As we begin our fast together here are some excerpts from the web, along with some encouragements, devotionals, vids, and events to get you fired up and invite you to join us!
1. WHAT IS FASTING
Fasting is simply abstaining from something - traditionally food - for the purpose of seeing, savoring, and seeking God more clearly and earnestly. Jesus took it for granted that His disciples would fast and even began sentences with “when you fast…” (Matthew 6:16). Jesus predicted that future believers - us - would fast to draw closer to Him and to testify that we are awaiting our future physical joining with our Savior - “… But someday the Groom will be taken from them and then they will fast…” (Mark 2:20). He also made it very clear that some breakthroughs would only occur in our lives through concentrated prayer and fasting - “This kind only goes out by prayer and fasting…” (Matthew 17:21).
2. WHATS THE MAIN GOAL OF FASTING?
The heart of fasting - whether a private fast or a corporate fast - is Jesus. The point is not to get legalistic—but to seek Him + enjoy Him. The point is not just to not eat. The point is to replace the flesh comforts with prayer, reading more Scripture, journaling, even worship—more time communing with God. It may sound silly but—If we don’t eat and don’t spend time with Jesus, all we have accomplished to starve ourselves both physically and spiritually - and that’s no fun for anyone!
3. WHAT KIND OF FAST SHOULD I DO?
There are many models of fasting you can follow from Scripture. One popular fast is the Daniel fast - a temporary diet consisting of only water, fruits and vegetables, another consists of only bread and water. Some people simply give up soft drinks or sweets. The point of Fasting is laying something physical down to pick something spiritual up. And like King David we don’t “want to offer a sacrifice that costs nothing.” If you don’t like chocolate, chocolate is not the thing to fast!
-Complete Fast: drinking only liquids, typically water, with juice as an option.
-Daniel Fast: removing meat, sweets and alcohol from your diet (see Daniel 1:8).
-Partial Fast: sometimes called a Jewish Fast, calls for abstaining from food for a specific part of each day. This might be from sunup to sundown, or 6 am to 3 pm, lunches, or something suitable for you.
-Electronic Entertainment Fast: Not using social media and or all forms of electronic entertainment (movies, TV, video games, etc.). This is also a good fast to combine with one of the food fasts. It’s helpful to refocus areas of life that might be out of balance.
4. WHAT SHOULD I PRAY ABOUT?
The short answer is everything. Pray about anything and everything on your heart. Fasting is a powerful time for targeted, focused prayer. Pray fervently for breakthrough. Pray for personal direction. Pray for a lost child, unbelieving family members. Corporately, pray for the vision of Lighthouse Church both locally and globally - that more people than ever before will discover and connect to their God-given purpose. Pray for Lighthouse pastors and leadership that they would be filled with the Holy Spirit and New Life. Pray for fresh vision and anointing. And finally, pray for revival (nations + communities + people groups to turn their hearts to God].
Starting points for how to focus your prayer:
-Ask God to show you areas to target during your time of fasting and prayer. We believe that as we seek God and give Him our best at the first of the year, He will bless our ENTIRE year (Matthew 6:33)! During this season of prayer, we will seek the Lord in these areas:
-Declare your dependence on God in every area of our lives.
-Pray for a closer relationship with God and hearing His voice.
-Pray for our city – that God would draw people to Himself and many hearts would turn to Him.
-Pray for your neighbors – walk your neighborhood several times per week and pray for the people who live in each house.
-Ask God for guidance in your life for the year.
-Believe God will answer prayers your are praying for specific needs.
-Victory over areas of sin, and asking for forgiveness for our sins – personally and corporately.
-Inviting the God’s presence and power to work in our church and our lives.
Here is Pastor Dave with some words to encourage us:
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. [NKJV]
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. [NKJV]
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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." [NKJV]
Daily Prayer Devotional + Psalms Prayer Outline
Here is a daily devotional for each day of the fast, from NorthPark Community Church in Fresno: DEVOTIONAL
And if you’d like to pray along with us, we’ll be praying through the book of Psalms beginning with Psalm 139 on Jan 7th.