A Need to Engage Our Hearts
God calls us to care about the welfare of the city where we live (Jer. 29:7). God loves those around us, and wants us to have that love as well — a love that starts with prayer. We may feel more and more discouraged each day as we read another news story or hear other people share their opinions, and some of us may be tempted to distance ourselves emotionally from everything that is happening (and even other people). Yet, we should not be surprised at the current circumstances — Jesus told us to expect unrest, strife, and war in the time before he comes again (Matt. 24:6-8). In fact, we are warned not to let our love grow cold, and that only by enduring to the end will we be saved (24:12-13). We are called to continue engaging our hearts to care for the city, circumstances, and people where God has placed us.
A Need to Engage with God’s Heart
We are not only called to care about our city, but to do so from God’s perspective — to seek his kingdom first (Matt. 6:33). Jesus is our perfect example. He lived in a time of great unrest, when many Jewish political groups sought independence from the Roman Empire through violent means, but were ultimately crushed and disbanded. In the midst of this, the heart of Jesus stayed true to the purposes of God. He wept for the city of Jerusalem because of the violence and destruction it would soon face (Luke 19:41). He longed for its people to know “the things that make for peace” —believing in him as the true Messiah (Luke 19:42-43). In the same way, as disciples of Jesus, we are to have the same heart for Hong Kong. We should weep over violence and injustice. We should long for Hong Kong to know that true peace comes from believing in the Saviour who has come, Jesus.
Response: Prayer and Fasting
Prayer and fasting are spiritual disciples God has given us to live with the right attitudes in these times of unrest. They refocus and strengthen us to spiritually engage in what God wants us to care about. This prayer guide is a tool to help you focus on God’s heart for this city. As you pray, we encourage you to fast for 2 meals per week. This can be on the same day or on different days. Plan at the beginning of the week which meals you will fast, chat with your small group about doing it at a similar time – or even do it together during your small group gathering. You may also want to fast from social media and news for part of the day too. Every click, every video, every article has the potential to incite a rush of fear, anger, and hatred. Instead, prayer and fasting allow us to hear from God about his heart in the situation and not to be swept up in the heat of emotion.