21 Days of Prayer

Beginning Sunday, January 3

PRAYER OPPORTUNITIES

For questions or more info, contact the Prayer Ministry

WHY DO WE FAST?

Fasting Is Biblical

Throughout the Bible we most often find God’s people turn to fasting as the natural, inevitable response to a grievous sacred moment in life, such as death, sin and tragedy. But other times a fast is not a spontaneous reaction and we have time to prepare to respond both physically and spiritually.

Throughout the Bible, we often find God’s people turn to fasting and prayer in response to a sin, tragedy or a sacred moment in life. Jesus also expressed that He expects us to fast today for victorious living in preparation for His return. (Isaiah 58:6, Daniel 9:3, Luke 5:35)

Fasting is not an end unto itself, but a means of focusing our minds and bodies for a spiritual reason. Whenever you fast, do so for a purpose that is mentioned or modeled in the Bible. Here are a few:


To Express Grief, Repentance & Return to God
 
God is close to the broken and lowly in spirit and fasting demonstrates a humble heart of repentance and submission to God, where we grieve over our sin, acknowledge our need for Him, and draw near.  God responds by drawing near;  healing, empowering, transforming us. (Isaiah 66:2, 1 Samuel 7:6, 31:3, 2 Samuel 1:12, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Joel 2), Nehemiah 1:3-4)
 
To Strengthen Prayer & Receive Guidance

Fasting does not change whether God hears our prayers or gives guidance, but fasting can change our praying, and make us more receptive to His guidance. As Arthur Wallis says, “Fasting is calculated to bring a note of urgency and importunity into our praying, and to give force to our pleading in the court of heaven.” (Ezra 8:23, Judges 20:26)
 

To Seek Deliverance or Protection

Another common reason for fasting in the Bible was to seek deliverance from enemies or circumstances for ourselves or others. In Scripture, this type of fast is generally carried out with other believers.(2 Chronicles 20:3-4, Isaiah 58:3-7)
 

To Obtain Victory Over The Flesh

By fasting, we are intentionally denying our fleshly desires, resetting our appetites and hungering after the things of God. 

As we fast, we deliberately weaken the powerful bond with our flesh and strengthen our relationship with God, spirit to Spirit. As we turn down the volume knob on our flesh, and turn it up in the spirit, we gain authority, clarity, and closeness with God, thereby overcoming temptation and dedicating ourselves to God. 

Fasting is  prophetic act of spiritual violence toward recovering Jesus’ original wilderness pathway to power from on high. (Matthew 4:1-11, 11:12)

HOW DO WE FAST SUCCESSFULLY?

“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” – Habakkuk 2:2a

Types of Fasting:

  • TOTAL FAST: no food or water (no more than 3 days)
  • WATER FAST: only drink water (consult physician, max 40 days)
  • LIQUID FAST: drink water, fresh juices, broth, herbal teas, etc.
  • PARTIAL FAST: abstain from certain foods. Includes Daniel fast, which eliminates meats, sweets, and other delicacies.
  • Biblical fasting always involves abstaining from food. However, we can benefit from also fasting other things that may be habit-forming and/or shifting our focus and dependency away from God (i.e., social media, television/video games, shopping, negative talk, caffeine, sleep, etc.

Starting Strong: 

  • SET CLEAR GOALS. Why are you fasting? Ask Holy Spirit for guidance on the purpose of your fast (i.e., direction, deliverance, desire for God.) 
  • DETERMINE TYPE OF FAST. What kind of fast (full, liquid, partial), length of days (i.e., 21 days, 3 days per week), times of day (i.e., 9am – 5pm), and include fasting add-on’s (i.e., no TV). If you have any medical conditions, seek advice and permission from your doctor before you begin a fast.
  • PREPARE PHYSICALLY. Two days before you fast, limit your intake of food and drink lots of water to facilitate detoxing. Prepare for mental discomforts such as impatience, crankiness, and anxiety, as well as physical discomforts such as dizziness, headaches and different kinds of pains. These symptoms are not a sign to stop fasting. Your body is working to cleanse itself of impurities.
  • PREPARE SPIRITUALLY. Invite Holy Spirit’s searching and conviction, confess your sins to God, forgive where necessary, surrender to Him. Fasting is pointless when lacking humility and a repentant spirit. (Isaiah 58, Luke 18)

Steward Your Time Well:

  • REPLACE FOOD PREP AND MEAL TIMES, as well as media and entertainment times, with prayer and Bible study. Intentionally add extra times with God throughout the day or night. Set alarms to prompt your pause. 
  • SELECT A PRAYER GUIDE, devotional book, or teaching series to consume as part of your daily spiritual food. Books about victories obtained through fasting will be especially encouraging to you.
  • FEEL FREE TO REST a lot and continue to exercise with wisdom.
  • DON’T BOAST ABOUT YOUR FAST. Let people know you won’t be eating (certain things) only if you need to (Matthew 6:16-18).
  • FAST IN PARTNERSHIP WITH SOMEONE ELSE. Two are better than one! Find a friend to hold you accountable. We encourage married couples to fast together, parents and kids too!
  • IF YOU FAIL, DON’T GIVE IN TO CONDEMNATION. God always extends grace. If you mess up, just hit the “reset” button and continue on your fast!
  • END WELL. when it comes time to end your fast, do not overeat or binge on activities you’ve been abstaining from. Slowly reintroduce foods into your diet and activities into your lifestyle, in small portions.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM FASTING?

Prepare for Opposition 

Donuts at the office, your spouse cooks your favorite meal, tension at home. Satan tempted Jesus during His fast, and we must expect the same. Discouragement may come in like a flood, but recognize the source and take your stand on the victory of Christ. (Ephesians 6 – Armor of God).

Breakthroughs Often Come After a Fast

Breakthroughs often come after a fast, not during a fast. Do not listen to the lie that nothing is happening. Every fast done in faith will be rewarded (Matthew 6:18).

The Rewards of Fasting and Prayer:
  • Equipped to overcome life’s challenges
  • Enhanced connection with God
  • Empowered to fulfill God’s calling for our life
  • By fasting, we join the ministry of Jesus to see:
    • Satan cast down
    • The Church purified
    • The Bride of Christ beautified
    • Greater sensitivity to God’s voice 
    • Increased hunger for His presence
    • Kingdom Glory released
    • Evangelism empowered, and 
    • Many healed and set free!

FASTING RESOURCES & PRAYER GUIDE

 

CRU FASTING RESOURCES 
This is a collection of articles from Dr. Bill Bright and Campus Crusade for Christ including 7 Basic Steps to Successful Fasting and Prayer, Your Personal Guide to Fasting and Prayer, and A Practical Fasting Starter Kit. They teach on the purpose and practice of Biblical fasting, and guide you in how to prepare for and properly steward your time of fasting. Click here to access.

FORWARD: 21-DAYS OF FASTING AND PRAYER GUIDE 
God’s purposes do not change regardless of our circumstances. Instead, He empowers us to move forward in His plans, taking new ground in every area of our lives. This plan will take you through 21 days of seeking God, launching you forward into His plans and purposes for your life. Click here to access.