We are taking 21 days and dedicating it to God with intentional prayer and fasting. It’s one of the many ways we are seeking to align our hearts with the heart of God, in this new season. The effectiveness of both prayer and fasting are emphasized throughout the scriptures, and we believe there’s no better way to start our new year than to focus our eyes on God and commit 2024 to Him.
why we pray:
+ Prayer sharpens our faith.
+ Prayer creates deeper intimacy with God.
+ Prayer is powerful and bring about change.
why we fast:
+ Fasting is a spiritual discipline that helps focus our attention on God.
+ Fasting is not about getting from God, but rather
getting to God.
+ It's about the heart, not the outward appearance.
+ Whatever we fast, we believe God will speak to us.
what is a fast?
Let’s take a closer look at what fasting really means. Whether through a YouTube video, magazine article, or an Instagram influencer, chances are you have heard about the widely known term "intermittent fasting," but this topic goes far beyond skipping a couple of meals. Fasting, in biblical terms, is determined by your intention, attitude, and motive. The purpose behind the fast is what defines it as such. If you are willingly abstaining from any food or activity with the means of growing closer to God, then you’ve got it!
Fasting is a spiritual discipline that involves a season of giving up specific meals, foods, drinks, or activities to create a greater focus and dependence on God.
SIMPLY STATED, BIBLICAL FASTING IS REFRAINING FROM FOOD FOR A SPIRITUAL PURPOSE.
types of fasts:
Consuming only liquids, water or light juices.
Inspired by Daniel in his time at King Nebuchadnezzar's court, this fast involves removing certain elements from your meals such as meat, sweets, and bread and focusing more on eating fruits and vegetables and drinking water and juice. "I ate no choice foods; no meat or wine touched my lips" - Daniel 10:3
Setting aside a specific time of the day to abstain from eating any type of food makes up a partial fast. For example from no eating from sunrise to sunset or not having a certain meal of the day.
Then there are fasts which you customize to your specific needs - want to put social media aside for a while? or avoid eating out? fast for a specific day of the week? No matter how you fast, the key to remember is that as you remove something, you replace it with an increased focus on God.
tips for fasting:
FASTING ISN'T A DIET, IT'S A DISCIPLINE:
Fasting is giving up what gratifies you physically to grab a hold of what sustains you eternally.
IF YOU MESS UP DON'T GIVE UP:
All of us make mistakes or accidentally eat out of habit. If you break the fast in a moment, just jump right back in!
DON'T DO IT ALONE:
You can go further with commitments when in community! Ask a friend, family member, your connect grp or service team to fast with you and share your devotion reflections with each other.
WHEN TEMPTATION COMES:
When fasting, it is pretty much guaranteed you will meet with temptation. The temptation to eat that piece of cake, to check social media, or do whatever you have decided to refrain from.The enemy is in wait for an opportune time to make us stumble. He looks to distract us from God and his calling upon our lives. His tactics can even cause us to question why we are fasting to begin with. Don't even entertain it. Do as Joseph did and run. Run to God. When temptation comes around like a roaring lion, pray. The simple act of submission to God displayed by our prayer moves him to come to our rescue. It's His promise.
Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you - .James 4:7
HOW SHOULD WE FAST?
"But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you." Matthew 6:17-18 NLT
"And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him." Hebrews 11:6 NLT
the NEXT 21 days?
+ Daily Prayer & Devotion
+ Commitment to Fasting
+ Evening gatherings together to Pray
WK 3 - devotion
SONGS TO LISTEN TO DURING YOUR PRAYER & QUIET TIMES
As you break your fast, remember to remain committed to pressing towards the will of God. The aim is to become more like Christ, and that in itself, is greater than we could ever imagine. Through this process, you will come to realise that temporary satisfaction pales in comparison to the eternal rewards that come from aligning with God’s will for our lives. This has not been an event but a lifestyle we've developed and will continue to build upon.