As I mentioned on Sunday, we are going to take 21 days (January 10th-January 31st) to fast and pray together as a church. I want to invite each of you to participate in this time because I believe this will be a powerful time for our faith community to draw near to God. During this 21 days of fasting and prayer we will refocus our mind’s attention and heart’s affection on God.
This upcoming Sunday I will be teaching from Psalm 19 and this passage highlights the beauty of God’s word. The reality is that God’s word is glorious and life giving however we often give little attention to this gift of grace. My prayer is that during our fast God will grow our desire to not only connect with Him through His word but grow our desire to commune with Him in a growing vibrant relationship.
It is important to remember that fasting doesn’t merely mean abstaining from food. The primary example we see in scripture is fasting food but the reality is you can fast almost anything. In the truest sense, fasting is a process of abstaining from something for the purpose of worship, prayer, and devotion to God. I have seen people fast specific things like sweets, desserts and candy. Other people fast movies, social media, screen time and even coffee.
So how do I participate? Well, quite simply, I want to encourage you to take this week and pray about what God would have you fast and then join in, January 10th through the 31st! Spiritual disciplines like this can be exciting especially when you are engaged with your faith community. This Sunday I will generate a text thread where we can stay in regular communication providing things like prayer requests, insights, and answered prayer.
Here are some practical insights on fasting: 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. Here are some specific ways to consider fasting.
In this type of fast, you only drink liquids, typically water with light juices as an option. Remember, if you have never done this before, you need to do a little research and for those with ongoing medical complications it is important to consult with your doctor.
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 water and juice for fluids and fruits and vegetables for food.
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 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sunup to sundown.
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 our 21 days.
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