3 Days of Prayer and Fasting (2020/01)

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Luke 24:13-32
13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29 but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

Day 1: Loving God
Reflect:
In 24:24 the disciples on the road to Emmaus mention that though some of them verified the women’s report of the empty tomb, “[Jesus] they did not see.” Then in verses 25-27, Jesus rebukes the disciples, not for their failure to recognize Him who stands before them, but for their failure to believe the Scriptures. This is a fulfillment of Jesus’s warning in the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man in Luke 16, where the rich man, who is in torment in Hades begs Abraham to send Lazarus who is in Heaven to his “five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Instead of granting his request, Abraham says, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them,” for “if they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead” (vv. 28-31)! Jesus has literally been raised from the dead, and He is right before their eyes talking to them, and yet these two disciples on the road to Emmaus do not believe, because they have not listened to the Scriptures. Christians are to “walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). In what ways is your life more controlled by what you see and feel than by what you believe from God’s Word?
Pray:
  • Confess your unbelief, your failure to find God’s mind in His Word, and for your failure to trust in God’s promises.
  • Using Chapter 2 of the book Take Words With You, pray the promises of God back to Him.

Day 2: Loving One Another
Reflect:
Jesus partakes in a meal with His disciples in 24:28-32, which is reminiscent of two other meals in the Gospel of Luke (9:10-17 and 22:14-23). In all three of them, Jesus does the same things in the same order. He (1) takes the bread, (2) blesses or give thanks for it, (3) breaks it, and (4) gives it to His disciples. At the institution of the Lord’s Supper in Luke 22:19, Jesus “took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” So it is significant that in the breaking of bread that the disciples’ eyes are opened to recognize Jesus. The three parallel meals emphasize the importance of table fellowship and the communion of believers for the purpose of remembering Christ. It is an undoing of the Fall, when the first man and woman disobeyed God and took, ate, and gave from the forbidden tree, their eyes were opened to sin, their eyes were opened to shame, their eyes were opened to death (Gen. 3:6-7). Now, in the New Covenant, Christ takes and gives us to eat the bread, which represents His body that hung on the tree of the cross, and when we eat the Bread from that tree of life, our eyes are opened to God, to glory, to eternal life!
Pray:
  • Pray that God would make the gospel of Jesus Christ central to our conversations and relations within the church.
  • Pray for that God would make every member of our church cherish and prioritize corporate worship and the fellowship of believers.

Day 3: Loving Our Neighbors
Reflect:
Earlier in verse 16, “their eyes were kept from recognizing [Jesus].” But now, in the breaking of bread, “their eyes were opened.” The verb “to open” occurs six times in the Gospel of Luke and in the sequel, the Book of Acts (Luke 24:31, 32, 45; Acts 7:56; 16:14; 17:3), and in all six it refers to divine revelation. In nearly all of them, it refers specifically to God revealing Himself through Scripture. And that connection is made explicit here in verses 31-32, “And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn with us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” Formerly, they were “slow of heart to believe” (v. 25), but when Jesus opened up the Scriptures to them, their “hearts burn[ed]” with the light of knowledge and the fire of passion. Unless God sovereignly opens people’s spiritual eyes, they cannot believe.
Pray:
  • Pray Ephesians 1:17-19 for your unbelieving family, friends, and neighbors, that God would open the eyes of their hearts to the wonders of the gospel.
  • Pray that God would give you opportunities to open the Scriptures with an unbelieving friend or neighbor. Invite someone to do a Bible study with you before the end of this month.

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