We are starting a corporate fast together at Courageous Church. I wanted to share a few thoughts about fasting that I hope you will find helpful.
Fasting has been one of the greatest and challenging things I have done. I have learned more about myself during these times of extended fasting. I have seen how much food is an idol in my life. I have also learned that my spiritual growth needs to take a step up. I have spent some of the most powerful times with the Lord during these times of fasting. I also have learned some things, like Michelle and I should never fast food at the same time. We learned this out of love for one another. (She is the best wife!) I believe fasting is a calling. It is meant to be for certain times and seasons. I am more excited about this fast then any other because I believe God has some great things to show me and our church. I hope you will join me in this fast as we fast from distraction and feast on the word. Our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting Guides can be found below.
Why We Fast
The goal of fasting is to grow closer to God. Biblical fasting always has to do with saying no to distractions for a spiritual reason; it is us hitting the reset button of our hearts and souls and renews us! Fasting also enables us to celebrate the kindness and goodness of God, and sets our hearts up for the good things God desires to bring into our lives. Remember, your personal fast should have a level of challenge, but it is very important to know your own body, know your options and most importantly, seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do. There are several types of fasts. How you choose to fast is between you and the Lord!
Types of Fasting
This fast calls for drinking only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.
This type of fast involves removing certain elements from a diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, or 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 types 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 common for those who do not have much experience fasting foods, who have health issues that prevent the fasting of food, or who wish to refocus certain areas of their life that are out of balance. For instance, someone might select to abstain from using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast—and then choosing how to carefully bring that element back into their life in an orderly fashion.
Scripture about Fasting:
Matthew 6:16-18, Matthew 9:14-15, Luke 18:9-14
Prayer and Reading of the Word:
1 Samuel 1:6-8, 17-18, Nehemiah 1:4, Daniel 9:3, 20, Joel 2:12, Luke 2:37, Acts 10:30, Acts 13:2
1 Samuel 7:5-6, Ezra 8:21-23, Nehemiah 9:1-3, Joel 2:15-16, Jonah 3:5-10, Acts 27:33-37
7 Steps to Successful Fasting and Praying by Bill Bright - http://www.cru.org/train-and-grow/devotional-life/7-steps-to-fasting.html
Your Personal Guide to Fasting and Praying by Bill Bright - http://www.cru.org/train-and-grow/devotional-life/personal-guide-to-fasting.html