Lent 2014: The Heart of the Church
During this season of preparation and anticipation of Easter, we want to have times as a community where we collectively pray and fast. Our purpose is to draw closer to God, open our hearts and minds, and listen for the Holy Spirit leading us. Each week, we will share a prayer focus for the week and a fast for Friday that we may all participate in as a community.
The fast is a spiritual discipline designed to better connect us with God. As a church, we are fasting in order to deepen our relationship with God and to walk in step with His plan and purpose. This is accomplished through substituting something physical, typically food, and replacing it with a spiritual activity, like Bible reading, praying, or journaling. The overall goal is to experience a genuine hunger for spending time with God.
Week 1 Prayer Focus:
This week, I am asking you to join together in prayer for the hearts of our church. Pray for hearts to be moved with compassion for those who are far from God. I want a revival to start inside our hearts and our buildings as we learn to see the world and people around us through the eyes of Jesus. Much like the good Samaritan whose heart was filled with compassion for the traveler who was in need, compassion may compel us to move, to act, to help.
Let our prayer be to have hearts moved by need and strengthened by compassion.
Week 1 Fast Focus:
Okay, since this might be your first fast, let’s start with something easy. Remember, our goal is to draw closer to God. We don’t have to make a big deal about fasting – in fact, keep it to yourself! Fasting is a private discipline which reaps a public reward: a breakthrough in your relationship with God, which will impact more than just yourself. Let us set aside tomorrow’s noon meal and replace it with a focused time on God. (You may drink water, and as always, be mindful of any medical conditions that make fasting from food unwise.) Expect something good to come from your sacrifice! We are developing spiritual disciplines that will reap a harvest to due time.
I am glad to be on this journey with you.