Week of Prayer and Fasting
January 17, 2022 to January 23, 2022
Location: 910 S. Winter Park Drive, Casselberry, FL 32707
Fasting can be described in one word: Desperate. // As a church we are going to set aside a week prayer and fasting, January 17th-23rd to start off our year as a body of believers. // Why? Because we are desperate for the Kingdom of God in our lives! // More information will be online soon for opportunities to pray together as well as guides to help equip you through your individual times of fasting.
Eddie Needham and his team that leads our Prayer Ministry have compiled these materials and opportunities to gather this week... we're grateful for his leadership in this key aspect of our church life!
Tuesday through Friday - prayer in the chapel, 6pm-7pm.
Saturday - extended time of prayer and worship in the chapel, 6pm-7pm.
Prayer is speaking to God, listening, and growing into the image of Christ under the anointed voice of the Father, the touch of the Son, and the breath of the Spirit. It is intimate, spirit-to-Spirit communication with our loving Father. It is rejoicing, it is deep groaning and brokenness, it is vision and planning, it is speaking to God with our mouths and our thoughts…and it is listening to the Voice of Eternity sharing his love and thoughts for us.
The disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. They saw their own need for this above and beyond what they learned in Synagogue or saw in the lives of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Jesus taught them to pray using the structure of what we call The Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6: 9-13 and Luke 11:1-4.
Throughout Paul's letters to the church, he encourages us to prayer and prays himself. Listen to this prayer in Philippians 1: 9-12, "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God."
Who would not want this for themselves?!!
Fasting, like repentance, is a two-way pathway. We repent from our sins and repent, or turn towards, Christ, our Redeemer. You fast from something so that you can fast to something. Fasting is meant to focus and refine our vision onto the King of kings, our Glorious One and the lifter up of our heads!
"What you fear, you empower, What you focus on, you make room for"– John Paul Jackson.
"Glance at the business; gaze at the King"
Fasting is traditionally a period of time in which a person refrains from eating food, or a type of food. For example, a Daniel fast in Daniel 1;12 is eating only vegetables and water. Other fasts many be from sweets/cookies/candy, or perhaps alcohol/tobacco. Some may choose to totally abstain from food for a period of time. There are examples in the Bible of Moses and Jesus fasting from food for 40 days.
You can also fast from technology – ouch. Some might call this a "Soul fast." Examples might be:
- Avoid reading your favorite news outlet for the period of time and instead read and meditate on the Good News from heaven. Further, promote yourself to God's lead newsboy, newsgirl in your environment and picture how God might want to use you.
- Avoid playing videogames for this period of time and devote that time prayer.
- Turn off the TV, your livestream binge watch-fest, or whatever media electrons in which you routinely marinate and become Salt and Light to the world.
- Yep, turn off Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, text-o-matic, type-ster, Spotify (if it's a distraction), and turn onto Christ.
- Read email 3-5 times a day rather than checking it every 15 minutes. It is not going anywhere – really. And if someone really needs you, they will pick up the phone and call you. Yep, call for emergencies.
These can be complete technology fasts or partial. Some people need to be on technology for their job – please continue to do your job well! But often, we dabble and spend nonessential time "pursuing the media electrons" for nonessential items. You follow the "clickbait" and now you're in a spiritually questionable-at-best site. Fast from clickbait (or get rid of it utterly – Paul say, "Crucify the flesh.")
These are disciplines, meaning it can hurt a bit to do them as your spirit battles your flesh. You will feel a strong desire to pick up your device and turn on your tech. In fact, many of us will have it in hand and already on before realizing that we're fasting from it. It is okay to try and fail. Welcome to humanity. Just keep trying. Put the device down, turn it over so that you cannot see the screen, put it on silent mode – own the device and demand its obedience rather than being led around by your device.
Other examples of fasts:
- Avoid reading your pleasure reading (fiction, fantasy, blogs, etc…) that is not Christ-centered and devote this time to Christ and conspiring with the Holy Spirit.
- For married couples, one form of fasting is deferring intimacy for a period of time, turning desire instead to God during the fast. This is not for everyone, and should be a joint decision to avoid giving the devil a foothold.
Tips to make fasting efficacious and not just a grind:
- Have a "Go to" focus for your fast. You can pick a topic, using the Metro guideline. You could have a scripture focus – memorize the scripture, quote or read it out loud three times, then meditate on it. Listen to the Spirit's voice resonating in the caverns of your mind and filling you, inviting you into More with Him. Then pray what you're hearing back to Him.
- When fasting food, invariably you will get a "grumbly in your tummy." Pooh Bear had great wisdom … on occasion. Use the grumbly to focus on your topic, or focus on Christ. Capture and transform that growl in your stomach into a battle cry for heaven. It is your flesh dying (just a little) and the invitation for your spirit to partner with heaven to transform you and the world and around you into "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done."
- Similarly, when your fingers get twitchy to click your device, check email, send a random text (squirrel…), take your device, own it (you are mine – you do not own or manage my life), turn it over or off, and turn the screen away from you. In some instances, it is battle to simply get up, walk away to another room in your home, and lower yourself your knees in prayer. - Once you've done this several times, it does get easier.
- Anticipate your distractions, those worldly wants that call to you. In 2 Cor. 2:11, Paul shares that we are not unaware of satan's schemes. Identify the calls of this world and plan to demolish them ahead of time. 2 Cor. 10: 3-5 (worth memorizing as a battle text). What is your strategy when you would normally eat dinner and pull up your binge bait? On what are you going to focus? If you throw a dead stick into a river, it will float downstream because it's dead. That is its nature. You, my friend, have a new nature – you have the Almighty of heaven living in you. This means you can plunge into the water, swim upstream, and, when He calls you, walk in the waters of this world with his empowering.
It has been said, failing to plan is planning to fail. So plan BIG with God as you start your fast.