God hears every prayer we utter to Him. When we add fasting to our spiritual practice of seeking God’s will to be done, we create an opportunity to get to know Jesus even more intimately.
Often, fasting is accompanied by carving out extra time to spend in God’s Word and to spend on our knees in prayer, seeking God’s will and submitting our own. When our stomachs grumble and our patience runs thin, we recognize more acutely our weaknesses and our great need for our Savior, King Jesus.
The leaders of The Austin Stone are encouraging all partners and attenders to participate in 40 days of Prayer and Fasting for the Nations. During this 40 day period, we will fast together from food for a 24-hour period each Monday evening through Tuesday evening, breaking fast at Tuesday dinner. This means we will complete six fasts together.
For 40 days, from January 7, 2019 until February 15, 2019, the entire Austin Stone Community Church body will pray together and beg God to send many from among our number to 100 unreached people groups who have not yet heard the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
During the time we are abstaining from food, we have selected Scripture for you to read and guided prayers for you to use to intentionally give this time to Jesus and to praying in alignment with the vision God has given us for seeing the gospel proclaim among all of the nations.
Our mission is enormous and can only be accomplished through a supernatural working of God. Fasting together and joining in regular prayer for God to send many from our church body to peoples yet unreached with the gospel message testifies that we understand the scope of what we’re asking. It also reminds us that we desperately need God to do it.
Fasting can be difficult. If you participate, you may feel uncomfortable and even irritable or angry as your body grumbles and groans for food to relieve its aching. But we can rest even when we’re experiencing temporary discomfort, because, despite the weakness of our physical bodies, we are rewarded with the greatest blessing. We are rewarded with more of God Himself. And as our bodies become weak, our faith is strengthened as we taste and see that the Lord is good.
You are not alone. We’re in this together. If you need encouragement along the way, reach out to your missional community. If aren’t yet part of a community, reach out to your campus leadership or any leader at The Austin Stone.
Christ is the hope of the world, and eternity is at stake for those who don’t yet know Him. As we abstain from food and intercede for the nations to receive the Good News, we can rest in the truth that God will do all His Word promises for our good and for His glory.
“Between the dangers of self-denial and self-indulgence, there is a path of pleasant pain. It is…the passion of a lover’s quest: ‘I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ.’” (Phil 3:8) – A Hunger for God, by John Piper (p10)