A Season of Consecration
We are calling on everyone to join our season of prayer and fasting. This is the time of year when we corporately consecrate ourselves, our families, and ministries to God, believe God for victories and breakthroughs in every area of your life for 2019. As a faith family, we are tenaciously pursuing God. We are consecrating ourselves
in response to His holiness. It is our desire to clearly see Him, intimately hear His voice, and wholeheartedly follow His plan. We encourage you to join us as we actively seek the Lord through listening to and obeying God’s Word, fasting, prayer, and worship during 21 days, starting on January 7, 2019.
Our 21 days will be a season of consecration will include focused fasting and prayer. Throughout history, God has called on His people to humble themselves through fasting and prayer. Fasting is a spiritual weapon God uses to advance His kingdom, change the destiny of nations, spark revival, and bring victory in people’s lives. There is something powerful that happens when we voluntarily humble ourselves, seek God’s will, and agree with Him for His purposes to be fulfilled. To learn more about why and how we fast I have included some helpful explanations in this guide. (At the close of this guide are some resources to learn more about fasting). Each week will include a focus as outlined here.
Why Do We Fast?
Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.
“When a man is willing to set aside the legitimate appetites of the body to concentrate on the work of praying, he is demonstrating that he means business, that he is seeking with all his heart, and will not let God go unless He answers.” – Arthur Wallis
1Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country.
Before He began His ministry, Jesus fasted forty days. He knew He was going to need spiritual strength to fulfill His purposes. Fasting makes us physically weak but spiritually strong and prepares us to do God’s work.
FASTING IS AN ACT OF HUMILITY AND CONSECRATION.
...I wore sackcloth; I afflicted myself with fasting; I prayed with head bowed on my chest.
Humility results in the grace of God. When we humble ourselves in prayer, we have instant access to the heart of God. As we deny ourselves as an act of consecration, we are better able to exercise self-control. We can keep our emotions and desires under control.
FASTING HELPS US BECOME SENSITIVE TO THE HOLY SPIRIT.
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
When we deny ourselves of our natural cravings, our spiritual antennas become sharper. We become more sensitive to His voice as we divest ourselves of worldly distractions. We are better able to focus on God and submit to His will. This opens the door for the Holy Spirit into our lives.
FASTING BRINGS REVIVAL.
2in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. 3Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.
Fasting helps us prevail in prayer and intercession. Daniel understood that Israel was headed for destruction. He also knew that in times like these, there is only one recourse—intercession through praying and fasting. Throughout human history, God has brought revival and delivered nations from destruction in response to prayer and fasting.
FASTING IS HEALTHY.
Fasting cleanses your digestive system from toxins. Doctors consider fasting a cure for certain allergies and diseases. By learning to deny ourselves and exercising discipline, fasting breaks unhealthy addictions in our lives.
What is fasting?
Biblical fasting is giving up specific food and drink for a specified number of days for a specific spiritual purpose. The type and length of the fast you choose is between you and God, and should not
be determined by what anyone else is doing. Fasting, prayer and reading God’s Word go hand in hand. When you fast, also pray for God’s purpose and plan for your life to be revealed. Fast and pray about every major decision in your life. Simply put, fasting is a way to conquer the physical and open the door to the supernatural in your life. When you deny your body, you feed your spirit and grow closer to the Lord.
In Matthew 6, Jesus gave us specific direction on how to live as
a child of God. That pattern addressed three specific duties of a Christian: Giving, Praying and Fasting. Jesus said, “When you give”...“when you pray”...“when you fast.” He made it clear that fasting, like giving and praying, was a normal part of Christian life.
Kinds of Fasts
TOTAL FAST: Drink only liquids—especially water. On this type of fast you may also take in clear broth and 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices in order to maintain your strength. You establish the number of days for your fast in your prayer time
PARTIAL FASTS: There are many options for partial fasts. Below are just a few for you to consider.
Daniel Fast: The most frequently used example
of a partial fast is found in Daniel chapter 10. The Daniel Fast is a fast from meats, sweets, breads and any drink, except water, for a specific time period (Daniel 10:2–3). The easiest way to think of this fast is eating only vegetables and fruits, and drinking only water.
The following are examples of other types of partial fasts:
Give up one item of food or drink such as caffeine, coffee, soft drinks or sweets give up one meal a day for a specific amount of time, one meal a week, etc.
fast for a specific number of days...one day, three
days, so on.
Choose to fast from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. or from sun-
up to sundown. When doing this type of fast, consider your work and sleep schedule. The hours that you sleep should not be considered part of your fasting period, so the time frame for this type of fast may vary.
Common Questions and Answers
What if I have a medical condition? Consult your doctor before starting any fast. Decide together what is possible. If your health condition prohibits you from fasting food, try fasting something else and concentrate on prayer and Bible study. God knows your heart.
I forgot and ate something that wasn’t on my fast; do I need to start again? No, think of fasting as a marathon, rather than a sprint. Don’t give up! If you fall down, get up and keep trying. Conquering “king stomach” is difficult, but you’ll make it.
Do I continue to exercise while fasting? For most people moderate exercise is OK. But it is best to always consult a doctor about fasting and exercise. If you are on a complete fast, you may not have the energy for exercise.
What if I have a manual labor job? If you have a job that requires you to expend a lot of physical energy, you may want to consider a full fast for one to three days or make your fast a partial fast that allows you to receive enough nutrition to perform your job.