First Tuesday Fast / September 2021
September 2021: Our God Who is Just
Written by: Lauren Jones
We invite you to join us in fasting and praying for ourselves, our church, and our city on the first Tuesday of every month. We welcome you to partner with us as we pray for holiness, reliance on Christ, and a passion for mission!
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 in community is to gather together in small groups throughout the city to pray and read the Bible together. Some people will choose to fast one meal, others a 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. (https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/fasting-for-beginners) and Sharpen Your Affections with Fasting (https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/sharpen-your-affections-with-fasting).
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 sphere of mission, and then looking back up again at Christ. Our theme for the September 2021 First Tuesday Fast is: Our God Who is Just
We turn our eyes to You, Father, our just God
Your throne is built on righteousness and justice; loyal love and faithfulness stand in front of you. The people who know the celebratory shout are truly happy!
They walk in the light of your presence, LORD!
By the order and laws you established in our world, you maintain justice, O God. By knowing you and your ways we grow in understanding what is just. We can see what is not just in ways people are mistreated. Witnessing mistreatment there is something deep within us that testifies, that cries out, “this is not right!”. This cry originates from you, our creator. You have written this in the order of things and our soul knows it. Justice is one of the foundations of your rule. We thank you when acts of justice are carried out in service and love so that peace can be restored. In these acts we see the light of your presence!
We turn our eyes to our own hearts.
Isn’t this the fast I choose: releasing wicked restraints, untying the ropes of a yoke,
setting free the mistreated, and breaking every yoke?
It doesn't take long for us to possibly hang our heads in shame when considering justice and how our actions fall short of it’s goodness…how our actions can be the very cause of injustice we so protest. We carry restrains of sin and yokes of slavery in our hearts. It is at this point of humbleness that the life, death and resurrection of Christ is so stunning. There stood a cry of injustice against us in our mistreatment of God and our neighbor. Christ stepped in offering his life to pay the cost justice demands. He unties the yokes of sin in us. We pray that you, Spirit of God, would continue this work through your people of breaking yokes of injustice and wicked restraints in the lives of people around us. That they would know it is God who sets people free!
This month we turn our eyes outward toward churches MercyView partners with near Oklahoma and our partner H and Afghans
In the spring, on Church Planting Sunday, we were reminded one of the core hopes at MercyView is to participate in the cycle of healthy churches multiplying into healthy churches. It was highlighted how God establishes his kingdom on earth through healthy, multiplying churches. It was encouraging to hear stories of this throughout the world! We have an ongoing invitation to join our prayers together for three churches we partner with in our region:Redeemer Church in Stillwater, Oklahoma
Gospel Life Church in Jackson, Missouri
Rooted Church in Joplin Missouri
Some things their leaders ask for prayer:
-Desire for their churches to be marked by prayer and discipleship
-Leaders worn out and weary in the work.
-Hopes to see God’s kingdom come in their midst
-Asking for continued strength and faithfulness in their effort to persist through the trials of a young church in the COVID season
-Building relationships in their communities
We also want to pray this month for H, our partner who has been working in Afghanistan as well as the people of Afghanistan.
-Prayer for God’s ongoing shelter and care for H in the sudden leaving of her relationships, work and home in Afghanistan as well as thanking God for her protection.
-Prayer also for the people of Afghanistan: care and provision for displaced people to receive hospitality, for God to shelter and strengthen believers in the country and God to bind them together in unity. For God to pour out mercy widely.
We turn our eyes back to Christ
We take courage and hope in the promise of a day when Christ will reign in front of our waking eyes, with peace and justice as marks of his rule! A day coming when no man or government will be able remove the provision in his hand! His eyes will blaze with justice. And shouts of freedom will ring eternally from his people! Faithful and True are what he is called. So let all his people praise him!*
*Adapted from the song, Our God and Our King by NLC worship