For the past several months our attention has been focused on the implications of a global pandemic. Our concerns ranged from the health of loved ones to the economy to how to do church. We have sheltered in place; eaten more meals at home; and done less shopping.
As churches began to provide worship experiences in some online format, we prayed for the day when we could reassemble. We have prayed for an end to the virus. We have prayed for those who lost jobs. We have prayed for healing for those who contracted this awful disease.
Then just as churches were talking of ways to safely hold public services, communities erupted in riots over the death of a man at the hands of a police officer. It seems that our nation is more fractured than ever before. At first, we were fractured because of the controversies surrounding COVID-19, and then the fracture was exacerbated by racial tensions.
Once again, we face the danger of allowing the world to dictate the agenda of the Church. The FIRST FRIDAY FAST is a call to prayer to keep us focused on God’s agenda. God’s agenda includes these six key foci:
- 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).
Perhaps it is the sixth in this list that gets our attention today because of the racial tensions that have erupted in recent weeks. Justice and mercy are a part of God’s agenda. The Church is to take the lead in demonstrating justice and mercy toward all.
The July FIRST FRIDAY FAST occurs the day after the 244th birthday of this nation. Our country desperately needs the prayers of the church. If we are to continue as a free nation, there is a need for a spiritual awakening.
Could you – would you – set aside one day to fast and pray for our nation? Pray that God would use the Missionary Church as a witness in the world. The future of the nation is far more dependent on the prayers of God’s people than on the next election. We have seen more prayer over the past three months due to the coronavirus, followed by the riots and demonstrations. The national crisis began before COVID-19 and before the riots. We are a nation in desperate need of spiritual awakening.
For more on the Missionary Church call to prayer that includes the First Friday Fast, go to First Friday Fast.