We're all ready for a change!

Ready for something new after a confusing and unprecedented year. Ready for peace after what felt like a year of chaos. We're ready for God to make All Things New. This year as we fast together, we're joining with others across the globe in community to refresh our hearts and minds.

The challenge this year is specifically a fast from FOOD. That may look different for each one of us. It could be one meal each day that we normally enjoy, or it could be a fast from food altogether for a complete day each week, or perhaps give up sugar and carbs or meat for the complete 21 days, if you have an addiction to caffeine or tobacco it may be that which you choose to fast from for the duration. It should be something that is a real sacrifice in order to remind you that God desires to be first place in your life and is greater than anything else. In the past, some of you have given up technology or something tangible or sex as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 7, if you feel led to add something like that to your fast that is great, but this year let it be an add-on.

During these 21 days, spend extra time devoted to Bible reading, meditation, and prayer. This year during our prayer and fasting we are seeking God for five specific things...

1. For us to know God greater in 2022 than ever before. Phil. 3:10
2. For us to surrender completely to God in 2022. Rom. 12:1-2
3. For God to break the sins and addictions in our life. Rom. 8:1-17
4. For God to use us greater in 2022 than ever before. Phil. 2:13
5. For God to heal our land. 2 Chron. 7:14

Lastly, this should be between you and God. Please know, if you’re giving up something sacrificially, this will not be easy! If it were easy, everyone would do it! It is not a "look what I am giving up" or "look how spiritual I am". Just you and God!

Why should I do this?

The goal of fasting is to draw nearer to God. Biblical fasting always has to do with eliminating distractions for a spiritual purpose; it hits the reset button of our soul and renews us from the inside out. It also enables us to celebrate the goodness and mercy of God and prepares our hearts for all the good things God desires to bring into our lives. Remember, your personal fast should present a level of challenge, but it is very important to know your body, your options, and, most importantly, to seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.

Timing of a fast

This is part of 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, a season of focused prayer as a church family. You may also choose to fast at other times during the year for your own spiritual development. It’s very typical to fast a single meal each day, a whole day each week, or a type of food or drink that will be hard to fast from for 21 days. The timing of your fast is not as important as the strength of your focus on God as you fast.

Scripture references

All throughout the Bible, you will find fasting. Here are just a few of many passages:

Matthew 6:16-18
Matthew 9:14-15
Luke 18:9-14
Acts 27:33-37
Nehemiah 9:1-3
2 Chronicles 20

Types of fasts

Complete Fast
In this type of fast, you drink only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.

Selective Fast
This type of fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, and bread from your diet and consume water and juice for fluids and fruits and vegetables for food.

Partial Fast
This fast is sometimes called the “Jewish Fast” and involves abstaining from eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to specific times of the day, such as 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sunup to sundown.

Soul Fast
This fast is a great option if you do not have much experience fasting food, have health issues that prevent you from fasting food, or if you wish to refocus certain areas of your life that are out of balance. For example, you might choose to stop using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast and then carefully bring that element back into your life in healthy doses at the conclusion of the fast.