This January 5th we will begin 21 days of Prayer and Fasting. We invite you to prayerfully consider joining us beginning the new year by giving our first and best to God.
What is fasting?
From a Biblical perspective, fasting is giving up food for a spiritual purpose.
Fasting takes a lot of discipline and strength which God gives; it is not easy.
But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Even though we are doing this together as a church, it is kind of a private practice. And what I mean by that is that it is in our secret place that we are to pray and open our hearts, but doing it together will bring encouragement to each other and also a common purpose in praying for our Gathering family.
Every Christian is called to do three things: give, pray, and fast.
And as we begin this year we will (together) commit to give God our first through fasting, prayer and giving. I believe this will set the course for the entire year. God promises to answer.
Why should I fast?
-For healing, physical or spiritual
-To get closer to God
-For direction in life
-To break bondages of sin, fear, depression, discouragement
-For salvation for loved ones
-For God’s church
You probably can come up with more reasons why to fast this year. I encourage you to take some time and make a list of the areas where you really need God’s intervention in you life, or in the life of those around you.
As a Church we want to focus on two main things: Leadership & Finances
Church leaders, and also for our Country.
1 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.
The truth is that a lot of things rise or fall because of leaders. I could not be more fearful about anything else than about the task I have been given as a leader. And those that serve as leaders also need our prayers. In fact, almost everyone has some type of leadership over someone else; parents, work related, influence, etc. In a couple of months we will be electing a new board of directors, and I pray that they are ready for what is ahead, and full of the Spirit to continue to fulfill God’s call for the Gathering.
As you join this 21 days of fasting, please pray for us, and for all of our leaders. That we may remain faithful to the call, and sensitive to God’s voice.
We want to reach new people for Jesus, and equip those that come through our doors. And we need God’s Spirit, and we need you to get involved and hunger for more of Jesus in our midst.
Regardless of our political preference, we are called to pray for our Governors, and President. Things were bad in the time of the early church, yet, Jesus instructed the people to pray for their rulers. Why? Because God works in our lives by making us dependent on Him. Despite our differences and preferences, we all can agree that Only God can change hearts, and situations. And as we pray, we are submitting to God’s prefect will and submitting our desires to His desires.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Do you want to live worry free? Seek God’s kingdom first. Listen, our community is experiencing crazy times right now in its economy. May be some of you today are concerned about tomorrow because of it. And God’s promise still remains. Seek me first, and I will take care of you. May be you don't need provision but direction to make certain decisions that will affect your economy. The one I highly suggest you consider is tithing. Yes, bringing your tithe to the store house as God has called us to do. Why not begin the year committing to see God work in your finances by giving Him what belongs to Him?
God has enabled us to do great things as a church, but I am not going to lie. I am concerned because we went the extra mile this year by faith to be able to expand our ministries. We are touching more people, reaching more to the needy, feeding the hungry, and yet, we are currently being tested in our finances. We are trying, as we all do in our homes, to cut some expenses every where we can, and be wise with what we have been given, now God will do the miraculous and He wants you to be part of that miracle through your obedience.
So, as we fast during this 21 days, our prayer is that God will open the floodgates of heaven upon the Gathering so that we may continue to do what He called us to do, and be a testimony of His faithfulness. Would you really pray and fast for your own finances, and for the Church’s finances also. God is our provider, and HE is faithful. The question is, are we being faithful?
You may be really considering joining this 21 days fast. But are wondering how to begin or what is next?
The first thing you need to do is have a clear goal and ask yourself:
1. Why am I fasting?
Whether is healing, direction, provision, marriage, kids, friends, family, etc. As we approach Jan. 5, pray daily and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you on this.
2. Prepare your heart
Then we all need to come before God and ask to be forgiven. This will prepare our spirit for fasting with purpose. We must confess our sins, our shortcomings, our weaknesses. We must also forgive others and surrender completely to Jesus.
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3. What to fast and how long
Drink only liquids (you establish the number of days).
The Daniel Fast
Eat no meat, no sweets and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables.
This fast can be a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food.
A partial fast is from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm or from sun up to sundown. You can select from three types of fasting —a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food.
It is the attitude of a heart sincerely seeking Him to which God responds with a blessing.
-Some content based on Jentezen Franklin Media Ministries teachings on Fasting.