40-Day Fast & Prayer To Fund Vocational School
Rev Andy Chi, NECF Prayer Executive Secretary
IN conjunction with the 40-Day Fast and Prayer this year, NECF is collecting funds saved from meals for a Vocational School Project.
NECF has been given two plots of land, in Kota Kinabalu and in Selangor, for the purpose of building vocational schools that will provide alternative education for students unable to fit into the current education system.
This is a practical project reflecting the theme of the 2011 40-Day Fast and Prayer - "Be Agents of Change". Collections from the Fast and Pray charity will be channelled to the building of these schools.
In line with the theme, all of us are urged to prayerfully consider our role in transforming society within our spheres of influence. Many of us are concerned about the worrying state of affairs in the pillars of society - the family, religion, education, marketplace, government, arts and entertainment, and the media. Certainly, there is much we need to seek the Lord for on behalf of Malaysia.
Malaysia will also be facing the 13th general election in the near future. We need to intercede for God's sovereign will to be done through these elections, and for Christians to continue fulfilling their role as agents of change, whichever regime comes to power.
The 40 days will culminate in the Malaysia Day Prayer Rally on 15 Sept at the GA611 Bread Of Life Prayer Tabernacle, Petaling Jaya.
Fasting may appear intimidating and difficult at first, but it is not impossible.
The act of fasting is found in the Old Testament, the Gospels and in the New Testament Church. In the Old Testament, fasting and prayer were prescribed as a remedy for national calamity and disaster. The Gospels record Jesus going into an extended period of fasting as preparation for ministry. The early church carried on with this practice.
Fasting is closely tied to appeals for divine intervention, forgiveness, deliverance or healing caused by great distress, sorrow or guilt. This can be either on a personal or national scale. Fasting is also practised as a spiritual discipline for spiritual intimacy, growth, ministry and temperance.
One should enter into fasting purposefully. There are different types of fasting for prayer, such as abstaining from food and only consuming water, or avoiding meat completely during the fast period. Type, duration, objective and approach of the fast should be decided before commencing, taking into account individual health conditions.
With persistence, the benefits and value of fasting will become apparent. It may even become a regular practice in our lives that enriches us spiritually and physically.