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21-Day Fast: “Fasting for Cultural Revolution”

Join fellow Christians across America in a 21-day fast. As we fast, we will be praying that God will transform seven important sectors of our society for His glory: Arts & Entertainment, Business, Education, Family, Government, Media, and The Church. Let’s seek God for nothing less than a Great Awakening throughout our country.

 

Lydia's Legacy

Satuday, August 18, 2018  -  Devotional for Day 6
Sector of Society We Are Fasting and Praying For: Business

“And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.” Acts 16:13-15 (ESV)

Who were the women who gathered at the river banks that Sabbath? The focus is on an enigmatic woman called Lydia who is identified as a tradeswoman in the lucrative and complex dyeing industry of her day. It would be fair to say she had specialized knowledge in sourcing and extracting prized color from Mediterranean mollusks which were used to dye garments for the upper echelons of Roman society and others who wore the distinguishing purple to mark their elite status. A woman involved in a niche luxury-goods business and someone who owned her own home, suggests that Luke is perhaps making a point that she was successful! However, larger than her business profile is her posture before God.

Verse 14 describes her as a hearer. Despite the demands of the world of work, she seems to press pause to listen to the message of Paul, indicating a deep hunger for the things of God. Creating sabbatical rhythms of listening to God leads us to realize who God is and that He alone can satisfy our deepest yearnings. Will you stop to listen to the voice of God to enjoy the good things He has prepared for you? The life-giving invitation of Jesus to us is, Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:20).

Lydia in the world of Caesar is described as a worshipper of God. The allure of ‘purple’ does not seem to deceive her. Her true allegiance is to God. In her listening and yielding, she is enabled to open her heart to enter into a deep personal relationship with God.

Satan tempted Jesus by saying, “If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours” (Luke 4:7). ‘It’ represents all the things this world places value on. But Jesus replied, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve’” (Luke 4:8). What are the ‘it’ altars of this world that you bow your knee to? A profit and loss statement from Jesus is, “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36). Lydia sold purple, she didn’t worship it. God clearly had the throne of her heart.

When Lydia got baptized with her household in response to God’s message, she was serious about her commitment to the faith and declared herself to be a believer in the Lord.Are you enthusiastic in identifying yourself as a committed follower of Jesus, both in public and at home?

Having freely received the hospitality of God, her grateful and natural response is of one who gives back. She was a strategic player who took initiative in expanding the mission of God. A church was established in Philippi because of Lydia’s open heart and her open home. How is God calling you to share joyfully the gifts and resources that He has freely given you and partner with Him in His mission?

God, today we pray especially for our business leaders that they build and establish business practices open to your Spirit of wisdom and counsel. May their lives be consecrated to honor You. We pray for favor on the marketplace, that it will reflect You and benefit the people living in this nation and beyond. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Chitra L. Kovoor
Ministry Fellow, Christian Union at Yale

 

Selected Resources to Explore for a Cultural Revolution in Business

BOOK (96 pages): Business for the Glory of God by Wayne Grudem
This biblically-based book is a thoughtful guide to imitating God during interactions with customers, coworkers, employees, and other businesses. See how your business, and your life in business, can be dedicated to God's glory.

AUDIO (1:21:22): Panel Discussion: Science And Engineering
This vocational panel discussion was recorded at the Christian Union Nexus Conference 2016. Nexus is an annual conference that equips students and professionals to seek God and to live out their faith and change culture. The panelists were Mr. John Lin, Design Engineering Manager at ILC Dover in the field of Aerospace Engineering, Ms. Lauren Casper, Project Engineer with Turner Construction, Dr. Jim Williams, Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

BOOK (207 pages): Redeeming Capitalism by Kenneth J. Barnes
In this book Barnes explores the history and workings of this economic system, and unpacks biblical-theological teachings on work and wealth. The book pushes the reader to consider a more just and flourishing capitalism for the good of all.

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2,116 People Fasting

Join with thousands of believers who have committed themselves to fasting for 21 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 U.S.

How to Fast

The fast lasts for 21 days, beginning Monday, August 13th, 2018 through Sunday, September 2nd. As a signed-up participant, you will receive an email each morning of the fast, featuring a devotional on the theme “Fasting for Cultural Revolution” 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 those who humble themselves through fasting.

If you don’t have a lot of experience fasting, this may be a challenging endeavor to face. 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

Fasting helps the Christian draw close to God, although American Christians are often unfamiliar with the practice. 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

Join Others in Prayer for Revival in America

Prayer

Upcoming Events

  • Video Prayer Call for the 21 Day Fast, Sunday, August 19 at 9:00 PM ET.
  • Video Prayer Call for the 21 Day Fast, Sunday, August 26 at 9:00 PM ET.
  • Video Prayer Call to conclude the 21 Day Fast, Sunday, September 2 at 9:00 PM ET.
  • The Great Experiment is coming back! October 2018. Details to be announced.

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