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General Conference

Seventh-day Adventists set aside a day of fasting and prayer for the sick and bereaved

In addition to the times of fasting and prayer, the day will also be dedicated to carrying out actions of kindness for people in need.

Brazil | Mauren Fernandes

In their quest for consecration and restoration, Seventh-day Adventists in South America set aside May 1st to fast and pray. The Sabbath of fasting and prayer focused specifically on intercession for the sick, comfort for bereaved families, as well as reinforcing each member's personal commitment to God. Fulfilling biblical guidance, the day was also dedicated to carrying out acts of kindness for people in need.

According to the South American Director of the Christian Stewardship Department, Pastor Josanan Alves, the Church realized that, due to the complexity of the current times we are living in, it was necessary to invite members and friends for an intense moment of fasting and prayer. "One of the best contributions of God's people to a society in crisis is intercession," he says.

Biblical fasting

The Bible presents fasting as abstaining from food for spiritual reasons. It is different from a hunger strike, for example, where there is motivation to protest. True fasting also differs from intermittent fasting, for dietary reasons. Biblical fasting should focus on specific spiritual causes. In other words: it is necessary to establish the motive for which the fast will be carried out.

Despite being an intimate moment with God, the Bible provides examples of fasting done in the community. “One of them was the fast established by King Jehoshaphat when the nation was on the verge of being invaded by two enemy armies. I also remember the city of Nineveh, which fasted in response to the entire population's repentance ”, recalls Josanan.

Moment of intimacy

There are still other stories of people who fasted. David fasted for his son's healing, just as Esther fasted by force to face persecution. Daniel fasted for wisdom to understand prophecies, and even Jesus fasted to receive divine power to begin His public ministry.

Alves explains that it is necessary to understand that the purpose of fasting is to strengthen our relationship with God and not to compel him to give us what we want. "If fasting is done only with the expectation of a response and not of the relationship, it loses its main purpose", he warns. “The desire is for us to have a church with greater intimacy to God, [that is] better prepared to listen to divine guidelines and more likely to accept the Lord's answers, whether positive or negative.”

How to participate

The Sabbath of Fasting and Prayer began with a special broadcast at 5 am on official Seventh-day Adventist Church channels on YouTube and Facebook, and featured guests such as Pastor Stanley Arco, the Church president for eight South American countries, as well as the quartet, King's Heralds. 

A new version of the song "Restaura" was produced by singers from the Novo Tempo label especially for this occasion of intercessory prayer. Listen now!

This article was originally published on the South American Division’s Portuguese news site