Since the beginning of our church in 1984, we have set our hearts to be a people of prayer. Our rally cry has always been to fully rely on God. In every situation, whether good or bad, we try to pray before we act. Many times, people act first and then want God to bail them out of that situation, but prayer should be our first response, not our last resort.
We are believing that this 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting will be life-changing and faith building. We are believing that through this fast you will experience the BREAKTHOUGH you’ve been looking for.
In every situation—PRAY FIRST!
Prayer changes everything!
WE LOVE YOU.
Fasting is hard. It sounds much easier in concept than it proves to be in practice. It can be surprising how on-edge we feel when we miss a meal.
Fasting sounds so simple, and yet the world, our flesh, and the devil conspire to introduce all sorts of complications that keep it from happening. In view of helping you start down the slow path to good fasting, here are six simple pieces of advice. These suggestions might seem obscure, but the hope is that such basic counsel can serve those who are new at fasting or have never seriously tried it.
If you’re wondering, “Where did the Daniel Fast originate?” That’s a great question. The Daniel Fast was first observed by the prophet Daniel in the Bible. On one occasion, Daniel was greatly concerned for his people and sought the Lord’s wisdom during a time of prayer and fasting.
Daniel 10:2-3 says, “At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips.” The meaning of “choice food” is not clear; however, most commentaries conclude that he ate no bread or sweets. The Message translation sums up Daniel’s eating habits during that time: “I ate only plain and simple food.”
The idea behind the Daniel Fast is not to duplicate Daniel’s menu but to imitate his spiritual hunger. Daniel’s passion for the Lord caused him to seek spiritual food rather than physical food, which should be the desire for anyone doing the Daniel Fast.
Fasting isn’t merely an act of self-deprivation, but a spiritual discipline for seeking more of God’s fullness. Which means we should have a plan for what positive pursuit to undertake in the time it normally takes to eat. We spend a good portion of our day with food in front of us. One significant part of fasting is the time it creates for prayer and meditation on God’s word or some act of love for others.
Before diving headlong into a fast, craft a simple plan. Connect it to your purpose for the fast. Each fast should have a specific spiritual purpose. Identify what that is and design a focus to replace the time you would have spent eating. Without a purpose and plan, it’s not Christian fasting; it’s just going hungry.
Fasting is no license to be unloving. It would be sad to lack concern and care for others around us because of this expression of heightened focus on God. Love for God and for neighbor go together. If anything, others should even feel more loved and cared for when we’re fasting.
So as you plan your fast, consider how it will affect others. If you have regular lunches with colleagues or dinners with family or roommates, assess how your abstaining will affect them, and let them know ahead of time, instead of just being a no-show, or springing it on them in the moment that you will not be eating.
The typical form of fasting is personal, private, and partial, but we find a variety of forms in the Bible: personal and communal, private and public, congregational and national, regular and occasional, absolute and partial.
Plead with special earnestness for God’s help by linking arms with other believers to fast together.
Fasting from food is not necessarily for everyone. Some health conditions keep even the most devout from the traditional course. However, fasting is not limited to abstaining from food. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “Fasting should really be made to include abstinence from anything which is legitimate in and of itself for the sake of some special spiritual purpose.”
If the better part of wisdom for you, in your health condition, is not to go without food, consider fasting from television, computer, social media, or some other regular enjoyment that would bend your heart toward greater enjoyment of Jesus.