Fasting, Prayer and the Course of History
Is God Calling Bethlehem to a Season of Fasting?
There is a reason why we begin each year with a week of concerted prayer. It’s because we need more of the fullness of God. Paul prays, “I bow my knees before the Father [asking] . . . that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:14, 19).
In Prayer Week 1995 I am going to begin a series of messages on “Biblical Fasting.” Together with the staff, I will call us as a body to seek the Lord in fasting and prayer each Wednesday through the month of January (4th, 11th, 18th, 25th). For those who sense God’s leading to participate, it would mean not eating breakfast or lunch on Wednesdays and then breaking the fast at suppertime at church or at home. Thus you would fast for 24 hours from supper on Tuesday till supper on Wednesday.
I would hope that the time you would have spent over human food at breakfast and lunch would be spent over God’s food during that time—“Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus said this when Satan tried to get him to stop fasting.
On Sunday, January 1st I will give you some illustrations of fasting and prayer that changed the course of history. We will also try to have a book about fasting available for you to purchase.
Before you make any decisions about fasting, ask this question:
How does the state of the world, the state of the church, and the state of my Christian life compare to God’s command that all nations be made disciples, that the church be filled with the Spirit and that I love God with all my heart and soul and mind and strength?
On the basis of the answer to this question, consider seriously if God might not be calling you to “set your face to the Lord to seek him by prayer and fasting” (cf. Daniel 9:3).
Then consider seeking him with us during these designated times of prayer the first week of the year.
- Starting every day in prayer: 7:00-7:30 AM Monday through Friday (in Commons)
- A midweek season of earnest intercession for the church and the missionaries and advance of the Kingdom: 7:00-8:30 PM Wednesday (in Commons; no other activities)
- A Night of Prayer: 10:00 PM – 6:00 AM Friday night (in Commons)
- Fire in Winter—All the Twin City Minnesota Baptist Conference Churches Gathering for Prayer: 6:00-8:00 PM Sunday (in our sanctuary)
Hungering after God
more than food with you,
©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Used by Permission.
Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in its entirety or in unaltered excerpts, as long as you do not charge a fee. For Internet posting, please use only unaltered excerpts (not the content in its entirety) and provide a hyperlink to this page. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.
Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. ©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org