The events of this week have been unsettling and deeply disturbing to many. My reason for writing today is not to make any kind of political point. I simply want to call our church to prayer. Prayer for peace, justice, righteousness and truth to prevail in our land.
In God’s providence, we are about to embark on a week of prayer and fasting to begin this year. As we prepare our hearts to seek the Lord, know God welcomes us to bring our hopes and fears, frustrations and questions. He is big enough to handle all of it. I am reminded of the words of Psalm 62:8 which says, “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.”
Whatever is in your heart right now, pour it out before the Lord. Know that no matter what, you can trust him at all times. He is and will always be a safe, dependable, never-failing refuge for us.
I want to encourage you to join us in prayer and fasting January 10-16. A short devotional with a daily prayer focus will be emailed to you each day to help orient our prayers together. The idea of fasting is to give up something we love to help focus us on something we love more. When we fast, we take a step a back from the norm and quiet our hearts before the Lord and realign our hearts with his. Be praying about what you could give up so that you can grow closer to God. How you choose to participate is between you and the Lord. Listed below are some types of fasts you may want to consider:
This type of fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, and bread from your diet and consume water and juice for fluids and fruits and vegetables for food.
In this type of fast, you drink only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.
This fast is sometimes called the “Jewish Fast” and involves abstaining from eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to specific times of the day, such as 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sunup to sundown.
This fast is a great option if you do not have much experience fasting food, have health issues that prevent you from fasting food, or if you wish to refocus certain areas of your life that are out of balance. For example, you might choose to stop using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast and then carefully bring that element back into your life in healthy doses at the conclusion of the fast.
However you choose to participate, let us devote ourselves to the Lord at the beginning of this year with renewed fervency knowing that He is our hope, our strength, our joy and our refuge!