PRAYER & FASTING
Continue to prayer for our city, nation and world. Below you will find specific prayer points and simple prayer and fasting guidelines and alternatives.
• Pray for God’s Kingdom to come and will to be done in the midst of these unprecedented times in our world.
• Pray for those who are lost and without Christ, that their eyes would be opened to who He is and that these times might provide an opportunity for them to hear and believe the Good News about Jesus.
• Pray for mercy and healing for the sick, infected, and their families.
• Pray for the vulnerable of all ages, origins, cultures, and walks of life.
• Pray for leaders, churches, healthcare workers, first responders, and others on the front lines of decision-making and care during this time.
• Pray for those who are struggling physically, emotionally, and spiritually whether through sickness, loss of a loved one, income loss or instability, or other circumstances.
• Pray for people who the Lord brings to your heart by name.
• We encourage you to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) throughout the day on Friday, or another day this week if Friday does not work for you. You can take time in the morning, at mealtimes, in the afternoon, evening, and bedtime to pray earnestly and with intercession for those who are hurting, and also maintain a prayerful conversation with the Lord all day long.
• As we have seen in our series on The Prayers of Jesus, Christ the Son modeled for us how we are to pray. We are to pray for God’s glory to be known, His Kingdom to come, and His will to be done (Matthew 6:9-10).
• Christ also gives us permission to ask for what is on our heart: “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:14).
• Jesus also told us we could pray for our daily needs, for forgiveness, and for protection from temptation and evil (Matthew 6:11-12). When a group of believers who are right with God join their hearts in prayer in this way, their prayers are “powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)
• We encourage you to fast at least part of the day on Friday. If you have any health concerns that prevent you from fasting from food, consider a fast from some other regular activity you might have done on Friday. This could be some form of entertainment, a “creature comfort,” screen time, or physical activity.
• The purpose of fasting is not simply to endure suffering or discipline oneself – though those things are often good for us – the purpose is to spend the time you would usually spend eating a meal or doing an activity in focused prayer. The withholding that occurs during a fast only serves to increase our submission to the Lord and raise our awareness of our absolute dependence on Him.
• King David talked about fasting as a way to “humble ourselves” before God, especially when desperately seeking Him for answers to prayer (Psalm 35:13-14). Ezra led a group of God’s people to fast while asking God for His protection over them (Ezra 8:21). The King of Nineveh declared a fast when the people needed to repent and ask God’s forgiveness, and God answered (Jonah 3:5-10).
• Jesus also gave us some good instructions on fasting: First He said we should do it (Matthew 6:16). Then He said we should do it “unto the Lord,” so we don’t announce it to others to be “seen” by them. Instead, we make every effort to conceal our fast so that it is a gift of worship directly and only to God (Matthew 6:17-18).