Lent: Call to Prayer and Fasting

The Need

Since its inception, the desire for Emmaus was to be a church filled with heartfelt worship, deep community, and an effective ministry to the lost with the good news of God’s Kingdom. God has blessed many aspects of those desires, but the Emmaus path over the last 6 years has not been an easy one, with many unexpected twists and turns along the way. We are facing one of those unexpected turns at this very moment with pastor Fowler’s decision to return to Oregon in April. As the Fowlers say their goodbyes and look ahead to the next part of their journey, Emmaus must once again turn our hearts to the Lord and ask, “What is next, Lord?”

Our Response

We need God’s direction, and we fully believe that God speaks to us, His church, and He does so at both a personal and corporate level. We further believe that the Lord expects us to come to him with humility and with an earnest expectation to hear His voice. To that end, the Emmaus elders believe that a call to prayer and fasting is part of the Lord’s desired response from us.

To further our times of corporate prayer we placed Song and Prayer nights on the church calendar over the next 6 months, in addition to the ongoing weekly Tuesday morning prayer sessions. We now want to outline our plan for corporate fasting.

Although there are many wonderful benefits that individuals may receive by fasting for personal reasons (see https://practicingtheway.org/practices/fasting), the scriptural basis and precedent for corporate fasting seems to be the following:

To see God’s will for his people established - In Acts 12:25 - 13:3, the early church was in a time of corporate fasting when the Lord gave them specific instructions on the next step to take to further their call to missions/church planting. In Acts 14:23, after appointing elders in each new church planted, they fasted to commit the young leaders to God, knowing that only the Spirit could protect and strengthen them to fulfill the Great Commission.

Spiritual Warfare - For God’s protection and deliverance concerning his people; to break through the enemy’s defenses and power to achieve victory in battle. In Esther 4:3, 16 and II Chron. 20 (see vs. 2-4 especially), we see God’s people called to fast in order the thwart the plans of their enemies.

Repentance - Humble repentance and a declaration of absolute dependence on God is a common thread that runs through fasting in the Bible, both individual and corporate (Lev. 16:29, 31; Neh. 9:1-2, Joel 2:12).

It is our conviction that God’s plan for further establishing and growing His work through Emmaus warrants this call to voluntary corporate fasting. The fasting is an expression of our desire to see God’s will in this matter established, to break through any demonic defenses or power against it, and to declare our absolute dependence on God to accomplish it.

The Plan

The Emmaus family is hereby called to a season of regular voluntary fasting for the purposes explained above. The designated fast is every Tuesday for the next 6 weeks (March 12 - April 16. Wednesday is an alternative day if necessary.)

Each individual should seek God’s direction for the type of fast (e.g. water-only, juice or broth-only, other) to which they will commit. You should also remain flexible to the Lord’s guidance as to the possible lengths of your weekly fasts (e.g. 24 hour, 1 meal, 2 meal, other). **

The most important point is that any fast is done unto the Lord for his purposes to be accomplished in us. So let us seek Him together in prayer and fasting,

“Come Holy Spirit and fulfill in us the Father’s desire.”

** The information provided here reflects only the limited opinions, experience, and suggestions of Emmaus and is not meant to substitute the advice provided by your doctor or other healthcare professional. Please factor any medical limitations into your fasting decisions