JANUARY 7-27, 2019
As we start off our new year as a church family, let's begin it together by focusing on the Lord through prayer and fasting. This is a time we set aside at the beginning of each year to place our focus and the first portion of our year towards Christ. Bringing our hearts and minds closer to Him. Join us as we start 21 days of prayer and fasting together!
Click here for the 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting Guide
Click here for the Children's Version
Click here to watch daily Prayer Services from The Church of the Highlands
Q&A About Prayer and Fasting
Q: Why do we fast?
A: In scripture, fasting is abstaining from food and drink for a designated period of time. While it is not a requirement of faith, the Bible shows many examples of fasting as something that is good and beneficial in our spiritual growth. However, it is not about dieting. During fasting we are abstaining from things of the world, withholding so we can turn our focus toward the Lord. Therefore, the primary purpose is to set aside an intentional time to seek God.
In fasting, we acknowledge that we have a need that is greater than the things of this world, a need satisfied only by God. So it is not just a time of self-denial, but also a time of focused prayer and devotion to God’s Word.
Q: Where can I read about examples of fasting in Scripture?
A: Scripture contains many examples of God’s people fasting as part of their spiritual life and discipline. Here are just a few examples of times we see fasting in Scripture:
Judges 20:26 - Israelites fast and seek the Lord’s will.
1 Samuel 7:6 - Israel fasts and prays for relief.
Ezra 8:21 - Proclamation of the people to humble themselves and fast.
Nehemiah 9:1 - The people confess and fast.
Esther 4:16 - The people in exile pray and fast in unity with Esther.
Daniel 9:1-27 - Daniel fasts, repents and prays seeking God’s righteousness.
Jonah 3: 6-9 - King of Nineveh repents and fasts.
Matthew 4:1-25, Luke 4:1-44 - Jesus fasts 40 days.
Acts 13: 2 - Fasting before the Lord.
Q: What are some types of fasts?
Your more personal fast should present a level of challenge, but it is very important to know your body, your options, and most importantly, to seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.
Complete Fast - In this type of fast, you drink only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.
Selective Fast - This type of fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, and bread from your diet and consume only water and juice for fluids and fruits and vegetables for food.
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 correlate to specific times of the day, such as 6:00am to 3:00pm, or from sunup to sundown.
Soul Fast - This fast is a great option if you do not have much experience fasting food, have health issues that prevent you from fasting food, or if you wish to refocus certain areas of your life that are out of balance. For example, you might choose to stop using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast and then carefully bring that element back into your life in healthy doses at the conclusion of the fast.
Q: How do I fast?
A: First, spend some time in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to guide you in what your fast should include. For some individuals fasting from food may not be healthy or meaningful. There may also be other things in your life the Lord would ask you to abstain from that may make a more significant impact on you.
If you are interested in a food-based fast, one approach is to use the guidelines of a Daniel fast. Click here for a website where you can find information on the Daniel fast guidelines.
Next, as you plan for your fast don’t forget to set aside intentional time for prayer. This may replace the time you would have spent on the thing you are fasting from. If not, be sure to set aside a time.
If you have other questions about fasting please feel free to contact the church office and we will be happy to discuss with you.
Sign up to pray in our prayer room! It is open 24/7. For more information and to sign up for a spot in our prayer room click here.