3 Days of Prayer and Fasting (2022/09)

Exodus 20:8-11
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

Day 1: Loving God
Exodus 20:11 teaches us that we should rest because the LORD worked for six days and rested on the seventh day. Though God Himself needs no rest (Isa. 40:28), he set this pattern for our benefit, because we need rest. No matter how important our work is, if the Creator and Sustainer of the universe can rest, we, too, can rest. The Sabbath principle humbles us and reminds us of or dependence and dispensability.
A parallel passage in Deuteronomy 5:15 gives us another reason for rest: “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.” We are no longer slaves! Earlier in Exodus 5:1-5, when the LORD commanded Pharaoh to “Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness,” Pharaoh refused and said to Moses and Aaron, “why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your burdens … Behold, the people of the land are now many, and you make them rest from their burdens!” The Hebrew verb for rest is related to the Hebrew noun, Sabbath.” The king of Egypt was a tyrant, a slave-driver who demanded that the Israelites make bricks without straw, who refused to let Israel cease from their “work” and “rest,” but YHWH is a gracious King who commands His servants to cease from their work and keep the Sabbath. We are no longer servants of Pharaoh, but servants of YHWH, the rest-giving God!
  • Thank God for liberating us from slavery to sin and giving us eternal rest in Christ (Heb. 4; Matt. 11:28-29).
  • Confess the things that keep you from resting in God, your pride, fear of man, worries, etc. and consciously place your trust in Him.
  • Pray that God would help you to be a servant of Christ, living for His approval, rather than seeking to please man (Gal. 1:10).

Day 2: Loving One Another
This Sabbath rest is not only for us, but also for others under our charge or in our care. So it says verse 10, “On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock…” God doesn’t want us to find a way around the Sabbath, by using other people or animals to keep the work going while we are resting. The idea is not to find other people to do our work while we are resting, but to cease from work altogether as a way of trusting in God’s provision for us. In this way, the Sabbath has a social and humanitarian function. We are meant to rest ourselves, but also give rest to others (Exod. 23:12). This is necessary, because if we’re working, other people under our charge have to work too.
  • Pray that love for one another, rather than love for self, would be the primary way in which we engage with one another.
  • Ask God to bring to mind people in our church that you should pray for, pray that God would enable them to find rest for their souls in Christ, rather than being anxious.
  • Pray for humility, love, and unity to prevail in our church.
  • Pray for our elders, 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, Jen Cook, Jon So, and Lauren Miller, that God would grow them in wisdom and discernment as they minister to the temporal needs of our members.

Day 3: Loving Our Neighbors
Exodus 20:10 command Israelites to give rest even to “the sojourner who is within your gates.” Even the foreigner, the Gentile, was granted rest under the Sabbath provision, and this looks ahead to the time when Jew and Gentile, slave and free, would all find salvation and rest in Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:28).
  • Pray that God would embolden all of our church members to share the gospel with unbelievers, knowing that our hearts are restless until they rest in Christ.
  • Pray for specific unbelieving family members, friends, and neighbors, that they would come to Jesus and believe in Him for salvation.
  • Pray for church members with broken relationships with their parents, in-laws, that they’d find ways to honor them while trusting in God as their heavenly Father.
  • Pray for encouragement, discernment, and spiritual power for Mattea, as she finishes out the last few months of her missions work in Indonesia.

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