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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fasting & Prayer Week

People's Church, beginning this Sunday, January 10 thru Saturday, January 16, we are fasting and praying as a church. January 11 thru January 15, we are having special times of prayer at the church building (see your Sunday bulletin for times). Below are some fasting tips to help you prepare for this upcoming week.

How to Begin
Start with a clear goal. Be specific. What do you want to see God do in you through fasting and prayer? What are the special prayer requests that you want to see God answer?

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 only drank was water. Remember to replace that time with prayer and Bible study.

Deciding How Long
I encourage you to fast the entire 6 days. God may even lead some of you to fast 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.

Thanks to Tom Rees for much of the information on fasting!