Over the past couple of days, I have sensed the Lord urging me to call for a churchwide 21-day time of prayer and fasting. I will ask that at least one person in the church family commit to fast over the lunch hour for the sake of the church family. The fast will begin Tuesday, February 19 and go through March 12. I would ask that you respond to this email and indicate what day you will commit to fasting over your lunch hour. It would be great if each day someone would commit to fast and pray. You can sign up for more than one day as well! Of course, no one will publicly know who is fasting, but we will keep a list here in the church office. So, respond to this email letting us know when you will fast and pray.
Some of you may be asking, “What is fasting?” In the Old Testament, various people would fast on behalf of another person or challenging situation. The fast was an indication to the Lord of seriousness or urgency, laying aside food to prioritize the situation at hand. In the New Testament, fasting looks a little different – more like worship and looking for favor from the Lord. But in either case, fasting and prayer indicate a sincerity of the person and severity of the situation at hand. There is no ‘secret’ access to the Father in fasting. Actually, I believe it is more for the person fasting and praying than it is for God. It sets aside what matters to us for what matters more – the worship and glory of God.
Let me overview why I am calling the church to fast and pray:
-that God would transform us into His likeness
-that God would move us to stand and walk in who we are in Christ
-that God would heal and raise up Ace Parker for the glory of God
-that God would strengthen each marriage and family in the church
-that God would give everyone in the church victory over sin that binds them
-that God would form in our children and youth a firm foundation in the faith
-that God would bring people “here” who need to know the love of Jesus
-that God would use us “there” to share the hope of the gospel
When you fast and pray, find a quiet place to talk with the Lord. You are more than welcome to come to the church on Monday – Thursday during the noon hour if you’d like!
Let me give you some insight on prayer. Reflect on the pattern of prayer found in the Lord’s prayer – praise and worship first. Petitions and personal needs last. Author Daniel Henderson defines worship-based or God-ward prayer simply as this: “He is worthy. I am needy.” Start prayer in the Word of God – declare His greatness and glory! Here are some suggestions:
–Proclaiming the greatness of God – Psalm 71:16; Psalm 79:13; Psalm 71:14-16; 1 Chronicles 29:11-13; Jeremiah 32:17-19.
–Devotion to prayer – 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Romans 12:12; 2 Chronicles 7:12-15; Luke 11:1-4
There are a variety of scriptures that one can go to, to pray the truth of God. You see, as His children we are to stand firmly in the truth of God’s Word. He is the hope on which we stand!
Psalm 63:1-4 (ESV) 1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. 3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. 4 So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.
Walking with you,