Feasting and fasting
January is already a significant month in the life of All Nations and we are only two weeks into the New Year. We began with a party. The New Year’s Eve International Night was a celebration of unity in diversity and an opportunity to pray together as the Old Year ended and the New began.
Now we are focusing on God in a Daniel fast as a whole church. People observe it in different ways, but the common theme is making time and space to hear from God and to speak with Him.
In the Old Testament fasting is usually associated with people humbling themselves before God. In New Testament times we know we cannot twist God’s arm or persuade Him to bless us by fasting (or anything else for that matter) and yet Jesus clearly assumed that it was normal for His disciples to fast after He had left to return to Heaven (Matthew 6:16-18 and Matthew 9:14-5).
So it is normal to fast and is not a legalistic requirement nor a method of earning ‘credit’ with God. Instead, it is a way of positioning ourselves to receive His favour by saying humbly to God
I am reaching out to You
I need You
I am desperate to hear from you.
In other words, ‘I am poor in spirit’ and need Your blessing. And that is the sort of prayer God always loves to answer.
However we are focusing on God as a church family not as individuals.
We are reaching out to You
We need You
We are desperate to hear from you.
It is the praying of the whole church together that releases God’s power. The history of all revival movements points to this simple fact. Why should it be so? Because Jesus has commissioned us to continue His mission on earth but has not commissioned us as individuals. Instead we are deliberately designed to depend on one another. He commissioned the whole body to be missional, to participate in God’s mission. It is the whole church that is His body because one part of it or one individual cannot reflect the diversity and fulness we see in Christ.
The launch meeting for Ablaze18 (see http://ablazewolverhampton.co.uk ) on Sunday 14th was among other things a celebration of the unity between many of the churches in Wolverhampton. The pastors, vicars and ministers who meet regularly as “Connect” have developed friendships and a reliance on one another that has opened the heavens for God’s blessing. As Psalm 133 says, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in unity…for there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.”
So let’s pray - together when we can and in a spirit of unity, the Holy Spirit, at all times!