February: A Month of Prayer and Fasting
Passages on Fasting
To start, please read the following verses with their surrounding context and consider adding them to your devotions:
- Isaiah 58:6-9
- Nehemiah 1:2-6, 9:1-3
- Daniel 9:2-4
- Joel 2:12-16
- Mark 2:19-20
- Luke 2:36-38
- Acts 13-1-3, 14-21-23
These verses show us different circumstances when the people of God sought his will with prayer and fasting. Would you be praying that God gives wisdom and guidance for what comes next for our church? As a continuation of that request, we are asking all members to consider making February a month of prayer and fasting.
This is asked for two reasons:
- As an act of faith to commit ourselves and our leaders, as a church body, to God (Acts 14:23).
- As an intercession for the lost of our community (Isiah 58:6).
If you’ve never fasted before or have any concerns, this request is not intended to put you in an awkward position. Everyone should choose for themselves if and how they participate. Your ongoing prayers are welcome and appreciated. If you do choose to fast, here are some points to consider:
- Fasting is not merely abstinence from food. Make use of the time for other activities, devotions or otherwise.
- Fast to draw closer, as the bride of Christ, to your bridegroom; Jesus said that while He is away, His bride will fast, Matthew 9:15
- Fast as an act of intercession. Humble yourself before God, literally in the place of, those who won’t yet humble themselves.
- Pick times and durations that work into/around your regular plans.
- As with all things, fast as an act of faith.
And fasting comes with a promise:
Isn’t this the fast I choose:
To break the chains of wickedness,
to untie the ropes of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free,
and to tear off every yoke?
Then your light will appear like the dawn,
and your recovery will come quickly.
Your righteousness will go before you,
and the Lord’s glory will be your rear guard.
At that time, when you call, the Lord will answer;
when you cry out, he will say, ‘Here I am.’
– Isaiah 58:6, 8-9a (CSB)
Written by Paul Boulet, member and worship leader in our Hallows West Seattle Expression.