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FOCUS: Day of Repentance, Prayer and Fasting

We want to take time on Ash Wednesday to pray, fast and repent as a way to REMEMBER. We want to remember our sins, remember the cross and remember those who don’t yet know Jesus.

As we fast, we encourage you to take the time you would normally use to eat and spend that time in worship and prayer.  There are three guides below for the morning, noontime and the evening if you want to use them during your regular mealtimes while you fast. You are welcome to use whatever is helpful and pray as God leads you.

MORNING: Remembering Our Sins

As we begin this day, we want to take time to acknowledge and confess our sins and remember our great need for a Savior.

WORSHIP: First, take time to remember the character and nature of the One we are confessing our sins to. Take time to worship and thank God for:

  • His Justice: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  -John 1:9
  • His Mercy: He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.  -Psalm 103:10
  • His Forgiveness: For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. -Psalm 103:11-12

Song: Amazing Grace:

PRAY: In view of God’s love and mercy towards us, we want to confess the ways we have sinned against Him, repent, and offer ourselves to Him. (Romans 12:1-2)

Confess: Use Psalm 51 to pray a prayer of confession and repentance. Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and bring to mind any specific sins or sin patterns and personalize the psalm as you pray and confess:  

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight– That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.

Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise. For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,

A broken and a contrite heart– These, O God, You will not despise.

NOON: Remembering the Cross

We want to take time to reflect on what Jesus endured on the cross on our behalf and the cost He paid for our sins. Take time to worship, pray and thank Jesus for His sacrifice and the suffering He endured so that we could be forgiven and be with Him forever.

Below are a few passages to help guide your time:

  • Isaiah 53:5-6-He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
  • John 19: 1-3-Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.
  • 1 Peter 2: 23-24- When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted himself to Him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
  • Matthew 27:46- And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
  • Galatians 3:13– Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

EVENING: Remembering the Lost

In gratitude for your own salvation, now pray for those you know personally-family members, co-workers, neighbors, teachers, etc. who don’t yet have a relationship with Jesus. Pray they would accept His forgiveness and mercy. Below are a few starting points to help guide your time:

  • Pray that today they would hear God’s voice and not harden their hearts, but would respond to His invitation into a relationship with Him
  • Pray their eyes would be opened and they would turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins  -Acts 26:18
  • Pray for the prodigals who have wandered away, that they would return home to their Father    -Luke 15:11-32

The parable of the soils (in Matthew 13:3-9; Mark 4:2-9; and Luke 8:4-8) can be a helpful guide in praying for the heart conditions of those who don’t yet know Jesus:

  • Seed that falls on the path-pray they would receive the truth of God’s word and they would not be deceived by the hollow and empty philosophies of this world or any of the schemes of the enemy to lead them away from the truth (Col 2:8)
  • Seed that falls on rocky groundpray that as they hear God’s word the roots of their faith would grow deep in his love and that trials would not uproot their faith (Eph 3:17-19)
  • Seed that falls among the thorns pray that the things of this world would lose their power and allure and they would see the worthiness of Jesus as a Good Shepherd and choose to lay down their lives to follow Him
  • Seed that falls on good soilpray the Holy Spirit would prepare their hearts to hear and receive the truth of the Gospel and they would respond with joy and bear much fruit

Pray and ask God how He is at work in the lives of those you are praying for and how He may be asking you to participate with Him in leading them into a relationship with Him.