Dear GMH Members,
I want to invite you to set aside some time during a 24-hour period between 7pm Wednesday and 7pm Thursday to fast and pray on behalf of our church.
Already our Renew Initiative has been remarkably fruitful. We’ve conducted a survey and several discussion forums. You have offered clarifying insight and feedback. Together we have talked about everything from our church’s mission to finances to organizational structure to relationships. Yet it is so very important to keep in mind that this is primarily a spiritual endeavor. So we must remember to pray.
- “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)
- “Your kingdom come, your will be done.” (Matthew 6:10)
- “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 111:10)
- “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)
- “I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)
Fasting is a way to pray with special focus before God (Matthew 6:16-18; Acts 13:2; 14:23). It involves temporary abstention from food. The experience of physical hunger prompts us to pray. It serves as a bodily metaphor, reminding us of our deep desire for God and our dependency upon him. “O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you” (Psalm 63:1 NLT). We feel pangs of hunger, and we pray: Most of all, O Lord, we hunger for you! We need you like our bodies need food. Even more than we seek food, we seek your face!
So consider fasting and praying for our church from 7pm Wednesday until 7pm Thursday. We will then break fast together at our Engine Room prayer meeting at 7-8pm on Thursday @ First Church. We’ll share some food, then spend some time praying together. It’ll be sweet. No pun intended. (Please join us at Engine Room even if you did not fast. Let's eat and pray.) If fasting is new to you, please don’t feel intimidated. You might consider fasting for one meal. (Of course, please be attentive to any medical needs that might make fasting unwise for you at this time!) If it’s a struggle to refrain from eating, don’t be discouraged. Your Father loves you whether or not you fast or fast “perfectly.” Fasting is prayer, not performance.
Attached is a short prayer guide. You can use the passages of scripture and prayer “bullet points” during your time of fasting. Plan and set aside a few minutes at a time to pray, particularly during meal times when you would have been eating. You may also let your pangs of hunger prompt you spontaneously throughout the day to remember the Lord and to pray on-the-go!
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Praying with you,