Our elders are challenging us, and calling us, to a 48-hour period of worship, prayer, and fasting, during January 2, 3, 4, 2015. The sole reason for this time of worship, fasting, and prayer is to ask God to show us, as a church, specifically what is next for us.
This idea, born from some of our Spirit-filled members, is a direct link to Acts 13:1-3. Here’s the passage:
(1) Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. (2) While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (3) Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
The combined sacraments, of worshipping and fasting and praying, had a direct impact in two ways:
1. It directly affected the church in Antioch. This city, composed of perhaps hundreds of house churches, agreed, together, that the Lord had spoken, and given them a specific direction. In fact, the nature of what the Spirit said reveals the nature of what the people asked. Their question must have been, “What’s next, Lord?” because what was next wasn’t their predetermined idea. Look through Acts and you’ll find that the church in Antioch, and not the church in Jerusalem, was the “launching pad” for each of Paul’s missions. Their future was determined by the audible voice of God.
It goes without saying that if we seek the Lord in such a manner, we must be ready for anything.
2. It directly affected people on Cypus, in Pisidian Antioch, Lystra, Troas, Corinth, Ephesus, Athens, and a host of other cities. The people in those cities, who had never heard of Jesus, would have never heard of Jesus had the believers in Antioch never prayed such a prayer. Imagine the host of people who would have remained lost had Antioch not had the boldness to ask such a request from God! Paul would have never visited those cities! He would have never shared with them the grace of Jesus!
So, to dedicate the first weekend of our year, to such a time of worship and fasting and prayer is crucial. The answer to such a prayer will not only change our own church, but will also change the lives of people we don’t even know!
We are asking God to send a Spirit of unity and conviction unlike any our church has ever seen, and we are to anticipate the variety of blessings and missions that will come from such a prayer.
Let us answer the call and challenge of our elders, and to be spiritually ready for such a weekend.
Here is our schedule:
Friday, January 2, 2015
- Noon — the fast begins. Please have lunch prior to this.
- 7-8 PM — Worship in our auditorium.
Saturday, January 3, 2015
- 8 AM – our facilities will be open for you to pray in our auditorium, if you would like to do so.
- 10-11 AM — Worship in our auditorium.
- 4-5 PM — Worship in our auditorium.
- 5 PM — our facilities will be closed for the evening.
Sunday, January 4, 2015
- 9 AM — bible classes.
- 10 AM — Worship in our auditorium
- Noon — the fast ends.
Our four times of worship will consist of singing together, then praying together in smaller groups. You can attend all or any of them. We will worship together, though. With the exception of Sunday morning, there will be no children’s church at any of the worship times. Parents — we do encourage you to bring your children, and to use this weekend to teach them about these sacraments.
Prior to the weekend, pray specifically for these things:
- Physical Strength. To fast for 48 hours can be a physically exhausting ordeal if you haven’t asked God, beforehand, to sustain you.
- Spiritual Stamina. If you are serious about dedicating such a weekend to the Lord, then you will be attacked in every way possible. Pray that you will be ready to receive the grace sufficient in those moments of weakness.
- To hear the voice of God. Luke is clear, in Acts 13:2, that the Holy Spirit said those words. It wasn’t a “feeling,” or an “impression” or a “good idea” or something “God laid on their hearts.” It was a clear voice. That’s what we want to hear. And if we don’t hear it, then we must be ready to continue such a prayer until the Lord speaks.
Church, let’s do this together! Let’s not quench God’s Spirit, but fan it into flames!