Prayer and fast month
Prayer and Fast 2023.
10 years ago we had our first prayer and fast month. Our motivation for this was to seek God's will for us in Dunvegan. We did this before DCF was a physical reality, before we got a unit, before Andy was a pastor. We wanted to know the way forward for this small group of people who met in Dunvegan village hall.
We learned a lot from that first time. One of the things we were told was that God wanted us to come to him every year for a month of prayer and fasting, He didn't want it to be a one off, but an annual time of coming back to him and seeking his face, finding out what he wants, putting aside this time to listen and learn. The themes of the month have varied over the years, but God has remained constant, faithfully meeting with us and giving his wisdom, encouragement and direction.
We all seek God all the time, but there is something powerful in corporate prayer and fasting, all doing it together with a common goal. So, our intention is to keep doing this every year until God tells us to stop. You may have been in on this from the beginning, it may be your first time, it doesn't matter, what matters is our heart attitude towards it. So if you believe this is what God is asking of you please join in, with expectation and thanksgiving, he is a good good Father. If you don't want to join in you are still welcome to come to the meetings on Tuesday evenings.
What does the fast involve? Basically it is going without food for the day on Tuesdays until after the evening meeting, some people need to eat for medical reasons so choose to keep their food basic and to a minimum. Some folk just drink water, others drink as they usually would. Some folks extend the fast to incorporate the full 28 days by cutting out all treats or something else that would be a sacrifice. Some people choose to only read the bible during this time, or cut out social media or computer games.... This is going to be individual to some degree, we all have different habits. But there is no mileage in cutting out cake if you wouldn't eat cake anyway..... it's about a heart attitude towards God that says 'Lord, I want to hear from you, my heart is open to your leading, as I sacrifice some of my comforts help me seek you with all my heart.' Read Isaiah 58.
If you have questions give me a shout.
This year's prayer and fast days are 18th & 25th April and 2nd & 9th May.
The 28 day period this covers is 12th April to 9th May, so if one of the Tuesdays doesn't fit for you there is opportunity to do a different day. Or if you want to mark the whole 28 day period it starts on 12th April. Ask the Lord what this should look like for you. This is between you and God, no-one is going to ask you how you are doing it or check up that you are doing it. It's between you and God.
Below I have listed the themes for the weeks. Keep notes of what the Lord says, write it down. There will be opportunity to share what you have been given, but again, you don't have to, it's up to you. You may find that everything relates to you alone, so don't want or need to share it. But you may also get something for the whole church which you could pass along. Be blessed.
week one 12-18th April
What do you come with? Mark 6 v 56
'And wherever he went - into villages, towns or countryside- they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge if his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.'
This week is about healing. What do you want to be healed? For either yourself or someone you know? This may not be physical, it could be emotional. It could be something that has been there a long time or something new. Ask the Lord to guide you as to what to pray for and how to pray.
week two 19th-25th April
What do you ask for? Luke 18 v 41
'What do you want me to do for you?'
What are we dealing with that we want Jesus to deal with? What do we have in our lives that we need Jesus to sort out? What are we carrying that is just too heavy for us, it wears us out. Ask the Lord to help you completely hand it over to him, to surrender it into his hands and trust he will sort it out in whatever way is best. Romans 8 v28. And if you have everything sorted and aren't carrying anything you shouldn't be praise God! and pray for someone who you know is struggling.
week three 26th April - 2nd May
What do you offer up? Luke 14 v 27
'And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple'
What is Jesus asking us to give up, stop doing, put less emphasis on? What is it that we are still holding onto, that we won't let go or give up. Or is it the other way around, is he asking you to do something you don't want to do? This may be something known to you. It may be that the Lord needs to reveal it to you. Ask him. And ask him how to offer it up, he doesn't ask us to do things we can't do, but he may well ask us to do things we don't want to do.
week four 3rd-9th May
What do you bring? John 6 v 9
'Here us a boy with five barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?'
What can we give, time, money, talent? What is Jesus asking us to give? Are we in line with our giving, are we giving what the Lord is asking us to give? This can cover so many areas, we need to ask the Lord if there is an area in which he wants us to start giving or to give more. It may seem small to us or it may seem large, but whatever it is God will multiply it for his glory. We need to be faithful to give whatever and however the Lord asks. So seek him on this and realign your giving if needs be.