Our Approach to fasting

EVERY YEAR AT THE BEGINNING OF JANUARY we as a church set aside a certain number of days for Prayer & Fasting to focus two primary objectives:

  •  To humble ourselves (through denying food) to hear clearly from God
  •  Seek for God’s wisdom and direction concerning the coming year

 

The precedence for this is found in Ezra 8:21-23:      

21 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. 22 For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.” 23 So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.

 

At the end of this fast I want us to be able to look back on the year and say the same words, “So we fasted and entreated our God for this and He answered our prayer.”

 

 

According to the Bible, there are 3 duties of every Christian: give, pray and fast.

Biblical fasting takes a lot of discipline and strength—strength which you can only receive from God. Your private discipline will bring you rewards in Heaven, says Matthew 6. When you give God your first through fasting, prayer and giving at the beginning of the year, you set the course for the entire year.

 

Are you in need of healing or a miracle?
Do you need the tender touch of God in your life?
Is there a dream inside you that only He can make possible?
Are you in need of a fresh encounter?
Do you desire a deeper, more intimate and powerful relationship with the Lord?
Are you ready to have heightened sensitivity to the desires of God?
Do you need to break away from bondages that have been holding you hostage?
Is there a friend or loved one that needs Salvation?
Do you desire to know God’s will for your life?

 

2 Types of fasting: 

  • Total fast    (only water)   
  • Partial fast  (only vegetables and water)

The need or urgency in your life or someone else’s life determines the type of fast you do.

  • Urgent             (Esther 4:16)
  • Important        (Daniel 10:2,3)
  • Directional      (Apostles, Acts 13:2)
  • Seasonal, corporate    (Isaiah 58:6-14)

My suggestion for this year:  Determine a combination that works for YOU.  A combination of both TOTAL and PARTIAL.

Basic Fasting Information


How to Begin
Start with a clear goal. Be specific. Why are you fasting? Do you need direction, healing, restoration of marriage or family issues? Are you facing financial difficulties? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Pray daily and read the Bible.


Preparing Spiritually
Confess your sins to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness. Forgive all who have offended you and ask forgiveness from those you may have offended (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3-4). Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ and reject the worldly desires that try to hinder you (Romans 12:1-2).


Deciding What to Fast
The type of fasting you choose is up to you. You could go on a full fast in which you only drink liquids, or you may desire to fast like Daniel, who abstained from sweets and meats, and the only liquid he drank was water. Remember to replace that time with prayer and Bible study.


Deciding How Long
You may fast as long as you like. Most can easily fast from one to three days, but you may feel the grace to go longer, even as much as 21 to 40 days. Use wisdom and pray for guidance. Beginners are advised to start slow.


What to Expect
When you fast your body detoxifies, eliminating toxins from your system. This can cause mild discomfort such as headaches and irritability during withdrawal from caffeine and sugars. And naturally, you will have hunger pains. Limit your activity and exercise moderately. Take time to rest. Fasting brings about miraculous results. You are following Jesus’ example when you fast. Spend time listening to praise and worship. Pray as often as you can throughout the day. Get away from the normal distractions as much as possible and keep your heart and mind set on seeking God’s face.


How to End
Don’t overeat when the time comes to end your fast. Begin eating solid food gradually; eat small portions or snacks.

Prayer & Fasting 2020

Monday, Jan. 6rd  – Friday Jan. 10th

 


Purpose: Ezra 8:21-23

  • To humble ourselves   (fasting)
  • Seek the “right way”   (prayer)

 

Prayer Objectives: 

  • Monday – Friday
  • Confess your sins to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness. Forgive all who have offended you and ask forgiveness from those you may have offended (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3-4). Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ and reject the worldly desires that try to hinder you (Romans 12:1-2).

Additional Daily Prayer Objectives:
  • Protection (Both spiritual & physical)
  • Progress  (Advancement of God’s Kingdom in the earth and especially our area)
  • Promotion  (Ask for God’s supernatural favor on your life, specific placement for you)
  • Provision  (That God would supply for all you need to LIVE and to GIVE)
  • Promise  (Remind God through scripture and perhaps personal prophecy of His promise to you, your family and CHR!)

 

Scripture Focus

Scripture References for Fasting:
Matthew 6:16-18, Matthew 9:14-15, Luke 18:9-14

Relation to Prayer and Reading of the Word:
1 Samuel 1:6-8, 17-18, Nehemiah 1:4, Daniel 9:3, 20, Joel 2:12, Luke 2:37, Acts 10:30,Acts 13:2

Corporate Fasting:
1 Samuel 7:5-6, Ezra 8:21-23, Nehemiah 9:1-3, Joel 2:15-16, Jonah 3:5-10, Acts 27:33-37, Esther 4:13-16

 

 

BASIC TEACHING

 

  • Both Old and New Testament belief and practice

    Ezra 8:21-23 - At the BEGINNING  (new year!)

    Acts 13:1, 2 - For WISDOM and DIRECTION

                Mark 9:29 - Used in  SPIRITUAL WARFARE

                Matthew 6:16  - A NORMAL practice

 

Fasting does not twist God’s arm nor put us in “good standing” with Him, rather it INCREASES our faith and awareness of His power and shows Him that we are SERIOUS about our prayers.     

 

Types of Fast: 


Total - Abstaining from all foods for a specific time

Partial  - Eating only vegetables

DO DRINK PLENTY OF WATER!


Entertainment:

If you want to hear from God clearly then all distractions must be eliminated.


Medical Condition:

If you are taking medication that requires a small amount of food, DO CONTINUE!


Children  (age appropriate):


Kids CAN participate! no sweets, eliminate 1 meal, no entertainment, read books

testimonies

Last year, I began the 21-day fast with Free Chapel, believing God for my wife’s healing. She had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma cancer two years prior, an “incurable” cancer which prevents the body from making red blood cells. Her red blood counts were low and there were no iron stores in her bone marrow. Although I have previously fasted for periods of 24 hours, I have never fasted for an extended period of time. We attended the Healing Service and were overcome by the presence of the Holy Spirit.

The following August, my wife’s oncologist recommended another bone marrow biopsy. Though her blood tests showed signs of a more aggressive cancer, we continued to pray, knowing that God has the power to heal in the blink of an eye. Later that month we went back to the oncologist’s office for the results of the biopsy. The doctor had great news—there was no evidence of any cancer! Immediately, my wife and I said “Thank you Jesus!” Not only was the “incurable” cancer gone, but there were also iron stores in her bone marrow. God is the Great Physician who has blessed us.

We wanted to share this testimony with you because we firmly believe that the 21-day fast, the laying of hands and prayers were integral parts of my wife’s miracle. I never thought I would be saying this, but I can’t wait until the fast this January!

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A retired player for the Atlanta Braves came up to give a testimony one Sunday. He had been in the major leagues for about 14 years when he retired. But he had been hooked on chewing tobacco for 23 years. He wanted to quit and had tried many times. He was involved in his church, and had a passion for youth ministry, but didn’t feel like he could fully be used because of the power the addiction had over his life.

His wife encouraged him to join our annual 21-day fast in January. He had never fasted before and was honest enough to admit that he really didn’t want to start. But he decided to try anyway.

On the third day of the fast, he stopped for gas and bought five cans of tobacco. As he was walking out of the store, he felt like he heard God speak to his heart for the first time in his life. The words were simple and to the point: “Throw it away and you’ll never want it again.” He continued walking, got in his car and pulled onto the highway.

As he drove, he began to talk to God. He said, “Lord, I have tried this so many times and it just doesn’t work.” He had traveled about a mile when God spoke to him again, “Throw it away, and you’ll never want it again.” There was no mistaking the door of opportunity that the Holy Spirit was swinging open for him. He drove home and immediately threw all five unopened cans of tobacco in the trashcan. From that moment on, true to God’s word, he has never wanted it again!

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I am so excited about what the Lord is doing in our lives I just had to share it! My husband and I felt the Lord lead us to do the 21-day Daniel fast along with your church—and let me tell you, it has been miracle after miracle.

After 48 years of smoking cigarettes, my mother quit! Then, my brother called and has decided to give church another try after 30 years! My husband and I heard the call of God to begin a ministry for troubled young girls. Friends of ours who were going to divorce are trying to work things out…and the list continues to include deliverance from an eating disorder, deliverance from shame and guilt due to childhood “issues”, healing of a colon and digestive system just to name a few!

God is so good! Seek God earnestly and watch what happens. Thank you again for your messages that speak to our hearts!

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I just had to let you know how God blessed our family as a result of the 21-day Daniel fast we participated in with Free Chapel. A season of difficult circumstances left us paying seven different medical bills a month, not to mention credit card bills, car and house payments. My husband sometimes works 60 hours a week and because he is salaried, doesn’t receive overtime pay. When it looked like he was being overlooked for a raise, he considered leaving, but God prevented him from doing anything at that time.

Soon after, my husband was called in for an employee review, which he hadn’t had in four years. His boss told him that he was amazed at how much he was able to accomplish and that his work had been wonderful. His boss then handed him his bonus check and told him he’d see a raise on his check that week.

Praise God! We have always prayed that God would allow us to be debt free when He sets us out into full-time ministry. As a result of this fast, we are encouraged to believe this will happen! We are so excited and so blessed by what He has done. Thank you for being obedient to call the fast…I honestly believe that if we hadn’t been obedient to follow it, God would not have moved like He did!

CONFESSIONS OF FAITH FOR 2020

 

As a body of believers in Jesus Christ we finish this year with overflowing thankfulness for all You have led us through.  As we journey into this new year let our praise go before us, let faith be our guide and hope be our anchor. As a statement of faith we offer up these thanksgivings:

 

We thank you Lord for New Birth and a Living Hope!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

(1 Peter 1:3, NIV)

 

We thank you Lord for Hope for the Future!
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD, "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

(Jeremiah 29:11NLT)

 

We thank you Lord that we are a New Creation!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.“

(2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV)

 

We thank you Lord that we have A New Heart!

“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command.”

(Ezekiel 36:25-27, NLT)

 

We thank you Lord that we can Forget the Past!

“I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.”

(Philippians 3:13-14, NLT)

We thank you Lord for your Perfect Timing!

“Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don't worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.” (Psalm 37:7, NLT)
“Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”           (Isaiah 40:31, NASB)

We thank you Lord that Your Love will sustain us!

“The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, "The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!"”

(Lamentations 3:22-24, NASB)