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prayer and fasting

God does an amazing work for our hearts and our souls when we fast and pray. When we pray, our intimacy with God is deepened and our faith and assurance of His provisions of grace are strengthened. When we fast, God liberates our hearts from the lesser affections and grows our satisfactions in the incorruptible affections that only He can satisfy.

That is why we focus on prayer and fasting every March at The Bridge. On March 7th in your house church, you will come together to kick of this pursuit. Our encouragement is for each person that is part of The Bridge to focus on three things: 1) A shared focus for all in The Bridge, 2) A shared focus for your house church that you will decide together, and 3) A personal focus that you identify yourself.

We are encouraging all who feel compelled to participate to at least observe their fast on Tuesdays so that we can share this posture together. Below you will see a reading plan and devotional/prayer focus that can aid you in your times of fellowship and devotion with God throughout the week leading into us kicking off our fast.

Your house church leaders will lead you through the specifics of how you will approach this together.

Join us Tuesday at 1:30pm to pray together

Zoom Meeting ID: 707 713 412 (pw the bridge) 

Link HERE

Week 4: Jesus is God

Read: John 1:1-18; Phil 2:5-11; 1 Cor 15

Relfect: We are concluding the last week of prayer and fasting on Easter week when the ultimate validation of Jesus deity was witnessed – his physical death and resurrection. Who can conquer death but God? In the book of John, we learn that Jesus is eternal; he was with God in the beginning and was God. He “took on” flesh and lived among us. How amazing is that fact? Jesus was fully man and lived among regular people like you and me in a broken world full of sin. Jesus came to fulfill the law as high priest, as perfect king and as the ultimate prophet. He is the only one who could do all these things as He is fully God.

Pray

  • Praise Jesus that He is God – that all things were made through Him.
  • Confess that we try to be God in our striving to cope with this broken world and our broken selves.
  • Thank God for His plan to reveal His grace and truth to humanity through a Savior.
  • Pray for humble hearts to recognize Jesus as God and submit to His authority over our lives. Pray to trust in His promises with bold confidence in His completed work.

Resources


What is Fasting 

  • Does not need to be just from food – can also be social media, Netflix, coffee, skip one meal, remove specific food groups, etc. However, Scriptures primarily refer to abstaining from food 

  • An act of worship and submission to God 

  • Resisting supernatural strongholds 

  • NOT recommended for those who have health conditions or who have struggled with eating disorders 

Heart Behind Fasting 

  • Jesus himself fasted as a means of connecting deeper with God 

  • Focused, undistracted time in prayer 

  • Dependency on God – He will supply all our needs, and at our core, all we really need is him. Our deepest need is for God, not for food or the praise of others. We are hungry for a connection with God.  

  • Draw our hearts closer to God and help us understand our profound need for him 

  • Removing the world to focus on God and allow him to reveal the state of our heart / sin / idols 

  • Respond to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives 

  • NOT an outward act of righteousness for the praise of men 

Scripture 

  • Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. – Matthew 6:16-18

  • Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 6:1

  • Joel 2:12-13

  • Deuteronomy 8:3

  • Luke 4:1-13

  • Matthew 6:31-33

Sermon

  • Heath Haynes: How Should We Live? The Spiritual Discipline of Prayer. Link

  • Heath Haynes: How Should We Live? The Spiritual Discipline of Fasting. Link

  • Louie Giglio: The Piñata and the Iceberg LINK  

Articles

  • What is the Purpose of Fasting?- Desiring God. Link 
  • The Heart of Christian Fasting: Fasting in the Old Testament. Don Green. LINK
  • Fasting from a Biblical Perspective- Link
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