“Grounded in Christ: Loving-Serving-Rejoicing”
Focus: Operation Andrew
Sunday 1st – Sunday 8th September, 2019
Dear Sisters & Brothers,
The Peace of the Lord be always with you. As we prepare to begin a new Church Year, the Leeward Islands District agreed to begin the Church year with a time of Prayer & Fasting from Sunday 1st September, 2019, at 5:00pm – Sunday 8th September at 2:00pm. This will be a 7 day period based on the ‘Daniel Fast’ (Daniel Chapter 1 & Chapter 10) – where “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine” (vs 8). The secret to a Daniel Fast is to PURPOSE in your heart; that is, to make a vow as you enter the fast that you will purpose to follow the Lord in what you eat and drink. During a Daniel Fast you give up the things you enjoy eating and eat only what is necessary. Therefore, the Daniel fast is an expression of abstinence for the purposes of self-discipline.
During this Fast we seek for a more intimate relationship with God, a clearer sense of vision & purpose, and a deeper commitment to the ministry of the Church, while ridding our bodies of some of the self-gratifying foods and drinks. Our focus is completely on God, as we “take our eyes off the things of this world.” Let us set clear goals and be specific about what we want to achieve through this fast.
If for medical reasons you are unable to join us in the Fast, but you are interested in participating, partner with us each day in the Scripture readings and share the meditation themes, while joining us in prayer for the various prayer concerns.
Let us use this as a time to draw closer to God and to seek His divine will for our lives and His Church. Let us all commit ourselves to prayer for each other and our Church.
Derek C. O. Browne (Rev.), Secretary for Mission, Evangelism & Church Growth
SOME REASONS TO FAST AS A CHURCH
1. Fasting helps to bring and keep us in the presence of God as we seek God for a special purpose.
2. It helps to empty us of what does not belong so that we may be filled by his Spirit.
3. It helps us to humble ourselves before God and declare our reliance on God as sovereign.
4. Fasting helps to focus our attention on those things for which we are praying.
5. It helps to remove ourselves from the natural, everyday activities, and enables us to give ourselves fully to our spirit focused goals or desires.
6. It helps to remove the distractions of the everyday routine that sometimes hinder the effectiveness of our prayers.
7. Fasting helps in the control and discipline of our lives.
8. It prevents us from being enslaved to habit.
9. It helps us to keep physically fit and prevents us from becoming overweight. By choosing to go without we gain something of greater significance or consequence.
10. Fasting helps to release the purposes and power of God in our lives, in the lives of those we are praying for, and in the life Church.
PRAYERS THAT CAN BE USED DURING THE FAST
An Evening Prayer
To you, O God, we offer the coming day’s devotion of prayer and fasting. Thank you for the example of Jesus. Grant that we may die to ourselves, but make us new in Christ. Feed the starvation of the soul, of thought, of will and after quiet rest of sleep, open our mouths to praise you in the morning. Through Jesus Christ your Son, our Light and our Strength. Amen.
A Morning Prayer
How great and gracious you are, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! We pray for your world – for righteousness, justice , peace, healing, hope and salvation. May the whole world know amazing grace and salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord, the Savior of the world. We dedicate today to the glory of your grace, to the good of your children, in the power of the Holy Spirit and in Jesus’ name. Amen.
A Mealtime Prayer
Thanks be to you, O God, for all your gifts, and especially those we shall not enjoy today. Thanks be to you for the inner nourishment of your presence and for new vigor in our prayer through this sign of fasting. Thanks be to you for family, children, friends, neighbors, church family, near and far. Thanks be to you for Jesus, the Bread of Life. Amen.
A Prayer for Breaking the Fast
To you, O God, we have offered this day of prayer and fasting. We pray for a world wide Pentecost, but especially in our Leeward Islands District and in each of our Circuits. Through the gift of your Holy Spirit empower us to be faithful ‘Andrews’ and Faith-Sharers of the good news of Christ Jesus. Grant the power of your Holy Spirit that we may serve you faithfully in the world, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
(Prayers adapted from World Methodist Evangelism)