that serves as a reminder for you to pray.
However, fasting does not only have to be from food. Try doing an entertainment fast, where you give up watching movies, sports, a TV series, social media, or video games. Every time you feel an urge to turn on the TV, computer, or open a certain App, that’s your prompt to pray.
Pray for Renewal
Prayers offered during a time of fasting are usually to ask God for something that you really need or when you desperately want to see him do something in your life or the world (Ezra 8:22-23).
This summer message series has been focused on resisting the patterns of the world, returning to the Lord and following his ways, and seeking his revival in our personal lives and community. These are all great things to pray for.
Use this time to lay your requests before God.
What are the things weighing on your heart?
What is the anxiety keeping you awake at night?
How do you want to see God move in your life, the lives of your loved ones, or the world around you?
Day 3: Listening and Learning
“The very practice of reading the Bible will have a purifying effect upon your mind and heart. Let nothing take the place of this daily exercise.” (Billy Graham)
The unfolding of your Word gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. (Psalm 119:130)
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)
Listening to God’s voice and learning God’s Word is one of the most important holy patterns that you should weave into your daily schedule.
Read the following Scriptures and list the benefits of God’s Word.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
2 Peter 1:3-8
Pray this simple prayer from Psalm 119:18 before reading God’s Word:
“Open my eyes to see wonderful things in your word.”
Day 4: Trust and Obey
“Trust and obey/for there’s no other way/to be happy in Jesus/but to trust and obey.”
I grew up singing these lyrics in Sunday school. Maybe you did, too.
Trusting God and obeying his Word are two major themes/commands that we read throughout Scripture, and they ought to be a part of our holy patterns for renewal. James tells us, “Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22).
It’s all too easy for us to read the Bible or hear a great sermon and then go on with the rest of our day without taking action on what we just heard. Along with that, you will start to realize that God’s Word sometimes go directly against the wisdom (or the pattern) of the world.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). You are called to trust in God and in his ways as you move through life.
I have a friend who uses the term “mental constipation” (sorry for any mental images you may be conjuring up). He uses this term when he’s learning a lot but hasn’t made the time to take action on what he’s learned. Has it become a pattern for you to listen and learn but not take any action when it comes to God’s Word? Think back to the last passage of Scripture you read or the last sermon you listened to. Have you acted on anything you learned yet?
What situation do you need to trust God with right now?
Is there a pattern of disobeying God’s Word that is keeping you from experiencing personal renewal?
Consider these verses for prayer and reflection:
1 Peter 1:14
1 John 5:3
Day 5: Praise and Worship
There are too many passages to list when it comes to the holy pattern of praise and worship. Have you ever wondered if there’s a difference between the two? These words get used synonymously, and they are very closely related, with some overlap, but there are some subtle differences.
PRAISE: “Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!” (Psalm 147:1)
In Scripture, PRAISE is usually the joyfully remembering and declaring all the beautiful aspects of our God and what he has done. This is carried out with singing (Isaiah 12:5, Psalm 9:11), with shouting (Psalm 33:1), with dancing (Psalm 150:4), and with musical instruments (Psalm 150:3-5). Praise takes on the tone of joyful thanksgiving!
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” (Psalm 100:4)
WORSHIP: “Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker.” (Psalm 95:6)
In Scripture, WORSHIP takes on a different tone than praise. It is more from a place of humility and contrition. Just as praise is deeply connected to thanksgiving, worship is usually intertwined with surrender, service, and sacrifice.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.” (Romans 12:1)
Both praise and worship are beautiful holy patterns that need to be sewn into our daily and weekly routines–joyful thanksgiving and thoughtful service of giving yourself to God.
Read some of the passages below and enter into your own time of praise and worship.
1 Chronicles 16:29
- Songs We Sing
Other Messages in Series