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All Day Prayer and Fasting Guide | 9-11-22

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On Sunday, July 31, the elders called Mercyview's gospel communities together for a time of vision-casting and prayer to seek the Lord for both direction and provision for a permanent location for us as a church. We want to continue to invite you to join us in unity around this effort. To that end, we are taking one day a month for the foreseeable future to fast and pray with this intention. We will break our fast with our monthly potluck in the fellowship hall at Memorial following our evening worship gathering. 

What is fasting? 

Fasting traditionally involves abstaining from food for a set period of time. There are various reasons to fast but the overarching goal in fasting is to seek spiritual nourishment and an increased focus on God’s work in and around us. The physical hunger we experience while fasting reminds us of our spiritual need for Christ and drives us to seek him as our sustenance and strength. The time we would normally use to prepare and enjoy a meal is typically spent in prayer and study of the Bible. One way to share this experience is to gather together with your D-group, gospel community, or other groupings throughout the city to pray and read the Bible together. Some people will choose to fast one meal, others the 24 hour period, others a variation of this. You are certainly free in this. If you are new to fasting, you can find some valuable information in the two articles provided here: 

  • Fasting for Beginners
  • Sharpen Your Affections with Fasting

Prayer Guide 

Please find below a suggested guide to direct you during your times of prayer. You will notice an intentional progression: up, in, out, and up again. Looking up to our Father, looking into our own hearts, looking out to a specific posture of prayer, and then looking back up again at our Father. 

We turn our eyes to You, Father… 

Consider the nature of God’s strength and power. In Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian church, he prays that they may “know the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe according to the mighty working of His strength.” In Ephesians 1:19 Paul uses three different words in the original

language to describe God’s great power! Father, help us understand the truth of these verses and begin to walk in them. Increase our faith and experience of this power. 

This is the same power that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” Ephesians 1:20-21 

We turn our eyes to our own hearts… 

Father, we confess our weakness before You. We can do nothing apart from you. Nothing. “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 Protect us from our own hearts that want to attempt to make our own way, walk in in our own sufficiency and glory in our own strength. May we with Paul move closer to the realization of Your strength and power according to 2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 

This month, we turn our eyes outward in prayer for a permanent location… 

Jesus is our King–His mission is our mission. That means that proclaiming the gospel, making disciples, and planting churches, serving our community as the “hands and feet of Jesus” are the goals we are focused on and strive toward as a church. The priority of the Great Commission affects every choice we make. And this includes where we gather. Or to say it another way, any potential meeting place needs to be vetted by how it will impact our ability to reach people with the gospel, make disciples, plant churches, and serve the city and beyond. 

We want to pray/fast for direction b/c at this time, we don't claim to know the Lord's specific location plan for Mercyview. So we want to petition God to give us spiritual eyes to see what his will is for us as it relates to a place to meet. That could be a new space or it could include staying where we are. 

We also want to pray/fast for provision because if he makes it clear that a new and/or permanent location is his desire for us, we will need his grace in giving us the resources to do so. We are comforted by the fact that the Holy Spirit speaks in one voice and is not out to confuse any of us. We believe there is power in prayer and a church that is praying together moves the heart of God in a mysterious way. We want to see where the Lord is at work and join him in that work. 

To have our own space is not our ultimate vision. But we do believe that our vision to help people everywhere follow Christ and live on mission will be more effectively launched from a welcoming facility that is accessible for ministry and outreach seven days a week. As we look to the future, God has made it clear to us that a permanent facility will be one of the necessary components in reaching this vision. Join us in praying to these ends!

We turn our eyes back to You, rejoicing in Your strength and power… 

We rejoice. We rejoice with the Psalmist in acknowledging You, Lord are, “my strength and my shield; in You my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to You.” Psalm 28:7 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 “Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!” Psalm 96:7