Tips for Fasting and Prayer

Jan 21, 2022

Fasting

Why do we fast? Fasting is a way to deepen our hunger for God and to grow in holiness and hunger for God. More than any other discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us.(Richard Foster) And so it confronts us with our need to surrender to God. It is not a way to manipulate God or coerce him to hear and answer our prayers, but rather it acknowledges our complete dependence on him. It humbles us and awakens us to our great need for and reliance on God. As you consider fasting, we want to encourage you to listen to the Holy Spirit. Ask God to lead you in this time of seeking his face. Whether you choose to fast for one day, several days, or the entire 20 days, the point is to humble yourself in a new way and draw near to God. Here are some ideas of what you could choose.

  • You might choose a selective fast, eliminating certain things from your diet. Eating only fruits and vegetables, what some might call a “Daniel fast,” is an example of this type of fasting.
  • Another option is a partial fast, which is refraining from eating for a set period of time each day. You could choose to fast from a single meal or from sunup to sundown.
  • Some of you may feel led to engage in a complete fast, refraining from eating and only drinking liquids for particular days or even an extended period of time.
  • If fasting from food is not possible, you may feel led by the Lord to fast from something else, such as social media, television, or certain times or activities on your cell phone.

Additional Resources

Prayer

Praying is spiritual breathing, essential for our life in God. As we meditate on God’s Word, we breathe in the promises and purposes of God. In prayer, we breathe out, responding to God’s Word to us. In prayer we come to trust God’s love for us and surrender to His purposes for us. Each day in this guide, there will be one verse and a few prayer responses for you to guide your praying. Throughout the 21 days, you will be praying for specific areas in your life, our church, and our mission. Together, let’s put our faith into action, trusting in the promises of God for us and our church. Below are some helpful tips on how to make the most of this guide.

  • Commit to a specific time each day to devote to prayer. Find a place where you can be free of distractions and be alone with God.
  • Use the prayer points and Scripture in this guide to focus and fuel your praying. Write the Scripture and prayer point on a card and carry it with you, post it on your social media, make it the screensaver on your phone—whatever you can think of to keep these prompts in front of you. Use them throughout the day and invite others to join you in praying.
  • You can take it a step further by journaling your prayers each day, simply writing out your prayers to God. It’s a great opportunity to hide God’s Word in your heart, working to memorize the verses as you meditate and pray.
  • In addition, you may consider ways to pray with others during this season. Set up a Zoom call with friends or members of your small group. Pray together as a family. Invite others to join you on this journey.
Church family, let’s earnestly seek the face of God with great expectation as we wait for his revelation and instruction through these 20 days of fasting and prayer.
“‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’” - Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV)