Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Prayful Fasting for My Church


Prayer is where the action is. ~John Wesley

Isn't that a simple, yet powerful, quote? I have never heard it before, but it is definitely a new favorite.

I have felt called to fast for my church this week. I am sacrificing excess fat on the altar, so to speak, hoping to please my Lord, so He will bless my church. A few people have left, really very few, but with a such a small church, a family or two is many. Of the remaining people, some are struggling with personal finances. Now our church is running in the red monthly as well.

We all have been praying lately about our church and prayers are being answered. One couple had decided to close their business at the end of the month, but they received an offer to buy it from out of the blue. Although it will not wipe out their debt, it certainly helps more than just closing and receiving nothing would have.

This reminds me of the time when my husband lost his job 2½ years ago. I felt guilty, because I believe I should be content in all circumstances, and yet I also felt desperate to fast and pray about our situation. My Lord answered. Not only did He tell me that my husband would be hired, but He told me who would hire him. On the last week of his severance pay, he was called to interview for a job, one for which he had not applied, and he was offered the job that day.

Should I not feel as desperate to fast and pray about the situation with my church? Yet, the Lord had to bring this before for a few weeks before I actually decided it was the thing to do.

Before you get the wrong impression, because it probably seems to others that I fast often, fasting is not something I always look forward to doing. I am well acquainted with benefits: hearing my Lord clearly, feeling closer to my Lord, having prayers answered, and even the physical benefits of cleansing, detoxification, and losing unneeded weight. There is the downside of fasting: low energy, still making meals for my daughter, socially awkward, the craving to just eat, and then there are the many people who just don't get why anyone would do it. It is not a religious requirement and we are living in the Age of Grace, so why should I do something I don't have to do, even though Jesus Himself fasted. At times, even to me, it seems like a thankless duty, an unnoticed chore, an unnecessary custom, and even an empty ritual...until that moment when I fully surrender to my Lord and then it is the most wonderful blessing, worth every moment of sustaining from food and an experience I cannot really relate to another who has not done it.

This morning I awoke seeing a vision of money raining down from heaven over our church and I now a certain for what I am to be praying. I am to be praying for the finances of the people currently within our church: for the jobless to be offered jobs, for those with jobs to have security, for those who are struggling to be offered the opportunity to better their situation, and for those who are prospering to prosper even more. All this I shall do, as my Lord has made it clear.

Sometimes when I feel called to fast, I am not really clear about what I am to be praying before I begin. At times, I am given that knowledge after I have begun it and even as I am ending it. At some point, there is that moment of surrender to my Lord.

This morning I have had that moment...with a promise of more to come.

~ My Lord, please hear my prayer. Bless all in my church, so that they can give generously a portion back to You. May we make all things ready for those You have prepared to come to our church, so we do not grow in numbers only but in our spiritual walk with You even more. Let it be, my Lord. ~

4 comments:

  1. Seeking: that is so very exciting! I know prayer & fasting achieves more than prayer alone but I suffer so much from low energy levels a fast totally wipes me out for days & so I rarely do it any more. I do however feel called to pray with you for your church. Blessings my dearest friend. ☺

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  2. Ganeida, it seems it is getting more difficult, as I age, to do water-only fasts, but there are also variations in fasting. Once I did a fast drinking water and about six ounces of raw goat milk over the course of the day. It was just enough to not get too low. I have also done juice fasts.

    It was difficult today, but the third day is usually the worst one, at least for me. This time I am drinking a small amount of raw milk, about four ounces, on the days I need to as it is very difficult to keep up with the nine-year-old when my husband is away and I usually do not fast when he is away. He is home as of tonight, but tomorrow is the errand day, which is always draining even when I am not fasting, so I am thinking just a bit of milk was called for during this one and I felt I had the Lord's approval on that decision.

    Thank you for praying for my church with me. I would be interested in hearing any word from the Lord you receive.

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  3. I go to a very small church too so I know how easily the church can be affected and how small things can actually be very big things. I'll be praying for you as you fast... that you would have strength to persevere and that the Lord would reveal Himself and His purposes to you♥

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  4. Thank you, Persuaded. I appreciate this very much.

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.