Introduction to 40 Days of Multiplication

Forty Days of Multiplication Guide for Prayer and Fasting
“Only What is shared is Multiplied” -Dale Galloway
Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple: “When I pray, coincidences happen. When I don’t pray, they don’t happen.”
Forty Days of Multiplying Prayer, Kindness, and Service February 22-April 9, 2023
A Wesleyan Guide for Fasting and Prayer—40 Days of Multiplication

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, preached and printed a sermon based upon Matthew’s account of Jesus’ teaching on fasting and prayer. The Sermon is Sermon XXVII Upon Our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount.  The scripture is Matthew 6: 16-18. The essence of the sermon is not to make too much of fasting nor should it be ignored.  Fasting can be a means of God’s grace working in our lives as we seek to hear from God through this simple act of denying physical need for spiritual gain. 
Wesley wrote about fasting, “It is not all, nor yet is it nothing. It is not the end, but it is a precious means thereto; when it is duly used, he will surely give us his blessing.” Sermon XXVII Jackson’s Works, p. 344

By participating in this 40 Days experience you will be in good company. Moses the Law Giver, Elijah the great prophet, and Jesus our Savior all fasted and prayed for 40 days. Why? Were they not already advanced in their walk with God when they began their fasting? Yes they were—this is why they submitted themselves to this spiritual discipline so God could reveal more of Himself and His direction for them and those they led. 

Fasting literally means to abstain from food. In some passages in the Bible you will read the story of Moses, “he ate and drank nothing” (Exodus 34:28). Some observe a 24-hour fast, the most popular is a 40-hour fast, while some will endure a 72-hour fast and only drink liquids. 
In the early church Christians would fast on Wednesday and Friday by not eating any breakfast nor lunch. They would only drink water or other liquids during their fast. The next form of fasting is abstaining from pleasing food or a full meal. In other words you would just eat toast and some protein with no flavoring or condiment. Daniel observed a form of abstaining from certain foods in the Book of Daniel as God revealed Himself in this fasting from fatty meats, etc.
During the 40 Days of Multiplication, some of the worshippers at Christ Church will participate in a true 40 Days of fasting by not eating after the evening meal until the next evening meal—a full 23 to 24 hour fast each day. The exception would be on Sunday when the Sunday lunch after worship can be observed on the Sabbath.
There are many forms of prayer. There are prayers of lamentation, tears, confession, adoration, petition, intercession, sacramental, and unceasing prayer just to name a few.
The 40 Days of Multiplication will focus upon Petition and Intercession both with “Sacred Specificity”. We need to name our needs and desires and pray specifically. We need to lift up others and pray specifically for the persons on our heart by name, the desire for their healing, surrender to Christ, direction in life, etc.  Both of these forms of prayer can be powerful experiences, which draw us close to God during our time of fasting. In the fasting experience we open ourselves up to hearing from God due to our posture of obedience and in our prayer time we listen to God through the reading of Scripture and listening.
  1. Petition: During the 40 Days, pray for Personal Dreams “Specifically”. In Luke 11—Jesus gave us permission “knock and the door will be open, seek and you will find, ask and it will be given to you.” Prayers of petition are expected from God for He knows we have needs. What are your personal dreams? Mark Twain once said, “Most men die at 27 we just bury them at 72”. Do you have a personal vision statement about your life—where you want God to take you?
  2. Intercession: Pray for others “Specifically”—Pray for God’s Dream for our Community in fulfilling our mission of “reaching millions of unchurched persons by developing thousands of fully devoted followers of Christ.” Then name persons specifically whom you know that are unchurched, far from God, and then pray specifically that God would put someone across their path to encourage them, pray for them daily, and invite them to a life group, service project or to worship. Maybe that specific person is you. Our theme is “Multiplication”. Perhaps God wants to use you as an instrument of His grace in the life of another person.
 In Hebrews Jesus intercedes for each of us, “Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.”  We are called to pray and intercede for one another. In addition we are called to pray even for our enemies according to Jesus’ own words in the Sermon on the Mount. Praying for others is one of the most important forms of ministry and compassion we can engage in. Pray for the unchurched, to pray for those struggling with drugs, finances, and relationships. 

What do you pray for during the 40 Days of Multiplication? We will have two foci: 
God’s Dreams for you Personally and God’s Dream for our Community 
Personal Dreams—During the 40 Days of Multiplication ask God for:
  1. Personal needs—what do I need to become physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy? (Exercise, watching what I eat, reading Bible daily, counseling?)
  2. Challenge yourself to write out your personal dream or vision statement. Example, “To be a loving spouse, a leader in the lives of my children, and to encourage my unchurched friends to try Jesus by living a sold-out life for God.”

Intercession---God’s Dream for Christ Church—Where is God taking CC over the next 3 to 5 years?
God’s Vision—Ask God three questions in the 40 Days of Multiplication:

  1. What are the biggest needs in our community? (Is it broken homes, marriages, poverty, drugs, illiteracy, students & children needing mentoring, jobs, etc.)
  2.  How is God already at work in our community? (Where do you currently seeing God moving and how can we join Him? Bless what he is already doing?)
  3. In light of Christ Church’s Mission statement—what is God’s Dream for Christ Church over the next 3 to 5 years? In order to reach the unchurched and develop fully devoted followers of Christ what must we do:
a. Christ Church as a whole—all campuses?
b. Specifically the community you are in and the campus you attend?

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