Dear Calvary Church Family,

This Sunday we will continue our Sermon on the Mount series by looking at the Beatitude of meekness. I don’t want to steal any thunder from Markel, but meekness is a very misunderstood word. From a biblical perspective it has nothing to do with weakness; rather it’s the power of your potential under Christ’s control. More to come!

Calvary Fast

Last week we sent out a special newsletter about the Ludwig family and Dave’s diagnosis of ALS. I stated that our Staff and Elders are inviting Calvary Church and School as well as the friends and family of the Ludwigs to a 5-day fast beginning this Monday (1/29) through Friday (2/2). We are believing the week of prayer and fasting will multiply and fortify our petitions in heaven. And there will likely be additional times to pray and fast on this journey as well. Below I have repeated what we sent out last week. It’s a concise overview of both the practice and the purpose.

The Basics of Prayer & Fasting

In Matthew 6 Jesus identifies three primary ways of “practicing righteousness” (v.1): alms giving (most often associated with giving to the poor), prayer, and fasting. The word “practice” indicates a training regimen over time. The overall goal is to learn how to find our satisfaction and security in God rather than the myriad of other options in our contemporary culture, yet throughout the Bible we also see God’s people fasting and praying for specific requests. Fasting is abstaining from a portion of our daily routine in order to be present with God. Fasting can also be a community wide endeavor. In Psalm 35:13b King David stated, I humbled my soul with fasting.” A time of fasting is intended to humble our souls (including our appetites, longings, and desires) so that God’s heart and desire for Dave (and the family) can surface and be seen with more clarity and embraced with more certainty.

There are many different ways to fast: We can fast food and just drink water or juice, we can eat vegetables and/or fruit only (sometimes referred to as a “Daniel Fast,” see Daniel 1:8-17), we can choose not to eat any sugar or desserts, we can fast one or two meals a day, we can fast from sun-up to sun-down. We can fast hobbies or different forms of technology including TV and social media. The idea is to set aside time to pray and listen for God when we would normally be engaging in whatever activity we are fasting. Seek the Lord regarding what would be appropriate for you to fast.

What Are We Fasting For?

Let’s go for the “big ask,” asking God for Dave’s healing. Read Mark 14:32-36, especially v. 36: “And He was saying, ‘Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.’” In this passage Jesus is going for the “big ask.” A contemporary paraphrase might be: “Is there any chance we might be able to do this redemption thing another way? And yet, in the end, I desire for Your will to be done, not Mine.”

Let’s ask for God’s grace and mercy and pray for God to heal Dave—as long as we end our prayers with, “not our will but Yours be done.”

And if you have any questions—or, if you think God may be giving you a verse, a passage, a picture, or an impression concerning God’s heart for Dave, please pass it on to Zack, Jordan, or me.


Pastor Gregg