Day of Prayer & Fasting (April 1, 2020)
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Over the next many weeks we are going to set aside Wednesdays as a day of prayer and fasting (for those who are able), in order to help us praise God for who He is, to confess our sins before Him, to express our gratitude for all He has given us, and to help us cry out to Him in our time of need. There are many ways you can spend time in prayer. The A.C.T.S. acronym is one simple and specific way we can pray to God. It goes like this:
- Adoration—praising God for who He is.
- Confession—confessing our sins to God.
- Thanksgiving—thanking God for specific things He has provided.
- Supplication—asking God for specific things.
When I spend extended seasons of time in prayer, I often use this acronym over and over, repeating it multiple times throughout the day. Our pastors and some women in our church have created a list of prayers under each category. You may find these helpful as you move through your day of prayer.
Remember, prayer is nothing more than communicating with God. It’s not complicated. It’s a means of grace that He has given His people for all time.
Why do we fast? We fast in order to experience and express our humble dependence upon God. Fasting is a spiritual discipline practiced by God’s people for thousands of years that helps us repent, lament, grieve, and seek His face for guidance. We often fast in seasons of profound pain (internal or external), confusion, and severe providences. Fasting is denying ourselves of a normal and ordinary provision or pleasure, like food, for a season in order to intensify our dependence on and desire for the Lord. Though the idea is simple, fasting can be very hard. If fasting is new for you, start small by skipping one meal, and then progress as the Holy Spirit leads you. Fasting from food is not the only way we can fast. For some of us, fasting from food is not a good idea for personal health reasons. If we are unable to fast from food, we might consider fasting from something else, like television, social media, music, or some other aspect of our daily lives. When we experience hunger or withdrawal during our fast, we remind ourselves again to fix our eyes on the Lord and to delight in His faithful presence and provision. Let’s ask the Lord to overwhelm us with His grace as we seek His face through prayer and fasting. He will give us everything we need to bring Him glory and to know His joy.
For some helpful insight on fasting, check out DesiringGod.org.
One final encouragement: Let’s pray the Word of God. I love this practice because it focuses and grounds my prayers in God’s Word. The Psalms, a story from the Gospels, or the Lord’s Prayer can be a wonderful anchor as we spend the day in continual prayer.
We will update this page each week with new prayers. To God be the glory! We are His!
By His grace,
Father, we call to mind this truth that gives our hearts hope, that Your mercies are new every morning and Your steadfast love endures forever.
We praise You that Your faithfulness is everlasting, that Your knowledge, power, and might know no limits. Father, You cannot be bound by human understanding.
Lord Jesus, we praise You for Your perfect sacrifice. Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!
Holy Spirit, we praise You for taking everything that Jesus did for us and making it real in our lives.
We praise, for You are sovereign over all that You have created for Your glory. As we feel our lack of control, we rejoice that You hold us in Your hand.
Father, we worship You, for You are good, and Your steadfast love endures forever.
As our lives and circumstances change every day, we praise You for being the same yesterday, today, and forever. You are the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega. You are the giver of life, and You will establish our steps.
Father, in You is a peace that passes all understanding as we rest in Your truth and trust in Your perfection. We rejoice in Your Word, we praise You for Your unsearchable depths, we rest in Your steadfast love that endures forever.
Father, we have not loved you with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Father, we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We confess that we have placed our security in insecure things.
Father, we have been slow to listen and quick to anger.
Father, we have considered our own needs more important than the needs of others.
We have filled our lives with things that leave us anxious and unsatisfied.
We have devoted ourselves to consuming social media and news more than feeding on the truth of Your Word.
Father, we have fixed our eyes on the temporal provisions of our jobs, finances, and family—when our eyes should have been fixed on Your, our true provider.
Father, we say that we trust You to provide, but we have not been content with Your provision.
Father, our desire for comfort has led us to build our own kingdom and not Yours.
We confess that we have hoarded for ourselves what we should have given to others.
Father, in our fear, we have trusted in ourselves and turned away from the rest and peace that You offer.
Father, as we remember and confess our sins, we bring them to the foot of the cross. Remind us, Lord Jesus, what You have done to pay the penalty for our sins. In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!
Father, thank You that You are Jehovah Jireh. Thank You for a season where You are reminding us that just as You provided manna each day for Your people, You provide what we need each day.
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your church. Thank You for uniting us together as Your people.
You are our provider, and we are overwhelmed with thankfulness at the provision of Your presence. Thank You that You are God with us. Thank You that You do not leave us or forsake us.
Lord Jesus, we thank You that You are our King. You are leading us, and we are Yours.
Father, we are so grateful for all that You can see that we cannot. Thank You for our limits, for they remind us of Your infinite wisdom and almighty power.
Lord, thank You that in all of this uncertainty, You are certain. In all of this chaos, You establish order. In all of this sickness, You are Jehovah Rapha.
Father, thank You that You have hemmed us in behind and before.
Thank You, Lord, that You are good and that Your steadfast love endures forever.
Father, thank You that death is swallowed up in victory. Thank You that we can rest in the finished work of Christ and look forward to the glory of the new heaven and the new earth.
Lord, help us to receive this profound interruption as an invitation from your sovereign, loving hands. We long to draw near, to see what You are doing, and to join You in Your work.
Father, in this season of solitude that You have given us, may we not be overwhelmed by news, media, and information. Overwhelm us with Your presence! May we not be fearful to be still. Lord, meet with us in that stillness.
May this moment not be wasted in our lives and in Your church. As You interrupt, accomplish Your redemptive purposes.
Lord, teach us new rhythms of abiding with Your Spirit.
Holy Spirit, lead us in loving and serving our neighbors.
Father, would You use this time to reorient our hearts to desire what You desire.
Father, would we not waste the time of stillness that You have given us. Use it to make us more like Jesus.
Lord, help us to recognize our lack of control and our limits. Bring us to the end of ourselves and strengthen our faith in You.
Father, in this strange season, teach us to rejoice always, to pray continually, and to give thanks in all circumstances.
Father, pry our hands open. Help us to release the idols that we have been holding, and remind us that You are holding us fast.
You are Jehovah Rapha and we ask that You bring Your powerful healing to those fighting this virus. Lord, heal the sick, and comfort those who are mourning. Give Your wisdom to leaders around the world. And give Your peace to our families and neighbors. Father, You are working in ways that we cannot even fathom. Help us to trust You.
Empower us to live like those who know that nothing can separate us from Your love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord.
By Your almighty power, stop the spread of this virus. And by Your amazing grace, spread the knowledge of Your glory around the world.