First Monday Fast and Pray 7:15pm WB Community Center
This Sunday we are going to bring a new quarterly tradition to Wells Branch Community Church. It is called First Monday Fast and Pray. We believe the scriptures teach a regular discipline of fasting. In Matthew 5:16-18 Jesus said, “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
“And when you fast” is a call to a regular discipline of fasting. This isn’t a legalistic “have to”, but an opportunity for the community of faith to infuse fasting into their prayer life. The following verses speaking of not looking gloomy so that people feel sorry for you is to give us a proper understanding of why we fast. We don’t fast in order that people will feel sorry for us, but to awaken in us a spiritual hunger for the Lord. Our prayers are powerful, but do you ever feel a lack of urgency in your prayer. Hunger pains are a great reminder of our soul’s need for spiritual food, just as our bodies need regular food.
The sermon for Sunday is titled, “Help my unbelief.” In this message we will be learning about a particular demon that had overcome a small boy. His father was at wit’s end. The man wondered if Jesus could do anything about it. Jesus told him that all things are possible for him who believes. The man’s confession was incredible. In a burst of anxiety and frustration he said, “I believe, help my unbelief!”
Jesus healed his son after that statement. He later told his disciples that only through prayer and fasting (earlier manuscripts don’t have fasting) could this demon be driven out. There are some things in our life that need to be driven out: Sexual immorality, lust, evil desire, idolatry, drunkenness, anger, malice, slander, and obscene talk from our mouths. We have tried to simply not do things and perhaps some of us feel trapped like we will never be free from our past habits, hurts, and hang-ups.
So this Sunday night starting around 8:15pm we are going to fast from food. We will eat again Monday evening at 8:15pm immediately following First Monday Prayer. On Monday, when we feel hunger we will go to the Lord and pray for help in believing He can drive out the stuff in our lives, repent and confess sin to Him, and ask Him to fill us with a renewed sense of His presence.
Monday night at 7:15pm we will finish the final hour of the fast together. We will sing songs of worship and pray together following the Lord’s prayer from Matthew 6.
The immediate question I hear is, “Do I have to fast from food?” Answer to that is: No. Fast from whatever you want: Facebook, Twitter, Electronics, Call of Duty, Pinterest, etc. In our American context, it may be difficult to fast from food or you may be pregnant or have some other exclusion. You make the call. If you can fast from food, fast from food. Don’t disfigure your face about it and put on a show and tell everyone how hard it is, once you do that, you get your reward of people feeling sorry for you.
This is a time to develop your intimacy with your Heavenly Father and ask Him to push back the darkness in your life. This will be a powerful time that I expect will be accompanied by a real sense of God’s presence and the beginning of freedom for many. If you want us to pray actively for your freedom during that Monday, email your prayer requests to Shawn and Emily Spiars at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, we will break the fast together. Consider this the First Monday Fast and Pray potluck. Bring a dish of whatever you want to share. We will be in the Wells Branch Community Center where they have a full kitchen. We are so excited about sharing this intimate experience with the Lord with all of you. If preparing food stresses you out, then relax, no need to bring anything. Just show up and enjoy.
March 4/7:15pm/Wells Branch Community Center, 2106 Klattenhoff Dr.
I love you all!