One-on-One with Walter Kim on the NAE’s Day of Fasting & Prayer on Good Friday
While some of today’s evangelicals may not be as practiced in fasting, our evangelical predecessors fasted regularly to deepen their spiritual vitality.
Ed: More liturgical traditions have fasted on Good Friday for centuries, but evangelicals less so. Why do you think it’s important to do so now?
Walter: The call to fast on Good Friday is most importantly a call to identify with our Lord. In the Garden of Gethsemane, while his disciples slept, Jesus fasted from sleep and prayed for strength to face the cross and fulfill God’s plan of salvation: “Being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:39–45).
Then, during the crucifixion itself, as he was denied food and experienced horrific suffering on our behalf, Jesus did not spend the time complaining. He turned deprivation into a time of prayer: “My God, My God…Father, forgive them…Into your hands I commit my spirit.”
Jesus prepared for the first Good Friday with prayer and fasting, and he endured Good Friday with prayer and fasting.
While some of today’s evangelicals may not be as practiced in fasting, our evangelical predecessors fasted regularly to deepen their spiritual vitality. John Wesley, for instance, fasted on Fridays and called others to do so as well.
Given the crisis that we face today and the example of Jesus himself, the call to pray and fast on this Good Friday is a powerful moment to humble ourselves before God and to intercede for the communities, nation and world that he loves so much.
Ed: What are some resources you and the NAE might suggest for such a day?
Walter: Denominations and church networks are producing a wealth of resources. Please check your denominational website. The NAE website has compiled many of those resources at NAE.net/goodfridayprayer.
Ed: Take us through Good Friday. …
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June 02, 2020
June 02, 2020