What you need to know first
A GUIDE TO FASTING
JESUS TAUGHT US HOW TO FAST:
Matthew 6:16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.”
Always drink plenty of water when fasting - at least 2-3 litres throughout the day. Do not Dry Fast it is very dangerous – Jesus drank water during His fast, the Bible said he was HUNGRY afterwards and NOT THIRSTY, indicating He had drank water during His fast. Keep a bottle of water with you. Monitor and restrict your activity. Rigorous exercise is not recommended when you are fasting. For the fit and healthy a good walk at a moderate pace is OK. However, if you are on water only we recommend you delete exercise for the time being. DO NOT FAST if you have medical or dietary conditions, which would make fasting unwise. If in doubt consult your doctor.
WHAT BIBLICAL FASTING IS NOT
Fasting is not a means of manipulating God to do our will. It’s not a hunger strike to force God to do what we desire. Through fasting and prayer we position ourselves to come into line with God’s will and His plans. We humble ourselves and surrender our desires to Him to find and submit to His will for us. Fasting also is not a way to earn brownie points with God. The only thing that gives us merit before God is the sacrifice of Jesus. Fasting is not a diet. Our motivation is not one of losing weight, even though this is a side effect
1. Start Where You Are
We are all at different places in our walk with God. Likewise our jobs, daily schedules, and health conditions are all different and place various levels of demands on our energy. Whether you’ve fasted before or this is your first time the most important thing is to start where you are. Your personal fast should present a degree of challenge but it’s very important to know your own body, know your options, and most importantly seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.
**Remember, the goal of fasting is not just to go without food, but to draw nearer to God.
2. Choose Your Type of Fast
While preparing for your fast, it is important to choose ahead of time what type or combination of fasting you will pursue. This will help you position yourself to finish strong. As you prepare to fast, it is important to choose a fasting plan that works for you. While this section provides some general information about different types of fasts, as well as some suggestions on how to create your own fasting plan, it is important to mention that there is nothing more inherently spiritual about one type of fast as opposed to another.
2a. Total Fast
A water only fast is the normal fast referred to in the Bible. This is how Jesus and the New Testament church fasted. A water fast requires that no food or drink other than water is consumed. Periodic water fasts can be very beneficial, but extreme precautions should be taken. For some people it is hard to perform effectively at their jobs and have energy for their families while drinking only water. We recommend consulting your physician first and water fasting only for a day or two unless you can get away or your job allows you to really disconnect so you can give your best energy to the fast. Remember, when Jesus went on His forty day fast He went by Himself out into the wilderness.
2b. Daniel Fast
The foundation of the Daniel fast is fruits and vegetables. Some starchy vegetables and dairy could be included, depending on the individual. The Daniel fast is a great model and can be extremely effective for spiritual focus, bodily discipline, and purification of the body and soul. In the book of Daniel we find two different times wherethe prophet Daniel fasted. In Daniel 1:12 he only ate vegetables and water and in Daniel 10, while the passage does not give a specific list of foods that Daniel ate,it does state that he ate no rich (or choice) foods, as well as no meat or wine. Based on these two verses we can see that either type of fast or a combination of the two constitutes a Daniel fast.
2c. Specific Food Fast
In this type of fast you omit a specific item(s) from your meal plans. For example, you may choose to eliminate all red meat, processed or fast foods, or sweets. Most people can incorporate this type of fast relatively easily. It can also be a great solution for people with specific dietary needs or medical conditions that create certain limitations.
2d. Juice Fast
A juice fast is simply consuming vegetable and fruit juices and water instead of solid food. Many people include whey protein in their liquid plan as well. This is one of the most popular and effective fasts. Even if you choose not to make your entire fast liquids only, substituting one or two meals for liquids is a great alternative.
2e. Media Fast
While fasting typically refers to refraining from specific food items you may also find it extremely beneficial to fast from a regular activity or habit. This might include things such as television, social media, and the like. Prayer and fasting are not just about connecting to God but also about disconnecting from the world. Try to tune out some of the regular distractions of your day as much as possible. Replace that time with things that will nourish you spiritually.
2f. Fasting while nursing or pregnant
Strict fasting while pregnant or nursing also is not recommended. If you are in this incredible season of life but would like to participate in the 21 day plan, here are some great options for you to consider with the approval of your physician:
• A modified Daniel fast including whole grains, legumes, calcium, and iron supplements
• Fasting sweets and desserts and/or red meats
• Fasting certain diversions (television shows, movies, social media, etc.)
* If you are a pregnant or nursing mother, your priority is the health of your baby God has entrusted you with.
2g. Children’s fast
Children should NOT fast food as their bodies are growing and they need the nutrients. If they desire to join, let them abstain from fast-foods, sweets or Television.
BREAKING YOUR FAST
Care should be taken when breaking your fast. Your stomach is cleansed and sensitive like a babies’ You cannot resume eating normally as this could severely effect your health. Generally we should take as long to break the fast as the period we fasted for. Start by taking a thin slice of apple the first day, the second day, ad a bite of banana, the third ad one bite of toast, etc.
DURING YOUR FAST
It is better to read a little every day than to try and knock out two hours of Bible reading or devotions in one sitting. It is so important to digest the Word in absorbable chunks. Don’t bite off more than you can chew and certainly don’t compare your “performance” with that of others. If you miss a few days, pick up at the next reading but stay with it and don’t give up. The key is to keep this simple and make it sustainable.
Talk to God as you’re reading. Don’t rush through. If you come across something you don’t understand, pause for a moment and ask God about it. Reading prayerfully is making space and time to talk to God and giving Him time and space to talk to you. Taking time to meditate on God’s Word is just as important as reading it.
HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR DEVOTIONAL TIME WITH GOD:
·Take time to worship your Heavenly Father and give thanks and praise for who He is and all that He has done and is going to do in your life and the lives of others.
·Read and meditate on God’s word (as above).
·Bring your prayers and petitions to your Heavenly Father. He may lay people on your heart that are not on your list. Pray for them when the Holy Spirit quickens you.
·Pray in your heavenly prayer language (tongues) because this is when the Holy Spirit can pray on your behalf.
·Talk to God and take time to listen. He wants to give you wisdom, knowledge, revelation and the power to overcome the enemy.
·Keep a journal during your prayer times. It will encourage you when you look back and see what God is doing and has done in your life.
Let the enemy be defeated through your complete surrender to God through His Son Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Allow God to move in and through you! Don’t give up and expect great things
DEVELOP A LIFESTYLE OF PRAYER
We can learn from three things that Jesus did...
Mark 1:35 “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed”
• A CERTAIN TIME
Jesus got up very early in the morning to spend time with His Heavenly Father. In order for prayer to work, we should do the same. Make a daily appointment with God and keep it.
• A CERTAIN PLACE
Jesus had a prayer place. Your prayer place needs to be an undistracted environment where you can pray out loud and perhaps have some worship music playing in the background.
• A CERTAIN PLAN
Go into your prayer time with a plan. If it changes that’s fine. When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, He gave His disciples a prayer outline. We call it the Lord’s Prayer.
CORPORATE FASTING AND PRAYER
During a corporate time of fasting and prayer, a whole nation, community, church or group of saints set aside a time to seek God together. We lift our voices in unity as we seek God for His mercies and guidance. As we stand together this year let us humble ourselves before Him and pray His Kingdom come and His will be done in our lives, families, church and nation.
God bless you as you join us in praying in these specific topics during these 21 days.
Fasting prayer points
INTERCESSION DURING THE WEEK:
MONDAY: 21/28 JANUARY & 04 FEBRUARY
We pray for our Church, by speaking the blessing over our church, for God to raise up kingdom financiers, for business growth and new contracts for those in business. We pray for job promotion, increase and favour. We pray for our building committee, for increased sowing, accelerated building and favour with land.
Speak Blessing over church
Genesis 27:28 “From the dew of heaven and the richness of the earth, may God always give you abundant harvests of grain and bountiful new wine. Raise Kingdom Financiers
1. Business contracts
Joshua 1:9 NIV Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Psalm 75:6 For exaltation comes neither from the east Nor from the west nor from the south.
7 But God is the Judge: He puts down one, And exalts another.
Numbers 6 :24 The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you;
26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” ’
27 “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.”.
3. Jobs / Favour
Psalm 90:17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.
2 Corinthians 9:10
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
4. Building Committee
Hagai 1:8 Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored, says the Lord.
3 “I will not go home; I will not let myself rest.
4 I will not let my eyes sleep nor close my eyelids in slumber
5 until I find a place to build a house for the Lord, a sanctuary for the Mighty One of Israel.”
TUESDAY:22/29 JANUARY& 05 FEBRUARY
We pray for our Pastors : We pray for godly Vision, the Visionary & his Family
We pray for our Church : We pray for Unity and Involvement from the church. For People to get Plugged in, and Activated in Ministry. We pray for the New converts, and those doing WIHF. We lift up the Elders, LG Leaders and Shepherds.
Habakak 2:2 “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.
Ephesians 6:19 and pray for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel
3. For His Family
Psalms 128:2 When you eat the labor of your hands, You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
3. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine In the very heart of your house, Your children like olive plants All around your table.
4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed Who fears the Lord.
Psalms 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!
3 …For there the Lord commanded the blessing, Life forevermore.
5. Involvement / Plugged in
John 2:17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
1 Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
6. Activation ministries
Isaiah 27:6 … Jacob shall take root; Israel shall blossom and bud, and they shall fill the face of the world with fruit.
Ephesians 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
7. New Converts
Luke 22:32 …But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail;
Colossians 2:6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
John 8:31 “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Ephesians 4:14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine,
1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially those who labour in the word and doctrine.
19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.
10. LG Leaders
Act 10:28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend..
We pray for the needs of the saints, that every prayer request is met and every prayer card filled is answered. We pray for every sick person in hospital or at home to be healed. We pray for the soul winners, the evangelist, that God would direct their footsteps and lead them to those in need. We pray for those in spiritual warfare that that they would put on the entire armour of the Lord. We pray for the application of the blood of Jesus. We pray our families, needs, protection, salvation, blessing and leading.
1. Prayer Requests & Cards
Phillipians 4:6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Matthew 7:7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
2. Hospital / sick
3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
3. Soul winners / evangelism
Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”
Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
Matthew 9:37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
4. Spiritual Warfare /Blood
James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
Psalm 128:3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine, In the very heart of your house, Your children like olive plants, All around your table.
Joshua 24:15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
THURSDAY: 24 JANUARY & 31/7 FEBRUARY
We pray for the different ministries: Life Groups growth and attendance, Hope Centre, Grief Share, Intercessors, Office staff, Worship Team, Media and Hospitality.
1. Life Groups growth and attendance
Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” – Jesus
Acts 5:42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.
Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
2. Hope Centre / Grief Share
Hebrews 13:16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
1 Thesolonians 4:18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
Ephesians 6:18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints
Jeremiah 29:7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.
4. Office staff
Acts 20:28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
1 Peter 5:2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;
3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;
5. Worship Team
John 4:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Psalms 34:1 I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Phillipians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains, Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
1 Peter 4:9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.
10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Hebrews 13:1 Let brotherly love continue.
2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels
FRIDAY: 25 JANUARY & 1/8 FEBRUARY
We pray for our nation, for those government, for godly leaders, for peace and favour for out church. We pray for our city. We pray for worldwide evangelism and our missionaries.
Romans 13:1 - Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
2. Godly leaders
Psalms 2:10-11 - Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.
Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.
Job 12:23-25 - He makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations, and disperses them.
3. Peace & favor for church
I Timothy 2:1-2 - I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
4. Our City
Jeremiah 29:7 - Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.
Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.
5. Worldwide Evangelism
Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
SATURDAY: 26 JANUARY AND 2/9 FEBRUARY
We pray for our Sunday Service, the different roles the ushers, the greeters and the parking attendees. For pray those in baptism, in childrens ministry, in youth ministry and those serving in fellowship.
1. Sunday Service
Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Collossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
2. Ushers/ Greeters/ parking
Psalms 84:10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
Ephesians 6:7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men,
8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.
Luke 3:16 John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Galations 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
4. Childrens Ministry
2 Timothy 3:14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 21:15 But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant
16 and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’? ”
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Psalms 119:9 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.
1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.