Prayer & Fasting
What do they mean?
Reasons for Fasting
Fasting works! Prayer and fasting seem to work in synergy. Once when the disciples failed to exorcise demons, Jesus explained that in such instances prayer and fasting were required. Fasting seems to move God to action. Of course, this does not mean that we can manipulate God by fasting, but for some reason there are times God desires us to underline our requests with fasting.
Communication is a vital component in every kind of relationship. The current texting and social media phenomena are illustrations of the importance of communication. God wants to be on an open line with us every moment of every day. We can communicate need, thanks, praise, and emotion, as well as receive warning, affirmation, and wisdom at any moment.
Types of Fasts
There are several kinds of fasts, and there is no formula for determining which kind of fast, or duration is most appropriate for you. The following are three Biblical examples of fasting:
Taking in nothing, including water. This is extreme and should NOT be attempted without first talking to your doctor.
Withholding food, but not liquids like water and juices to maintain strength and electrolytes.
In the Bible, Daniel and his companions at vegetabls and water, but not the king’s meat and sweets. This type of fast may be more appropriate if you have certain health issues. For some people, giving up chocolate or coffee may be a real reminder to pray.
You can also fast from anything that means something special to you, like television, social media, sports, shopping, etc.
During a fast, always devote extra time to:
- Reading God’s word (the Bible)
- Focusing on God
- and ALWAYS serving/helping others (this is not a time of selfishness)
History of Fasting
The practices of praying and fasting can be found in both the Old and New Testaments. Before Jesus, our model, began his public ministry he fasted for 40 days in preparation. The scriptures listed in this brochure cite other instances of fasting found in the Bible.
A particular danger in fasting is that our God-centered motives can be tainted by our motives to draw attention to our self and impress others. Jesus cautions us as much as possible to let our fast be between us and God. We all really know God sees our hearts and is never fooled.
Scriptures related to Fasting
- Matthew 4:1-4
- Matthew 6:17-18
- Joel 1:14
- Joel 2:12
- Exodus 34:28
- Acts 13:2-3
- Isaiah 58
- Psalm 51
- Psalm 139
- 2 Chronicles 7:14
- Jeremiah 29:10-14
- Matthew 5-7
- Luke 10:38-42
- Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
- Galatians 5:16-26
8:30-8:50am @ Maple (in the Maple Office Conference Room) | 8:30-9am @ Palm (in the Prayer Room)
Open to men and women. Join us as we prepare our hearts for worship and pray over the church service.
Dawn Patrol | Tuesday mornings
6-7am | Maple A203
For men who want to learn how to experience transforming prayer that is Scripture-fed, Spirit-led, and worship-based.
Celebration Service | Sunday, January 28
Cornerstone Church | Time TBD
Join other believers and churches from around the valley as we end our time of fasting and celebrate what God has done. Look for more info in the coming weeks.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18