Welcome to another week of prayer and fasting!
We are living in such a strange time as we observe our society. It seems that our freedom of speech is being diminished regularly as certain speech is deemed unacceptable, while at the same time words are given new meaning. It is so important to me that we stay current with the Holy Spirit and make our time in the Lord’s Word and His Presence a priority before anything else.
This week I encourage you to add Advent Episcopal Church to your priority for prayer as they seek the Lord for their next step since the call to Father Ben to serve as their rector was declined. We need a strong witness for the Lord at their location.
Of course, we continue to ask the Lord to move in our nation and restore our Biblical foundation as well as rationality to Washington and the decisions being made supposedly in our best interests.
Fasting is an important spiritual discipline for us. The reward of fasting in the Bible is always a closer walk with God, healing either spiritually or physically and peace even when life is hard. It can change both our hearts as well as the heart of our nation. Fasting does so much for us spiritually but a look at this example of fasting in Nehemiah showing us that it is also powerful enough to heal and unite a nation’s heart to God.
Nehemiah 1:1-4 These are the words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah. In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, I, Nehemiah, was in the capital city of Susa. 2 One of my brothers named Hanani came with some other men from Judah. I asked them about Jerusalem and the Jewish people who lived through the captivity. 3 They answered me, “Those who are left from the captivity are back in Judah, but they are in much trouble and are full of shame. The wall around Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned.“ 4 When I heard these things, I sat down and cried for several days. I was sad and ate nothing. I prayed to the God of heaven,
Hebrews 13:6-9 (NCV) So we can be sure when we say, “I will not be afraid, because the Lord is my helper. People can’t do anything to me.“ 7 Remember your leaders who taught God’s message to you. Remember how they lived and died, and copy their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 Do not let all kinds of strange teachings lead you into the wrong way. Your hearts should be strengthened by God’s grace, not by obeying rules about foods, which do not help those who obey them.
In the book of Esther, we see a call for fasting, imploring the Lord to move on behalf of His people:
Esther 4:15-16 Then Esther sent this answer to Mordecai: 16 “Go and get all the Jewish people in Susa together. For my sake, give up eating; do not eat or drink for three days, night and day. I and my servant girls will also give up eating. Then I will go to the king, even though it is against the law, and if I die, I die.“
So finally, let us not give up, for in due time we will reap a harvest. Spring is definitely the time for planting, so let us plant some good seed of God’s Word and begin to anticipate the harvest!The
Lord Jesus bless you this week!
Paul Laursen, on behalf of the leadership teams of
The Praise Community and Advent Church