This evening (Thursday, April 18) we will begin a 24 hour fast. Fasting is the believers way of shifting all of our focus and attention on Jesus by denying ourselves of other life-giving necessities. In this case, we will be fasting from food and flavored drink. (I will be drinking water.)
In the Old Testament Nehemiah fasted and prayed when he heard about the utter ruin of his hometown, Jerusalem. The results would be God leading Nehemiah back home to restore the walls of the great city. In Daniel 9 we have an account of Daniel praying and fasting for God’s chosen people who had rebelled and walked away from the Lord.
As we move to the New Testament we read a story of Jesus casting a demon out of a boy. (Mark 9) (Matthew 17) The disciples had tried to do this through their own prayers but were not able to do so. When they asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast out the demon Jesus told them that “this kind could only come out through prayer and fasting.” I love what one theologian said about Jesus’ words here, “Jesus seems to be saying that a determined foe must be met with an equally determined faith. Prayer is a ready weapon in the spiritual battle, and fasting is a way to bring focus to prayer and give it resolve.” Amen!
So beginning tonight at 8:00 PM would you prayerfully consider joining me in a 24 hour fast? Use the time to bring focus to your prayers. Here are a couple of prayer items you can lift up.
- Your family: Have you been praying for someone in your family to have a life-changing experience with God?
- The Sick: We have several people in the church who are in need of God’s healing touch. We have prayed in faith for their healing. But in this fast we will lean in and believe that God will move these mountains and heal our friends!
- Personal Battles: Have you been unable to overcome an addiction or personal struggle that has come between you and God? It’s time to defeat it!
- Jesus: We can use this time to give thanks for Jesus. He denied himself and took all of our sin and shame directly to the cross. What a glorious sacrifice!
- His Church: Pray that God would ignite a passion in the hearts of His Followers to reconnect with Him. To see the importance of prayer, reading His Word, and connecting with other believers to Worship and Praise His Name.
- Those Who Don’t Know Him: There are many people who don’t know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. This Easter there will be some who walk into the sanctuary of a church. Let’s pray that they will have a life-changing encounter with a personal Savior!
On Friday, April 19 at 7:00 PM we will have a Good Friday Prayer and Worship Service. The 24 hour fast will be broken when we take communion during that service. Make plans to join us for that powerful time as we grieve over the death of Jesus, but then look forward to a time of celebration in His resurrection.
Blessings to you this Easter,