Local pastors and friends at other churches often ask “What can we do for you?” or “How can we help?” We don’t want to pull other church folk away from their ministries but I have struggled to answer those questions coming from people that would like to come along beside us in our work. We at Unity Baptist have met together and decided to appoint a time for prayer and fasting. This will give us the opportunity to: 1) establish and commit ourselves to doing the work of ministry; 2) seek God’s will and ask for his blessing; 3) invite other church members and leaders to join with us in intercession.
Prayer and fasting often go together in both the Old and New Testament. There is a lot of misunderstanding (and some false teaching) about prayer in our world today and very little is said about fasting at all. Neither should be used in an attempt to manipulate God into giving us what we what.
Time spent in prayer is more about the relationship we have with God the Father than it is about asking for stuff. Fasting is a way of denying one’s self and focusing on God and his provision. When Jesus fasted he reminded Satan “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4) Prayer and fasting together, when done correctly, are an expression of faith in God’s ability and an admission that there are many things we cannot do when we rely “on our own strength and understanding.” Consider Paul and Barnabas in Acts: And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed. Acts 14:23 They were training new leaders in newly planted churches, establishing them in the faith, committing them to the work, and asking God to bless. They did so with prayer and fasting.
We’re not asking anyone to fast for 40 days or make some other heroic gesture. If you are diabetic, anemic or have any type of health concern you probably shouldn’t fast; but you can certainly join the rest of us in prayer. We are inviting all believers who are able to join us in a time of prayer and fasting. The season will begin Friday evening May 1st at 6 pm and last 24 hours. During that time we will meet together, once Friday evening and once sometime on Saturday, for corporate prayer. We hope to accommodate as many schedules as possible. If can attend either prayer meeting that would be great, and if not please pray often during the 24 hour period wherever you are. If you can fast, please do so; if you can meet with us at either or both prayer meetings, please do so. In any event please remember Unity Baptist Church and the community of Plainville in your prayers.
We would like to see our church grow, and would like that growth to come from new believers being baptised. We need people with skills and resources to help us reach the community, with the Gospel and with other things people need. We cannot offer VBS this summer because we don’t have the adults to lead it. If we had a big influx of children and youth on Sunday mornings we do not have enough adults to teach Sunday school classes. We are asking God to provide and meet our needs, including growth that happens in a beneficial and manageable way. (With God all things are possible, and we know that he knows what he is doing).
During the Season of Prayer and Fasting, May 1-2, we ask that you:
- Pray for God’s will to be done.
- Pray that all will be done for his honor and glory.
- Pray that the Gospel will be shared, that lives will be changed, that those in need will be fed and clothed.
- Pray that our church will become multigenerational; if you don’t hear babies crying, the church is dying.
Our goal is not to be old fashioned, new fangled, contemporary, relevant or any other church movement label. Our goal is to do the work God has called us to, to share the Gospel, to make disciples, and to minister to those in need. Join us in prayer and fasting, that we may fulfill the Great Commission at the local church level:
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20