The Wesleyan Pattern of Prayer and Fasting

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Fasting is a significant part of the Christian experience. Jesus fasted and prayed for 40 days and taught his disciples to fast. First-century churches fasted twice weekly. John Wesley encouraged those in the Methodist Movement to fast and pray.

In more than 130 countries, the Wesleyan Methodist family joins in the same weekly fast which John Wesley observed most of his life: going without solid food after their evening meal each Thursday until mid-afternoon each Friday. This time of fasting is focused in prayer on the vision that those who follow Jesus in the company of the Wesleys would be empowered to become channels for the transformative power of the Holy Spirit.

This isn’t just a “Lent” thing; it’s a “regular Christian practice” thing; but Lent is a great time to begin. Our world desperately needs the healing, hope, and salvation offered in Jesus Christ. You can become part of this important movement by joining us as we fast and pray weekly for Holy Spirit power to share the good news so that the world may know Jesus Christ.

At WME, we have created prayers to guide you in your practice – a prayer for Thursday evening, one for Friday morning and for the mealtime during which you will forgo food, and one for when you break your fast. We challenge you to use the Lenten season as a spring board to a powerful deepening of your spiritual journey and we would like to encourage you weekly as you engage in this practice.

You can join us by emailing Shirley Dominick at shirley.dominick@gmail.com. We will send you prayers for your fasting discipline and weekly encouragement as you engage in this spiritually strengthening practice.

Lent begins today, Ash Wednesday. I hope you will join Christ followers in the Wesleyan Methodist family across the world as we fast and pray that the world may know Jesus Christ.

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Kimberly Reisman is an author, pastor, teacher and theologian serving as Executive Director of World Methodist Evangelism of the World Methodist Council. Prior to beginning at WME, Kim served in local churches, as Executive Director of Next Step Evangelism and General Editor for WesleyanAccent.com. She is a frequent speaker, focusing on evangelism, spiritual formation, women's ministries, leadership development and the intersection between faith and culture. Kim is an elder in the United Methodist Church and has written numerous books, most recently, The Christ-Centered Woman: Finding Balance in a World of Extremes (2013, Abingdon Press). Kim is also an Adjunct Professor at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, and The School of Theology at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Washington.

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