Day of Prayer and Fasting
I am writing to you prompted by God's Spirit and confirmed by congregation members to ask if we can do something together.
Many of you will know that we pray regularly for Kirsty Newton. Kirsty is the daughter of Don and Kate Munro and grew up (coming to faith) through the ministry of this church.
For over two decades she has suffered from a rare and persistent form of epilepsy. The church has prayed for her as she has tried many forms of medical treatment and therapies to mitigate its effects and bring her healing. Regrettably, these efforts have (currently) been ineffective. From time to time, we have offered specific times of prayer and healing ministry. In recent weeks, the epileptic fits have become more frequent and the impact on Kirsty's physical and mental health has become quite severe.
I want to invite you to join with other members of Christ Church in fasting and praying for Kirsty. I propose that we do so on the same day of the week (if possible).
So, on Thursday 25th February, can I ask you to join us as we fast and pray for Kirsty help and healing?
It may not be appropriate or medically advisable to fast food - e.g. if pregnant or if you are involved in work which involves extensive physical exercise etc.
the purpose of the fast is not to lose weight! The goal of your fast is to draw near to God.
consider fasting other things than food. Remember that the whole point of fasting is to draw close to God - sometimes other things can get in the way of this.
There are several types of fasting from food:
Full Fast Drink only liquids for a 24 hour period.
The Daniel Fast Eat no meat, no sweets and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables. For more information on this kind of fasting go to: http://www.jentezenfranklin.org/join-fastingmovement/types-of-fasts/the-daniel-fast/
Partial Fast A partial fast is from 6:00 am to lunchtime or 3pm. Or abstain from a meal. Or fast from sunrise to sunset.
Fasting from particular foods The one you choose is between you and God. He will honour your best sacrifice.
Remember that it is the attitude of a heart sincerely seeking Him to which God responds with a blessing.(Isaiah 58, Jeremiah 14:12, 1 Corinthians 8:8).
Jesus was very clear that the sort of prayer that God values is prayer that is done in secret (Matthew 6:6). Likewise with the act of fasting - we are to appear as though we are doing nothing different (Matthew 6:16-18)
For a Biblical reflection upon why we might fast go to:
Scripture References for Fasting:
Matthew 6:16-18, Matthew 9:14-15, Luke 18:9-14
Relation to Prayer and Reading of the Word:
1 Samuel 1:6-8, 17-18, Nehemiah 1:4, Daniel 9:3, 20, Joel 2:12, Luke 2:37, Acts 10:30,Acts 13:2
1 Samuel 7:5-6, Ezra 8:21-23, Nehemiah 9:1-3, Joel 2:15-16, Jonah 3:5-10, Acts 27:33-37
Each of us has a story to tell of God at work in our lives. Each of us have skills and talents, the gifts that make us the people we are. For many of us this leads to ask the question, how can I use these gifts? That is where the vocations team can help.
As a Diocese we celebrate calling in its widest perspective - we are thinking not just about ordination and licensed lay ministry but about the full range of ministries and opportunities, all the ways we can serve God and those around us in the world and in the church.
To help you explore where God may be calling, to hear more about the opportunities that are around and to meet others thinking about using their gifts, the Ministry and Formation Team are running a Diocesan Vocations Day. “Called to Be” is taking place at St Andrew Paddock Wood, on Saturday 23 April from 10.30am- 3.30pm, and is open to everyone, whether you feel a specific calling or whether you simply want to dip a toe in the water.
The speakers will be Bishop James and the Rev Canon Jean Kerr. There will also be an opportunity to attend three workshops during the day. The subjects for the workshops include healing and wholeness, young vocations, chaplaincy, licensed lay ministry, opportunities for ministry in mission, the ordination route, spirituality ministries and working with children and young people. There are also workshops on key subjects in the life of the church and individuals, women’s ministry, encouraging Minority Ethnic Anglicans in ministry, community engagement, and music and ministry.
The Diocese has a team of Vocation Advisors across our deaneries and they will be on hand to talk individually or to give information about opportunities to explore your calling further after 23rd April, especially our “It’s Your Calling” events, which run regularly during the year.
Booking forms are available from Val Butler on 01634 560000 or at email@example.com, or if you would like further information contact the lead Vocation Advisor, the Rev Canon Mark Griffin on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next two “It’s Your Calling” events are:
27th February 2016 (9.15 – 15.45) at St Philip, Tunbridge Wells
21st May 2016 (9.15 – 15.45) at Christ Church, Chislehurst
For further information and a booking form, please do speak to me.
And finally, a card was found in church after the service last Sunday morning to a ‘Ben’ from his Gran. We have asked all the Ben’s we know but it isn’t any of them. Do you know who it might belong to? (If it’s yours, you will know why we are asking). It is in the church office so do ask a Churchwarden to get it for you.
In His service,
Rev Jay Colwill