January 6, 2020
“So we fasted and pleaded with our God about this, and he was receptive to our prayer.” – Ezra 8:23
Fast Dates: Monday, January 13th through Friday, January 17th
Times: 6am to 6pm daily. If you aren’t able to do a 12-hour fast, please fast a meal (i.e. breakfast, lunch, dinner). Note: we will be starting at 6am on Monday
What is a Fast?
Fasting is a way to demonstrate to God, and to ourselves, that we are serious about our relationship with Him. Fasting helps us gain a new perspective and a renewed reliance upon God. The book of Acts records believers fasting before they made important decisions (Acts 13:2; 14:23) and fasting and prayer are often linked together in scriptures (Luke 2:37 and 5:33). By taking our eyes off the things of this world, we can more successfully turn our attention to Christ. Fasting is not a way to get God to do what we want – fasting doesn’t change God’s heart, it changes ours.
WHAT IS SOLEMN ASSEMBLY?
The Solemn Assembly fast dates back to ancient biblical times as a practice that the Bible gives as a necessary remedy to avoid spiritual dullness. Throughout the history of the church, the elders and leaders would call for and participate in dedicated time for fasting and prayer. We are given a great example of this practice by seeing what the Prophet Joel advised Israel to do during a time of spiritual disconnection (Joel 1). For the last several years, Epiphany Church has consistently dedicated the first full week of the year as a time of fasting, prayer and connection with the Lord.
What am I Fasting from?
We will fast primarily from food and all media (TV, non-work related internet browsing, all social media, etc.)
During the times we would normally spend eating and browsing social media we are asking that you replace that time with prayer and Bible reading. Even though you are able to eat at 6pm, you are encouraged to keep social media, TV, and non-work-related internet browsing off.
Monday: 6am prayer at the church
Tuesday: We will have a conference call prayer line beginning at 7pm, and all are encouraged to jump on – dial in: (319) 527-9118, code: 486060
Wednesday: Meet with small group for prayer and breaking bread
Thursday: Meet with DNA partners or small clusters around the city for prayer
Friday: Meet at the church at 7pm for prayer and testimony service (we will be serving dinner to break the fast at 6pm)
Prayer Agenda for the Week
Monday: Prayer for personal alignment with God’s will in 2020
- Pray for wisdom in decision making (Proverbs 2:6)
- Pray for personal direction for your life
- Pray for Jesus to be central in your life (Col 1:16-17)
Tuesday: Prayer for our borough, Brooklyn (Jer. 29:7)
- Spiritual climate – Pray that people would meet Jesus and grow in knowledge of Him
- Pray for our local schools, teachers, principals and social workers
- Pray for local business and city renewal
- Pray for the 2020 upcoming election
Wednesday: Prayer for Epiphany Church
- Pray that our church would have a deeper knowledge of God (Eph. 1:17)
- Pray for our pastors, that God would use them as they lead the church and preach the gospel (Eph. 6:19-20)
- Pray for the spiritual and natural growth of our church (Acts 2:41)
- Pray for God’s favor as we search for a larger facility
- Pray for deeper community and discipleship among believers in the church (Acts 2:42-47)
Thursday: Prayer for the Church of Jesus Christ
- Pray for our brothers and sisters who are suffering under persecution in other parts of the world.
- Pray for the universal body of Christ to grow through people meeting Jesus Christ (Rom 10:1)
- Pray for your friends and family members that don’t know Jesus
- Pray for believers to be unified around racial issues in our country
Friday: Pray for a greater hunger for God
The fast is over at 6pm on Friday. We are encouraging you to break bread at the church and stay for a prayer and testimony service
To aid in hearing from the Lord during this week, we are attaching some scriptures for you to read through slowly and prayerfully. Think about every word that you read. As you read, ask God “what do you want me to do with this?” These verses are suggestions – they are meant as an aid if you don’t know where to start reading in the Bible or a supplement to your current devotional reading.
Monday: Psalms 5:1-12
Tuesday: Acts 4:1-37
Wednesday: Isaiah 53:3-6
Thursday: Revelation 3:14-22
Friday: Psalms 91:1-16