“We needed His help in a special way…”
Last December, Watertown EFC attempted something they hadn’t before – a communal time of prayer and fasting. Shaped by seven years of smaller, weekly prayer meetings – sometimes with as few as three people – and specific needs that had arisen in their congregation and community, WEFC decided to cry out to God in an intentional and different way.
Before getting the whole congregation involved, the WEFC elders took a weekend to pray and fast themselves – many fasting for the first time. They saw fruit: sharpened spiritual focus, peace, feeling closer to God, health improvements for those they were praying for. After prayerful deliberation, the elders decided to share a letter with the congregation, asking them to join together in a weekend dedicated to prayer and fasting. Adapted from a similar one written by Grace Church of Edina, this letter recounted the elders’ experience, laid out a Scriptural foundation for prayer and fasting, and shared a call for a weekend filled with intercession, praise, and confession, while fasting in a way and for a duration that was safe and meaningful to each congregant that chose to participate
Again, they saw fruit.
The three-day weekend, consisting of individuals fasting and praying but then coming together for corporate prayer events each day, saw breakthroughs in those who were spiritually oppressed – a major focus of the weekend. They saw the body come together in unity and support as congregants shared struggles that they’d previously kept hidden. They experienced God in ways that they never had before.
Watertown EFC never intended for their weekend of corporate prayer and fasting to be a one-time event, and it hasn’t been. Groups continue to meet weekly for prayer, they utilize their prayer chain daily, and they have more weekends of prayer and fasting in the works. It is the heart of Pastor Dan Osborn and the elders to continue to cultivate a culture of prayer at WEFC and to be a resource for any church that is looking to do the same. If you’re interested in further incorporating the disciplines of prayer and fasting in your local congregation and would like to hear perspective and suggestions from Dan, contact him at equipperDO@wevfree.org.