by Peter Swann
It is a tough but honest truth of our Christian existence in the West that culture often impacts us more than Scriptural truth. For example, we are told in Ephesians 6 that our battle is not against flesh and blood, and that being the case, we are called to be a praying people. It’s not something to be done flippantly, or occasionally. The reality of the battle defines the reality of our need for prayer.
Yet it’s challenging, it’s hard. When we launched Hope, it was with the conviction that if we failed at any area, it wouldn’t be in the area of prayer. But we are a busy people, and the weight of our context and experience pushes against us. I’m longing for much more prayer in my own life, and I think we all are. We yearn to pray in a way that would properly reflect the truth and reality of our spiritual war.
So, this month, we’re going to take dead aim at this, and I can’t wait. With great joy and expectation, we’re going to go after this hard. We’re going to go after this because of Scripture truth, and also because we love those whom we are fasting and praying for.
As always, we strive to have internal and external balance in our prayers. So, here’s what we’ll fast and pray for through December:
- We have always been a very unified church, but the enemy loves to attack unity. Let’s fight hard for God to continue to bless us with unity in Houston and around the world.
External: Spread of the gospel
- The Christmas season is a powerful time to share the gospel with friends and family, so let’s intentionally go for it for our covenant members in Houston and around the world. Let’s also particularly pray for our missionaries among the South Sudanese in Gambella, Ethiopia, as they are on their last rotation there. Let’s plead with God to powerfully nurture the spread of the gospel before they wrap up their time there in just a few weeks.
As we fast and pray, here are some encouragements:
- Commit to daily prayer. There’s no time requirement or expectation – just an honest and raw time of going to war each day.
- Commit to fast one meal a week. It can be any meal, but this is the time when you commit the longest amount of time to prayer, and when your prayer is the most fervent. If you are worried about keeping this, consider initiating with someone else so you hold each other accountable while warring together.
- Enjoy the journey. And wait with anticipation of all God is going to do.
We have had such incredible seasons of fasting and prayer in the past. I know may be unusual to walk through a time of fasting during the Christmas season, but what a powerful opportunity for ministry we have before us. I am so fired up about this and can’t wait to see all God will do!