Holy Cross North Miami

Holy Cross Prayer & Fasting: March 25

March 29, 2020

Prayer & Fasting Guide: Wednesday March 25, 2020

Introduction:
These two disciplines; “prayer and fasting” have long been employed by God’s people in the face of particular needs, or difficult situations. While prayer is the more familiar of the two, fasting has long been practiced as a way to “give up” something that is both needful and desirable, in order to focus and enter into the realization of sacrifice Jesus made for us when He “gave up the glories of heaven” to die for our sins. In this call to “prayer and fasting” we will be inspired by the ancient “Daily Office”. The “Daily Office” was a structure for prayer used for centuries. In our case we invite you structure your day of Prayer and Fasting something similar to this.

If you have another way that is more meaningful or fits your schedule better, by all means, employ it! But if this is new, perhaps this will help structure your time.

Matins - the opening time of prayer in the day. Traditionally first thing and often before daybreak. Focuses on praise, thanksgiving and God’s Word.

Prime - the mid-day time of prayer. Focused on provision, strength, challenges faced and on-going needs.

Vespers - the end of day time of prayer. Focused on thanksgiving for the day and protection during times of darkness.

Compline - the prayer at the close of day. This is before we rest….praise and thanksgiving are the themes, the blessings and love of God for us and His watching over us in the night.

Each of these times of prayer include extended times of silence for listening, meditation ON God’s Word and for contemplation. Also consider variations like including a walk during “Prime” (If we are not quarantined). Prayer walking can be a powerful experience that opens us up to the needs that surround us! Walking in nature can be a wonderful reminder that God is the Lord of Creation and has called us to something greater than just ourselves!

In terms of fasting, fasting can be a partial fast (giving up food for a time, but taking in water) or a total fast (food and water) for a limited time. There are certainly variations and freedom in this. If you have a medical condition that requires medication taken with food….by all means…. continue with Doctor’s orders! In these cases, consider fasting something you really enjoy (beverages, desserts, or limit food to minimums or drink water only.). You could also fast breakfast (ironically named after an all-night fast that you “break” in the morning), or lunch only. You could fast both breakfast and lunch and then break the fast in the evening meal with your family. There are no hard and fast “rules”. Fasting should never be legalistic! But fasting frees us up to spend focused time with God in prayer and in worship!

Matins:
Focus: God’s Word & Prayer
READ: Psalm 18:1-6
PRAY:
• Spend time thanking God for His “refuge and strength”.
• Spend time expressing to Him your love for Him in praise and worship.
• “Call upon the Lord” (v.2) about your “enemies”. Who are your enemies? Covid-19?
Financial enemies? Physical enemies? Relational Enemies?
• What “help” do you need from God today? What “help” do you know others need?
• Anything else the Holy Spirit impresses.

Specific Prayers:
Our Community/State - that God would use US (Holy Cross) as “light” to our neighbors.
That He would open up NEW opportunities to be on mission to North Miami and the community we live in.
• Our Hospitals, Doctors, Nurses and Staff would not be overwhelmed but be effective tools as God’s hands for healing and deliverance.
• Our Local & State Leadership - that they would enact ways that help, protect and support the community in this time of need.
• Our 1st Responders - they would be safe and maintain order and safety for our community.
• Our businesses - they would prosper and be able to maintain business during this crisis.
• Our schools - that our children would be able to learn and grow even during this disruption
• Our churches - that we would experience effective ministry during these difficult times.
• Anything else the Holy Spirit impresses. Our Nation - that God would deliver us from this Pandemic.
• Our leaders would enact righteous laws and govern with God’s wisdom.
• Our leaders would seek God and HIS solutions over the wisdom of man.
• God would protect our nation and use us as a force for good in the world
• We would prosper so that our prosperity would be used to help others.
• Anything else the Holy Spirit impresses.

Our World - that God would bring “the nations” to faith in Jesus!

  • The church around the world would be true to God’s Word and His mission.
  • We would be good stewards of the earth and see it as belonging to the Lord (Psalm 24:1).
  • There would be peace.
  • Anything else the Holy Spirit impresses.

A Time for God’s Word - Continue with your daily Bible reading plan and/or journaling.
A Time for Silence - to listen to God’s voice through His word and as you face your day.
Closing prayer - Thanks for the day, the opportunity to focus on Him and prayers to serve well as you go about your day.

PRIME:
Focus: Prayers for strength, challenges faced, provision and needs
READ: Psalm 34:1-10
Provision:

  • What “needs” are you facing? Pray about those.
  • What “needs” are the people around you facing? Pray about those.
  • Challenges:
  • What challenges are you facing? Pray about those.
  • Weakness:
  • What weaknesses are especially apparent today? Pray about those.
  • What weaknesses are those around you dealing with? Lift those up.
  • Opportunities:
  • How are the challenges, opportunities?
  • How might the difficult times equip and instruct you to serve Christ?
  • How can these opportunities be the way God directs you?
  • Anything else the Holy Spirit impresses.

A Time for God’s Word - Continue with your daily Bible reading plan or chose specific scriptures related to your situation and commit them to your journal.
A Time for Silence - to listen to God’s voice through His word and as you face your day.
Closing prayer - Thanks for the day, the opportunity to focus on Him and prayers to serve well as you go about your day.

Vespers:
Focus: Thanksgiving for the day and protection in the night
READ: Psalm 84

  • If you participated in the Livestream of the service, thank God for the grace that we can still gather in at least some way to worship, to be together with other believes and to remember His goodness. Pray for your church!
  • If you’ve broken the fast for the day and enjoyed dinner, how was the discipline of fasting and prayer a blessing? What was hard? What was good? Thank Him for all this!
  • How has the focus throughout the day impacted your relationship with God? Others? Thank Him for this!
  • What are some areas of need, challenge, weakness, you need to address with Him this evening? Do that through confession and asking for forgiveness.
  • Anything else the Holy Spirit impresses.

A Time for God’s Word - Continue with your daily Bible reading plan or chose specific scriptures related to your situation and commit them to your journal.
A Time for Silence - to listen to God’s voice through His word and as you face your day.
Closing prayer - Thanks for the day, the opportunity to focus on Him and prayers to serve well as you go about your day.

Compline
Focus: Close of the day, a time of thanksgiving and placing our trust in God’s goodness and promises and grace over us and our loved ones.
READ: Psalm 121

  • How have you seen and experienced God’s goodness today?
  • Who might you lift up to God’s care and love tonight?
  • How might you worship Him for His protection ALL through the day and the impending night?
  • Anything else the Holy Spirit impresses.

Spend some time worshipping Him, thanking Him and blessing Him for His goodness to you today! Also, write down some highlights from your day of prayer and fasting that you’ll want to remember, go deeper in, expand upon.


Then…go to sleep in peace!