During the week of October 2-8, the elders of Del Ray Baptist Church are inviting the congregation to a time of prayer and fasting.
This is not a command from the elders or from God. Rather, this is a strong encouragement to join us in a time of seeking the Lord.
There are many Scriptural examples for the following of this kind of focused spiritual discipline. In the Old Testament, God’s people fasted as a means of confessing and repenting of sin (Daniel 9:3-5), of mourning over their sin (Joel 2:15-16), as a way to seek protection and direction from the Lord (Ezra 8:21), and as a time to mourn over events in their land (2 Samuel 1:12).
In the New Testament, we see the church fasting as they were selecting elders and sending missionaries (Acts 13:2-3), as a normal act of devotion (Matthew 6:16-18), and as an act of worship while they await Jesus’ return (Matt 9:15).
The elders are not calling this time of prayer and fasting because of any issue such as a building campaign or the hiring of a new staff member. There is a much deeper and more important reason—we need God.
God has called His people to seek His face (Psalm 27:8) and has given the promise of His presence for those who do (Jeremiah 29:13). Jesus assures us that when we fast and pray, the Father who sees in secret will reward us (Matthew 6:6, 6:18). And the great reward we long for is to know Him and love Him more.
To this end we are asking you to join us in a week of prayer and fasting.
We are asking people to set aside an hour each day during this week to pray. These times of prayer can be individual or with other brothers and sisters in Christ. To aid you in your times of prayer, we have supplied a daily prayer guide that includes Scripture and related prayer focuses. Do not feel restricted to this prayer guide, but use it as much as it is helpful to you.
If you have specific areas of prayer you would like the elders to be lifting before the Lord, do not hesitate to email Garrett directly, and we will pray for you.
Fasting will look different for each of us during the week. Most will fast from food in some form or fashion. You may choose to fast from all the meals during the week, one meal a day, or a single meal. This is between you and the Lord.
If any of you have medical concerns, then please feel free to fast from something other than food, or please check with your doctor before making changes to your diet.
You may also choose to fast from things such as TV, sports, Social Media, or whatever else might normally consume your time.
The purpose of fasting is to deny yourself of something so that you can give focused attention to seeking the Lord in prayer and Scripture reading. Use the time you would normally be preparing or eating food to be praying / feasting on God’s Word.
As you get hungry, you can pray something like, “God, as my body hungers for food, make my soul hunger for You”, or “God, as I feel my need for food, make me more aware of my need for You.”
Instructions About Prayer and Fasting
On Wednesday, October 5, the 7PM Bible study time will be focused on a study about prayer and fasting. Garrett will lead this time and all are welcome.
Below are a few articles and sermons that will help you to learn more about prayer and fasting in particular.
Please know the elders are available to discuss any questions you have about this call, and even more, to discuss ways God has worked in your life or the life of our church during this time of deliberately seeking His face.
May God give us grace to love Him more.
» Introduction to Fasting – By John Piper
» What is Fasting – Mars Hill Church
» Here’s a short (5 minute) message on the heart behind fasting. – By John Piper.