Why Pray and Fast?
Fasting is not a hunger strike. It doesn’t hold God ransom until He changes His mind. Our prayer and fasting does not conform God to our desires. Rather, it is a personal act of humility and worship, sharing our need for Him and posturing us to understand God’s heart and what HE wants to do. We forgo something in the physical (such as food), so that we can focus on what God is doing in the spiritual.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.Romans 12:1 (NIV)
We hear the heartbeat of God, catch HIS vision for HIS kingdom to be established here on earth. HE makes us participants in bringing heaven to earth.
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.Matthew 6:10 (NIV)
As a church we want to stand in unity and declare His authority, power and dominion over our bodies, lives, families and church. We trust the Holy Spirit’s transforming power to work in and through us for His Kingdom and His glory.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
When we pray and fast we want to:
- Follow Jesus example
- He prayed and fasted (Matthew 4:2)
- He assumed His followers fasted too (Matthew 6:17)
- Do it humbly (Matthew 6:16-18)
- Don’t put on a show, or do it self-righteously.
- Fasting is not about us, it’s about God.
- Do it as an act of devotion and worship (Romans 12:1)
- To grow in character and intimacy with God (James 4:7-10)
- To hear and respond to the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:2-3)
- To break strongholds, oppression and injustice (Isaiah 58:6)
What Should I Fast?
There are a number of lengths of time, ways and things that people fasted in the bible. When deciding what you and your family will be fasting for this two weeks you can consider:
- What do you find:
B. Consumes regular time and/or resources.
C. Would be a sacrifice to give up.
- Pray about it. Ask the Holy Spirit what He would like you to fast.
Some alternative ideas to a full food fast:
- Entertainment such as movies, toys, computer games, reading or listening to music
- Media such as television, the radio or newspapers.
- Social Media such as Facebook or twitter.
- Some foods such as a single meal each day or choice foods such as desserts, cakes and biscuits.
What About Fasting Food?
If you feel led to fast from food but have never done so for an extended period of time, it is important to understand what foods you have decided to fast from and the physical affects on your body both during AND after the fast period.
- A Daniel fast is only eating fruit and vegetables and drinking water/juices.
- A full fast is drinking only liquids (usually water, fruit/vegetable juices and tea).
- A partial fast is fasting solid food during daylight hours or from say 6am to 3pm.
PLEASE: Don’t fast from food if you have a medical condition or are pregnant/feeding. If you are unsure, seek professional medical advice.
Also, never fast from water or all liquids.
A great resource to better understand fasting and some precautions is a website Your Personal Guide to Fasting and Prayer (Dr. Bill Bright)