USMB Day of Prayer and Fasting
To our entire USMB church family,
I’m inviting each of you to join me in a 24-hour period of prayer and fasting as we continue facing one of the most significant events in world history–certainly in our lifetimes–the trials of COVID-19. I’m asking that we, as an USMB family, collectively fast (and pray) from 6:00 pm Tuesday, April 21 to 6:00 pm Wednesday, April 22 (use your own time zone.)
As I understand the practice of fasting in the OT and NT, I see it as an opportunity to listen more intently to God, rather than a time of asking God for a lot of things. Although we might humbly ask God to heal our land, to protect our loved ones and to allow us to use the events of COVID-19 for enhanced evangelism and connection with people, I’d like to encourage us to use the time to truly listen to the Holy Spirit, to be in God’s Word and to spend time in worship and praise to the One who loves us and has given us life. It’s a time to humble ourselves before God and to be on our knees together. It’s a time to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal brokenness and our need for repentance. Collectively we can bring ourselves before God, asking how we might better serve Him as an MB family so that more might come to know Him.
One of the most telling passages in which fasting is mentioned is Matthew 6:16, where Jesus is teaching His disciples basic principles of godly living. When speaking on fasting, He begins with, “When you fast,” not “If you fast.” It should be something we do consistently. It can refresh our spiritual lives and help us to reconnect with Jesus if we’ve drifted a bit. With all the challenges that COVID-19 has brought into our lives and to our sense of “normalcy,” maybe this is just the right time for God to reveal something new to us. What might He be calling us to–individually, as a family, as His people?
I’ve always connected the pangs of hunger during a fast with “hungering after God.” As I feel physical hunger, I ask, “Lord, what do You want me to be hungry for that would please You?” and “I desire to be hungry for You, Jesus!” If fasting is not possible for you physically, perhaps you can join in by giving up something else for that time.
As part of this 24-hour period of fasting, Stephen Humber and Kelly Pankratz will lead a Zoom prayer hour at 12:00 pm central time on Wednesday, April 22, for anyone who wants to join. Here is the link to join the MB Family Zoom prayer time.
Once again, this time of prayer is not intended to require God to do something for us, but to worship, listen, praise and humble ourselves before our Creator. Will you join me?
P.S: please also invite those in your local church to join us!
USMB National Director