Every January we come together as a church family and set aside 21 days to fast, pray and worship for the year ahead. We invite you join us on this 2020 challenge from January 6th through January 26th and see what God would speak to you about. As a part of this challenge we will be suggesting daily acts of kindness. During the month of January follow us on social media or grab a print out at the info desk to take part in it.
FASTING & YOUR HEALTH
We recommend you consult your physician prior to beginning any type of fast. If you are poor in health or have concerns about your physical ability to fast, we especially urge you to consult a physician before beginning your fast. There are different types of fasts recommended on the following pages. Your doctor can provide advice on how you can participate on this First Fruits Fast in a way that is healthy for you.
HOW TO BEGIN
Start with a clear goal. Be specific. Why are you fasting? Do you need direction, healing, restoration of marriage or family issues? Are you facing financial difficulties? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Pray daily and read the Bible.
Confess your sins to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness. Forgive all who have offended you and ask forgiveness from those you may have offended (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3-4). Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ and reject the worldly desires that try to hinder you (Romans 12:1-2).
DECIDING WHAT TO FAST
The type of fasting you choose is up to you. You could go on a full fast, in which you only drink liquids, or you may desire to fastlike Daniel, who abstained from sweets and meats, and the only liquid he drank was water. Remember to replace that time with prayer and Bible study.
DECIDING HOW LONG
You may fast as long as you like. Most can easily fast from one to three days, but you may feel the grace to go longer, even as much as 21 to 40 days. Use wisdom and pray for guidance. Beginners are advised to start slow.
WHAT TO EXPECT
When you fast, your body detoxifies, eliminating toxins from your system. This can cause mild discomfort, such as headaches and irritability, during withdrawal from caffeine and sugars. Naturally, you will have hunger pains. Limit your activity and exercise moderately. Take time to rest. Fasting brings about miraculous results. You are following Jesus’ example when you fast. Spend time listening to praise and worship. Pray as often as you are able throughout the day. Get away from the normal distractions as much as possible, and keep your heart and mind set on seeking God’s face.
HOW TO END
Don’t overeat when the time comes to end your fast. Begin eating solid food gradually; eat small portions or snacks.
WHY SHOULD I FAST?
• Are you in need of healing or a miracle?
• Do you need the tender touch of God in your life?
• Is there a dream inside you that only He can make possible?
• Are you in need of a fresh encounter?
• Do you desire a deeper, more intimate and powerful relationship with the Lord?
• Are you ready to have heightened sensitivity to the desires of God?
• Do you need to break away from bondages that have been holding you hostage
• Is there a friend or loved one that needs Salvation?
• Do you desire to know God’s will for your life?
We encourage you to seek the Lord in prayer and let your decisions about your biblical fasting come from Him. Ask the Lord to show you areas to target during your time of fasting and prayer. We believe, that as we pray, seek God and give Him our best at the beginning of the year, He will bless our ENTIRE year! (Matthew 6:33)
According to the Bible, there are three duties of every Christian: give, pray and fast. Biblical fasting takes a great deal of discipline and strength — strength which you can only receive from God. Your private discipline will bring you rewards in heaven, says Matthew 6. When you give God your first through fasting, prayer and giving at the beginning of the year, you set the course for the entire year.
FASTING IN THE BIBLE
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR FASTING:
• Matthew 6:16-18
• Luke 18:9-14
• Matthew 9:14-15
RELATION TO PRAYER AND READING OF THE WORD:
• 1 Samuel 1:6-8; 17-18
• Nehemiah 1:4
• Daniel 9:3, 20
• Joel 2:12
• Luke 2:37
• Acts 10:30, 13:2
• 1 Samuel 7:5-6
• Ezra 8:21-23
• Nehemiah 9:1-3
• Joel 2:15-16
• Jonah 3:5-10
• Acts 27:33-37
Remember that it is the attitude of a heart sincerely seeking Him, to which God responds with a blessing. (Isaiah 58; Jeremiah 14:12; I Corinthians 8:8) May God greatly bless you as you fast!
TYPES OF FASTS
There are several types of fasting. The one you choose is between you and God. He will honor your best sacrifice.
Drink only liquids (you establish the number of days).
The Daniel Fast
Eat no meat, no sweets and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables.
This fast can be a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food.