Dear Conference Family,

I want to extend to each of you an invitation, and perhaps said with more clarity, an urgent appeal, to join thousands of church members across our conference on April 15,  in participating in a day of fasting and prayer. Scripture details numerous occasions, and the resultant blessings, of what happens when God’s people both pray and fast. In many instances, when faced with difficult problems, or the danger posed by invading armies, or when simply threatened by impossible circumstances, the Children of Israel would both pray and fast. Often, this experience would last one day, from morning thru evening. While not a magical formula which guarantees a hoped for prescribed result, it seems that God values the humble act of uniting prayer with fasting, and then chooses to bless in wonderful ways.  While it seems that we don’t hear much on the topic in the modern era, the Adventist Church has a rich history of encouraging its members to fast and pray. As early as 1865, as the Civil War continued to rage, church leaders encouraged believers to fast and pray for God to intervene and conclude the horrible conflict. According to Review and Herald editorials printed in the same year, James White wrote that the time of prayer and fasting introduced a period when “he had never seen such intensity and feeling, nor better times in Battle Creek or the whole world field. Many prayers were answered.” In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, could God not bring about the same result today, in response to His people practicing this same spiritual commitment as our church ancestors did yesterday?  Pleading to God for safety, deliverance, and the great advancement of His cause despite the present crisis? Thank you for thoughtfully considering joining together as we dedicate April 15, as a day where we will petition the Lord throughout the day, and experience in those same hours the blessings of a fast. 

Steve Haley
Kentucky-Tennessee Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

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