We’re having a day of prayer and fasting and giving as a congregation. I’ve become convinced of the practice of fasting, we don’t insist everyone does it, it’s totally voluntary but the Confession talks about it in it’s chapter in worship and the Sabbath (21:5). John Piper has been really helpful to my thinking on it – What is the Point of Fasting?, his book on Hunger for God is also good . Danny Hyde’s booklet on why we fast is also excellent. I should also credit my brother Steve who first made me think about it and I’ve stolen lots of his good ideas.
We ordinarily give the congregation a few weeks notice, we’ve ordinarily done it at the beginning of a year but today is because of our building project which is not far from being able to start and yet still faces some significant hurdles. We have a shortfall of around £200,000 and so as elders we have called the church to fast and pray, we’re praying as a congregation that the Lord will provide the finances but also that we can get started soon. The first time we had a day of fasting I preached on it the Sunday before.
During the actual day we text out 4 verses to encourage people to keep going with the fasting and praying. today we sent out…
“O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure” – Isaiah 25:1
“Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” Matthew 4:4
“This I call to mind, and therefore I have hope; The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness “the LORD is my portion” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him”. The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul that seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the Salvation of the LORD” Lamentations 3:21 – 26
“I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.” Psalm 116:1,2
We’ll meet together tonight to break the fast at 7, I think Chilli is on the menu, we’ll pray together, I’ll speak briefly, we’ll sing together and celebrate the Lord’s Supper together and probably be done before 9.