It is a week of prayer where we focus on drawing near to God and His purposes in our life. We will also pray for Crossroads, our new Community Centre and our missions projects. There will be a moment for worship, reflection, corporate prayer and praying in small groups. In addition to that, there will be also room for creative drawing or writing.
Date & Time: 21-25 January 2019 at 19:30-21:00
Please REGISTER HERE
Place: Crossroads Ministry Centre, Biesbosch 225, 1181 JC Amstelveen
Free of charge, coffee, tea and snacks are provided, no childcare is provided.
Introduction to praying & fasting
We are excited to be going through a week of Prayer & Fasting with you and warmly invite you to meet and encounter God together through Prayer & Fasting. We dedicate this week to the Lord, and it is meant as a time of empowerment and encouragement for us. This year our P&F week coincides with the national week of prayer in the Netherlands.
Prayer serves several purposes. For instance, it helps us express ourselves to God (Phil. 4:6), it can build us up spiritually (Col. 4:12) and enables God’s will to be done in our lives (Luke 11:1-13; Acts 10:31). God also desires His house to be a house of prayer (Matt. 21:13). What’s sometimes overlooked is that prayer also serves our own spiritual formation. That is, prayer transforms us to look more like Christ and how we pray forms us as Christians. When the first Church was formed right after Pentecost, the apostles committed themselves continually to prayer (Acts 2:42).
Fasting & Prayer are closely related in the bible. For instance, David fasted because he was desperate for God to save his newborn son (2 Sam. 2:23); King Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast to ask help from the Lord against Israel’s enemies (2 Chron. 20:3); Esther asked the people in exile to fast to ask help from the Lord (Esther 4:16) and the people of Nineveh fasted to ask God to prevent the judgement the prophet Jonah had predicted would come upon them (Jon. 3:4). Fasting helped the Israelites express their dependency on God alone. Note in particular Ezra’s explanation of why he and the people with him chose to fast:
“Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions.” Ezra 8:21
In the new testament, Jesus also instructs his disciples about fasting. He says: “When you fast…” (Matt. 6:16). Notice how He assumed they would indeed fast. At XRDS we see fasting (in its broadest sense) as a deliberate withdrawal from something, so that we can make more room for God in our lives. It may be some type of food your fasting, or specific kinds of food (like sweets) or drinks (like soda’s, or alcohol). It may also be media or entertainment, or anything else you normally enjoy doing. How and when you fast is ultimately between you and the Lord (Matthew 6). If you have any questions about fasting, feel free to contact us.
Historically, church bells have been used to signal a time for prayer and worship. We do not have church bells, but we would nevertheless like to invite all of our community to pray and fast together this week at our Community Centre. We will publish a devotional guide with some ideas for prayer and fasting that you may find useful for your prayers at home. You can pray trough this at any time that suits you. Even though you might be alone, do know that our community is praying with you. Have a blessed week!