As a church we are stepping into an intensified season of prayer and fasting. We are believing that this will be a powerful time both corporately and personally as we seek God for an open heaven over our lives.
The Biblical concept of fasting is the practice of a believer, going without food, for a period of time, for the spiritual purposes of prayer and devotion.
The spiritual practice of fasting is not primarily about health benefits, weight loss or detoxing. Although these may be beneficial, the primary focus of fasting is prayer and devotion to God.
Please get medical advice where and if necessary. If you're planning an extended fast, or if you are expecting, nursing, diabetic, or have a physical condition that depends on a regular diet, talk to your doctor before starting your fast.
Jesus taught his disciples saying “when you fast” not “IF” you fast (Matt. 6:16-18). This is a spiritual practice for every Christian.
We cannot use fasting as a way to impress God and earn His acceptance. We start with His acceptance. We are made acceptable to God simply through the work of Jesus Christ, not our fasting skills.
Fasting is not some strange spiritual bribe we pay that makes God give us what we want in prayer. Instead of fasting to try to get God to respond to our requests, we should fast to respond to God’s requests.
The Hebrew word for fasting means, “to cover over the mouth”. The Greek word for fasting means, “to abstain from food”. So this gives us an indication of how to fast.
This is going without food but drinking plenty of water for a set period of time.
This is a fast that only includes broth, soups and fruit juice for a set period of time.
This involves giving up particular foods like meat, bread and sugar. This fast consists of simple fruits and vegetables. This is what some people call a ‘Daniel fast’. Daniel asked not to eat the king’s rich, choice foods but requested simple vegetables and fruit to eat and water to drink (Daniel 1:8, 12-20). This fast could be three days, seven days or twenty one days.
This involves skipping certain meals of the day to commit the time to prayer and reflection. If you have never fasted before, start with a one, two, or at most a three-meal fast.
This could be giving up television, technology, social media, certain hobbies that take up your time and attention.
When we fast, the idea is to create some space in our busy lives for what is spiritually most valuable to us. This is a great time for prayer and reflection. Our hope is that many people will be enriched in their faith over these days of prayer and fasting.