14th September 2013

Only With Fasting And Prayer 

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?”
Isaiah 58:6 (NIV) 

As we look around we see the sad state of the world, our country and the local community. We see the breakdown in many of our businesses and the economy. I, like you, also look at the condition of the church, my family and last but not least, myself. Isaiah 58 tells us about the help we need and the change of attitude that is required, which is only possible because of the sacrifice that Jesus made for humanity. 

Fasting is one of the spiritual disciplines of a Christian. We need God’s help, and taking time to fast* is one way of seeking it, even if it is to skip one meal and use that time to focus specifically on God and then make a contribution to the well being of others. Our prayer and request for God to remove the injustice and replace it with His righteousness in the world and in me personally can be very powerful. Further request that he eradicate selfishness and shortsightedness, filling us with His spirit of generosity and vision. Instead of tearing down, working with me to build up. 

As we look to God he will reveal to us the practical application and expression of His love in and through us. Things will only change as He transforms us from the inside out. Then, as Jesus said, we will be His light and salt in the world. John Wooden said, “Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” We can do all things because the Spirit works in us according to God’s good will. 

We mourn today because of the depressed state of society and we yearn for the return of our Lord so that His will can be done on earth. In Matthew 9:15, Jesus said, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.” 

Fasting is drawing us closer to God. It is about realigning us with heavenly priorities and reminding us of our dependency on our Father in heaven. Fasting makes us think of the hope that we have. It encourages us to exercise grace to others, being mindful of the amazing grace we have received. Matthew 6:16-18 in The Message says, “When you practice some appetite-denying discipline to better concentrate on God, don’t make a production out of it… God doesn’t require attention-getting devices. He won’t overlook what you are doing; he’ll reward you well.” 

Prayer
Thank you for making it possible to have an intimate relationship with you. Help us to use the disciplines that you have given to us and work to extend your kingdom here on earth.
Amen

* If you have not fasted before, or for a while, consider speaking to your local church leader about fasting. Also, refer to your Doctor if you have health issues or concerns.

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davidgibbsAbout the Author:
David Gibbs in an Elder and on the Pastoral Council in the Birmingham Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Birmingham
All Saints Church
George Road
BIRMINGHAM
B23 7QB

Meeting time:
Saturday 1:00pm

Local Congregational Contact:
David Gibbs
Phone: 01213420609 (answer phone)
Mobile: 07974440580
Email: david_gibbs@wcg.org.uk

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