Tag Archives: 40-days

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

How Then Shall I Fast

“We at Desert Stream Ministries are positioning ourselves before Christ Crucified for 40-days of prayer, from October 15th to November 23rd. Our purpose is to welcome Him afresh into our depths, that we might more nearly grasp His heart for the one He loves most, the Church, His bride. For each of the 40-days, the Desert Stream staff will pray at 3pm CST for specific themes and needs. Will you prayerfully consider joining us? ” Andrew Comiskey

“First, let fasting be done unto the Lord with our eye singly fixed on Him. Let our intention herein be this and this alone, to glorify our Father which is in heaven.” John Wesley

As Wesley beautifully states, fasting is about the Lord: to glorify Him and join with Him in prayer on behalf of His purposes. Whatever sacrifice we make is unto more time to be in His presence and pray. This sounds wonderfully easy. Yet following these clear and simple guidelines requires forethought, grace and discipline!

Now is a good time to begin to pray and consider what type of fast the Lord is asking of you.

What might you give up in order to give God room to make your heart more like His? He may be inviting and challenging you to sacrifice beyond what you feel able. This might involve you fasting on water and a minimal amount of food.

A water fast requires major adjustments in one’s schedule, allowing adequate time to rest and planning to do less physically and socially.

Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, author of Spiritual Disciplines Handbook lists some of the things fasting includes:

*abstaining from food, drink, desserts, chocolate, to intentionally be with God.

*abstaining from media: TV, movies, radio, music, email, [Facebook, Twitter], cell phones and computer games to allow space for listening to the voice of Jesus.

*abstaining from habits or comforts: elevators, reading, shopping and sports in order to give undivided attention to God.

I have also heard pastors call their congregants to fast criticism, judgment and cynicism; a fast we could all benefit from, especially if we turn instead to Scripture and prayer.

The encouraging and challenging truth is that we all can fast in some way. We each have something we can abstain from for forty days in order to pray and spend more time with God. Remember, our self-denial is “in order to intentionally attend to God in prayer.” Calhoun, p 218

Fasting clears us out and opens us up to intentionally seeking God’s will and grace in a way that goes beyond normal habits of worship and prayer. While fasting we are one on one with God, offering him the time and attentiveness we might otherwise be giving to eating, shopping or watching television.

Fasting reminds us that we care about “soul” things. We care about the church. We care about the world. We care about doing God’s will. Thus we willingly set aside a little comfort so we can listen and attend to the voice and nourishment of God alone. For God can give us grace and comfort and nurture we cannot get on our own .” Calhoun, Spiritual Disciplines Handbook

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, and be thankful. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ” Col. 3:15, 17

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Pierced for the Bride: 40-Days of Prayer

Zechariah prophecies that God will pour out a ‘spirit of grace and supplication’ in order that we ‘might gaze upon the One we have pierced’ (Zech. 12:10). Likewise, we at Desert Stream Ministries are positioning ourselves before Christ Crucified for 40-days of prayer, from October 15th to November 23rd. Our purpose is to welcome Him afresh into our depths, that we might more nearly grasp His heart for the one He loves most, the Church, His bride. Will you prayerfully consider joining us?

As we allow His passion to provoke us, we will ask Him to penetrate our hearts with His burning heart for the saving and healing of many lives. As a result of God’s piercing, Zechariah foresees a fountain of life that will be released in God’s house for the cleansing of our sins, impurities, and idols. (Zech. 13:1, 2)

We will enter into those waters ourselves and cry out for persons bound by sexual and relational confusion. Our desire is to pray effectually for ministry to deepen and new doors to open in the Church for many who are waiting to be saved from their sin, and reconciled to God’s beautiful purposes for their sexual humanity.

Many today are crying out to the unknown God. We want to cry out for them, asking Jesus to rouse His Church to make known His tender, transforming power to them. We want to see the beauty of His image—man and woman honoring and dignifying one another with their whole selves—become a reality wherever we honor Jesus as Lord.

We will provide a daily devotion and several daily petitions for ministries around the world who provide healing for the sexually broken in the Church. For each of the 40-days, the Desert Stream staff will pray at 3pm cst for these themes and needs. In order to sync our efforts a little more with the rhythm of church life, our Sunday devotional reflection will be from that day’s Catholic Gospel reading. Also, our 40-days end on Christ the King Sunday, which is the last day of the Catholic Church year. We shall be ready for the next day, which is the first of Advent.

Please consider joining us in some form. We will fill you in on more in the weeks to come.

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