If you have not heard by now, our church family will be participating in a 30 Day Season of Prayer and Fasting with 11 churches from 6 different countries beginning on Sunday, January 29th. I wholeheartedly believe this is going to be a game changing season for our church family. As we prepare for this season together -- here are 7 things you need to know as we prepare to draw near to God together.
# 1 — What Are We Actually Doing?
Together we will spend 30 Days in Prayer and Fasting for our church, city, and the world. This 30 day initiative will impact our Sunday Worship Gatherings and our personal daily rhythms. Beginning on Sunday, Jan 29th -- our church family will gather each week in one location for an extended time of prayer, worship, & communion with God. During the week, we are asking each person in our church to set aside time each day for prayer regarding our prayer focus for that day.
# 2 — Why Are We Doing This?
There are many reasons we could do this, but there is one primary reason for why we are seeking God like this at the beginning of 2017. I believe that when a community is walking in true intimacy with God -- that community will be bless the world in unimaginable ways. I'm convinced our greatest contribution to the city of Nashville and beyond is ultimately connected to how closely we are walking with God. If you would like to discover more behind "the why" I would encourage you to listen to an excerpt from our audiobook below:
# 3 — When Are We Doing This?
So when will our season of Prayer and Fasting officially begin & officially end?
- Our Sundays Together (Jan 29, Feb 5, Feb 12, Feb 19th)
- Our 30 Days of Prayer & Fasting (Sunday, Jan 29 - Monday, Feb 27)
# 4 — Are There Different Ways to Participate in this Season of Prayer and Fasting?
There are different ways you can participate with our church family during this season of prayer and fasting. For a variety of reasons, I believe the Lord will invite each of us to participate in this time in a way that is unique to our journey with Him. The goal of this season together is not spiritual uniformity -- it is spiritual unity. In other words, I believe God is inviting each of us to take "our next step" and not "someone else's next step." If you would like to learn more about 4 different ways that people will be fasting during this time -- then I would encourage to take a few minutes to listen to a short excerpt from our audiobook below:
# 5 — What if I have never fasted before?
If you haven't had a chance to listen to our conversation on fasting, I would encourage you to do so. It will only take about 45 minutes, and it will give you a great framework for getting started. If you would prefer to read it, you can do that here. We have also had a number of people from within our church family share their different experiences with prayer and fasting to help you get started. We will add to those resources each week here.
Ultimately, I want to encourage you to focus less on where you are starting, and more on where God is inviting you to take a step. If you have never fasted before -- I would encourage you to take the next appropriate step for you. Maybe you begin by fasting from one meal a day, or fasting for a set number of hours. Maybe God will invite you to do a soul fast, or a full fast but only on certain days of the week. No matter where you are starting, my prayer is that you will be committed to stepping.
# 6 — What is My Next Step?
I would encourage you to commit to doing these 3 things before January 29th:
- Seek God's Guidance : Spend some time asking God how He would like for you to commit yourself to Him more fully in this season. I would encourage you to take a few days to pray, listen, and journal regarding what God has in store for you during our time together.
- Make a Plan : Once you have spent time listening to God, I would encourage you to make your plan. Whatever God is calling you to do -- make your plan to follow through. You can learn more about how to do that here.
- Prepare Yourself : Once you have heard from God and made your plan, I would encourage you to begin preparing yourself. You would never run a marathon without preparing. In the same way, you will not experience the same amount of growth in God if you don't first prepare for the journey we are preparing to take. You can learn more about how to do that here.
# 7 — Starting Strong on January 29th!
Our season of Prayer and Fasting will kick off on Sunday, January 29th at the Ryman Auditorium at 6pm. Below are a few ways we can ensure that we will get started well together.
- Get There Early : Doors will open at 5pm and the room will be set for anyone who wants to come and pray or be prayed over. Please plan to come early to soak our evening in prayer. We will get started right at 6pm, so make sure you plan accordingly as it will take a few minutes to park and get inside.
- Bring Your Bible & Something to Write With : We are going to spend a considerable time each week in prayer together. It will be important that you have something to write with and a Bible to read through as this will involve our entire church's participation.
- Invite Your Friends : I can't imagine a better way to invite your friends into the presence of God. If you have not started inviting your friends -- now is a good time.
- Come Expectant : I'm convinced that we often dishonor the Lord when we come into His presence with low expectations. I want to encourage you to come expectant for all that God will do among us in the month ahead.
Ethos Church — I couldn't be more excited for the days ahead. I believe deep within my spirit that God is going to do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine in our time together. I'm firmly convinced that what God has in store might be different than what we are anticipating, but I know it will be better than anything we could hope for. Thank you for taking this journey with us. I love you, and I look forward to being with you on Sunday.