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SEEK GOD

A Time Of Fasting

As we approach Holy Week I am asking all of our leadership to join with me in fasting for our church and the work that the Lord is doing. Throughout this fast we will be praying for some specific things along with asking the Lord to reveal more of Himself to each of us. For some of you this may be the first time you have experienced a fast. I want to give you some guidance on what fasting is and why we should incorporate it into our lives as followers of Jesus. Before we get into the specifics let me list a few basic principles when it comes to fasting:​

  • Fasting is often accompanied by confession and repentance of sin. (Ezra 9-10)

  • Fasting should be done in a posture of genuine humility before the Lord and not an outward appearance of godliness. (Isa. 58, Joel 2:12-13, Matt 6:16)

  • Fasting should be prompted by a desperation for God’s answer and move. (Nehemiah, Esther)

  • Fasting should lead us to a place of worship. (Luke 2:36-38)

These five principles should guide any time of fasting that we commit to whether corporately or individually. Let’s look at the why, the what and the types of fasting.

Why Fast?

In Matthew 6:16, Jesus looks tells His followers, “When you fast,” and proceeds to give specific instructions about how they are to fast and pray. Jesus didn’t say ‘if’ you fast, He said ‘when’ you fast. Jesus assumed His followers were going to fast and this means fasting is a spiritual discipline that every Christian must devote themselves to.

 

All throughout The Bible, God’s people consistently took time to fast and pray in order to grow closer to God and experience breakthroughs in specific areas. If you are wanting to deepen your relationship with God or see Him move supernaturally in a specific area, fasting and prayer is where to begin. 

What Is A Fast?

Fasting is a powerful spiritual discipline that aligns our hearts more closely with the heart of God and empowers us to see breakthroughs in specific areas. Fasting is when we go without food (or specific types of food) for a period of time and instead direct our attention more fully to God. As believers, it helps us to not be ruled by our physical desires but to grow in spiritual power and authority over the desires of our flesh.

It’s important to note that fasting without prayer is simply not eating. Remember that the goal is to not eat (or only eat specific types of food) for a time so that you can redirect your focus, energy, and attention toward God. The goal is to replace consuming food with time reading God’s Word and in prayer.

Image by Jon Tyson

Types Of Fasts

There are three main categories of fasting:

01

Complete Fast

Also known as a full fast, a complete fast is when you do not eat any food (and consume liquids only) for a specific period of time

02

Partial Fast

A partial fast is when you fast all food for a set specific time throughout the day. For example, you may decide to fast from sunrise to sunset and eat food only in the evenings.

03

Selective Fast

A selective fast is when you fast only specific types of foods. The most popular selective fast is known as the Daniel Fast.

What Do We Fast From?

One of the first questions regarding fasting is in relation to social media or other activities that consume our time. The Bible does encourage us to abstain from specific activities for periods of time to devote ourselves more fully to God (ex. 1 Corinthians 7:5). However, fasting in Scripture specifically refers to food. So while choosing to abstain from specific things (ex. social media, TV, etc.) can be helpful, the Bible does not use the word fasting to describe this. Choosing to limit the time and energy we give to these things contributes to an even greater focus on seeing God move and experiencing breakthrough in our prayers.     

 

For the purposes of this fast I would encourage some variation of either a complete fast or a partial fast. If this is your first time fasting, consider a few meals each day to commit yourself to prayer and focusing all of your attention on the Lord and His provision.

How Should We Fast?

The plan is to begin this fast at sundown on Sunday, March 24th and to break the fast corporately at our communion service on Thursday, March 28th.  During this time I challenge you to specifically pray for the following:

Sunday Evening

Begin by using this as a time for repentance before the Lord. As we enter into this fast it is important to come humbly before the Lord and in recognition of what He has done. Use this opportunity to confess the areas that He has not been given priority and ask Him to realign your will to His over the coming days.

Monday

Return to our first Love (Revelation 2:4-5)

Ask the Lord to renew our love for Him and for our church to maintain His place of preeminence in all we do. Invite Him to reveal areas in your own lives where our love has grown cold and ask Him to reignite our passion for Him and His will.

Tuesday

Purity and Obedience (Psalm 119:9-11)

Ask the Lord to purify our lives and lead us in obedience through our commitment to His word and His ways. Confess any areas of your own life where sin and complacency has been allowed to draw your attention and your focus away from Him.

Wednesday

Consecration (Romans 12:1-2)

Ask the Lord to reveal any areas of our lives that are not wholly submitted to Him and to His will for our lives. Renew you commitment to following Him and being transformed by His Word and His Spirit.

Thursday

Revival (Matthew 9:37-38)

Ask the Lord for His leading as we encounter those who are in need of His grace. Pray for the outpouring of His Spirit upon our Church and our community as we seek to see His glory come and hearts surrender to Him.

Thank you!

I am grateful for each of you as we enter into this significant time for our church. Thank you for the love and the care you have for this church and the people the Lord draws here on a weekly basis. Let us look with joy to the work the Lord will accomplish and the great privilege we have to serve alongside Him in that.

Blessings,
Pastor James. 

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