Preparing for Commitment Sunday
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.
Hebrews 12:1-3, NLT
As we draw near to commitment Sunday, I’d like to encourage you to consider a time of prayer and fasting. I know. We’re 21st century Protestants. We don’t talk about fasting. But Fasting is one of the spiritual disciplines that have been rooted in our Methodist tradition from its founding and can deepen your prayer life.
When you do a short fast, you are taking extra time to focus on God. It’s more than fasting from food and drink; it’s fasting from things that would be a distraction to prayer. Don’t watch your regular TV shows; TiVo them for later. Keep your mind focused on God for a short period, meditating on scripture, your prayers to God, and most importantly, listening.
What would the fast look like?
I’m seeking people in our church to fast and pray on Saturday night as we prepare for Sunday morning, a time to commit to God for the coming year. After sundown, avoid eating or drinking. You don’t have to skip dinner just eat dinner early.
Spend time as a family or personally in prayer. Reflect on the scripture passage for this Sunday. Read it multiple times and in different translations. Focus on the words that stand out to you. Ask God to speak to you through the passage.
Pray for our church. Ask God to bring unity to our church in the coming year and that we would be his living example in our community. Pray that we will be strong and reach out to those around us. Pray that we will embrace each other and those outside of our walls. Pray that God will show you your role in our church for the next year and how you can help us accomplish our vision to the community. Ask God how you can help further the Kingdom of God.
Spend time in prayer over your Financial and Service Commitments for 2017. Sunday you will be presenting those to God at the end of the service. Ask God to help you discern how you can give to help build his Kingdom and help reach those who don’t yet know him, as well a help build up his body.
Together, we can make 2017 a year like no other. We can bring people closer to God and make an impact for the Kingdom.
I'll be praying with you,
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Faith Parry serves as our Associate Pastor, and has been at the church since 2015. When she's not preaching and teaching, she enjoys documentaries and TV. Read more about Faith here.