21 Days of Prayer & Fasting
As a church community, our heart is to continually rest in and lean on Jesus, giving Him the honour He deserves. Each year, we invite everyone in the GraceLife community to join together in an extended season of prayer & fasting; and this united act of worship is an amazing gift that God employs to help us deepen our resting in and leaning on Him. This 21-day season is an incredible opportunity for us, as a family, to unite our hearts in this powerful (and often challenging) act of worship.
Throughout the Bible we can read that it was normal for God’s people to fast and pray. Anna, the Prophetess, fasted and prayed daily as an act of worship (Lk 2:37). David humbled himself through fasting (Ps 35:13). Ezra also proclaimed a fast for humility and for safety (Ez 8:21). Israel fasted for repentance (1 Sam 7:6), as did Daniel (Dan 9:3). Jesus discussed the need for prayer & fasting when he taught about deliverance (Mt 17:21, Mk 9:29). Through all occasions of fasting & prayer mentioned in Scripture, we can see that the ultimate purpose was always to glorify God.
The heart of our 21 days is no different... to glorify God in worship.
For some people, fasting is something that has never been heard of or even spoken about. For others, it has become a regular part of their lives, whereas some just haven’t practiced it for a while. Some people may see it as a discipline only for the spiritually elite. The truth of the matter is that it’s actually quite normal for Christians to fast! You too, can be involved!
Wherever you are on your journey, you are invited to participate!
Then she [Anna] lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. Luke 2:37
What is fasting?
Fasting is moving into a spiritual realm of faith and power by denying our flesh desires and looking to & relying upon God.
Biblical examples show us that this is usually through the denial of food to our bodies (because food is one of our body’s most sought-after things), but fasting can also include the abstinence from other things that hold our attention & affection (e.g. television, internet, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, video games, etc). What holds your attention and affection?
Mixed with prayer, fasting is an extraordinarily challenging but powerful tool that God uses to draw his people unto himself.
When we fast, the Holy Spirit and our spirit take dominance in moving into an area of prayer that we can’t get into through any other way. It is moving into the spirit and walking in the spirit; being wise with the mind of Christ while being submissive to the Holy Spirit.
Fasting is not solely going without food (or other things). It’s going without, for the purpose of looking to God and drawing near to him, drawing on his strength and getting his heart. It has less to do with the length of days that we go without, and more to do with the condition of our heart.
It’s important to note that fasting is not a tool to win God’s audience. God is always ready to speak to us and to help us. Fasting is for our sake to tune ourselves to His wavelength in order to better hear from him and effectively walk with him. What a privilege and blessing!
Motivation: consider your motivation for fasting - is it out of some religious act or to seek after Father?.. who’s getting the glory?
Occupation: consider cutting back on strenuous exercise and/or heavy physical work - do you need to make some changes to accommodate your fast?
Health: consider your current physical health and any ongoing medical conditions - particular young children and pregnant mums.
Scheduling: consider your schedule during your fast - are you prioritising time for prayer, worship & meditation?
Physical: consider your history of fasting - if you’ve never fasted, think carefully about jumping straight into a 14-day fast.
God-factor: in all considerations, remember that God rules over all precautions & hesitations - just do what he says :-)
How will ‘21 Days’ look?
The fast will commence on Sunday May 19 (a week after Mother’s Day) and end on Saturday June 8 (Day before Pentecost Sunday)… and while our 21 Days will have the underlying theme of worship, God will no doubt speak to you about what is on His heart: so be attentive!
On each Monday night during this season from 6 pm we will be opening up our Malaga church facility to whoever would like to join us in worship, prayer and God-stories. All with a heart for God are welcome!
OUR CORPORATE PRAYER FOCUS WILL BE:
WEEK 1 - OPEN HEARTS: God working in us
WEEK 2 - OPEN HANDS: God working through us
WEEK 3 - OPEN DOORS: God working for us
How can I get involved?
Our desire throughout this season of prayer & fasting is to have a united church in adoration and worship of God, being able to see the beauty and reality of Jesus. Additionally, our heart is to be united in our pursuit of our Father for the matters close to His heart for our church.
While fasting is predominately about going without food and seeking God, you may also wish to participate by going without media, speech, or something else that nourishes you & cause you to truly hunger after Him.
There are many ways you can participate, but please be prayerful and faith-filled about your involvement.
fast for a day or two (as a once off or throughout each of the 3 weeks)
fast for several days (as a once off or throughout each of the 3 weeks)
fast for a week or two
fast for the full 21 days
After you’ve considered your level of participation, talk with God about it and ask him for grace, strength and direction,… this is so important!
If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts with us please email firstname.lastname@example.org