Just as I have mentioned during the past few sermons, I would like to start the new beginning of our church with prayers. First is the 97 days of relay fasting and prayer by the whole congregation, and second is the recruitment of 333 prayer members and service prayer members. The sign up for the relay fasting and prayer starts today and ends next Sunday. Place your name on the dates you would like to participate on the fasting schedule posted on the right side of the bulletin boxes. A maximum of 10 members can participate in one particular day, which means there are 970 lines available for sign-up. However, because I have filled out every Tuesday for the ‘Living Life Bible Study’ already, 956 people can participate.
Since I would like for every member of our church to participate, for today and next Sunday (9/9) one person can sign up for just one day. I am hoping that all 957 members including myself will be able to participate. However, if there are empty spots after the 2 weeks sign-up period is over, one more week will be given for those who would like to sign-up on multiple days to fill in the empty spots. Since Mokjang (house church meeting) is the most important function in our church, fasting on Fridays will be the most difficult. Therefore it would be appreciated if the deacons, Mokjas (Shepherds), and other leaders in this church could take the Fridays that require more discipline and sacrifice.
Fasting times are from 12:00 A.M. to the midnight of the next day, and I will post the 3 most important prayer requests at our church for the week. All 957 people will be praying together for these requests everyday, while 10 members will be fasting as well as praying. Imagine that the 10 people who are fasting are in the front of the prayer procession leading the rest of the 947 people like an advance party leading the Israelites in their processions. Also, I would like for those who pray in every official church meeting including worship to include the 3 prayer requests in their prayers. If any of you need to pray for yourselves, it would be a good idea to add your personal prayer request to the list.
I do not know for certain the reason for fasting when praying. However, in the Old Testament, examples can be found where the whole community comes together to fast and pray in order to overcome a crisis. Jesus also mentioned in Mark 9:29, that fasting is necessary for spiritual battles. Our church has been an exemplary model. However, we have not only parted with a great leader, but are in need of change for the better and not settle for simply being a model for others. I wanted us to fast because I feel this transition is the most vulnerable and critical time in our church and that the biggest spiritual battle relating to this matter will be lying ahead.
Many churches fail to anticipate such spiritual battles during this change in leadership and fall into troubles. However, I am hoping that we can advance a step forward through this crisis by arming ourselves spiritually with prayer.
– Pastor Sookwan Lee
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