January 28, 2023
1134 Blanding Blvd Orange Park, FL 32065
21 DAYS of Prayer and Fasting
As a church family, we’ll be fasting and praying together from January 9th – 29th. We will take this time to seek Jesus to restore our priorities; to bring breakthrough from bondage to sin and destructive patterns; to bring reconciliation in our relationships; to heal our wounds; and, ultimately, to restore us into the right relationship with Him.
Our world and nation are in turmoil. Jesus is the only hope for this world, and Jesus in us makes us a light to this world. We need breakthrough, freedom, change, healing, reconciliation and restoration to happen in us, His church, before we will see it happen in our communities and our nation. So, we feel led to seek the Lord together for God to strip away the things in our lives that are not from Him.
This is a church wide time of prayer and fasting, which we see modeled in God’s Word (Joel 2:15-16; Acts 13:2). Although, each individual and family will be fasting and praying as they choose, the significant thing is that we will do this together as a congregation, as a church family.
Starting Monday, January 9th we will begin our time of prayer and fasting. Fasting in particular may be a new thing for you, so we have some instructions below to guide you in how to go about fasting and what to do during that time.
When we fast we remove things or temporarily abstain from things in our lives in order to take that time we normally spend on those things to focus on Christ through reading the Bible, Prayer, or Worship.
“Fasting is a wonderful discipline and a habit that God has given to his people. There are many different spiritual purposes we see in Scripture: repentance, humility, devotion in worship, and seeking the Spirit’s guidance. We see that it’s done collectively and individually. We see complete fasts and partial fasts.”
1. In fasting we repent, turn away from those things which suck us in and draw us away from God.
2. In fasting we humble ourselves, we recognize our need for God to meet us and change us.
3. In fasting we devote ourselves to worship, we are made for worship of God and nothing else. We truly live, when we are worshiping Him.
4. In fasting we are seeking God’s guidance and leading through the times we are now living, and those yet still ahead of us.
5. Fasting does not change God, meaning our fasting does not cause Him to answer our prayers more or do certain things. Fasting changes, us, we fast in order that all things that cling to our spirit, soul, and body can be stripped away and only Jesus remain.
Types of Fast
Strictly speaking the Bible only refers to fasting as abstaining from food
A normal fast (liquid only) – abstaining from all food but not water, some people do a juice fast as well.
A partial fast - limiting the types of food that you eat -Daniel and his companions in Dan 1:12 ate only vegetables. John the Baptist ate locusts and wild honey (Matt 3:4). We would not recommend this . A partial fast could be done by eating smaller portions or only certain foods. Skipping one meal or two each day.
Non Food Fast- While scripture refers to food when talking about fasting, the heart of fasting, which is an intentional focused time on God can be applied to other things.
• Technology fast- fast from your phone or other devices
• Social Media Fast- fast from one or more of the different social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tik Tok, etc.)
• Entertainment Fast- Shows, movies, video games, YouTube, Radio, etc.
• News Fast- shut out, what’s happening in the world
• Leisure Fast- Sports, exercise, hunting, fishing, etc.
What to do during the Fast
It’s important that you use the time you are sacrificing to focus on God. Although your stripping away some things, the purpose is to replace it with the most important things. What will those things be? They should be the foundations of prayer, worship and the Word of God.
1. Set apart/schedule a time each day to read the Word. Mediate- reread and think on a particular passages. Memorize scripture
Use written prayers from scripture or a prayer book. Worship through song or sit in silence and – “be still and know that He is God”
Preparing for a fast
1. If you have never fasted here are few options to consider
a. Start by skipping a single meal
b. Skip breakfast and lunch but eat dinner.
c. Many find it helpful to fast for 24 hours, skipping dinner on day one and breakfast and lunch on day two, but then eating dinner on the second day.
2. When the groans and pains come, remember you are intentionally fasting and that you’re doing it to focus on God. Let the hunger pains remind you of your spiritual hunger and intentionally use that to feed on Christ (focus on Him and your need for Him).
Ending a fast
Toward the end of your fast, you might want to introduce small portions of foods that are more easily digested, that way you don't overwhelm your digestive system. Drink plenty of water and supplement with electrolytes as you transition.
Ending Non-food fast
1. Do not jump back into the same amount of consummation or time spent on the thing you gave up (like social media).
2. Maintain habits formed during the fast
3. Set new boundaries based what the Lord did in your heart
Remember this is about His Glory!