Fasting for more Worship, Community, and Mission
I usually don’t enjoy entering into a day of fasting. It’s hard to miss meals. I almost always enjoy what comes out of a day of fasting though. Fasting is not an end in itself. Paul encourages the abstaining of something in marriage only that it would make room for more prayer (1 Cor. 7:5). It’s a reminder for us to not simply abstain from eating today. Feast on prayer. Focus your mind during the normal times of eating on asking God to direct your physical hunger towards a spiritual hunger. Then wait expectantly for God to hear your prayer and satisfy that hunger. Here are some areas you might pray for:
...a hunger for more of God that leads to more joy in the Lord and spiritual growth
Matthew 5:6 — “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Ephesians 4:12-16 — “...until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”
...a hunger for deeper relationships with other Believers that includes mutual encouragement and accountability
Rom. 12:10 — Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
1Th. 3:12 — and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you
...a hunger for the lost around you to know Jesus
Compassion that leads to reaching the unchurched neighbors around you and UPC
Matt. 4:1-2 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
Matt. 9:36-38 — When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Power from the Holy Spirit that leads to fruitfulness among ministries of UPC
Col. 1:5b-6 — Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,
John 15:5, 8 — I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
Wisdom that leads to living out your faith well at work
1 Cor. 10:31 — So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Col. 3:23 — Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men