The Fast The Lord Chooses – Overview
Why are we fasting?
In the Old Testament we see several accounts of God’s people fasting. The occurrences we have for fasting in the OT were mourning for someone’s death, crying out for rescue from enemies, and in order to be humbled before the Lord when convicted of sin relying on His provision for sin and death (e.g.: Jdg. 20:26; 1 Sam 7:6; 2 Samuel 1:12,12:2; Ezra 8:21; Ps 35, 69, 109).
New Testament examples of fasting are much more limited. Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights in preparation for his temptation by Satan and the apostles fasted and prayed in the midst of appointing elders and making decisions. Yet the majority of the references in the New Testament about fasting are ones of warning by Jesus—not to fast in a way that is showy or in a way where you are trying to win God’s favor. In other words, fasting in the Bible is not a formula or a check list and whenever it is understood as such the Lord disapproves of such action. It seems to us that proper fasting is always accompanied with prayer and crying out to God for deliverance, it is an act of worship in response to God’s grace, and it is an act of humbling ourselves to rely on God as our provision, but fasting ought also to propel us into action. It is a fast not merely to benefit us and certainly not to show others that we are super spiritual, rather it is an action that draws us near to God because he draws near to us to bend us towards his mission on Earth.
As Carter mentioned in his letter to the congregation that went out last week, when we feel the hunger pains let us draw together this week in prayer. While most of us will not be together physically for these three days we will be praying together in spirit at the times we normally eat.
We have set some direction for our prayers and they are centered around first seeing and admitting that before the Lord we are harassed and helpless, that the Lord would remind us that the harvest in Katy is plentiful but the laborers are few, and that he would help us see that folks in our city our helpless and harassed and like us, they desperately need the gospel. To guide our devotionals, we selected a passage, Isaiah 58:3-14, that we think will be helpful to meditate on as we pray, fast, and seek the Lord’s will for this body of believers to be missional and kingdom minded in Katy. The Scripture verses are printed for you on the back of the handout.
If for some reason you lose your handout, the prayer guide and the Scripture passages will be posted every day on the pastor’s blog. You can go to the blog by going to the Cornerstone website. Also, you are welcome to leave comments on the blog as a means of interacting with one another during this time.
Blessings to you all as we seek the Fast the Lord Chooses,
fasting-prayer-guide-2009 Click this link if you would like a hard copy to print the entire guide for the fast