Welcome to my weekly edition of your prayer and fasting initiative letter!
A bit long winded greeting, but hopefully you are blessed in the Lord this week.
We are still in the midst of the transition from what we thought was going to happen to a reality in Washington that Christian conservatives did not expect. But the Lord is still on the throne and we are still His deployed ambassadors.
First a thought from Hebrews and then from Paul:
Hebrews 2:1-4 (NLT2) So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. 2 For the message God delivered through angels has always stood firm, and every violation of the law and every act of disobedience was punished. 3 So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak? 4 And God confirmed the message by giving signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever he chose.
This is an awesome reminder to not let go. I encourage you to read the balance of Hebrews 2, quite a powerful reminder of what the Lord has prepared for His people in eternity.
It requires no faith to pray for leaders with whom we agree, but Scripture teaches us to pray for all in authority, so let us remember to intercede for government on every level of responsibility.
Romans 13:1 (NCV) All of you must yield to the government rulers. No one rules unless God has given him the power to rule, and no one rules now without that power from God.
Prayer is great and fasting is fantastic, but the discipline of using them together can help us make life in a sinful world more bearable by connecting us to the Lord and drawing on His power instead of simply our own.
Fasting is a common practice that can be found in Scripture. It is voluntary and we sometimes see a total abstinence of food for a specific amount of time or days, and its aim is to devote oneself through prayer and seeking the Lord. Matthew 4:1-11 provides a helpful encouragement into this discipline. The ancient practice of fasting is a natural way for us to express our faith with our whole being, spirit, soul, and body together. Your spirit’s hunger for God can find fulfillment when you fast with your body.
As a participant since last summer, you will understand what I just shared, but I wanted to remind you of what we are doing. We are headed into Lent and it can be a wonderful time to renew ourselves in the Lord.
I offer you the following passages for your consumption this week:
Luke 2:36-38 (NCV) There was a prophetess, Anna, from the family of Phanuel in the tribe of Asher. Anna was very old. She had once been married for seven years. 37 Then her husband died, and she was a widow for eighty-four years. Anna never left the Temple but worshiped God, going without food and praying day and night. 38 Standing there at that time, she thanked God and spoke about Jesus to all who were waiting for God to free Jerusalem.
Matthew 6:16-18 When you give up eating, don’t put on a sad face like the hypocrites. They make their faces look sad to show people they are giving up eating. I tell you the truth, those hypocrites already have their full reward. 17 So when you give up eating, comb your hair and wash your face. 18 Then people will not know that you are giving up eating, but your Father, whom you cannot see, will see you. Your Father sees what is done in secret, and he will reward you.
Daniel 9:3-5 (NCV) Then I turned to the Lord God and prayed and asked him for help. I did not eat any food. To show my sadness, I put on rough cloth and sat in ashes. 4 I prayed to the LORD my God and told him about all of our sins. I said, “Lord, you are a great God who causes fear and wonder. You keep your agreement of love with all who love you and obey your commands. 5 “But we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and turned against you, your commands, and your laws.
We are so blessed to be able to join together in prayer and intercede for our wonderful nation, both for its governance and for another great spiritual move of God. Let us not lose heart, for in due time we will reap a harvest!
Blessings on your life and on your prayer!
On behalf of the leadership teams of
Advent Episcopal Church
The Praise Community