There is life…and then there is living! Are you ready to start living God’s plan for your life?
Genesis 1:1 begins, “In the beginning, God…”
God first is the priority that should rule our lives! In fact, Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…”
Fasting is one of the classical spiritual practices that can help us shift our priorities. It helps us put God first in our lives, to hear His voice, receive His guidance and direction, pursue His plans and receive His blessings. Fasting can also serve as a catalyst for spiritual growth and breakthrough.
a2 Church began 2018 with 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. Fasting in January is similar to praying in the morning in order receive God’s direction for the entire day.
We wanted to begin 2018 by giving God the first and “best part” of the New Year, believing that He will respond by blessing our entire year.
Start the New Year off right and discover the rewards of putting God first.
WHY SHOULD I FAST?
· Do you desire a deeper, more intimate relationship with God?
· Do you want to increase your spiritual sensitivity in regards to the heart of God?
· Do you need to break free from bondages that are holding you hostage?
· Do you have a friend or family member that needs to know Christ personally?
· Do you want to know God’s will for your life?
· Is there a dream inside you that only God can make possible?
· Are you in need of a healing or a miracle?
· Do you want to jumpstart your spiritual momentum for the New Year?
· Do you desire a great awareness of God’s presence in our church and in your life?
· Are you passionate about seeing a2 Church become more active and effective in the completion of the Great Commission?
HOW TO BEGIN
Set your objective. Start with a clear goal. Be specific. Why are you fasting?
Do you need spiritual renewal, guidance, physical healing, the restoration of a marriage or your family, grace to handle a difficult situation, a financial breakthrough? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Determine a clear object or set of objectives. This will enable you to pray specifically and strategically.
Always include prayer and Bible reading. Check out the Bible Reading Plans available at YouVersion.com and establish daily time in God’s Word throughout this focused period of prayer and fasting.
The foundation of prayer and fasting is repentance. Here are several things you can do to prepare your heart:
· Confess every sin the Holy Spirit brings to your mind. Accept God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
· Ask forgiveness from everyone you have hurt or offended. Forgive all of those who have hurt or offended you (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3-4).
· Ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
· Surrender your life fully to the purpose and plan of God (Romans 12:1-2).
· Believe that God “rewards those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
· Do not underestimate spiritual opposition. Satan will usually intensify his efforts when you devote yourself to prayer and fasting (Luke 4).
· Develop an accountability partner who will encourage you in your fast.
· Keep a journal during your fast. Write down specific insights God gives you from His Word, promises that you have claimed and answers to prayer that you receive.
DECIDING WHAT KIND
The type of fast you go on is between you and God. Jesus implied that all believers should fast (Matthew 6:16-18; 9:14-15). For Him it was a matter of when believers should fast, not if they should fast.
Here are some options:
· A Normal (Full) Fast – Abstain from food, drink only liquids (water and / or specific juices).
(The best juices are from fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid any liquids containing caffeine, as they will stimulate your appetite and make fasting more difficult.)
· The Daniel Fast – Abstain from meats and sweets, drink only water. (Vegetables and most natural fruits are acceptable.)
· Combination Fast – Begin the first three days with a full or normal fast. Continue by observing the Daniel Fast for the remaining 18 days.
· Media Fast – A decision to limit or completely abstain from media – television, gaming, social media, etc. for a specific period of time.
Note: If you are on medication or have a medical condition, please consult your doctor before beginning a fast. Also, anyone engaging in a prolonged full fast should consult with his or her doctor.
Deciding on what kind of fast you will observe ahead of time will help you sustain your fast when physical temptations and life’s pressures tempt you to abandon your fast.
For maximum spiritual benefit, it is important that the time normally devoted to eating be given to prayer, Bible study and being alone with God.
Pray often throughout the day. Spend time in Bible Study. Make personal praise and worship a priority. Spend time in solitude and get away from every distraction possible (television, radio, cell phones, computers, etc.) Keep a journal. The more time you spend alone with God, the more effective and meaningful your fast will be.
CORPORATE PRAYER OPPORTUNITIES
Early Wednesday Morning Prayer — Every Wednesday, 6 am - a2 Church Worship Room
Monday Evening g Prayer — Monday, January 15, 6:30 pm
Night of Worship and Healing with Dr. Chauncey Crandall - Sunday, January 28, 6 pm
MAKING THE COMMITMENT
Write it down. It might look something like this:
1. My purpose or reason for fasting is: __________________________________
2. I will observe the following kind of fast: __________________________________
3. I will observe this fast for this period of time: __________________________________
4. My accountability partner during this fast will be: __________________________________
5. Why is this the right time for me to fast: __________________________________
I believe that God is the only answer to my request and that prayer without fasting is not enough to get an answer to my need. Therefore, by faith I am fasting because I desperately need God to work in this matter.
God being my strength and His grace being my basis, I commit myself to the above fast.
Signed / Date.