At Thrive, we are holding a 21 day fast from
January 8 ------ 29
We believe doing a fast in the first month of the year helps prepare us for what God will do in this new year. Together, we faithfully seek God first, trusting in His power alone to create lasting impact in our lives, our church, and our world.
You may also choose to fast at other times during the year for your own spiritual development. It’s very typical for a fast to be one meal, a whole day, three days or even more.
The timing of your fast is not as important as the strength of your focus on God and commitment to prayer as you fast.
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TUESDAYS IN JANUARY
------------ January 10 at 7pm
------------ January 17 at 7pm
------------ January 24 at 7pm
------------ January 29 at 10:30am service
WHAT IS FASTING?
Let's begin with what fasting is not.
FASTING IS NOT A DIET.
Fasting is not merely about going without food for a period of time. That is just self-deprivation. Removing food without adding a spiritual component will result in a shrinking waist and faith.
FASTING IS NOT STARVING YOURSELF FOR GOD'S ATTENTION.
Fasting is not a way to manipulate God, which we couldn’t do even if we wanted. Fasting does not make God do something that is not his plan. Fasting gets you ready to receive God’s plan. We fast and pray for results, but those results are in God’s hands.
FASTING IS NOT ONLY FOR CRISIS MOMENTS.
Fasting is not only a reaction to a need. It is a discipline needed to experience new levels of relationship and intimacy with God. Fasting and prayer can restore the loss of the ‘first love’ for Jesus and, when done with the right focus, will result in a more intimate relationship with Christ.
SO, WHAT IS FASTING?
The goal of fasting is to draw nearer to the Lord
Biblical fasting always has to do with eliminating distraction for a spiritual purpose; it is like hitting the reset button of our soul and renews us from the inside out. It gives us the opportunity to celebrate the goodness and mercy of God, and prepares our hearts for all the good things God desires to bring into our lives. Your time of fasting should present a level of challenge, but it is very important to know your body, your options, and most importantly, to seek God in prayer. Fasting will not be fruitful without intentional prayer.
FASTING IS REFRAINING FROM FOOD FOR A SPIRITUAL PURPOSE.
It’s not about what we lose in food, but what we gain in relationship with God. It is the practice of deliberately and voluntarily abstaining from usual nourishment for a set time, which, when performed in the context of prayer, brings supernatural power to our praying. Dallas Willard says, “Fasting is feasting upon God.”
Fasting means to do without, to practice self-denial. Its essential nature is renouncing the natural to invoke the supernatural. Its meaning can be expanded to include temporary abstinence from anything else in order to give more concentrated attention to spiritual matters.
TYPES OF FASTING
The complete fast is observed by
(1) only receiving water as physical intake for the duration of the fast,
(2) giving up all non-essential demands for one’s time to devote oneself to prayer, and
(3) frequent and intense times of prayer during the day or days of the fast.
A partial fast is also sometimes referred to as the "Jewish Fast" and involves abstaining from eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to specific times of the day, such as 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sun up to sun down.
It may be appropriate to fast something other than food for the entire 21 days, particularly non-essentials that one may be giving higher priority that God desires. For example, you might choose to stop using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast and then carefully bring that element back into your life in healthy doses at the conclusion of the fast. Let no one feel constrained to fast by reason of guilty feelings; nor should anyone seek, on the other hand, a couch of ease for their flesh by fasting less than they understand to be their personal, God-directed duty and ability.
HAVE A PLAN AND KNOW IT
Nothing secures success in fasting like a proper plan
CONSIDER YOUR SCHEDULE.
Know your 21 days. What meeting, appointments, family functions, etc. do you have coming up? For maximum spiritual benefit, set aside ample time to be alone with God. The more time you spend with Him, the more meaningful your fast will be.
SUGGESTED DAILY ROUTINE
Begin your day in praise and worship.
Read and meditate on God’s word. Follow along with us in the book, Pursuit.
Pray for inner strength, conviction and growth.
Read a book or dedicate time to memorize scripture.
Take a short prayer walk.
Instead of lunch, take time to read, pray, and worship.
Listen to a sermon or teaching.
Finish your night in worship and reflection.
During a Daniel Fast, we will often buy all the ingredients to prepare the food, but we forget to prepare spiritually. In the same way you reorder your fridge, you must reorder your spirit.
Declare your dependence on God.
Ask for forgiveness.
Refocus on the eternal.
Believe God to answer specific needs. Write them out and pray daily over them.
Commit to the Lord in prayer.
FASTING IS NOTED THROUGHOUT THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.