Last night, I heard the incredibly sad news that Dallas police officers were shot and killed during a protest against cops. And at that moment, I’ve never felt more helpless.
With reports of five police officers losing their lives, this is the deadliest incident for U.S. law enforcement since September 11, 2001. Two days prior to this, two men were shot by police.
I want to do so much because of all that’s happened and the lives that have been lost, but I’m realizing these burdens are too great for me. I can’t handle these news stories—weeping has become part of my daily routine. I can’t be in all of these places holding the hands of the sorrowful, grieving families, but that’s what my heart wants to be able to do. There’s just so much that I can’t do. I do, however, know a few things I can do, something we can all do: fast and pray.
I’m inviting you to join me this week to fast and pray for our nation. We have a lot we could be praying about. There are many troubling circumstances and serious decisions ahead of us. There are countless mourning and grieving people: black, white, police officers, families, and everyone in between. Personally, I will focus my prayers on the shootings over the past week and our presidential race. I will fast this Sunday, but I am not prescribing a day or a way for us to fast, simply choose a day this week to join me.
Why Fast and Pray
If you’ve never considered fasting, I believe David Mathis’ explanation and article may help you. Here are his words:
If we are to learn the lost art of fasting and enjoy its fruit, it will not come with our ear to the ground of society, but with Bibles open. Then, the concern will not be whether we fast, but when. Jesus assumes his followers will fast, and even promises it will happen. He doesn’t say “if,” but “when you fast” (Matthew 6:16). And he doesn’t say his followers might fast, but “they will” (Matthew 9:15).
We fast in this life because we believe in the life to come. We don’t have to get it all here and now, because we have a promise that we will have it all in the coming age. We fast from what we can see and taste, because we have tasted and seen the goodness of the invisible and infinite God — and are desperately hungry for more of him.
You can continue reading David’s article here: Fasting for Beginners.
There are a few other things that we can do, which I will be exploring with you next week. But for now, thank you for considering this call to come before the Lord in fasting and prayer.