January 8 to January 28 we are encouraging you to intentionally fast, pray, and seek God. Our theme this year with prayer and fasting is Empower. We pray God will empower us to break free from fear and discouragement and move into courageous outreach and discipleship. Join us Mondays at noon each week as we pray for revival. As a church we are also joining together for 24/7 prayer. Find more information about 24/7 prayer and the Zoom link for Monday noon prayer at graceinauburn.com/prayer.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
WHAT IS FASTING?
Fasting is going without food for a spiritual purpose. The type and length of the fast you choose is between you and God, and should not be determined by what anyone else is doing.
Fasting, prayer, and reading God’s Word go hand in hand. When you fast, also pray for God’s purpose and plan for your life to be revealed. Fast and pray about every major decision in your life.
Simply put, fasting is a way to conquer the physical and open the door to the supernatural in your life. When you deny your body, you feed your spirit and grow closer to the Lord.
TYPES OF FASTS:
Be sure to consult a doctor before beginning any fast, especially if you have any type of medical condition.
- FULL FAST – Drink only liquids—especially water. On this type of fast you may also take in clear broth and 100% fruit and vegetable juices in order to maintain your strength. You establish the number of days for your fast in your prayer time.
- DANIEL FAST – The most frequently used example of a partial fast is found in Daniel Chapter 10. The Daniel Fast is a fast from meats, sweets, breads, and any drink, except water, for a specific time period (Daniel 10:2-3). The easiest way to think of this fast is eating only vegetables and fruits, and drinking only water.
- PARTIAL FAST – There are many options for partial fasts. Below are just a few for you to select from.
The following are examples of other types of partial fasts:
• Give up one item of food or drink such as caffeine, coffee, soft drinks, or sweets/desserts.
• Give up one entertainment item: TV, movies, internet, etc.
• Give up one meal a day for a specific amount of time, one meal a week, etc.
• Fast for a specific number of days...one day, three days, and so on.
• Choose to fast for a certain amount of time each day, for example 6:00AM to 3:00PM or from sunup to sundown.
OTHER COMMON QUESTIONS
What if I have a medical condition? Consult your doctor before starting any fast. Decide together what is possible. If your health condition prohibits you from fasting food, try fasting something else and concentrate on prayer and Bible study. God knows your heart.
I forgot and ate something that wasn’t on my fast; do I need to start again? No, think of fasting as a marathon, rather than a sprint. Don’t give up! If you fall down, get up and keep trying.
Do I continue to exercise while fasting? For most people moderate exercise is okay. But it is always best to consult a doctor about fasting and exercise. If you are on a complete fast, you may not have the energy for exercise.
SCRIPTURE: Fasting is found throughout the Bible. Consider some of the following passages: 1) Nehemiah 9:1-5 - Returning to God; 2) Esther 4:12-17 - Asking for God’s help; 3) Psalm 69:9-16 - Humbling yourself before God; 4) Isaiah 58:1-14 - Helping other people; 5) Jeremiah 36:8-10 - Uniting together; 6) Daniel 9:1-6 - Seeking God’s mercy; 7) Joel 2:12-13 - Experiencing renewal; 8) Zechariah 8:18-23 - Increasing joy and power; 9) Matthew 6:16-18 - Following Jesus; 10) Luke 2:36-38 - Listening to God; 11) Acts 13:1-3 - Empowered by God; 12) Acts 14:21-23 - Raising up leaders.