Fasting…Could you do it? Would you do it?

fasting.jpg 

Fasting from food is really as simple as this: not eating for the purpose of prayer.  Though it is not a common habit of most Christ-followers today, the first Christ-followers used it in two ways.

1.  It was a regular habit.  Much like other spiritual disciplines of prayer, scripture reading, journaling, etc., fasting is regular practice people use to draw closer to God and remember their dependence on him.

2.   Fasting was also used to pray intensely for new spiritual initiatives.  One example of that is in Acts 13 when Paul and Barnabas were being sent out on a missions journey.  It says, “So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.”  In the next chapter, they were appointing elders in a church for the first time and we see it again, “Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.”

At Suncrest we have asked people to fast at different points in our history, including in our elder selection process.  Today, is another one of those requests as we sit on the horizon of a new spiritual initiative.  Here’s how you can participate…

1.  Fast one day (24 hours) for what will happen in the next 5 weeks at Suncrest.  We believe these next 5 weeks can be essential for all of us to bring focus to our faith.  I’d love for you to join me in praying for these things…

  • Pray people will take the time to seriously reflect on their current spiritual condition — to celebrate areas that are strong and commit to growing areas that are weak.
  • Pray people will understand — really understand — what spiritual growth is, what it isn’t, and how to take steps forward.
  • Pray that everyone at Suncrest will connect in a Community Group for 4 weeks.
  • Pray for the experience people will have in community groups where they can sort out spiritual growth with the help of other Christ-followers.
  • Pray that our church family would grow in these 4 areas:
    • Cultivating a personal relationship with Jesus
    • Connecting in relationships where truth meets life
    • Contributing by serving
    • Caring about people far from God

2.  We are suggesting a 24 hour fast from food, but fasting can take different forms.  That’s what I’m doing today along with many others, but you can do it tomorrow or any day in the next week.  Please do give consideration to your personal health!  Some might fast for just one meal.  Some might fast from food and drink.  Don’t be rigid about this — catch the spirit of it!

3.  Make sure you don’t just “not eat”, but you actually use that time to pray!  One of the ideas behind a fast is that the hunger you begin to feel reminds us of our dependence on God.

4.  Let me know if you will commit to a fast of some sort…I will promise to pray for you as you fast.  Email me at greg.lee@suncrest.org and just say “I’m in!”

I can’t wait to see how God works through our prayers together!

~ by Greg Lee on September 12, 2007.

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