GCI Family, Day Prayer and Fasting Called for Mar. 22 or Mar. 29
March 20, 2020
Dear Church Family,
It is an historic time for our collective nations around the world. A shared crisis has each country, province, state, city, village, and family managing through this challenge in similar ways. The effort to slow the virus and to protect those most susceptible is being practiced by almost everybody around the globe.
I am very proud of our church family and how church leaders and pastors have united to thoughtfully and carefully serve the membership. It is impressive how so many of the pastors are utilizing technology to stay in touch with members and to stream sermons online so that we are able to gather in our homes (this Sunday, my wife and I were so glad to gather with our children and hear an inspirational message online from a GCI pastor).
As we collectively process through the weeks, and possibly months ahead, I believe it is appropriate that we go before the Lord as a denomination in a day of prayer and fasting. In order to include our members spread across the world, I am recommending that either Sunday March 22nd or Sunday March 29th be your day to join the Grace Communion “International Family” in our time of special focus toward our amazing Triune God. (For those with health challenges please be mindful that a fast does not have to be a strict 24 hour period without water or food.)
Paul’s encouragement to the church at Philippi frames our mindset:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4–7 NRSVA)
As we spend time in prayer and fasting, certain thoughts come to mind:
- Jesus is our foundation, and the personification of our hope;
- Jesus is near, and promises to never leave nor forsake us;
- God is Healer, and we pray for his intervention for those who are sick throughout the world;
- God strengthens those who are weak, ask for his strength for the medical personnel serving tirelessly;
- God provides wisdom from above, pray for insight to be given to researchers seeking solutions;
- God tells us to pray for our leaders, may his guidance encircle the civic leaders and health officials;
- God is Provider, seek his provision for those whose income and economic standing have been greatly impacted by this crisis;
- Holy Spirit guard us from fear or anxiety, and give us your divine peace which is beyond our human understanding;
- Holy Spirit open hearts and minds to the glorious light and saving power of Jesus which lifts us above any human crisis.
Thy will be done in the powerful name of Jesus. And let the church around the world say – Amen!
Grace Communion International