The Bible Study I’m launching in March, called the “I Believe” Bible Study, is in partial fulfillment of one half of my double degree, titled Christian Studies and Global Citizenship.
I personally enrolled in the program for its Christian Studies component, with an interest in applying Christian, Biblical theology to a ministry career. I didn’t think too much about the “Global Citizenship” title. But, in my years of studying, what i have deduced is that global citizenship is the role of any Christian person.
Let us first define “global citizenship.” My favourite definition is this one, from Oxfam Education: “A global citizen is someone who is aware of and understands the wider world – and their place it. They take an active role in their community, and work with others to make our planet more equal, fair and sustainable.”
A Christian, then, believes in Jesus as the redeeming, saving God of the universe. God, who “so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Someone who follows God, then, loves the wider world, seeks to be aware of hardship within it, and looks to Jesus as the example. Jesus, who says, above all else, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbour as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31).
So, what does global citizenship have to do with a Bible Study on fasting and prayer? Isn’t fasting and prayer all about personal relationship with Jesus?
Yes… and no.
I truly believe that the best way to become a better global citizen is by prioritizing prayer.
If we are spending time with the Spirit of Jesus, He is going to convict us and mold us more into His image, which is one of others-focus and unconditional love. It is focus that is humbled to treat every neighbour with love, kindness, and non-judgement. If we spend time seeking God’s will, I believe His Spirit will equip us to be the best global citizens we could imagine being.
Pair this with time spent fasting/abstaining from activities that aren’t productive, and we will be left with even more time for others, loving and caring for them.
JAMES 5:13-18 Is any one among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit.