When you pray...
This week as a church community in the City of Derry we're going to be spending Thursday evening (24th Jan) until Sunday evening (27th Jan) praying and fasting. We'd love for you to get involved - we kick off tonight at 7.30 pm at the Ewan's house.
A good question to ask before we get involved might be - why?
Why do we pray and why do we fast?
Well, as people who want to walk in the Way of Jesus we need to look first to him as our model.
Jesus spent time in prayer with his Father - it was a key part of his lifestyle, it was the source of his power & ministry.
Jesus talks of fasting as a way to connect deeply with God in secret and to grow in authority (Matt 6:16, Matt 17:21, Mark 9:29)
Jesus called the church to pray before his ascension, and it was a key part of the rhythms of the early church (Acts 2:42-47)
Saint Paul called the church to worship and prayer and saw it as the foundation of his ministry. (Ephesians 6:18-20, Colossians 4:2, and 1 Timothy 2:1)
Throughout church history, God has moved most powerfully when His people have sought him in humble, courageous and passionate prayer.
So, if we want God to show up in our lives and through us as a church community then we must pray.
What about fasting - I don't get it?
Fasting doesn't earn you any brownie points and it really isn't anything mysterious. It is simply a spiritual practice that God's people have always used to help us surrender our bodies (with all its appetites and desires) to God as an act of worship. It usually involves going without (e.g. food) in order to connect deeply with the desires of God for our lives and for the lives of those around us.
It's not really about how you fast (how much, and for how long) but that we engage our whole selves - our bodies, emotions, wills - in prayer and conversation with God.
For these three days you might want to do a full fast (where you go without food for the duration), a partial fast (where you select meals or food groups to go without), or a soul fast (were you go without something else like T.V. or social media). Whatever you do, the most important part is to connect with God and his heart through prayer.
What do I pray?
Revive us again, Lord, through Your Presence and Your Word.