We love our annual time of prayer and fasting. Scripture doesn’t mandate or command that everyone fast BUT it absolutely lays out a clear message on the benefits and call as believers to fast and to pray. If you’ve never fasted before, THAT’S OK! Now is a great time read more in depth on it and consider doing it along with us!
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 or big decisions ahead? Ask Holy Spirit for guidance! Use this specific time for focused prayer surrounding these things. Write down the things that you feel like the Lord is speaking to your heart before the start.
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness or sin. 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).
WHAT TO FAST
The type of fast you go on is up to you. You could go on a full fast in which you only drink liquids, or you may desire to fast like Daniel, who abstained from sweets and meats, eating only fruits and vegetables and only liquid he drank was water. If you’re deciding to do a partial fast, that could be fasting from sun up to sun down or fasting one specific kind of food or one specific meal a day, etc. (Daniel 10:3, 1 Kings 17). In whatever capacity you are able, remember to replace that time with prayer and reading through scripture. The type of fast you choose is between you and God. He will honor your best sacrifice. It is the attitude of a heart sincerely seeking Him to which God responds with a blessing (Isaiah 58, Jeremiah 14:12, 1 Corinthians 8:8).
While fasting throughout scripture is almost always fasting from food, there are other ways to fast as well. Anything that we decide to give up temporarily so that we can more fully focus on God and deepening our time of prayer can be considered part of a fast (1 Corinthians 7:1-5). Fasting should NEVER be viewed as a time to just “take away” from our lives, but as a time to take our thoughts and actions from the normal routine and redirect them towards HIM.
HOW LONG TO FAST
As a house, Generations Church is setting aside 14 days dedicated to fasting and focused prayer. You may feel the grace or the call to go longer, even as much as 21 to 40 days, but PLEASE use wisdom and pray for guidance during this decision. Beginners are advised to start slow. Fasting requires reasonable precautions. You should consult with your doctor prior to fasting, especially if you are taking medication, have a chronic condition or if you are pregnant or nursing.
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. And naturally, you will have hunger pains. Limit your activity and exercise moderately. Apart from the expectations in the natural, be expectant for BREAKTHROUGH! Set your attitude to remain in a place of JOY AND CELEBRATION as this is a way to draw closer to God! Again, writing down the things that God is speaking to you is an amazing way to not only focus your thoughts but a way to look back on the things that GOD IS DOING!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 can 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. We suggest keeping processed foods to a minimum, especially when coming off of a time of fasting. Drink LOTS OF WATER! Go back through the things you may have written down over the past 14 days and take time to THANK HIM for the things He has done and WILL CONTINUE to be doing! HE is SO GOOD AND SO COMPLETELY FAITHFUL!
Additional Scripture References for Fasting:
Matthew 6:16-18, Matthew 9:14-15, Luke 18:9-14, Acts 14:23
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, Acts 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