“Simply stated, biblical fasting is refraining from food for a spiritual purpose. It is not a diet, though getting healthy is a side effect. It is submitting our mind, body and spirit to an almighty God . . . A God who holds the universe in the palm of His hand, yet has a deep desire to draw close to each of us personally.” – Jentezen Franklin
We’re so excited for 2018 in South County. We believe that this is going to be a year of unlimited kingdom impact. God has crossed us over into 2018 to see spiritual awakening in South County, Rhode Island, New England and beyond.
Over the next few weeks we will be seeking God together through fasting and prayer.
According to the Bible, there are three joyful duties of every Christian: give, pray and fast.
Biblical fasting takes a lot of discipline and strength—strength which you can only receive from God. Your private discipline will bring you rewards in Heaven, says Matthew 6.
“When you give God your first through fasting, prayer and giving at the beginning of the year, you set the course for the entire year.” – Franklin
Why should I fast?
Are you in need of healing or a miracle?
Do you need the tender touch of God in your life?
Is there a dream inside you that only He can make possible?
Are you in need of a fresh encounter?
Do you desire a deeper, more intimate and powerful relationship with the Lord?
Are you ready to have heightened sensitivity to the desires of God?
Do you need to break away from bondages that have been holding you hostage?
Is there a friend or loved one that needs Salvation?
Do you desire to know God’s will for your life?
These are just a few of the many reasons why we fast together to begin a new year.
Here’s a few more…
“Fasting is a physical exclamation point at the end of the sentences: “I need you! I want you! I long for you! You are my treasure! I want more of you! Oh, for the day when you would return! Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!”
The heart of it is longing. We are putting our stomach where our heart is to give added intensity and expressiveness to our ache for Jesus. We fast to express our longing or our ache for all the implications of Jesus’s power in the present moment that isn’t completely realized. We want to see people healed. We want to see people saved. We want to see marriages redeemed. We ache, and we long for this to happen; therefore, we ask Jesus to come by putting this exclamation point of longing at the end of our desires.” – John Piper
BIBLICAL PRAYER & FASTING FOCUS:
1 TIMOTHY 2:1-2
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”
“I urge you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
“But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.”
“Is not this the fast that I have chosen to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that break every yoke?”
We want to encourage you to target your prayers during the fast.
Three specific areas we will be focusing on together are leadership, finances and spiritual awakening in South County, Rhode Island.
The Bible instructs us to continually pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Together we will lift up our leaders here in South County (pastors, teachers, business, coaches, parents, etc) the United States and around the world, expecting God’s peace in our lives, communities and world.
Another great promise, from the book of Isaiah, proclaims that the chosen fast will “undo the heavy burdens and let the oppressed go free.” We are living in tough economic times and we know that so many people are under a financial burden. As we come together to fast and pray, we believe that burdens will be lifted and blessings will be released into our lives and communites! We will receive God’s abundant blessings and we will be a blessing to our families, neighbors, community and this world.
Lastly, we remember that God desires to see spiritual awakening in South County. We are praying and fasting, remembering Jesus, who is in charge and the great captain of angel armies, fighting for, and leading God’s people to take hold of his perfect promises and activate his abundant victory.
We should be expecting to live out God’s victory after victory in 2018 for unlimited kingdom impact.
Some people will be fasting from food for a full day. Others will be fasting lunch. There is no perfect method and it’s not about the method but the mission, the purpose of prayer and fasting.
One common fast is the Daniel Fast which last for 21 days. Our specific focus on prayer and fasting goes until January 19th but anyone is welcome and encouraged to continue to fast longer or to give the Daniel Fast a try. More information here: https://www.jentezenfranklin.org/blog/what-is-a-daniel-fast-day-2
We encourage you to seek the Lord in prayer and let your decisions about your biblical fasting come from Him. Ask the Lord to show you areas to target during your time of fasting and prayer. We believe that, as we pray and seek God and give Him our best at the first of the year, He will bless our entire year (Matthew 6:33)!
If you have more questions about prayer and fasting, please reach out to us!
We’re excited to conclude these days of prayer and fasting with a special prayer night on Friday, January 19th at our Generation Space, 333 Main St.Wakefield at 7pm.
Book & Article Resources:
Hunger for God by John Piper (free online book download or purchase softcover)
Fasting by Jentezen Franklin
Fasting Article/Guide: http://jfm-web-images.s3.amazonaws.com/fast/docs/21-Ways-to-Return-to-Him.pdf