Daily Reflections

Side-By-Side Sacrifice

October 13, 2022 Erin Davis

After they had fasted, prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them off. —Acts 13:3

Lest you read the beginning of Acts 13 and picture a polite prayer gathering, skim the preceding chapter. Persecution against Christ’s followers was surging. How did the early Christians respond? The weapon they deployed was the three-pronged spear of prayer, fasting, and community.

This story about fasting is just one of many throughout the Bible.

  • The whole nation of Israel fasted for a day in response to their corporate sin (1 Sam. 7:5–6).
  • Esther asked the Jews in Susa to fast for three days before she approached King Ahasuerus to plead for their lives (Est. 4:15–17).
  • The whole nation of Nineveh fasted after Jonah prophesied God’s coming judgment (Jonah 3:5–10).

Scripture makes a compelling case for corporate fasting to be the norm. To be clear, Scripture doesn’t indicate that more people fasting produces different results. The power of corporate fasting is solidarity. As Paul and the church leaders sequestered at Antioch to fast and pray, they were saying, “We’re in this together. We will stand tall for Jesus, side by side.”

Make it Personal

Ask God to give you creative ideas for how you can use the three-pronged spear of prayer, fasting, and community more effectively.