Seeking God’s hope, healing and wholeness during a Week of Fasting and Prayer

A Call to PrayerBy Mary M. Rall
Community Covenant Church

Individuals, families and groups are invited to come together for a Week of Fasting and Prayer from Sept. 4-11 to consecrate themselves and the congregation as Community Covenant prepares to receive its new mission focus and the Strategic Ministry Plan.

The week of intentional prayer and fasting will serve as a means of offering praise and glorifying God, as well as asking for wisdom and guidance as people of all ages come together as a faith family to ask God to equip the church’s leaders, create a culture where prayer is common practice and to develop discipleship to become capable followers of Christ.

“We want to be the people He’s called us to be, but we have no hope of doing that if we don’t pray,” said Lead Pastor Todd Michero, explaining that CCC has been called to be a community of hope, healing and wholeness.

Although the Strategic Ministry Plan has developed over the course of almost two years as Community Covenant has made its way along the Vitality Pathway, Todd said the church’s Prayer Ministry has grown to become a vital and thriving part of its daily life.

Sandy Gold has partnered with Heather Smith and Susan Teel in support of the Prayer Ministry, and shared that she understands some people may be hesitant to participate in a corporate prayer event, because they’re unsure if there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to pray.

“When I first started praying with others, I was really afraid. I overcame that fear by praying with people who I felt safe with and who I could learn from. I learned tons by praying with other people,” Sandy said. “I quickly learned prayer was not about me, but about God. Even if I made a mistake, He was the healer and would do amazing things. That lesson took off a lot of pressure to perform. God is always the best teacher, we just need to engage with Him.”

Creating the right atmosphere for prayer can be a significant factor when entering into a conversation with God as well, Sandy said.

“I find it best to remove myself from the million things I could be doing and just be quiet with God for a time,” she said. “Just like you would put away distractions when a friend comes over to visit, I need to remove distractions when I talk with God.”

Fasting will also be a significant part of seeking out God’s wisdom and direction during the Week of Fasting and Prayer.

According to “What the Bible Says about Fasting” by Rose Publishing, “fasting is a period of time during which a person abstains from something central to daily life for spiritual purposes. In fasting, we’re reminded of God’s sustaining power and our humble position before Him.”

The guide explains there are four forms and extremes of fasting, which include abstaining from all food and beverages; not consuming just food; avoiding tasty food and beverages; and fasting from non-food items, such as smartphones or television.

“The purpose of fasting is to help us experience deeper intimacy with our Sustainer and to know His character more fully,” the guide explains. “In our modern age of immediate gratification and constant distraction, removing devices that answer our questions so quickly and keep us from being fully present in our conversations can help us refocus on what’s important.”

Regardless of the type of fasting people pursue, it should always be done responsibly and for the right reasons.

“Whenever you fast, it’s important to make sure your heart is in the right place,” the guide notes, explaining that fasting facilitates a deeper sense of intimacy with God; forces us to rely on Him as our weaknesses are revealed; is a way of worshipping God; and is a means for asking God to move powerfully in our lives and world.

To that end, prayer and fasting guides can be picked up in Community Covenant’s lobby, and the congregation is invited to help seek God’s hope, healing and wholeness at the following corporate prayer events during the Week of Fasting and Prayer:

  • Prayer walk through Community Covenant’s building and grounds on Sept 4. at 12:45 p.m. The walk will begin in the Sanctuary.
  • A scripture-led discussion on preparing for and participating in a time of prayer and fasting on Sept. 5 at 6 p.m. in the upstairs Prayer Room.
  • Congregational prayer on Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. in the upstairs Prayer Room.
  • Corporate prayer on Sept. 6 at 9 a.m. in the Family Room.
  • Prayer and fasting for CCC’s staff on Sept. 7 at 11:30 a.m. in the upstairs Prayer Room.
  • Congregational prayer, fasting and communion for the Leadership Team on Sept. 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the Library.
  • Prayer Shawl Ministry on Sept. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Jitters.
  • Evening of prayer, worship and testimonies on Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

For more information on upcoming prayer and fasting week events and activities, call 696-5229.