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The Great American Fast V is Upon Us
It was in the fall of 2010 that I sat in the adult Sunday School class at my church listening to the teacher speak about the National Day of Prayer being under attack. God began working in my mind. No person can legislate how a person prays, where or when - not even the President of the United States. But more than that neither can the old principle of fasting be controlled. America had already fallen into deterioration. What could be done, if anything?
The next thought that hit me was, we have a day of prayer; we also need a day of fasting and prayer. Over the next three months God began to formulate in my mind a way to accomplish this. I checked the internet for information on prayer groups. There were many. I checked the internet for information on fasting for America. There were few to none. The idea of The Great American Fast was solidified in my mind as God set out to call America back to Himself through a national day of prayer and fasting; a day when we could remember our roots and what this once great nation was founded upon - Biblical principles.
The first Great American Fast was held on July 3, 2011 as many people from across the USA bound themselves together in spirit as we sought the face of God on behalf of our wayward nation. Since then the 24 hour Fast has been moved to the second weekend of September. This year TGAF V will be held beginning at 6:00 p.m. Friday, September 11 and continuing through Saturday, September 12, ending at 6:00 p.m.
I have often made the statement that TGAF was never meant to be just a one day happening. It is something that must burn in our hearts 365 days a year. With this in mind the TGAF website was developed . Hopefully it is a safe place for America to go for spiritual growth, and to keep us seeking God through the rest of the year. I'd like to invite you to join us there Just use the link above.
Five Years Later
We will be observing our fifth national fast in just a few days. Over the years, the Fast has grown to include members from Hawaii to Massachusetts;from Washington to North Carolina; from Minnesota to Texas.There are now Fast representatives in 28 states. More importantly there are 11 foreign nations that are represented. We have friends to the north in Canada. Europe is represented by the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, and the Ukraine. Asia and the Middle East are represented by India and Pakistan. The continent of Australia is represented. The small South Pacific nation of Kiribati is included as is the African nation of Kenya. St. Kitts is represented by our own MsDora.
What to Expect
In the past, TGAF members would gather at the Lamar Lighthouse Camp in Lamar, PA; a wonderful time of fellowship and getting to know our brothers and sisters from across the nation. Last year one of our prayer warriors from India was able to be with us. Those who could not make the trip to PA prayed and fasted, seeking the presence of God individually, or perhaps with a few others, or maybe even as a church.
The idea of meeting as a church has become the new way. This year there will be no national meeting. Rather, each individual is encouraged to get their church involved. This adds numbers to the prayer effort which hopefully will result in more powerful prayers. Each church has developed their own program, and will carry out the Fast in a way that is unique to them.
Since each church or group or individual is responsible for planning their own day, I can only speak for my church. During the Fast we will include a time of introspection. To be right with God necessitates a right spirit. There will be several prayer times focusing on different areas. Of course, there will always be the preaching of the Word, and a workshop or two on vital subjects relating to our walk with God. We will end the day at 6:00 p.m. by observing Communion, and then a fellowship meal to break the fast.
The Serious Issues
TGAF was never meant to be "just another meeting." It is, in every way, meant to be a meeting with God. If God is not present, the meeting has been a waste. There are many serious issues facing America at this time. We have to admit that we are no longer the world's #1 superpower. We also have to admit we no longer lead the world in the "world" of finances as our national debt continues to climb well into the trillions. As a nation we have legalized sins that are an abomination to God. We are foolish to think that God will not judge America for her sin. God has done a terrible injustice to Sodom and Gomorrah if He overlooks the blatant sins of America. He is the same yesterday, today, forever. Judgment is certainly on the way if we as a nation do not repent.
Our only hope is to plead for God's mercy and come back to where we began. Fasting allows us, at least as individuals, to do just that. In the quiet of an otherwise crazy day, we can get away and focus on what really matters - our relationship with Christ.
True fasting is a response to a need in a person's life. We set aside one weekend for TGAF, but in reality a fast cannot be planned. True fasting takes place when our hearts become so burdened that food is not even a consideration. When was the last time you so desired the presence of God in your life that you began to pray and forgot to eat? Probably not often enough.
Fasting is not a way to show sincerity to God, although it can. Fasting is not pleading with God to place a new Mercedes in your garage, although He may. Fasting, first and foremost is meant to empty ourselves of ourselves so that God may rise above the circumstances that are weighing heavy on our hearts. It may be a financial burden; maybe a family breakup or breakdown. It could be health issues that consume your soul. All these could be reason to fast.
For the members of TGAF, it is a deep desire to see our God rise to the top and take His rightful place in this nation once again. It must begin somewhere. It might as well begin with you.
So as we gather on September 11, it is not so much to remember that calamity of 2001, although it will be in our thoughts and prayers, but we will be coming together from around the world to seek the face of God; to ask His blessing on this nation once again. We long to see the Hand of God move on our lives; to be brought under His control. We desire to see God lifted up in a nation that has removed Him from our public life.
For those who really understand the state of our nation, it may seem like a hopeless cause, but a very wise man once told me this, and it is so true - "As long as there is God, there is hope."
Will you please join us as we endeavor to call back a near forsaken nation to the arms of God Himself?