We believe God’s on the move. And this year in particular we are stepping out in faith like never before as we ask God to do the impossible. We also believe God longs to do the impossible in YOUR life. Why not join together in setting aside the first of this year to God in prayer and fasting? We believe as we give Him the first, He can do exceedingly more with the rest! Here’s to 2020 being the best year yet.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us”
If you’re new to fasting or just need some fresh reminders, we’ve provided some basic info + tips.
WHAT is fasting?
Fasting sounds really spiritual, huh? Maybe even intimidating. Yet fasting is something both BASIC and POWERFUL. It is simply setting aside some of our distractions and comforts to seek God and draw closer to Him in a more focused and meaningful way.
WHO should fast?
Anyone who follows Jesus! In fact, Jesus took it for granted that people who identified as His followers would do this on some sort of regular basis. In giving his own fasting instructions one time, Jesus started his Fast playbook by saying, “WHEN you fast…” Notice he didn’t say IF – he said WHEN! (Matthew 6:16) He just assumed it would be part of the rhythms of our lives.
WHY should I fast?
Many, many reasons. Here’s three:
- Jesus did it! Jesus fasted and we want to be like Him. Also – if, as the Son of God, Jesus needed to fast, how much more do we?
- Fasting gives a greater sensitivity to spiritual things. Many people notice that as they turn the volume downon some comforts and distractions of the natural world and turn the volume upon worship, prayer, and Scripture — there is an increased sensitivity to God’s Presence, voice, and will.
- There’s power in it! One time the disciples just couldn’t get the job done. No matter how much effort, it wasn’t enough. There was no breakthrough. Jesus’ response? “This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21 emphasis added).” Combining the fire and gasoline of prayer and fasting can sometimes bring breakthroughs to what has seemed immovable for years.
WHY fast NOW?
We believe order is powerful. How you begin your day affects your day. And how you begin your year can affect your year! We believe it’s powerful to give God “the first and the best” (what the Bible calls “first fruits”). Many churches and individuals from all around the world have seen untold blessings and even miracles by beginning the year with God – asking Him for vision and direction and seeking Him first. We win in life when we start with God.
WHAT should I fast FOR?
Whatever is on your heart! Get specific about your needs and desires. Even better, the greatest point of fasting is God Himself. Jesus gave an analogy in Luke Chapter 5 about how his followers (the Bride) would one day fast when Jesus (the Bridegroom) is temporarily taken away before His return. In other words, like two people in love, fasting is a kind of inner getting-away-with-God in which we draw closer to Him in friendship, spend more time in His Presence, and lean our ears toward Him to hear His voice a little clearer.
Regardless of what you pray for in your personal life, would you join us in praying over X CHURCH this year? Here are five things you can pray for your church in this season.
- Supernatural PROVISION for all God has called us to do.
- Increased FAVOR and ANOINTING for the assignment he Has given us to accomplish.
- SALVATIONS of hundreds of people that we’re asking Him to send our way.
- WISDOM and COURAGE for more people to take their next step in their spiritual growth.
- What YOUR PART is in what God wants to accomplish this year at the X.
Jesus said there’s power when we agree in prayer. (Matt. 18:19)
HOW should I fast?
There are many models of fasting you can follow from Scripture. One popular fast is the Daniel Fast– a temporary diet consisting of only water, fruits and vegetables. You can read the whole story of Daniel in that book in the Bible and you can even buy Daniel Fast cookbooks at bookstores. Some people choose to do a bread-and-water fast. Some simply give up soft drinks or sweets. The point is laying something physical down to pick something spiritual up. And like King David from the Bible, we don’t “want to offer a sacrifice that costs nothing.” If you don’t like chocolate, chocolate is not the thing to fast! Choose something that will be a challenge!
Also, while fasting traditionally involves food, it can also involve setting aside something else that would usually take up your time and/or affect your spirit. Some people fast secular music, Netflix, sports, social media, etc. and replace that instead with more time to connect with God through reading Scripture, study, prayer or worship.
All that being said, while it’s important to be committed on a fast, the power isn’t in what we abstain FROM; it’s what we incline our hearts and attention TO. The heart of a fast – whether a private one or like this corporate church one – is Jesus. The point is not to get bogged down so much in the legalism of the fast that we don’t seek and enjoy Jesus! The point is not just to not eat. The point is to replace the flesh with the Spirit – through more Scripture, more prayer, more journaling, more time with God. If we don’t eat anddon’t spend time with Jesus, we just starve ourselves both physically and spiritually – and that’s no fun for anyone!
While fasting is a discipline, it was never meant to be a heavy, legalistic chain around our necks. On the contrary, if you’ve never fasted before, we hope you find it to become an exciting, life-giving, future-shaping
*Devotional Guide – Pursuitby Dave Patterson (21 Day devotional) – Order online wherever you buy books
*Digital Devotional Guide – If you have the YouVersion Bible App on your phone, you can find several 21-day fasting devotionals to supplement your journey. We recommend: “Less of Me/More of Him” by Pastor Jentezen Franklin.
*Devotional Videos – You can also check out video resources at www.jentezenfranklin.org/fasting for extra strength and motivation.
Let us pray with you and celebrate with you! E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, prayer requests or praise reports as you seek God during these 21 days.