What is it?
A safe and simple fasting plan, substituting some common food choices with simpler, healthier ones, and replacing some time taken for meals with prayer, scripture, and journaling.
Fasting is a spiritual discipline designed to better connect us with God. It is a time of devoting yourself to prayer, and provides a simple way to say "no" to yourself so you can say "yes" to what God is asking to do in your life! We're doing it together as a church family, taking 21 days to prepare ourselves for what God has prepared for all of us in 2013!
Begin eliminating some meat, dairy, white grains and refined sugars from your diet to help transition your body for the fast. Try to wean yourself off of caffeine, too.
I announced that we were going to do a church-wide fast as part of our January emphasis. So I thought I'd take a minute this morning and share a few thoughts with you on the the subject.
In Matthew 6, Jesus does one of his most definitive teachings on prayer. In fact, this is where he introduces what we call, "The Lord's Prayer." In this passage Jesus begins with an assumption when he says, "And WHEN you pray..." In other words, Jesus assumes we will pray and then he gives instructions on how to pray effectively.
Here's what's interesting: A few verses later, he lays down another big assumption in verse 16 when he says, "WHEN you fast..." Did you catch that? WHEN...not if. Jesus assumed we would pray, AND he also assumed we would fast.
I think that says to us that we can't bypass the importance of this spiritual practice in our lives and in our church. In fact, I believe it is important because it does two really big things for us:
1. It elevates the spiritual over the flesh. Fasting has a way of taking our focus off of our physical wants, needs and desires in order to focus on our spiritual wants, needs and desires. It's an intentional way to worship God and focus on our need for him.
2. Fasting makes miracles possible that would otherwise be imossible. In Matthew 17, Jesus' disciples failed in an attempt to cast a demon out of a young boy. When they asked Jesus why he was able to heal the boy and they could not, he said in verse 21, "This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."
So will you take Jesus at his word? Will you elevate the spiritual over the flesh? Will you fast and pray that God would do even the impossible in your life and in our church?
I hope you'll join me and others starting on January 7, 2013!
Online Prayer & Fasting Commitment Card
Join our pastor & staff by completing the online commitment card, sharing your prayer request so staff can unite in prayer for you.