As a church family, we always like to begin the new year with a church-wide time of prayer and
fasting. This is always a great time for our church as we seek the Lord and His plan for our
individual lives, our families and our church.
Fasting accompanied with prayer is seen throughout the word of God. Fasting and prayer at the beginning of the year is a biblical way to “seek first the kingdom of God.” (Math. 6:33). Biblical fasting is refraining from food for a specific time for a spiritual purpose. In Math. 6, Jesus teaches on three spiritual disciplines that every believer is privileged to do in their walk with the Lord, those being to pray, give, and fast. It is important to know that fasting does not change God, but us. God is the same before we fast, during our fast, and after we fast. Fasting does not impress God. Fasting is a way for us to consecrate ourselves for a period of time to seek God’s way for our families, our church, and ourselves. (Ezra 8:21).
The Bible mentions two categories of fasting: a proclaimed fast (2Chron. 20) and a personal fast Jesus described in Math. 6. Both of these types of fasting bring believers into a place of directing their mind and focus toward God. Prayer and fasting is a way of ministering to the Lord. (Acts 13:1-2). In an atmosphere of honoring the Lord and seeking His plan, the Holy Spirit will give clear direction and purpose to our lives.
Why should I fast?
As already mentioned, fasting is a time where we consecrate ourselves to seeking God’s plan and will for our lives. Fasting can also help us to be more sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Do you desire a deeper, more intimate and powerful relationship with the Lord? A set aside time of fasting and pray will make Jesus and His victory at the cross more real to us than ever before. We can also use this time to pray for family members and friends who need the Lord in their lives.
Types of Fast
There are several types of fasting. The one you choose is between you and God. He will honor your best sacrifice.
- Full Fast. Drink only liquids (you establish the number of days).
- The Daniel Fast. Eat no meat, no sweets and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables.
- 3-Day Fast. This fast can be a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food.
- Partial Fast. A partial fast is from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm or from sun up to sundown. You can select from three types of fasting —a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food.
Scripture References for Fasting:
Matthew 6:16-18, Matthew 9:14-15, Luke 18:9-14
Remember that it is the attitude of a heart sincerely seeking Him to which God responds with a blessing (Isaiah 58, Jeremiah 14:12, 1 Corinthians 8:8). We encourage you to seek the Lord in prayer and let your decisions about your biblical fasting come from Him. Ask the Lord to show you areas to target during your time of fasting and prayer. We believe that, as we pray and seek God and give Him our best at the first of the year, He will bless our ENTIRE year (Matthew 6:33)!