What is Fasting?
For 2018, our theme is "Courageous." During a 7-day period, January 7-14, we will fast as a community, in order to seek God. Options include a complete, partial, or Daniel fast. Equally important are your personal prayer, Scripture reading and journaling time, and our corporate prayer gatherings. Fasting and prayer are our reminder to God that we are serious about His purpose for our lives and that we trust Him for our needs.
Come Together Nightly
Join us Monday January 7-Friday January 12 at 7pm as we come together to worship and pray. If you cannot make each night, set a goal of 3-4 nights for the week. Our guiding scriptures and themes are below:
Monday: Desperate Times & Desperate Measures Esther 3-4
Pray for people who are in desperate, seemingly impossible circumstances.
Tuesday: The Stamina to Stand Matthew 4:1-11
Pray for yours and others' spiritual stamina against temptation
Wednesday: Fasting is a Service to God
Pray that more people at Messiah will develop a heart to serve God
Thursday: Confession of Sin Daniel 9:3-19
Confess personal, family, community, and national sins to God. Ask God to be merciful.
Friday: Lord, I Need You to Move
2 Samuel 12:15-23
Ask God to move in your's or someone else's affliction
Saturday: Lord, Give Me a Word
Ask God to give you HIs word for what you're facing. Pray for the word to be timely at Messiah in 2018
Sunday: Lord, I Need Direction Acts 10:24-33
Ask God to give you direction for the decisions you're facing. Ask Him to give united direction to Pastor Rod and the leaders at Messiah in 2018
How Should I Fast?
Option 1: Complete Fast
It is a fast from both food and drink, for a specified period of time. It is practiced to express an extreme need for God in personal or collective circumstances. Please consider consulting your physician and inviting prayerful support from your church family.
Scriptural References: Exodus 34:28, Esther 4:15-17, 1 Kings 19:8, and Matthew 4:1-10
Option 2: Partial Fast
This involves fasting for a portion of a day or portions of several days at a time. Variations include a light breakfast and fasting for the remainder of the day or sipping on clear liquids like herbal teas throughout the day. Our partial fast strongly encourages drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated. Whatever time you choose for your partial fast, maintain the schedule daily.
Option 3: Daniel Fast
Based on Daniel’s choice “not to defile himself with the royal rations of food and wine,” a Daniel fast involves choosing to eat only vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, etc. We abstain from meats, sweets, breads, and caffeine. Some may choose to eat fish during their Daniel Fast. Regardless, our focus remains to consecrate ourselves to God.
Scriptural References: Daniel 1:8-17
Who Should Participate?
As always, please check with your doctor to make sure your health will not be at risk if you participate in fasting. Pregnant and nursing mothers, please speak with your physicians as well. If you are medically cleared, age 15 or older, we invite you to join us for this exciting time of seeking God at Messiah! Parents should determine if their children, ages 15-17, may join the corporate fast.
What Should I Expect?
During the fasting season, expect to feel different the first two or three days of the fast. Your body is adjusting and getting rid of toxins. It may be helpful to slow down your schedule for reading, reflection, prayer, and rest. Usually after day 3, you will regain energy.
You should also expect, as you read Scripture and pray with more focus, to feel more clear in your spirit. Expect to hear from God and to be more spiritually alert. You should also expect to experience spiritual attack from Satan, including temptations around food and thoughts of doubt. Stand firm by praying the Scriptures. Consider having a prayer partner to help you through the tough spots.
CAN I FAST FROM SOMETHING OTHER THAN FOOD?
There is no biblical precedent for fasting that does not include certain foods or all foods. While there is no prohibition from fasts that include TV, the internet, shopping, etc., we recommend fasting that includes food. It is basic to our daily existence and speaks most directly to our urges and appetites in the natural realm. During fasting, we must address them with spiritual means -- i.e.., prayer and Scripture. Our main focus, however, is leaning into God and demonstrating that we trust him. Your fasting is between you and The Lord. Other approaches are acceptable as God directs you.
ARE THERE BOOKS I CAN READ ABOUT FASTING?
In addition to our Messiah Fasting Tool Kit, we recommend the following book resources:
- The Daniel Plan by Pastor Rick Warren
- Fasting by Pastor Jentezen Franklin
- The Fasting Edge: Recover Your Passion. Recapture Your Dream. Restore Your Joy by Jentezen Franklin
- A Hunger for God: Desiring God Through Fasting & Prayer by John Piper
- Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough: A Guide to Nine Biblical Fasts by Elmer Towns • Daily prayers & scripture reading using the S.O.A.P. method