"The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again."
James 5:17-18 MSG
For us, prayer isn't an afterthought or last resort. It's our fuel and first response. We believe prayer changes the world, changes others, and changes us. In fact, we like to say around here that -
When we pray, God moves, and when God moves, things move.
When we combine prayer with fasting, powerful things happen.
"THIS YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT"
We don't have many traditions at X Church. One thing we do like to do is start each year off right with 21 days of prayer and fasting. It's a powerful way to give God the first of the year. To seek His Heart and let Him speak to ours. To posture our lives towards Him.
Maybe you're brand new to fasting. Don't be intimidated. It's simply foregoing something of comfort, usually food and distraction, in order to experience God in a deeper way.
Jesus did. As our example, Jesus fasted and needed the benefits it brought. So do we.
Fasting increases spiritual sensitivity. There's something about turning down the volume of our flesh that helps raise the volume of God's voice. Our spiritual senses become alive.
There's power in it. We see that all through Scripture and history. There are some victories and breakthroughs that only come through prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:21)
Committment with grace is the key. It's important to take your fast seriously and stay committed. However, it's more important who you're fasting to than what you're fasting from. When we get this backwards, we end up spending more time enduring it than enjoying it and our focus gets off track from God Himself. Fasting is not meant to be a legalistic heavy weight around our necks, but a life-giving pursuit of God from a place of love and joy.
Don't starve yourself both physically and spiritually. Again, the whole goal of fasting is to become hungrier for something more than food, and to feast on it. If you don't eat regular food and you don't spend any extra time in prayer or Scripture or seeking God, then you're just starving yourself all around. And that's no fun.
Get some friends and some focus. Pick a group of people and start a daily conversation to pray for each other and with each other, share insights you're getting from Scripture, and hold each other accountable. And pick a focus. Maybe each day of the week will have a different focus (family, friends, church, the future, health, etc.) or maybe you have one or more big focuses for the fast. A healthy mix might be to have one big prayer goal of what you would like to see God do for you (relationships, career, health, finances, etc.), one big goal of what you'd like to see God do in you (character, spiritual development, inner healing of wounds, etc.) and one big goal of what you'd like to see God do for others (revival at church, friends and family that don't know Jesus, etc.)
To help you on your journey with Jesus we've put together a playlist to accompany this study. Our hope is that these songs speak to your heart and soul as you read, reflect, and journal.Listen to the playlist
One of the best things we can do as followers of Jesus, is to read the Bible everyday. Don’t stop at 21 days, download this PDF for a daily Bible reading guide.Download the 1 yr plan
Love the YouVersion app? We've put together a reading plan to accompany the 21 Day Fast. This reading plan serves as the perfect tool to walk through the fast together.Join YouVersion plan