the fast lane
"They were engaged in the liturgy of the Lord and were fasting...the Holy Spirit spoke to them: 'Set apart Barnabas and Saul for Me to do the work for which I have called them.'" —Acts 13:2
The leaders of the church of Antioch called a communal fast, which resulted in the first missionary journey (Acts 13:2-3). The prophet Joel also proclaimed a communal fast: "Blow the trumpet in Zion! Proclaim a fast, call an assembly; gather the people, notify the congregation; assemble the elders, gather the children and the infants at the breast" (Jl 2:15-16). "Then the Lord was stirred to concern for His land and took pity on His people" (Jl 2:18).
The Ninevites responded to Jonah's prophetic warning by calling a communal fast (Jon 3:7). "When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, He repented of the evil that He had threatened to do to them; He did not carry it out" (Jon 3:10).
Is the Lord calling your church, family, or community to a communal fast? Seek the Lord about whether this is His will for you. If so, ask Him in what way and how long you are to fast. It is a privilege to fast, and to fast communally is an even greater honor. If it be God's will, let's join the great men and women of history in fasting as a community. The Lord is doing something amazing in our world today. Let's be a part of it.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the responsibility, privilege, and power of fasting together. May I do Your will.
Promise: "I have come to the world as its light, to keep anyone who believes in Me from remaining in the dark." —Jn 12:46
Praise: Pope St. John I fought against heresy and untruths as Pope and was martyred for it in just three years.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, The Secret of Fasting, or on audio AV 46-1 or video V-46.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, XXX 11, 2011
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