Lent is a season of prayer, fasting and contemplation leading to Easter. Many Christians commit to abstaining from certain foods, habits or luxuries as a spiritual tool to sharpen prayer and declutter the mind in anticipation of Jesus’ resurrection. Lent lasts for 40 days (mirroring Jesus’ 40 days of fasting prior to his public ministry), beginning on Ash Wednesday (March 6) and ending on Holy Saturday (April 20). Lent incorporates 46 calendar days (the six Sundays during Lent are considered feast days and therefore not counted in the 40 days of Lent).
Because of our union with Christ, we understand that we cannot earn the forgiveness of sin or the approval of God through fasting or sacrifice – these things have already been permanently credited to us by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). Therefore, spiritual disciplines do not make us more precious to God but can be an effective tool to help make God more precious to us. Furthermore, we understand that some spiritual breakthroughs, victory over demonic opposition and kingdom advancement can only come through prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29).
There are many reasons to participate in corporate fasting, perhaps the most crucial are 1) an increased devotion to and margin for prayer - particularly in areas well beyond the resources and capacities of our church (e.g. revival on campus, racial reconciliation, the salvation of our friends and neighbors), 2) a symbolic but meaningful declaration that our desire to see the Spirit move supersedes our physical cravings, and 3) a shared investment in the spiritual health of our church.
· Start Date: March 6
· End Date: April 20
· Abstain from a singular food, habit or luxury (coffee, sugar, bread, Instagram, Netflix, etc.) for the duration of Lent in order to devote that time/awareness/margin to prayer.
· One day a week – fast from one meal – use time for specific prayer.
· Sundays – Feast and pray together at 9am Prayer Breakfasts (March 10, 17, 24, 31, April 7, 14)
· Pray for a unique understanding of your union with Christ.
· Pray for a special sensitivity to the Spirit.
· Pray for courage.
· Pray for increased racial diversity at Union Church.
· Pray for width (increased Sunday attendance, House Church participation, relational growth).
· Pray for depth (increased gospel fluency, spiritual maturity, community intimacy).
· Pray for specific unbelieving friends to be saved.
· Pray for revival on campus and in Auburn/Opelika.
· Pray for racial harmony across Auburn/Opelika.