PRAYER & FASTING
One of the beautiful things about being part of a church
family is that you don’t have to do life alone.
Join us as we support each other in prayer.
Prayer & Fasting – January 8, 9, & 10, 2024
In the Pursuit of God: Desire, Discipline, and Delight
Join us at 7:00 PM each night in the Sanctuary and experience the blessing that comes when we pray together! We understand that not everyone is able to fast; everyone is welcome to join and pray with us!
Let’s lean into the Holy Spirit and pray with and for one another!
Prayer & Fasting Objectives
- These few days have been set aside as an opportunity for Living Stones Church, individually and corporately, to seek God and consecrate ourselves to Him. Consecrate: to set apart as holy; to declare or to make sacred by declaration.
- It is a time to allow God to speak into our lives and for us to focus our attention on Him.
- It is a time to facilitate an attitude where we can reflect on our priorities and make the necessary adjustments to place God first.
- It is a time to ask for provision and protection for this time in our lives.
Is fasting necessary or optional? It is necessary, and every believer should at times fast. It is mentioned 1/3 as often as prayer, and is actually one of the great fundamental Biblical truths. For example:
- Matthew 6:16 (Jesus said “when” you fast, not “if”): “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”
- Matthew 9:15 (Jesus said His disciples would fast after His ascension): “Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.”
- Matthew 17:15-21 (Jesus told his disciples that some victories are not gained until fasting accompanies prayer): “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Preparation for Fasting
Spiritual Preparation: Begin planning for extra times of prayer and Bible study. You may want to focus on a particular theme or book of the Bible. Prepare a list of specific areas to which you will devote yourself to praying over the fasting period.
Physical Preparation: Break any cravings and habits now before the fast begins. Consult with your physician if you have any health restrictions.
Guidelines and Suggestions for Fasting
- Fast “pleasant” foods. You may choose to fast such things as desserts, choice or gourmet foods, restaurant meals, etc. Some may want to abstain from meats, but this is a suggestion only.
- Fast between meals and evening snacks. No eating other than regular meal times. Fast the “extra” snacks.
- Fast certain beverages or cravings. Avoid sugared drinks, caffeine, chocolate, snack foods, etc.
- Set aside extra times of prayer and Bible study/reading. Remember, fasting is a time to look to God and hear from Him. Your focus moves from your regular, daily routine to God.
- Fast activities such as TV. As you spend more time in prayer and Bible study, you will not have as much time for “strictly entertainment” activities. Try to focus on wholesome family times where interaction is required.
- Drink ample amounts of juice and water. Your intake of juice and water is important while fasting.
- Also, you will need plenty of rest.
If you are used to fasting, you may want to try these suggestions:
Plan “A” – Partial Fast – A partial fast may include any or all of the following restrictions:
- Eat only fruits and vegetables.
- Eliminate one or two meals per day; replace them with liquids.
- Eliminate pasta, cereals, bread, meats
- Eat only soups/liquids
- Drink only fruit and vegetable juices
Plan “B” – Full Fast – Drink liquids only, usually water. Lemon may be added to hot water. It is sometimes best to begin with a partial fast and work up to a full fast.
Plan “C” – Personalized Fast – Plan your own fast as your body can tolerate it. This may be a combination of the above, or a combination of fasting food and/or activities.
During the Fast
- Continue drinking ample amounts of water (hot water with lemon juice is good).
- Increase personal prayer and Bible study time.
- Decrease your workload where possible
- Decrease your TV/Media/Screen time.
- When you feel signs of hunger, seek after God through prayer and meditation of His Word.
- If you are fasting for several days, you may find that hunger disappears. It is important at this stage to continue to drink water and/or juice.
- Plan to attend the worship and prayer services at 7:00 PM Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night or as often as possible during the days we have set apart for this purpose.
Breaking the Fast
When the fast is over and you return to eating, extreme care must be taken to gradually introduce food to the body. The stomach must be given time to return to normal size. One of the pitfalls of coming off a longer fast is bowing down to the desire to eat! This is where discipline will pay off and hopefully you may even change your way of eating for a healthier way of life.
After a full fast (water only), drink fruit juice or vegetable juices diluted with water. Start with a small quantity and soon you will be able to eat the fruit itself.
Let your stomach be your guide. Gradually begin to eat a little more. Avoid sugar, starches and pastries for a while. Fish meat and poultry should be the last foods introduced into the diet. If after eating any discomfort is experienced, consider this a signal that you are eating too much and probably the wrong food.
For a couple of days let the essence of the fast extend into this period. In a notebook, make notes of all that happened during the fast:
- The highs, lows, peaks and valleys
- The times when God seemed so near, and the times He did not seem present at all
- Note any unusual spiritual experiences
- Review your prayers and your time at “The Throne.”
Enjoy the afterglow of your special time of consecration. Hopefully, this has set a spiritual precedent in your life that will encourage you to continue in prayer and Bible reading, and seeking the Lord.