At the heart of who we are as a denomination is a desire for the will of God to be accomplished in our individual lives and in the life of the Church. We frequently include in our prayers a request that God’s will be done in a given situation. This is one of the great values of the Missionary Church. When all is said and done, we truly prefer the will of God over any personal agenda or plan.
While God can do anything He wants, and He can alter circumstances, His primary concern is bringing our hearts into alignment with His. The phrase in the Lord’s prayer that says “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is more about the alignment of our hearts with His than it is about the alignment of nations or about the church leaders making the “right” decision regarding the next renovation project.
When Nehemiah fasted and prayed (Nehemiah 1:4), it was a time of confession. Nehemiah was simply seeking the heart and mind of the Lord. In Acts 10, Cornelius was fasting when an angel appeared to him and told him to send for Peter. The leaders of the church at Antioch were worshipping the Lord and fasting when the Holy Spirit told them to separate Saul and Barnabas for the work He had called them to. Then, after they fasted and prayed, they laid hands on them and sent them out (Acts 13:2-3).
Fasting is a time of concentrated focus on seeking the Lord and allowing the Lord to change us, call us, challenge us, and bless us. When we give up something, like food, it is a statement that we desire God more than we desire what we have set aside for this time. When the hunger pangs come, it is a reminder to seek the Lord.
The call to a First Friday Fast is part of a desire to see revival in the Church and in the nation. It is not about asking God to do something “out there” but rather a time of submission to Him so that He does something in us. Imagine what might happen if everyone in the Church was fully engaged in allowing the Holy Spirit to change what does not reflect a Kingdom presence in our lives.
The First Friday Fast was the cornerstone of the National Prayer Accord that launched the Great Awakening. Could there be an awakening in this generation?
We continue to pray around these six themes:
- That the Missionary Church would be white-hot for Jesus — that we would love Him more and more (Matthew 22:37).
- That the Missionary Church would remain committed to the Word and fully dependent on the leading and power of the Spirit of God (Proverbs 3:5-6; Psalm 143:10; Hebrews 4:12).
- That the Missionary Church would intentionally pursue holiness of heart and life (Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 1:15).
- That the heart of the Missionary Church would be continually broken for lost people (Matthew 23:37).
- That the Missionary Church would lead in our commitment to the multiplication of disciples among all people groups, foreign and domestic (2 Corinthians 9:10).
- That the Missionary Church would be leaders in ministry to the social needs of our nation (Proverbs 31:8-9; Isaiah 58:6-7).