A Call for A Day of Solemn Prayer and Fasting

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C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Senior
I believe the events of recent days demonstrate clearly that we are under the judgment of Almighty God. It was customary for our Puritan fathers to mark such frowning providences with a day of solemn humiliation and prayer. Both the Westminster (21.5) and Baptist Confession (22.5) state that such days are "to be used in an holy and religious manner." I believe it behooves the ministers and pastors on this board to prayerfully consider setting aside a day for their congregations to gather publicly together to humble themselves before God for our national sins and provocations and to earnestly beg for his mercy on our land.

I am currently giving thought about how such a day could be observed in our church. If this is something you have done or are considering, please share your thoughts on what you believe to be most unto edification and the honor and glory of God.
 
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VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
I believe the events of recent days demonstrate clearly that we are under the judgment of Almighty God. It was customary for our Puritan fathers to mark such frowning providences with a day of solemn humiliation and prayer. Both the Westminster (21.5) and Baptist Confession (22.5) state that such days are "to be used in an holy and religious manner." I believe it behooves the ministers and pastors on this board to prayerfully consider setting aside a day for their congregations to gather publicly together to humble themselves before God for our national sins and provocations and to earnestly beg for his mercy on our land.

I am currently giving thought about how such a day could be observed in our church. If this is something you have done or are considering, please share your thoughts on what you believe to be most unto edification and the honor and glory of God.
Thank you for bringing this up. Our body is wanting to do this as well.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
We should do this regularly all the time. What recent events are you speaking about? Are you talking about the riots on capital hill? If so, our cities have been burning all year because of riots. That's more of indication of God's judgment than a bunch of politicians who got scared because of some rioters. They cared nothing for those in the wake of the rioting all year in 2020 and now they are all for "bringing the rioters to justice" all because it happened to them. Violence is always bad and I don't condone what happened, but I also don't feel sorry for the politicians on capital hill. And I don't feel that God's judgment is all of the sudden revealed to us all because rioters rushed capital hill.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
And I don't feel that God's judgment is all of the sudden revealed to us all because rioters rushed capital hill.
Nor do I, Sarah. Nevertheless, although God's judgment has been building for years, as is the common pattern, we get used to it. Now is better than never.
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Senior
We should do this regularly all the time. What recent events are you speaking about? Are you talking about the riots on capital hill? If so, our cities have been burning all year because of riots. That's more of indication of God's judgment than a bunch of politicians who got scared because of some rioters. They cared nothing for those in the wake of the rioting all year in 2020 and now they are all for "bringing the rioters to justice" all because it happened to them. Violence is always bad and I don't condone what happened, but I also don't feel sorry for the politicians on capital hill. And I don't feel that God's judgment is all of the sudden revealed to us all because rioters rushed capital hill.
I agree with all of your points. My comments should not be read as undermining anything you've said.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Probably well due, to demonstrate to our Father that we do not wish to despise or faint under His rod.

COVID, our social and economic upheavals, and the closing of churches--the worst of all judgments--were divine warning signals.

They were not heeded.

And in due order, worse things are coming.

A friend of mine, a Chinese citizen, comments that the church in America is where China was right before the Communist Revolution. Christianity was fashionable, and you could even be an open Christian politician; yet the church lacked demonstration of power. This friend's own opinion is that the Revolution was the Lord chastising the Chinese church, sweeping it clean and purifying it.

But fast learners require shorter trials, and fewer chastisements. The Lord may in the midst of judgment remember mercy.

Jonah 3:9–10
Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
 

Joshua

Administrator
We should do this regularly all the time. What recent events are you speaking about? Are you talking about the riots on capital hill? If so, our cities have been burning all year because of riots. That's more of indication of God's judgment than a bunch of politicians who got scared because of some rioters. They cared nothing for those in the wake of the rioting all year in 2020 and now they are all for "bringing the rioters to justice" all because it happened to them. Violence is always bad and I don't condone what happened, but I also don't feel sorry for the politicians on capital hill. And I don't feel that God's judgment is all of the sudden revealed to us all because rioters rushed capital hill.
I understand your sentiment, sister Sarah, but fasting -by nature- is occasional, not regular. And a session or Presbytery calling for a fast upon observation of more palpable "hard times" is instructive even beyond the fast itself, by drawing attention to the need of repentance. But you're correct that this is not a matter of God's judgment "all of the sudden [being] revealed." We have been under judgment for quite a long time, indicated by churches that despise God's Law, particularly His sabbaths and His Psalms, and -more recently palpable- gross seventh commandment issues.

We have wicked leaders because we are a wicked people. With the shaking of a leaf, the LORD has -in many ways- caused the whole world to cease. By irrational responses to a new sickness (similar in so many ways to other sicknesses), the LORD has been pleased to cause panacea and hysterics to be stirred up by wicked manipulators from all sides of the political spectrum. Truth has fallen in the streets, and those in power have succeeded in outfacing the truth such that the average person is unable to know what is true and what is not with regard to current goings-on. This ought not to be the case for the Christian, Who knows that history is simply God's providence playing out, and that He works all things according to the counsel of His own will, and that we may observe such things, making spiritual application.

So, when the LORD has seen fit in His providence to shutter churches, destroy livelihoods, make wicked rulers even more powerful, we can look at the history of Israel itself and make some sound application. And so -one application to be made of any deprivation sent our way is that we would cry out to the LORD to be humbled for our sins, more thankful for His Word, and crying desperately that He might not take it away!

Have we thought -as His church- we could despise His sabbaths for so long, and He would not act? So did Israel & Judah. Will He send a famine of His Word, when His Worship is despised? Sure. Are such perilous thoughts not inducements to prayer and fasting? They ought to be.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
Jan 22 is National Sanctity of Human Life Day. Reagan started it, as Jan 22 was the date abortion was legalized. Churches usually pick the third Sunday in Jan to focus on pro life/anti abortion, and other human rights as well sometimes. This year churches are either picking the 17th or 24th. That might be a good day for corporate prayer and fasting as the threats to Christian freedoms grow. Or the 22nd. Just an idea.
 

Grant

Puritan Board Senior
Doubtful our session will do this, however my family would very much be interested in participating with a corporate fast, so let me know.

lynnie said:
Jan 22 is National Sanctity of Human Life Day. Reagan started it, as Jan 22 was the date abortion was legalized. Churches usually pick the third Sunday in Jan to focus on pro life/anti abortion, and other human rights as well sometimes. This year churches are either picking the 17th or 24th. That might be a good day for corporate prayer and fasting as the threats to Christian freedoms grow. Or the 22nd. Just an idea.
A good idea. We had a bulletin insert this morning regarding abortion rate currently in a single city of Mississippi ( Jackson, MS). Currently 60 babies are aborted per week in Jackson, MS.
 
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