Fasting is learning freedom from food and how God directly nourishes us.
Prayer is conversation with God.
While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
Acts 13:2-3

Each year, we set aside the darkest week of the year to have a particular time of focussed fasting and prayer. We primarily focus on our city, but also pray for our world. This year in particular we will be praying for:

  • The homeless in our city
  • Refugees in our City and Nation
  • Children in our City
  • The war in Ukraine
  • Those affected by gun violence in the United States

We will also be making time to hear from God and seek his guidance.

Prayer Moments during the week

After Church Sunday 19th June: Prayer walks around our neighbourhoods

7pm Tuesday 21st June (the shortest day) – Prayer for our City on Mt. Rosny

8pm Thursday 23rd June – The Engine Room Online prayer meeting (Link: https://zoom.us/j/591969424)

PRAYER GUIDE FOR THE WEEK

Citywide has created a 7 day Prayer and Fasting guide to help you through the week. Each day features thoughts and reflections on prayer and fasting along with Bible passages for you to read through each day.

These booklets are available to pick up from our church locations, or you can view and download a copy of the booklet here.

PRAYER AND FASTING VIDEO REFLECTIONS

During 2020 and 2021, our own Ann Herbert recorded 3 series of Evenings with Ann.

In the third series, Ann shared her thoughts on what prayer means to her.  As we embark on another week of prayer and fasting, you may want to click on the links below to revisit some of these reflections or check them out for the first time.

In addition to the episodes specifically prepared for last year’s week of prayer and fasting, we’ve included some episodes from Series 1 and 2, which were recorded during times of Covid lockdown.

  • These touch on how we can bring our needs to God in prayer, and trust him to guide us.
  • They also include some reflections in which Ann talks about how she connects with God through nature.

CLICK HERE for a full list of Ann’s reflections to help you with this time of Prayer and Fasting

This is a small selection that may encourage and help you during this week of prayer and fasting. Our hope is that you will find any, or all, of these reflections helpful as you pray and grow in your relationship with Jesus. All 95 episodes are available here on You Tube

The Christian Vocation is to be in prayer, in the Spirit, at the place where the world is in pain, and as we embrace that vocation, we discover it to be the way of following Christ, shaped according to his messianic vocation to the cross, with arms outstretched, holding on simultaneously to the pain of the world and the love of God.

N.T. Wright
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
Colossians 4:2

Fasting forces us to take attention from our desires in order to focus on God. Jesus tells his disciples that his food is to “do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work” (John 4:34). Fasting can be a humbling experience, as we see just how controlled we are by our appetites. But it also teaches us that what sustains us is not the food we eat or the pleasures we feel, but God alone. 

Richard J. Foster

Suggested Reading:

Fasting: The Ancient Practices (book)  by Scot McKnight

Understanding Prayer (article) by Richard Foster