Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Why Are We Fasting?

Fasting is essentially the act of willingly abstaining from food or drink for a period of time, as a prayerful observance or sacrifice. There are countless examples throughout scripture of Jesus’ followers observing a partial or full fast in connection with His teachings.

If you've been a regular reader of our blog, you know that tomorrow begins Nativity Nigeria’s water-only fast. For the next seven days, we will be prayerfully giving up all other liquids – and only consuming water… You can eat whatever you want, but just stick to drinking only water.

Water has had particular significance to our partnership and mission in Nigeria. Over the years, Nativity’s parishioners have supported the construction of several wells in Abuja and Jos, providing clean drinking water to hundreds of people in these communities. (You can learn more about our ongoing water projects in Nigeria here). As a symbol of this life-giving and critical part of our Nigerian partners’ daily lives, we have chosen to symbolically drink simply water this next week. In abstaining from all other beverages, we will have the chance to prayerfully remember our partners in Nigeria, demonstrate our collective solidarity, and remain united through Christ. In particular, as the people of Nigeria continue to be tormented by religious, cultural, and political violence in recent months, this fast serves as an opportunity to prayerfully lift them up and ask for God’s peaceful provision of the region.

Throughout these next seven days, Church of the Nativity will be sending daily messages of encouragement and reflection to help guide your prayer and purposeful fasting each day. If you are not already signed up for the Worship Fully daily emails, click here. It’s quick, easy, and a source of great encouragement. Also, you can let us know how you’re doing throughout the week-long fast, offer encouragement to others participating in the fast, and send messages of hope to our Nigerian partners by posting to our brand new Nativity:Missions facebook page.

We will be breaking the fast with an exciting Church-wide event at Nativity, 6pm on Wednesday August 8th. Join us for some music, food, reflection, and some non-water beverages! Fasting is not fun, but Shagali will be. Come meet Dr. Chris Isichei, the founder of Faith Alive Hospital, chat with missionaries who have traveled to Africa, and enjoy music by Nativity's house worship band as we celebrate the end of our water-only fast. Click here to read more about next week’s Shagali event.

1 comment:

Diane said...

Thanks for sharing an inspiring message about the fast. Joining all in prayer and fasting for our friends in Nigeria...
Hello and welcome Dr. Chris !