We begin our Apostles’ Fast today and it continues to June 29th. Here are some bible verses to help carry you along:
- 1 Peter 1:3-9
- 1 Peter 1:13-19
- 1 Peter 2:11-24
- John 21:15-25
- Acts 11:19-26, 29-30
- Luke 10:16-21
- Romans 2:28-3:18
- Matthew 6:31-34, 7:9-11
These are taken from the Orthodox Church in America website. I’d like to focus for a moment on the first scripture listed: 1 Peter 1:3-9. In it we find a promise from God. A promise of eternal salvation. Not a promise to have our best life now full of health, wealth, and beauty. No. Those things are temporary trappings of this world. Such false promises, twisted out of scripture like a corrupted thread from a bundle of wool, entrap people and prevent them from being able to cope when trials come their way. Writing about such lies as if they were truth sell books. Many, many books but that is all they do, unfortunately. they do not feed believers what they need to grow and mature in Christ. This is the true promise of God; 3, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
Verse 6 paints a more mature and accurate picture of life on earth; In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
We are not grieved by various trials because we have done something wrong or because God does not love us. We live in a fallen world and things happen. We must remember to always put our hope in Christ and not in the things of this world which rust & decay and which we cannot take with us when we die.
People often times get so wrapped up in praying for ‘things’ that they forget to pray to ‘The One’. The most important aspect of prayer is to develop a close relationship with God that nothing, and no one can steal from us. Almost 1,000 people died during Ramadan this year. Ramadan is the bloodiest holiday in Islam. A bus load of Christians were shot, one-by-one when they refused to denounce God and their faith. This was done on their way to a monastery to worship God. God is still good. He is still loving. People are corrupt but if we keep our eyes, and prayers fixed on God, the corruption will not overcome us. What corruption? The temptation of temporary things that appear to be what will save us but in the end, will be our ultimate doom.
We just don’t realize how good we have it right now as Christians in America. No one died yesterday in church just because they were in church. But those days are quickly coming to an end and we are the instruments of our own destruction.
Pray for the safety of Christians around the world and in America.
Pray that the freedom of religion is not further corrupted and that true religious freedom is restored in America.
Pray for the restoration of true family structure and true sexual identity as God made us and not as we remake for ourselves.
If one person in every household were to pray, and refuse to be offended (they became the peacemaker in their homes, offices, schools, etc.) the world would begin, and continue to change for the better. I’ve paraphrased this from the book by Elder Thaddeus of Vetovnica.
These are just a few suggestions of possible prayers during this fast. A fast is not just about the food… it’s about prayer and conversing with God in hopes that we, and the world around us, will begin to change.
Christ is risen!