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21 Days of Prayer and Fasting

21 Days of Prayer and Fasting

January 14, 2020 12:00pm

Contact: Resonate Life Church

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Are you ready to go on a journey?  A life changing journey of 21 days of seeking God for your life, your family, for wisdom, discernment, healing, salvation, and revelation of who God is in your life.  

We as a church are setting aside the month of January to seek God, to examine our hearts and prepare our spirit’s for all that 2020 brings.

Our fast starts Sunday night January 5 at 6pm and ends after church on January 26.

We are calling this corporate fast a spirit led fast.  Meaning, ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you specifically what He would have to you give up and set aside in order to seek God.  (Fasting examples below)

We believe as you spend time in prayer and God’s word during this season you will experience God in a new way.  You will hear His voice more clearly, experience a deeper understanding of His word, and see breakthrough in many areas of your life as you surrender to Him

Fasting and Prayer schedule for 2020

Sunday, January 5, 6pm- Fasting starts with Encounter service
Wednesday, January 8 - 7-8 pm  Prayer in the sanctuary
Wednesday, January 15 - 7-8 pm  Prayer in the sanctuary
Wednesday, January 22 - 7-8 pm  Prayer in the sanctuary
Sunday, January 26 - 12pm - Fasting Ends

In addition to the prayer guide, every morning at 6:45-7am there will be a LIVE devotional and prayer time on our website (www.resonatelife.tv). Facebook page.

FASTING GUIDE

What is Biblical Fasting?
Biblical fasting involves abstaining from eating food and replacing it with prayer. 

Here are a few of the occasions for fasting we see in God’s word.

It was in a time of fasting that the Holy spirit spoke send out Paul and Barnabas for the work of the ministry.  It’s in fasting God calls us into ministry  Act 13:1-3

In Esther a fast was called for deliverance of her people who were about to be killed,  If you need deliverance from an addiction or stronghold in your life.  It’s time to fast.  

We fast for healing in our bodies.  Isaiah 58:8

In Jonah 3:5-7 the people of Nineveh fasted for mercy from God and for salvation.  We fast for our neighbors and family members to know Christ.  

It was during fasting, Daniel received one of the greatest revelations from God about his people and the future messiah.  We fast for greater revelation of God and insight into our daily lives.  Daniel 10:2-3

It was during fasting Cornelius and his family became the first non-jewish people to receive salvation in Jesus and the baptism of the holy Spirit.  We fast for our families, our marriages, and our children to grow closer to God.  Acts 10:30

Jehoshaphat was king of Judah and vast army marched against him and he declared a fast.  They went out to battle appointing singers and worshippers and God caused the enemy armies to go into confusion and kill on another.  The people of Judah arrived to the battle field and saw dead bodies as far as the eye could see.  God went before them. God gave them victory through fasting.  What battles are ahead that you can’t see in 2019?  When we fast and pray, God goes out ahead and defeats the enemy without a fight, but by His spirit.  

The disciples couldn’t cast out a demon out of a boy and they said why can’t we do, Jesus said these only come out with prayer and fasting.  We fast and pray to defeat demonic activity.  

Jesus fasted 40 days before ministry.  Let’s take the first month of 2019 and fast and pray to prepare for all that God has for us this year.    

-Fasting teaches us that God’s Word nourishes us: Matthew 4:1-4 records the only example of Jesus fasting, just prior to His being tempted in the wilderness. He faced temptation with these words, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Jesus is quoting Deuteronomy 8:3-5 which talks about the 40 years Israel spent in the wilderness, depending daily on manna to sustain them. He says that God humbled them and let them be hungry in order to teach them to depend on God’s Word to sustain them. By His example of fasting, Jesus reminds us that food alone can’t sustain us. We need to be nourished by God’s Word.

-Fasting teaches us that doing God’s will sustains us: John 4:31-35 records Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well. When the disciples return, they encourage Jesus to eat. He responds by saying, “I have food to eat that you know not of.” Then He adds, “My food is to do the will of the Father.” Again, Jesus reminds us that food alone is not enough. We are sustained by doing God’s will.

-Fasting teaches us that Jesus Himself sustains us: In John 6:48-50 Jesus says, “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.” We see this pictured symbolically in the bread and the cup of the Lord’s supper. Jesus is the source of eternal life. Fasting is feasting on Jesus.

-Jesus assumed that fasting would be a part of His disciple’s spiritual life. In Matthew 6:16-18, He says, “when you fast,” not “if you fast.” He warns us not to fast to impress people, but to be near to the heart of God.

What is the purpose of fasting?

-Fasting is designed to intensify our dependence on God by weakening our dependence on food and other things. How does it do that?
- Fasting teaches us that we can go without getting what we want and survive. Fasting can free us from having to have what we want. Therefore, fasting can teach moderation or self-control, not only in relation to food, but in other areas as well. It teaches contentment. (I Timothy 6:6)
-Fasting expresses and deepens our hunger for God. Fasting reminds us that we are sustained “by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God:” (Matt. 4:4). Food does not sustain us; God sustains us. In Christ, “All things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). Therefore, in experiences of fasting, we are abstaining from food or other activities and feasting on God’s Word.
- Fasting must always, first and foremost, center on God. It must be about Him.

How to get started on your Fast

Step 1: Clarify the purpose of your fast.

Why are you fasting? Ask the Holy Spirit to clarify His leading and objectives for your prayer fast. This will enable you to pray more specifically and strategically. Fasting is God-led and God- initiated. That means that He fuels a desire to fast and pray. He loves it when we fast.

Step 2: Specify the kind of fast you will do.

Pray about the kind of fast you should undertake. Jesus implied that all of His followers should fast. (Matthew 6:16-18; 9:14,15) For Him it was a matter of when believers would fast, not if they would do it. Before you fast, decide the following up front:

• How long you will fast - one meal, one day, one week, several weeks, certain days (beginners should start slowly, building up to longer fasts)

• The type of fast God wants you to undertake - discussed in the Types of Fasts section below.

• What physical or social activities you will restrict.

How much time each day you will devote to prayer and God’s Word making these commitments ahead of time will help you sustain your fast when physical temptations and life’s pressures tempt you to abandon it. 

Step 3: Prepare your heart, mind, and body for fasting.
Fasting is not a spur-of-the-moment thing. It is planned. We must prepare. The very foundation of fasting and prayer is repentance. Unconfessed sin can hinder your prayers. There are several things you can do to prepare your heart.

• Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Consult your physician first, especially if you take prescription medication or have a chronic ailment. Some people should never fast without professional supervision.

• Do not rush into your fast. Prepare your body. Eat smaller meals before starting a fast. Avoid high fat and sugary foods. Eating raw fruit and vegetables prior to your fast is helpful. Physical preparation makes the drastic change in your eating routine a little easier so that you can turn your full attention to the Lord in prayer. 

• Prepare your heart and mind: Remember that God is your Father and He loves you and is for you.

Confess every sin that the Holy Spirit calls to your remembrance and accept God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9). Seek forgiveness from all whom you have offended, and forgive all who have hurt you (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3,4). Make restitution as the Holy Spirit leads you.

• Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ (Romans 12:1, 2). Meditate on the attributes of God, His love, sovereignty, power, wisdom, faithfulness, grace, compassion, and others. (Psalm 48:9,10; 103:1-8, 11-13)

• Begin your time of fasting and prayer with an expectant heart. (Hebrews 11:6)

• Do not underestimate spiritual opposition. Satan sometimes intensifies the natural
battle between body and spirit. (Galatians 5:16,17)

Types of Fasts  - Biblical fasting almost always concerns food.

1. Selective Fast

Daniel 10:3 Choose to abstain from something like breads, sweets, sodas, coffee, or even red meat. Perhaps spend some time reading through Daniel’s fast in Daniel chapter 1 and chapter 10. Stick to only fruits and vegetables like he did or something similar. Determine the timing and duration of your fast and begin. You may choose to go without this specific type of food on only certain days like Fridays, or you may go without during the weekdays only or perhaps every day. Finally, choose the duration of your fast. This fast is 21 days (January 6 - 27) but that does not mean you must go without for all of the 21 days.

Determine the timing and duration ahead of time and stick to it. Rather, pray through it.

2. Partial Fast

This fast is sometimes called the “Jewish Fast” and involves abstaining from eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon. This can either be correlated to specific times of the day, such as 6:00am to 3:00pm, or from sunup to sundown.

3. Complete Fast

Esther 4:16; Acts 9:9
This seems to be the most prevalent of the fasts we see in the Bible. It is also the most intimidating, but refuse to let it scare you. Fasting from all food is not scary if you determine beforehand when you will do so and for how long..

The complete fast is going without food and only drinking water or juice.  Example could be a 3 day fast, or one meal a day or eating only dinners.  

4. Soul Fast

Daniel 6:18 The king’s voluntary “fasting” from entertainment in the time of Daniel helps us further understand yet another type of fast. This fast is a great option if you do not have much experience fasting food, have a health condition, or if you wish to refocus certain areas of your life that are out of balance. Fasting from things like entertainment can be particularly helpful and accessible to kids and teens. Think of abstaining from television, social media, ipods/ipads, video games, all reading except the Bible, music, texting, etc. for the duration of your fast. This can be a very powerful decision even as a supplement to food fasts.

Choosing your fasting plan is a very personal decision. We are all at different places in our walk with God and our spirituality should never be a cause for comparison or competition. There is nothing more “inherently spiritual” about one type of fast as opposed to another. Your personal fast should present a level of challenge to it, but know your body, know your options, and most importantly, seek God in prayer about this and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do. It’s also important to not let what you eat or do not eat become the focus of your fast. This is a time to disconnect enough with your regular patterns and habits in order to connect more closely to God. If you do not choose to fast, or no matter what kind of fast you choose, seek God with us in prayer.

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