Phoenix Disciples Newsletter #31

Sermon by 
Al Baird
December 3, 2020
“…I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions….So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.” - Ezra 8:21-23 (NIV)


The planned replanting of the Flagstaff Church next summer is generating a lot of excitement and enthusiasm. Our partnering with the Tucson Church will certainly bond our two fellowships together. But much work remains to be done, things like finding the right young couple to lead the team and to recruiting and building the team. 

While much of the success of the planting depends on those of us who are working toward the goal, only God can produce our dream of a dynamic church in Flagstaff. For that reason, we are calling everyone to make the planting a part of our regular prayer life. In addition to our prayers, we want as many of us as can to fast for it. To that end, we are asking for the Phoenix Church to fast on the first Sunday of each month until summer. Beginning this Sunday, we suggest a fast from sunup until sunset.

Fasting is not something that we talk about very often, and probably many of you have never tried it. But fasting is mentioned and encouraged often in the Bible; Jesus even began his ministry with a forty-day fast (Matthew 4:2).  Fasting is not an end in itself, but it helps us focus our minds and bodies on why we are fasting. It brings a sense of urgency to our prayers. I like a quote that I heard somewhere: “Fasting is a physical exclamation point at the end of our pleas to God.”

One of the most powerful effects of a fast is the focus that it produces in us. When we miss a meal, our stomachs growl and remind us that we are hungry. And then we think, “Oh, that’s right, I’m hungry because I am fasting today.” Then we are called back to praying for whatever we are fasting about. Several good things happen when we fast, but this is one of the most beneficial to me: my hunger repeatedly calls me back to prayer.

So, let’s all be hungry together this Sunday as we call out to God!

Until our next update, stay thankful, stay calm, walk with God, and encourage one another,

Al Baird for the Leadership Team

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