April 20, 2007

Day of Prayer and Fasting

Thought I would add this wonderful email from Children of Destiny about Monday's day and prayer and fasting.

A Call to Fast for Autism on April 23 Dear Daily Prayer Subscriber,

As many of you know, April is Autism Awareness Month here in the United States. In the several years since we have been involved in the cause of autism, we have been very pleased to see that with each passing April, more and more awareness of and programs devoted this devastating disorder have been presented in the media. Sadly, however, with each passing April, more and more children and families are devastated by the diagnosis.

This April, Paulette Britton, mother of Sam, was impressed to call for a Day of Prayer and Fasting for those affected by autism. We commend Paulette for this great effort. We at Children of Destiny fully endorse this opportunity to join with many others from around the world in fasting and lifting our prayers before the Lord on behalf of those afflicted with autism. Therefore, we are asking that you would consider joining with us as we humble ourselves before the Lord in Prayer and Fasting for our children and adults with autism. The official fast is for 24 hours and runs from sun up on Monday, April 23 until sun up on Tuesday April 24.

Why Fast?

For the Christian, fasting is an essential part of spiritual life. Even Jesus agreed that some things simply could not be accomplished without fasting.

Fasting removes spiritual clutter and puts us in a better position to receive from God. By fasting, we make it possible for the Lord to reveal Himself to us in a greater way, not because He speaks more clearly, but because we can hear Him more clearly.

Why is that? Because fasting is a sacrifice of submission and worship unto Him. It is because we have given up something temporal in order to pursue something eternal. To the degree we allow ourselves to hunger after God is the degree to which we will be satisfied by Him.

The fruit of our fasting is God's to decide. We cannot manipulate God through it, but we certainly can please Him. Fasting almost certainly will produce a deeper covenant relationship with Him. Isaiah 58, the great chapter on fasting, offers us a list of additional benefits that fasting can produce including deliverance, giving, guidance, healing, increased protection, spiritual cleansing, answers from God, increased fruitfulness, and restoration of spiritual things that have been lost (This material has been adapted from the book Possessing Your Inheritance by Chuck D. Pierce and Rebecca Wagner Sytsema, pp. 134-135).

Of course, we are asking that you join us in this fast as we specifically ask God to heal children and adults with autism. Paulette suggests that you make a specific list of what you are asking God for as you fast. Doing so is essential because it not only focuses you in prayer, but also allows you to go back later and see how the Lord has moved.

Here at Children of Destiny, we recommend that this list not just be generic, such as "God, please heal Nick of autism," but rather a list of specific issues related to the autism. For example, potty training, aggressive behaviors, language, running away, digestive disorders and so forth. The reason for doing this is so we can see the hand of God moving in very specific ways as issues on this list improve. Not only does it encourage us that God is moving on behalf of our loved one, it also increases our faith for the whole miracle!

Please Join Us

Again, the fast runs from sunrise on April 23 to sunrise on April 24. Many will likely choose to fast from all food. However, if for any reason you are unable to fast for the entire 24 hour period, or are unable to fast from food, please consider joining us anyway. Perhaps you can consider a fast of any beverage other than water, or perhaps you can abstain from sugar. We ask that you are wise in making your decisions to fast and do not compromise your health in any way. If you have health issues and are not able to consult with your doctor before Monday, please consider fasting in some other form -- perhaps from television or reading for pleasure. Also consider asking your children or granchildren to fast as well. If a food fast is unwise or unwelcomed, kids could also be encouraged to fast from video games or other daily indulgences.

Again, we thank Paulette for putting together this great initiative. She has put together a web site containing all the information necessary to participate. We encourage you to visit her site at http://www.asdPrayandFast.com.

Please pass this information along to your friends and family and listmates.

We would be thrilled to hear of your plans to participate, and also of the answers to prayer you see!

Jack and Rebecca Sytsema
Children of Destiny

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