From January 11th until January 31st, our church family is invited to participate in a journey of devotion to God. Prayer is speaking with God. Fasting is abstaining from food for a period of time to devote our lives more fully to God. During this 21-day period of time, you are asked to take some time to seek the Lord and participate in the practice of prayer and fasting in whatever ways you’d like. This is a private journey with no external expectationsto do things a certain way. It is, however, an opportunity to begin 2016 by seeking God’s direction in your life and the ministry of our church.
If You Do Fast
Some fast a meal a day or fast certain foods for an extended period of time. Others choose to fast a few days at a time, while some will fast the entire 21-days, either a full fast or eating only certain types of food. Again, the purpose of fasting is to take time for personal devotion for prayer and reading scripture. Fasting is not a competition or weight loss program. It is simply setting time aside to seek God.
What is fasting?
Unger's Bible Dictionary explains that the word“fast” in the Bible is from the Hebrew word sum, meaning "to cover" the mouth, or from the Greek word nesteuo ,meaning "to abstain." For spiritual purposes, it means to go without eating and drinking.
Why do we fast?
The Bible gives examples of God's people occasionally combining fasting with their prayers so as to stir up their zeal and renew their dedication and commitment to Him. King David wrote that he "humbled himself with fasting."
Fasting is a means of getting our minds back on the reality that we are not self-sufficient. Fasting helps us realize just how fragile we are and how much we depend on things beyond ourselves.
The Bible records that great men of faith such as Moses, Elijah, Daniel, Paul and Jesus Himself fasted so that they might draw closer to God.
- Fasting was an expected discipline in both the Old and New Testament eras. For example, Moses fasted at least two recorded forty-day periods. Jesus fasted 40 days and reminded His followers to fast.
- Fasting and prayer can restore and enhance our love for your Lord and result in a more intimate relationship with Christ.
- Fasting is a biblical way to experience genuine humility in the sight of God (Psalm 35:13;Ezra 8:21). King David said, "I humble myself through fasting."
- Fasting enables the Holy Spirit to reveal our true spiritual condition, resulting in brokenness, repentance, and a transformed life.
- Fasting often allows the Holy Spirit to make clearthe Word of God in our heart and His truth will become more meaningful to us!
- Fasting can transform our prayer life into a richer and more personal experience.
- Fasting can result in a dynamic personal revival in our own life-and make us a channel of revival to others.
- Fasting and prayer are the only disciplines that fulfill the promises of 2 Chronicles 7:14 "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
Pastor Terry will be at the Erlanger Campus every morning from 12 Noon until 1 p.m. for prayer (Monday – Saturday) during this 21-day journey if you’d like to join him. Also, based upon the verse 2 Chronicles 7:14, you are encouraged to take a moment every day at 7:14 a.m. and 7:14 p.m. to pray for our church, our community, and our nation. It’s exciting and encouraging to know at a specific time every day others are joining with you asking for similar things!