3 Days of Prayer and Fasting (2022/07)

Exodus 16:1-21
1 They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. 2 And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, 3 and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. 5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you shall see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your grumbling against the LORD. For what are we, that you grumble against us?” 8 And Moses said, “When the LORD gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the LORD has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the LORD.”
9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, Come near before the LORD, for he has heard your grumbling.’” 10 And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. 11 And the LORD said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.’”
13 In the evening quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. 14 And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat. 16 This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat. You shall each take an omer, according to the number of the persons that each of you has in his tent.’” 17 And the people of Israel did so. They gathered, some more, some less. 18 But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat. 19 And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over till the morning.” 20 But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. 21 Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.

Day 1: Loving God
The gracious provision of manna also brings a test of God with it. The LORD said to Moses earlier in verse 4, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.” God promises to provide for everyone “a day’s portion every day.” He is not going to provide for them a week’s worth of food or a month’s worth of food. He is only going to provide “a day’s portion,” so that the Israelites learn to trust Him for their daily bread. But,” it says in verse 20, “they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them.” Some of these Israelites are quite frugal. They’re the kind of people who are always saving and preparing for tomorrow. Despite the fact that they were given just enough to eat, they choose to eat a little less than what they could eat, just in case there’s no manna tomorrow. If God were not in the picture, that would be a wise and shrewd thing to do, but in light of God’s promise to provide the manna daily for them, this betrays a grievous lack of trust in God.
The LORD provides for all of us on a daily basis. This is why Jesus taught us to pray to our Father, “Give us each day our daily bread” (Luke 11:3; cf. Matt. 6:11).There’s a reason why Jesus taught us, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matt. 6:34). So if you’re worried that you don’t have what you need for tomorrow, that may well be because God hasn’t provided that for you yet. Each day has enough worry for itself, so don’t worry about tomorrow. Receive God’s provision and protection for you today, and trust that God will do it again tomorrow. As Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
  • Remember the ways in which God has faithfully provided for you in the past, and give thanks to Him.
  • Voice your worries for tomorrow and surrender them to God, expressing your trust that He will provide what is needed when the time comes.
  • Pray that you might grow in your knowledge and experience of the LORD’s steadfast love and faithfulness, so that you can trust and obey Him.

Day 2: Loving One Another
In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul prepares the Corinthian church for the collection, the offering, that he will take up when he visits them, so that the funds can be used to relieve the poor saints in the Jerusalem Church. At the end of that passage, Paul cites Exodus 16:18, saying, “your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, ‘Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack'” (2 Cor. 8:14-15). In the wilderness, the Israelites gathered as much as each could eat, “some more, some less,” and yet each person was allotted an omer of manna, no more, no less, and in God’s economy, “whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.” Paul is saying, “some of you will gather much, while others gather little, some of you will be rich, while others will be poor,” and God’s intention is that saints who have abundance should supply the saints who have need, so that there is no lack among His people, and when fortunes turn and you, one day, have need, other saints who, then, have abundance will supply your need. God calls us not to independence, but to interdependence. We are to live as a community of mutual trust and provision, which is described in Acts 4:34-35, “There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.” We are to give without reservation, because we know that our brothers and sisters in Christ have our backs and will rise to the occasion should we lack anything. We are to give without fear, because we know that our heavenly Father is our ultimate provider.
  • Pray that God would increase your love for your brothers and sisters in Christ, even those who are very different from you, and enable you to be more generous toward them.
  • Pray for members of our church who are looking for jobs, for God’s gracious provision for them.
  • Pray that people in our church who are anxious about their future and finances would prayerfully entrust their cares to God, and that the peace of God would guard their hearts and minds in Christ.
  • Pray for our elders, Dan Roca, Matt Huckins, Paul Buckley, and Shawn Woo, and our pastoral intern Ed Kang, that they would minister the word of God effectively and grow in humble, prayerful dependence on God.
  • Pray for our deacons, Jon So and Lauren Miller, as well as diaconal intern Jen Cook, that God would grow them in wisdom and discernment as they minister to the temporal needs of our members.

Day 3: Loving Our Neighbors
In John 6, Jesus multiplies “five barley loaves and two fish” to feed five thousand men, and there is so much leftover that they fill “twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves.” After this miracle, when a large crowd of people follow him around, Jesus says to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.” Just like the Israelites in Exodus 16, these Jews are fixating on bread rather than fixing their eyes on the LORD. So Jesus tells them that they should “believe in him whom [God] has sent,” namely himself, but the skeptics ask Jesus, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat'” (John 6:31). And Jesus responds, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.At this point, the crowds ask Jesus, “Sir, give us this bread always.” And Jesus answers them in John 6:35:I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” This is an unmistakable reference to Jesus’s eventual death on the cross, since Jesus says at His Last Supper with His disciples that His body is the bread broken for our salvation, and since, later in John 6:51, Jesus says explicitly that “the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” Jesus died on the cross for our sins, so that we, who were under the sentence of eternal death, might instead have eternal life! This is the bread that grants eternal life—the body of Christ, the Word of God made flesh. And we should care more about this bread than any other kind of bread. This is the bread that is more basic to our souls than even physical bread is to our bodies. Baguettes, croissants, pitas, tortillas, and rice cakes only nourish us temporarily, and after eating them, we will hunger again, but Jesus the Bread of Life nourishes us unto eternity, and we will never hunger again. And how do you eat this bread? Jesus said in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” You eat the bread of life by coming to Jesus, by believing in Jesus! Faith is the hand and mouth of our souls. In Jesus, we see the LORD’s provision. In Jesus, we see the LORD’s faithfulness. In Jesus, we see the LORD’s steadfast love. So let us quit our grumbling against Him and find our daily sustenance in the Bread of Life.
  • Pray that God would embolden all of our church members to share the gospel with unbelievers, knowing that there is no eternal life apart from the Bread of Life.
  • Pray for specific unbelieving family members, friends, and neighbors, that they would come to Jesus and believe in Him for salvation.
  • Pray that those who are in the current Baptism/Membership Class would take the next step of faith to either get baptized and/or commit to church membership.
  • Pray for spiritual protection and physical health for Mattea, and for clarity and direction as she discerns what she will do in August when her teammates leave the area she is serving in.
  • Pray for Mariah as she is receiving cross-cultural training for future missions work, that she would be filled with the Spirit and grow in faith, hope, and love.

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