Dear First Pres,

   Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed the last few weeks of Christmas and New Year celebrations. And I hope you’re excited about 2017. I believe the Lord is going to do some amazing work in our city this year.
   One of the ways that we can participate in that is to come to the Lord in a season of prayer and fasting. As you remember, last year we joined dozens of churches in our city to participate in 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. Like many of us also do during Lent, we chose some means of fasting for the three weeks and focused our prayer on asking God for drought ending rain, unity of His Church, and repentance in our city. Then, we ended the whole thing with a marvelous celebration at Fresno Pacific University that involved leaders from multiple churches.
   We’ve decided to join in this special season again for 2017. Day 1 of the 21 days is Monday, January 9. Day 21 (as I’m sure you can figure out) will be January 29. Our primary focus this year is to pray for God to work in powerful ways through the upcoming Luis Palau outreach called CityFest happening at the SaveMart Center on April 1 & 2. I’m praying that God brings thousands to faith in Christ through the unified work of His Church as we rally around this event. Of course, we need to continue to pray for drought ending rain as well.
   Will you join us in this special season? Will you participate in the 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting? I hope so. To engage in a spiritual fast means to abstain from something physical for the purpose of seeking something spiritual. In other words, we choose something that we’re going to abstain from in our daily lives (like a meal, or television, or social media, or a certain category of food) to help focus our attention and intention in prayerfully seeking God about something that only He can do (like draw thousands to faith, or bring drought ending rain, or start revival in His Church). 
   I can hardly think of a better way to start this new year than to join with thousands of other believers in our city in a short season of focused prayer and fasting. Please consider something that would be appropriate for you to abstain from over these 21 days and a specific time (or times) that you would set aside every day to pray for God’s work in our city. The fast starts on Monday.