Thursday, February 19, 2009

Week of Fasting and Prayer

I announced last Sunday that our elders are participating in a week of fasting and prayer the first of week of March in order to discern the will of God for our congregation moving forward. We are inviting our congregation to join us in fasting and praying from March 1st to March 7th. In the simplest sense, fasting is about giving up something of personal pleasure during the week (from eating to television to reading to sleeping) so that we have more time to spend seeking the face of God. Prayer is about what happens during those times with God.

Jesus warned us about making fasting and prayer about personal self-righteousness (in other words, thinking in our hearts or out loud, "I'm more righteous than other people because I fast and pray.") rather than about connecting honestly with God. Fasting is a great discipline to make sure that our hearts are not too connected to anything in this temporal world, but deeply connected to God.

The elders are fasting and praying during the first week of March not to move the hand of God in some way, but in order to increase our ability to hear the voice of God as He leads and guides us. In other words, we are not intending to manipulate God to do something for us, but rather intending to still our hearts so that we can listen for the directing influence of the Holy Spirit.

As many of you know, discerning and doing the will of God for our lives is not easy. Discernment is not only required in individual decisions, but also in corporate decisions. We all want to know what God wants for our personal lives and our families. But we should also want to know what God wants for our corporate family. Where is He leading our church?

We have followed the Holy Spirit in reaching out to men and women in the community with the gospel through our missional groups and our church-planting effort. We have seen God bless us as we have been focused on sharing the gospel of grace AND as we have been open-handed with our money and our lives. The question now arises, what is next?

We know that God wants us to continue to be on mission with Him and be good stewards of all He has entrusted to us. But where is He leading us in the days ahead? Let's seek the Lord's voice together in great faith that He will show us His will for our church - in the areas of church-planting, facilities, staffing, etc.

The Bible says that to whom much is given, much is required. Father, speak to us - we are listening.

No comments: