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6th October 2016
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ...” Philippians 3:8 ESV
The apostle Paul wrote these words towards the end of his ministry, when things were really tough for him. Over the years Paul had laid aside career, prestige, prospects and reputation – he'd been verbally and physically abused many times because he followed Jesus. But even after all this, which included some incredible experiences as well, his hunger for Jesus was unrelenting and undiminished. Nothing compared to knowing Christ!
Posted by Paul Mann
12th January 2013
During the January 2013 two Weeks of Prayer, we will be fasting on Wednesdays 16th and 23rd January. This blog post about fasting is taken from a more detailed explanation (see link below).
Praying together with fasting is a forgotten discipline in modern times.
People fasted throughout the whole Bible – we read about it in the Old Testament and the New. It carried on through church history and was practiced by many pioneers, such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley and Jonathan Edwards. Jesus expected that his followers would fast (see Matthew 6:16 and 9:14-15).
You may have many questions about fasting, such as 'how should I fast?', 'what should I fast from?', and 'for what purpose?'. Examples we find in the Bible can help us to answer these questions. For example, in terms of why we might fast:
As well as the many different reasons for fasting, there are also many different ways to fast, including a total fast where you drink only water, a liquid fast (drinks and soup), a fast from rich food (eating only vegetables), a fast from television or the internet or anything else that takes up your time and attention.
In the Bible, we read about fasts lasting from one day to 40 days. If you have never fasted before, it might be best to fast for just one meal to begin with, and then build up from there. (Obviously it is very important that you consult your doctor before undertaking any kind of fast if you have any medical conditions.)
To fast means to put God first. Fasting is an attitude of our hearts as we interrupt our normal life in order to pray and seek God for His will in our lives, to effectively move obstacles and burdens that we may encounter, and to simply tell God that He is the most important one in our lives. It is a discipline that quickly turns into a delight as God rewards our devotion with His presence.
Please join us in praying and fasting on Wednesdays 16th and 23rd January. The prayer meetings take place on those evenings at 7.30pm at The Hastings Centre.
(See the church calendar for details of all the prayer meetings during the two Weeks of Prayer, which run from 13th to 27th January.)
For the full version of this blog, click here: http://adrianpursglove.com/fasting-prayer/
Posted by Adrian Pursglove
12th October 2011
About two weeks before this Season of Prayer, Fasting & Giving, I was asked to talk to our youth about fasting. Great, so I've got to talk to a bunch of teenagers about giving up food, and if that's not daunting enough, I've never fasted in my life… Gulp!
But that week I did a fast and the talk, and here's a summary:
Fasting is a way of declaring that your hunger for God is far greater than any other, and that when we are in His presence, we feed from Him. Once we have consumed all our appetites can manage, we digest it all: spiritual gifts are extracted and absorbed into our bodies and His love is pumped straight to our hearts.
And the best thing about this is that every time we encounter God in this way, our appetites increase, so let's be greedy for God! Let's live off His Word and, in doing so, gain clarity in his plans and promises.
Reading: Matthew 4:1-4
Next Prayer Meeting: Tomorrow at 6.30am
Posted by Caner Mutu
8th October 2011
This Season of Prayer, Fasting & Giving isn't just about praying, fasting and giving, though obviously those three things are important. Of greater significance, however, is the opportunity this period of time gives us to encounter Jesus and be challenged and changed by Him.
One of the things God has been speaking to me personally about during this time is my foundations. Foundations are the things you build on. Whether it's a block of flats, a road or a life, the foundations you use will have a massive impact on the longevity and success of what is built. Over the last two weeks, God has been showing me the foundations I'm building on – causing me to consider if I am living in the good of all Christ has done for me.
Romans 6 talks about us being dead to sin, but alive to God. This isn't because we make ourselves dead, thinking, 'If I try really hard I may be able to die to sin.' Rather we have been joined to Christ, included in Him – what happened to Jesus, happened to me. Christ died, was buried and rose again – I've been included in His death, burial and resurrection.
Therefore, I have an obligation not to offer myself to my own ambitions, fears or sin, but to offer myself to God, following his plans, purposes and direction – building on His foundations – day-by-day.
Let me encourage you to seek God – give Him the time, space and opportunity to speak to you!
Reading: Romans 6
Next prayer meeting: Tomorrow at 7am and 6.30pm
Posted by Paul Mann