Join us as we seek God’s favor on our church, our community, and our country during 21 days of Prayer & Fasting.
21 Days of Focus on Prayer and Fasting
January 15 – February 4
What Is Fasting?
Fasting might be one of the most misunderstood topics in the Christian life.
The greatest Christians in history have regarded fasting to be an essential part of their walk with Christ. Yet many Christians today are suspicious or even fearful of this proven pathway for spiritual growth.
Fasting is simply choosing to give up something that is important to you in order to focus your desires on the Lord. Hunger pains or other longings merely serve as reminders to turn your thoughts to God and to seek Him above all things. By denying yourself from a comforting food or activity, you are telling God that He is more important to you than (fill in the blank).
Why Should I Fast?
The primary reason to fast is to increase your appetite for God (Matthew 5:6). Fasting is not something that is reserved for the most spiritual people. Rather it is a way for every believer to grow in their walk with the Lord.
Jesus expects every believer to fast. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus highlighted fasting along with giving and prayer as things that His followers should do (Matthew 6:1-18). When Jesus talked about giving and prayer, He said, “When you give” (Matthew 6:2-3) and “When you pray” (Matthew 6:5,6,7). Just a few verses down the page, He declared, “When you fast” (Matthew 6:16,17,18). Jesus clearly expected His disciples would fast as much as He expected they would give and pray.
Obeying God in the area of fasting is one of the best ways to increase your intimacy with Jesus and add fervency to your prayer life. You will also find that the Lord will use fasting to increase your desire to see revival in our church, our community, and our country!
How Should I Fast?
There are a variety of ways to fast in the Bible. Motive is much more important than method when you are drawing near to God through fasting (Matthew 6:16-18). Here are three types of fasting to consider as you determine how God is leading you.
This is fasting from food, but not water. After fasting 40 days we are told, “Jesus was hungry” (Matthew 4:2). Nothing is said about Him being thirsty. Abstaining from food, but not water or perhaps juice, is the most common fast among Christians. While this fast is the most demanding, many people have found it is also the most rewarding.
** Be sure to consult your physician regarding any medical concerns to determine if this type of fast is right for you.
Another effective method is to abstain from specific foods or drinks. The Daniel Fast is a partial fast that excludes meats and sweets but allows vegetables (Daniel 1:12; 10:3). This is a great way for people with medical conditions to participate. Again, be sure to consult your physician for your particular situation.
Another way to implement a partial fast is to fast during specific meal times on a daily basis. Spend your breakfast, lunch, or dinner time reading your Bible and praying instead of eating.
A great way to fast is to completely cut all forms of media out of your daily routine for a specific period of time. This could include watching television, listening to the radio, interacting with social media, browsing the internet, or even reading the newspaper. It can be very refreshing to unplug and focus your attention on what God is saying instead of giving all of your attention to the latest news.
Whatever you choose to give up for your fast, remember that the most important thing is to replace that activity with spending time with God.
The rules you establish for your fast are just the means to the main goal of growing in your focus on and relationship with Jesus.