First Tuesday Fast
First Tuesday Fast @ Mercyview
June 2019: Resting: He is Our Refuge.
We invite you to join us in fasting and praying for ourselves, our church, our city and beyond on the first Tuesday of every month. If that doesn’t fit your schedule, please be creative in how you can use it. It’s our invitation to you to partner with us as we pray for holiness, reliance on Christ, and a passion for mission!
What is Fasting?
In the following excerpt Donald Whitney encourages us regarding the focus of our fasting, “Fasting can be an expression of finding your greatest pleasure and enjoyment in life from God. That’s the case when disciplining yourself to fast means that you love God more than food, that seeking Him is more important to you than eating. This honors God and is a means of worshiping Him as God. It means that your stomach isn’t your god as it is with some (see Philippians 3:19). Instead it is God’s servant, and fasting proves it because you’re willing to sublimate its desires to those of the Spirit.” The article can be found here, Why Do Christians Fast?
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 our Father. Our theme for the June 2019 First Tuesday Fast is: Resting: He is Our Refuge.
We turn our eyes to You. Lord, thank you that you have given us your righteousness and become a rock of refuge for us. You are our strong fortress. Help us understand what it means for you to lead us and guide us.
“In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me! Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me! For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name's sake you lead me and guide me; you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge.” Psalm 31:1-4
We turn our eyes to our own hearts. Lord, help us rejoice and be glad even in the midst of our difficulties. Turn our hearts to your gracious hand and see that you have set our feet on a secure foundation. Our times are in your hands.
“I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place.” Psalm 31: 7-8
“But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, "You are my God." My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors! Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love!” Psalm 31:14-16
This month we turn our eyes outward to one of MV’s Mercy and Justice Pipelines: Stand in Gap
The Bible highlights God as a father for the fatherless. We want our mission to be formed in light of the character of God. Therefore, we must seek to serve those for whom he cares deeply. Stand in the Gap ministries seeks to partner volunteers from local churches with youth and young adults in the foster care system in mentoring relationships. Mercyview has partnered with Stand in the Gap to connect our people with youth or young in the foster care system. Mentors are encouraged to pray for, teach life skills, share Christ and support those being mentored. Through our partnership with Stand in the Gap, we have the opportunity to minister and love people in great need! Finally, we must remember that we were all spiritual orphans, but God being a kind father made us his own.
Ways to pray together:
- that these young adults would experience a sense of belonging in the developing relationships and times of meaningful conversations
- That these young adults would be protected from the dangers they face and that their needs would be met
- for God to guide and strengthen all those involved in the life of a child in the foster care system
- that others would hear and respond to the invitation of the Lord to be involved in the life of the fatherless.
Consider our body at Mercyview. Many struggle with depression. Approach the throne of grace on their behalf.
- Asking for strength to go about routine daily activities
- Asking for increased reliance and memorization of scripture along with the knowledge to know which scripture is particularly helpful
- Praying against the lie of stigma and shame (and for friends/family/community to speak against that and create safe space)
- Pray for wisdom to distinguish between the outward emotion of happiness and the abiding joy of Christ
We turn our eyes back to You. You have made provision for us through the means of prayer. Give us eyes to see the abundance of your goodness and kindness to us. Let us encourage one another and say, “ love the Lord all you His saints.” May we take courage together as we wait on him.
“Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!” Psalm 31:19
“Blessed be the LORD, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city. I had said in my alarm, "I am cut off from your sight." But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help. Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!” Psalm 31:21-24