Jesus replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting” Mark 9:29

We live in a beautiful but broken world. We are bombarded by images of societal breakdown and conflict from across our nation and the nations. We are so aware of personal pain and conflict in our workplaces, our schools and our neighbourhoods. We go through seasons of personal pain and hardship. Yet, we also know a God who is doing miracles and bringing restoration. We have a saviour who meets us in the midst of personal struggle.

Therefore, we must be a people who pray. Personal and corporate prayer is vital for us to engage God in our challenges and find ourselves caught up in his Kingdom purposes. We know that when we commit to prayer we see change around us and in us.

My friend Matt Bird likes to refer to himself as a monastic charismatic when it comes to prayer. He would call himself a charismatic because he firmly believes that prayer changes circumstances and situations. However, he is also a monastic because he knows that prayer changes him – his perspective and character in the midst of his circumstances and situations. I find Matt’s comment helpful in my understanding of prayer and its importance in my life personally and in the life of Jubilee.

As part of our intentional plan to “equip the saints” we would like to invite you to join the eldership team as they pray and fast on the first Wednesday of each month. This term in October, November and December we are moving our midweek corporate prayer meeting to the start of the month. We want to start each month with a focus on prayer. We want to call out to God for ourselves, our neighbourhood our nation and the nations.

We want to encourage one another to be intentional about our prayer lives. On Wednesday 5th October there will be a number of prayer meetings through the day – early morning – midday and evening. We want to encourage people to pray as families, friendship groups and as colleagues through the day wherever there is space. We are encouraging all community groups to gather with their cluster that evening and pray together.

We want to encourage one another to try fasting on that day – a basic biblical fast meant abstaining from food between 6am and 6pm. God is not persuaded by fasting, but fasting often reminds us that we are called to be intentional in our praying. When the disciples could not bring freedom to the boy in Mark 9 they ask Jesus for help. He encourages them to pray and fast (not all versions include “and fast”). Surely they had been praying! I believe Jesus is pointing them to the spiritual discipline of prayer and fasting. God wants us to pray in the moment of crisis, but he also wants us to live a life undergirded with persistent and intentional times of prayer.

God has much that he wants to do in and through us as he transforms our world with his love and power. Let us engage in God’s purposes as we dedicate ourselves to prayer and fasting.