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21-Day Fast: Fasting for Revival in America

Monday, August 12 - Sunday, September 1, 2019

Join fellow Christians across America in a 21-day fast (fasting from food). Participants will follow the example of men and women of Scripture who humbled themselves and sought the Lord through fasting. Our country needs the spiritual renewal that only God can bring. May He hear our cry and answer!

Starting Monday, August 12, 2019, participants will seek God through the biblical practice of fasting. You may choose to fast from all foods for the entire 21 days—drinking only liquids—or you may choose to fast one or two meals each day. For some, health limitations will require a different type of fast (see fasting resources). However God leads you, we are thrilled to have you be a part.

Please sign up below to participate. By signing up, each morning during the fast, you will receive a special devotional by email to encourage you as we devote ourselves to the Lord together in this special and humble way. May God draw near and bring spiritual renewal to us and to our nation as we seek Him through prayer and fasting!

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Whom Shall I Fear?

Sunday, August 25, 2019
Devotional for Day 14

After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites, came against Jehoshaphat for battle. Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar” (that is, Engedi). Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah assembled to seek help from the Lord; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. — 2 Chronicles 20:1-4 (ESV)

The king of Judah was petrified. The enemy horde was assembling, and attack was imminent. Jehoshaphat had no viable military plan; his people’s slaughter seemed assured. Who wouldn’t be afraid? The steps Jehoshaphat takes, in the midst of near-crippling fear, will save the lives of men, women and children. He proclaims a fast and assembles the people, and together they ask the Lord what to do.

When was the last time you were terrified? Was it a response to physical danger, or perhaps a life-change, a transition you felt unable to endure? The Bible doesn’t dismiss the fear we often face; it addresses it head on. Throughout Scripture we find people of all sorts encountering the Lord or angelic representatives with knees knocking. Time and time again, they are greeted with the words “fear not.” 

Curiously, Scripture also commends fear--that is, a specific form of fear. Proverbs 9:10 begins with the observation that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” It’s worth asking, what is the difference between fearing the Lord and simply being afraid? 

We find a clue in the prayer of Jehoshaphat, first in verse 6, “…are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. Then, in verse 12: “we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do...” Circumstances were beyond his control. The king had nothing up his sleeve, and he admitted to fear and desperation. “But…”, Jehoshaphat begins the statement that could be said to define biblical faith: “But our eyes are on you.”

Jehoshaphat saw his absolute situation clearly. There is a form of fear—a healthy, sane sort—intimately tied to humility. Humility is a clear-eyed grasp of who God is, from His power to His character, and grasps all the aspects of who we are to Him. This clarity produces a particular mindset and behaviors. It can lead to self-sacrifice and forgiveness, and well as into astonishing boldness. In this case, it led a people to simply “stand firm” while God showed up in power.

Set humility up against pure fear for a moment. Both flow from the awareness that one cannot control many of the events that shape our lives. Fear knows we aren’t in control, and it has concluded that neither is God. In contrast, humility depends upon God to do His work in us in the midst of these events, and asks what we need to know next. 

Jehoshaphat called his people to join him in humility. They set aside the normal daily rhythm, forgoing meals, to focus their attention and (dwindling) energy to inquire of the Lord and wait for His response. And the Lord spoke! His first words (surprise, surprise): “Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid…” (v 15). His next words must have elicited giddy relief: “Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf…” (v 17). The people did as they were told and gained the story of a lifetime about how God acted on their behalf. 

Humility and fear can’t occupy the same place at the same time in your heart and mind. Either God is in control, leading to trusting obedience, or nothing is, leading to nihilism and despair. 

Before we came to Christ, we stood on the verge of annihilation that was as assured as that facing the people of Judah, but the stakes for us were eternal. Instead, by God’s grace, the death we feared and the judgment we deserved were laid on our savior, Jesus Christ. 

But why doesn’t God whisk us from this rough life to Heaven the moment we are saved? Because God is transforming us. It is Christianity’s paradox. In Christ, you are a new creation. Yet, you are becoming the new creation as well. God has ordained that the new creation comes like a slowly breaking dawn. God is walking us patiently through a lifelong process of learning to look and act more like Jesus Christ. 

This process began in the “fear of the Lord” by which we recognize our fallenness and need for a savior. When this ‘wise fear’ has done its work by leading us to saving faith in Jesus Christ, we are wonderfully freed: “perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment” (1 John 4:18). 

The Lord permits crisis to come, to focus our attention on learning humility; to listen, trust, and obey the High King of Heaven. Like Jehoshaphat, we can see our situation clearly and seek God with all our energy. But let’s not wait for such a crisis as they did! 

This, then, is how the people of Judah advanced on what could have been their day of disaster: 

Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:

“Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”

As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.

— 2 Chronicles 20:21-22

Holy God, You alone are worthy to be feared, worshipped, and praised! Today, I put my hope in Your power, authority, character, holiness, and the redeeming, sanctifying love of Jesus Christ. Thank You that I can fast and pray whenever I am afraid. I admit “I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on You.” Yes, Lord, help me to trust You and worship You with all my heart as I follow Your leading!

Sarah Camp
Christian Union Director of Marketing and Communications

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1,176 People Fasting

Join with the believers who have committed themselves to fasting for twenty-one days.

Why Fast?

Fasting was practiced in the Old Testament, New Testament and in church history to entreat God for Him to move in extraordinary ways. We need God in the U.S. now more than ever.

Moses fasted 40 days, Nehemiah fasted 120 days, and large numbers of Jews in Esther's time fasted for 70 days in their time of need.

2 Chronicles 7:14 says that when we humble ourselves and confess our sins, God intervenes in history to heal our land. In Psalm 35:13 King David humbled himself through fasting and many others in the Scriptures have done the same to gain favor from God. Moses fasted 40 days, Nehemiah fasted 120 days, and large numbers of Jews in Esther’s time fasted for 70 days in their time of need. Jesus fasted 40 days, Christians in the book of Acts fasted regularly, and believers for 2000 years have sought God through fasting and prayer. Thousands of American Christians humbling themselves through an extended fast will be very meaningful to God and will help move Him, according to His word, to bring change to the United States.

How to Fast

The fast lasts for 21 days, beginning Monday, August 12th, 2019 through Sunday, September 1st. As a signed-up participant, you will receive an email each morning of the fast, featuring a devotional to encourage and motivate you as you fast.

You may choose to fast from foods for the entire 21 days -- drinking only liquids -- or you may choose to fast one or two meals each day. However God leads you, we are thrilled to have you be a part.

Don't be afraid to take on this biblical challenge to draw closer to God and see Him exalt you as you humble yourself through fasting.

If you don’t have a lot of experience fasting, this may be a challenging endeavor. Christians throughout the centuries have sought God through fasting and have found Him in wonderful ways as a result. Don’t be afraid to take on this biblical challenge to draw closer to God and see Him exalt those who humble themselves through fasting.

Fasting Resources

American Christians are often unfamiliar with the practice even though fasting was common for Christians through the centuries and is regularly done in the international Church. For more information check out this FAQ for Fasting and this curated list of resources.

God's Next Move in America

America’s Christian heritage is among the greatest of all the nations in the world. God’s Kingdom has thrived here through the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s, largely due to nationwide moves of God’s Spirit. We need another history-making move of God. By His sovereign grace, God ensures that we play a part in Heaven’s work. He draws near to us when we draw near to Him (James 4:8). We must ask, seek, and knock for an outpouring of His Spirit (Luke 11:5-13).

“Whenever God is about to do something truly great,
He first sets His people praying!” Matthew Henry, 1662-1714

"Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." James 4:8
"Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God." William Carey, 1751-1834

God's Next Move in America

America’s Christian heritage is among the greatest of all the nations in the world. God’s Kingdom has thrived here through the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s, largely due to nationwide moves of God’s Spirit. We need another history-making move of God. By His sovereign grace, God ensures that we play a part in Heaven’s work. He draws near to us when we draw near to Him (James 4:8). We must ask, seek, and knock for an outpouring of His Spirit (Luke 11:5-13).

“Whenever God is about to do something truly great,
He first sets His people praying!” Matthew Henry, 1662-1714

Over the last three centuries, revivals have had a great impact. Between 1730 and 1830 successive movements of the Holy Spirit brought a large proportion of the population into the churches. These awakenings are not ultimately the result of marketing or organization. They come, by God’s grace and in his time, in response to extraordinary prayer. Christian Union Day and Night is making a serious attempt to spark this kind of prayer and devotion. I welcome it, and I’m very encouraged by it.

  • Tim Keller
  • Redeemer Presbyterian Church
  • New York City