of Fasting & Prayer
March 6-12, 2020
What is biblical fasting?
Biblical fasting is essentially giving up food, or something else, for a period of time in order to take our eyes off of the things of this world and to focus on God. Simply said it is abstaining from something for a spiritual purpose. Fasting requires self-control and discipline, as one denies the natural desires and instead turns to God’s Word and prayer. Author and writer, John Piper, writes, “Do you have a hunger for God? If we don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because we have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Our soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great. If we are full of what the world offers, then perhaps a fast might express, or even increase, our soul’s appetite for God.”
How to fast?
There are several types of fasting and the one you choose and the number of days is between you and God. Remember, if you have health issues or are on medication, consult with your doctor.
· Full Fast: Drink only liquids (you establish the number of days).
· The Daniel Fast: Eat no meat, no sweets, and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits, nuts, and vegetables. (Daniel 10:2-3)
· Partial Fast: This can be for a portion of a day giving up one or two meals.
· Other Than Food Fast: Giving up something such as TV, movies, social media, activity, etc. is another way of turning our focus towards God.
Why this week of prayer and fasting?
· This week is one that we have chosen for our church family to come together in prayer and fasting for spiritual strengthening in our personal lives, our families, and our church.
· We hope to utilize this week as a model of what we can do when specific crises or events arise in our community, church, country, or other areas.
· We know to some spiritual fasting may be something new and to others something they are aware of but have never put into practice. Hopefully this week will be a time that as a church body we can all come together to learn and grow in our faith and commitment to the Lord.
Biblical Examples of Fasting
· Nehemiah fasted for confession, repentance, and favor in the sight of the king to get permission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 1:4)
· David humbled himself before God to intervene because of injustice. (Psalm 35:13)
· Mordecai and the Jews fasted upon hearing news of Haman’s wicked plot for their extermination. (Esther 4:3)
· The early church fasted while worshiping, committing their ministry to the Lord. They also sought the Lord through fasting for guidance, confirmation, and appointment of elders. (Acts 13:2; 14:23)
· The Israelites fasted after losing forty thousand men in battle. The next day God gave them victory over the Benjamites. (Judges 20:26)
· Luke 2 tells of an eighty-four year old prophetess named Anna who never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.
· Jesus spent forty days and nights in the wilderness fasting and praying before he began His public ministry. (Luke 4:1,2)