40 Days of Prayer, Fasting, and Repentance:
Meeting the Threat of the Coronavirus

Wed, Mar 18 -  Sun, Apr 26, 2020

It's not too late to join fellow Christians across America in a 40-day initiative of prayer, fasting and repentance. 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! The potential health and economic impact of the coronavirus is not fully known yet, but could be devastating. We desire that God has mercy.

In times of crises, God desires that His people examine themselves and repent of everything displeasing to Him. We are to repent on behalf of ourselves and American Christianity which is largely self-indulgent and does not seek the Lord in holiness or wholehearted devotion. First-century Christians prayed and read the Scriptures every morning and evening, and fasted twice a week. Meanwhile, American Christians spend little energy seeking God and the church is therefore largely powerless. Most Christians don’t give at least ten percent of their income even though we are the richest country in the history of the world, and we pollute ourselves through movies and our own engagement with sexual immorality. 

Participants will seek God through the Biblical practice of fasting, prayer and repentance. You may choose to fast from all foods for the entire 40 days—drinking only liquids—or you may choose to fast by eating only 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 desire to have you be a part, and God will reward you.

Please sign up below to participate. As a participant, you will receive a special devotional by email each morning of the fast offering encouragement as you devote yourself to the Lord in humility and repentance.

May God draw near and bring healing, comfort, and protection to our nation as we seek Him through prayer, fasting and repentance.

Join the Fast

Day 17 Devotional – Happiness, Joy, and Seeking God

May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you! 
May those who love your salvation say evermore,“God is great!” 
— Psalm 70:4

In the spring of 2018, Yale University offered a class on the Psychology of the Good Life. It became the most popular class in Yale’s history. Against a backdrop of high pressure where levels of depression, anxiety and stress reach dangerous levels, this unprecedented student response indicated a deep hunger to find answers on how to be happy in daily life. The course pointed to research that acquiring more stuff, more money, the right job, the perfect body, true love and good grades are all myths in boosting true happiness. It was recognized that most of the things we think make us happy don’t, because our intuitions lead us astray!

In the biblical book of Ecclesiastes, a wise and very wealthy King Solomon wrote about his pursuit of the multitude of things and accolades that he had obtained, which left him feeling hollow. He concludes with a warning to remember God as the primary point of reference, without whom the pursuit of happiness and the good life becomes meaningless.

Our meditation from Psalm 70 is written by David, King Solomon’s father. It is an SOS prayer to God from a pit of despair; a place where one has every reason not to be happy or joyful. Hence his words in verse 4, “Let those who seek God rejoice” is startling. At the end of his tether, unable to resort to self-help strategies, he declares that seeking God is positioning himself to be in a place of joy or happiness. The reality of his dire situation is replaced by addressing the saving power, the magnitude and greatness of God. He says in verse 5, “God is great’”or in some translations, “let God be magnified.” It’s not that God can be magnified or made bigger than He already is, but David is improving his vision and understanding of God’s higher perspective and God’s final authority over his situation. He recognizes that not only is God in control but that in seeking Him, joy is activated. This is the miracle afforded to those who look to God from their joy-draining places. Psalm 16:11 says, “in your (God’s) presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

The self-generated practices of happiness are not entirely unhelpful to one’s well-being, but those disciplines in themselves will not be enough to take us through the landscape of wilderness experiences. David brought his honest SOS prayer to God. He addresses God in his joyless situation. He processes with God his frustrations and his fears. He calls to God to deal with those who drain him of joy. David in the Psalm recognizes his poor and needy condition before God. In other words, he is admitting his own paucity of resources in dealing with his joyless situation.

He knows by his own life experiences so far that seeking God in dark situations was not his only option but his best one. He recognizes God is his Savior and the Source of his well-being, no matter what the status quo. He declares the greatness of God over his situation and in the midst of it.

Experiencing radical joy or happiness is not a self-manufactured, shallow or temporal emotion. It is based on hoping in the promises and character of God. Seeking God’s presence is key to finding authentic joy and happiness. 

We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. 
—C.S. Lewis

God, I am sorry for pursuing happiness and joy that doesn’t lead to the good life that You wired me to have. 
God, I am so desperate for You to act in my joy-draining situation (name the situation).
I acknowledge that I don’t have the answers.
I am sorry for not turning to You and talking to You about it.
I recognize You are over and above my situation and able to help.
I will seek after You because in Your presence, no matter what, I can experience true joy.

Chitra L Kovoor
Ministry Fellow at Yale University (Christian Union Lux)

46,500 People Fasting

Join with other believers who have committed themselves to prayer and repentance for the 30 days of September 2020.

Don't be afraid to take on this 30-day commitment to draw closer to God, together with thousands of Christians across the nation, through prayer and repentance during this desperate time in our nation's history.

Fasting Resources

Throughout Scripture, we see examples of fasting accompanying and giving urgency to the desperate prayers of faithful men and women. Some participants of "Seeking God in September" may choose to not just pray, but also fast during the month as part of their commitment. 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