Fast and Pray-First Monday
by Pastor Aaron Adame
A new initiative that we started as a church is a monthly rhythm of fasting and praying on the first Monday of every month. Each month will have its own theme that the whole church can get behind. Every individual will be able to participate in the way that fits their daily schedule. Whether it works to skip breakfast or lunch or dinner; whatever works for you. The point is to have as many people in our church as possible fasting and praying together for a specific topic—then watch what God does!
With that said, this may be a good time to think about this often-neglected spiritual discipline—fasting.
When I worked as a finished carpenter, there were many days where I was so focused on finishing the job that I powered through both lunch and dinner. I was so determined to get the job done that I didn’t have time to listen to the growling in my stomach. Some days, I was so focused, I didn’t even notice that I hadn’t eaten all day.
Have you ever been so focused on something that you forgot to eat? Or perhaps you remembered to eat, but you didn’t want to stop doing what you were doing, so you skipped the meal?
In one sense, that is how fasting in prayer works. Fasting, like any spiritual work or discipline, is a response to God. Fasting should happen when we recognize that God is doing something or wants to do something special and transformative. When you are so focused on the work of prayer, fasting is a way of powering through the grumblings of the flesh in order to feed the spirit with prayer and meditation on God’s Word!
Fasting, like almost anything in the Christian life, is both natural and yet supernatural. For instance, eating a piece of bread and drinking from a cup is nothing new. However, when done in remembrance of Christ as a church body in communion, it becomes a means of grace to the recipient. In a similar way, many people fast, but when you fast and pray in faith, that normal action takes on a supernatural end. So, don’t overthink it, thus hyper-spiritualizing it. But don’t underestimate it either. Fasting is a powerful means of grace to starve the flesh and feed the soul through prayer. When we do this work as a church, special things take place, both in us and in the topic of which we are praying.
If you have never fasted before, I encourage you to take it lightly at first. Skip just one meal in the day. If you have dietary restrictions, please follow your doctor’s advice about fasting. Yet even given these restrictions, fasting is a normal practice and should be viable for most people.
Do you want to see God work? Then please, join us every first Monday of the month to fast and pray. The themes will be announced, either on the Sunday before or through email. This month’s theme is UNITY. Think of passages like John 17; Philippians 2:1-5; Romans 12:16; Ephesians 4:1-16.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”(Matthew 7:7–8 ESV).
We as a church come before You, God, in the mighty name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to the God who is three in one. Your very nature is that of unity and oneness. To know You, Father, is to know the Son. To know the Son is to know the Father. To know the Spirit is to know the Spirit of the Son and the Father. When we think of You, God, that You are three persons in one Godhead, we are reminded of the importance of unity. For as we live, fellowship, and worship as one, we do as a reflection of Your very nature and of the transforming work that You are doing in us through faith in the gospel. Thus, we pray for unity, that we might become like You and image You to the world. We pray against those things that cause disunity in Your body, the church. False teachers and teachings we pray against. We ask You protect the flock from wolves who disguise themselves in sheep’s clothing in order to divide and lead the sheep astray. We pray for the mind of Christ to renew our minds that we may be able to test those competing voices that want to impersonate Your voice, which is what we, Your sheep, want to hear and follow. We confess that we are guilty at times in not pursuing unity and even propagated disunity. We repent of those things and cling to zyour grace and mercy, which is found in Christ. Cause the church of Canby Christian to be a unified body. So that we can rightly reflect Your attributes to one another. So that we can experience the loving and harmonious fellowship of Christian community. And so that we can be an evangelistic witness to a broken and fractured world. We pray this in the name of Christ and for the glory of God alone. Amen.