forty day prayer & fasting
Summer is almost over! As summer wanes, school begins. Here at church there will be new beginnings. New offerings in education and service. Opportunities to learn, grow and evolve.
To prepare for this season in our lives we are encouraging you to join in prayer with one another to seek God’s will and future direction for Pflugerville First United Methodist Church. We hope that each of you will commit to pray and fast at least one day one day during the 40 days and we encourage you to pray every day and even consider fasting at least one other time, as God leads you. As we pray we desire to keep alert to ways that God is moving in our midst and answering our prayers.
To that end, we are providing this 40 Days Prayer Guide which contains scriptures and prayers for each day of the 40 days plus Sundays. The emphasis of each Sunday’s sermon will follow the emphasis for the week.
When we pray, we surrender to the living word of God, Jesus Christ, and allow Him to penetrate our inmost being, ‘melting and molding us’ into the image of His likeness. Out of our prayer we discover strength to act, to do our part in the struggle to bring about the kingdom of God, and to move out in faith. Love is our motivation – love of God and love of neighbor.
We are committing to fast only a minimum of one day during the 40 days, although you may fast more days.
Fasting is the ancient practice of giving up food for a designated time period in order to make space in our lives for being more intentional about our relationship to God. In the Bible, people fasted for various reasons: guidance (Nehemiah 1:4), protection (II Chronicles 20:3), healing (Psalm 35:13), deliverance (Matthew 17:19-21), success in the Lord’s work (Esther 4:16), in times of sorrow, defeat, or crisis (Judges 20:26), repentance (Joel 1:14; 2:15), to prepare for a coming event (Moses – Exodus 34:28; Jesus - Matthew 4:2), and while worshipping (Acts 13:2).
There are many Ways to Fast. The most common way to fast is abstain from food. For our “40 Days of Prayer & Fasting” it is recommended that you try a daylight fast from dawn to dusk (skipping 2 meals) and use that time for focused prayer based on the prayer request for the day to choose.
But Fasting from Food IS NOT the only Way! If fasting from food is a health issue for you, you may choose from the following suggestions or ask God to show you a specific way for you to fast. Many of these ideas are also suitable for children and youth who need to eat regular meals. Try fasting from:
- Fast Food
- Video Games
- Negative Thoughts
- Judging Others
- Needless Shopping
- Telephone/Cell use
- Noise/constant media stimulation
Let us surrender ourselves in prayer and self-denial through fasting, that the Holy Spirit of God may do a mighty work in us and in our church to the glory of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!