Our church is embarking on 21 Days of Fasting, January 10 through 31 culminating in a prayer gathering with other evangelical churches in Defiance, called, Defiance United Prayer. Defiance United Prayer will be hosted at Xperience Church (1500 N Clinton St Suite 3, Defiance, OH 43512) at 6:30pm.
Fasting is for Christians who are hungry for God.
Fasting is for Christians who know they aren’t hungry for God, but desire a deeper hunger for God.
King David, the man after God’s own heart, expresses this hunger for God in Psalm 63:1-8.
1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
6 when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
7 for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
8 My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
The hunger in your body, or pull to be entertained, or whatever you choose to fast from, is a reminder that God Himself is more satisfying. So go to God in that moment. Let your hunger for food and other things drive you to God in prayer and Scripture.
…man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Deuteronomy 8:3
Learn About Fasting
David Mathis’s book, Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus Through Spiritual Disciplines has an excellent chapter on fasting, and the PDF version is free online. Read chapter 10, “Sharpen Your Affections Through Fasting,” starting on page 118.
CRU’s website has some helpful practical instruction on fasting as well: Your Personal Guide to Fasting and Prayer.
This article is an encouragement that Fasting Isn’t for the Spiritual Elite. It’s for the Hurting.
What Exactly Do We Mean by 21 Days of Fasting?
It’s possible to do a 21 day fast from food and drink only water and juice. I have never fasted that long, but I know people who have done 40 day juice fasts. But a 21 day fast from food is not a realistic goal for most of us.
Rather, consider these kinds of questions:
What meals can I fast over these three weeks in order to replace that time with prayer and Scripture meditation?
What days can I fast entirely over these three weeks in order to feel a physical hunger that, in my weakness, drives me toward God?
What foods or drinks that are a luxury can I deny myself over these three weeks in order to say no to my bodily desires?
What habits do I have that distract me from time I could be seeking God? Social media. Television. Reading. Podcasts. News intake.
I don’t want legalistic rules or expectations to be imposed upon us as we consider this 21 Days of Fasting. I encourage you to participate, but I don’t want to guilt you if you are unable. If you participate in the 21 Days of Fasting it must be because you want to (or you want to want to).
Our Prayer Focus Over for the 21 Days
The mission of KCC is to make gospel-centered disciples who delight in Christ, declare His cross, and display His love.
Week 1: Delighting in Christ – The prayer focus for the first week focused on seeking your joy first in God Himself.
Week 2: Declaring His Cross – The prayer focus for week two is the mission of the gospel. Pray for our church to be outward-looking in service and evangelism. Pray for friends, family, and unbelievers who don’t know the Lord Jesus. Pray for our KCC missionaries. Pray about where God might have us plant a church in the future.
Week 3: Displaying His Love – Week three’s prayer focus is on love, the main mark of being a Christian. Loving God and loving others are the greatest two commandments given to us by God. So pray for our church to be a loving and unified church. Pray for a greater love for lost friends and family.
When Will We Come Together to Pray?
1. Wednesday Noon Prayer meeting at the Commons, or on Zoom. This is prayer meeting is weekly.
2. Sunday mornings in our worship gatherings at 10am at the YMCA.
3. Sunday, January 24 at our Covenant Member meeting after the service.
4. Defiance United Prayer on January 31 at 6:30pm hosted at Xperience Church (1500 N Clinton St Suite 3, Defiance, OH 43512).
I pray and hope that many from our church will start the year off by fostering more desperation and dependence on God through finding times to fast and pray these three weeks. Fasting is not easy. But Jesus’ yoke is easy, and His burden is light.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6