JANUARY 6 - 27, 2019
“So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting.” – Daniel 9:3
Join your church family and many around the world who participate in Christ’s Church’s annual season of fasting and prayer. Our theme this year will be FAVOR (Finding God’s Favor). The fast will begin on January 6 at 7pm and conclude on January 27 after a special Prayer & Worship service. We will provide 21 daily devotions, one for each day of the fast, that you can access via email, online or in the CC App. There is also a Fast Facebook Group where you can connect with others for encouragement and prayer as well as a Life Journal (available in The Source starting January 3) to help you illuminate and apply what you are learning!
Day 7 - January 13 (Join us at Church)
Day 14 - January 20 (Join us at Church)
Scroll Down Below for Information & Resources
LETTER FROM PASTOR JASON
Deep inside every one of us is a longing… a soul level, deep, deep need that we want, we desperately need, God to respond to. Unfortunately, we often keep that need to ourselves and bottle up our desires only to become frustrated and even sometimes angry with God for remaining silent. However, there is point where we can no longer contain the cry and it bursts from our soul and explodes to the heavens with the hope that God will respond. Through this series and season of fasting & prayer we are going to study a prevalent pattern of prayer in scripture where God’s children cry out to Him in their desperation, seeking His response. God is a good Father who wants to know our deepest needs, fears and desires so he can give amazing gifts to His children. Join us for an authentic, raw and honest conversation that will change your prayer life forever!
- Jason Cullum, Lead Pastor
LIFE JOURNAL: Be sure to pick up a Life Journal in The Source to utilize throughout the 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting! Details below.
WHO: Anyone is welcome to join in! Feel free to invite others by simply sharing this page www.Christs.Church/Fast with them.
WHEN: January 6 through January 27, 2019.
*If you have any known medical conditions or suspect such conditions, consult your doctor before beginning the fast.
**Levels of Participation: Twice in the book of Daniel a fast is mentioned. Once is for 21 days and the second for 10 days. We are asking everyone to join in this 21 day fast but if circumstance won’t allow the full fast, we ask that you would set aside a day during the fast to join us in prayer and fasting.
HOW: There are multiple online resources available on the Daniel Fast. One thing you’ll notice is that there are many ways to do the fast. To keep it simple, we have included on this page what the staff and Eldership of Christ’s Church will be doing during the fast and some of the resources we will be using. This fast will require preparation as most meals will be made from scratch. We will have several recipes available (listed below).
+ S.O.A.P. & YOUR LIFE JOURNAL
LIFE JOURNALS are available at all Christ’s Church campuses for a nominal fee. Grab a copy in The Source.
How do I use my life journal?
Open your Bible and ask God to illuminate what He wants you to learn and apply today. Read your daily fasting scripture / devotional. God’s Word says that the Holy Spirit “will guide you into all truth” and will help you understand what you read from the scriptures. Read the passage slowly and look for that specific “gem” of truth that jumps off the page and grabs your attention.
- SCRIPTURE: Chose one Bible verse that stands out to me and copy it word for word.
- OBSERVATION: What does this verse teach me about my relationship with God?
- APPLICATION: How will I be different because of what I’ve read today?
- PRAYER: Write out a prayer asking God to help me live out what I’ve just learned.
When you are done fill in the date and create a title for your journal entry.
Here’s an example…
December 4, 2018 Who Am I Pleasing?
SCRIPTURE: Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)
OBSERVATION: How much of my life is wasted trying to be liked, accepted or celebrated by people around me who don’t matter? How many times do I make life decisions based upon opinions of those who don’t love me or God? Why am I so consumed with winning the approval of others and not consumed with pleasing my Heavenly Father?
APPLICATION: Today I want to run every decision I make through the filter of pleasing God. I choose to believe that if I please God with my decisions and life, it will not only be the best for me, but it will honor God and others.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father give me the strength today to make hard decisions. Help me to be so confident in my identity as your son that I don’t place others’ opinions and direction above yours. Give me the courage to act on this today. Amen
Now you give it a try! God’s promises are sure on this…“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
+ WHY SHOULD I FAST?
- Are you in need of healing or a miracle?
- Do you need the tender touch of God in your life?
- Is there a dream inside you that only He can make possible?
- Are you in need of a fresh encounter?
- Do you desire a deeper, more intimate and powerful relationship with the Lord?
- Are you ready to have heightened sensitivity to the desires of God?
- Do you need to break away from bondages that have been holding you hostage?
- Is there a friend or loved one that needs Salvation?
- Do you desire to know God’s will for your life?
- Is God preparing your church for a “God sized” vision?
+ COMMON QUESTIONS
Why are we fasting as a church?
Fasting is a discipline that helps to shift our priorities. It puts Him first and allows us to hear His plan, receive His direction and His blessings. If you want success in your life, in your marriage, in your work—putting God first is the key.
When God is our first priority, He can use us to help others. God hears the cry of the oppressed and the unsaved. The words of Isaiah 58:6-14 give us insight into how significantly God views the power of fasting.
Fasting isn’t mentioned much in the New Testament so is that something that we REALLY need to do? Fasting just isn’t for the Christian fanatics! I used to think the same thing until I realized that … hello…. JESUS CHRIST himself fasted on a regular basis in order to know how His Father was leading Him. In fact, Jesus ministry began with His baptism by John then immediately He went into the desert for a 40 day fast. “Jesus was led by the Spirit in to the desert where for 40 days He ate nothing”. – Luke 1:1-2. Also, let’s not forget that He was Jewish and practiced all of the Jewish holidays, which included many days of fasting. But most importantly Jesus teaches, “WHEN you give” – Mat 6:3; “WHEN you Pray” – Mat 6:5; “WHEN you fast” – Mat 6:16. Did you catch the little word that seems to change everything? WHEN… Not if you feel like it…. Not if you are a religious fanatic…. WHEN. In other words, it’s an expectation of spiritual discipline that is expected in order to grow.
+ HOW TO GET STARTED
1) Decide why you are fasting
Start with a clear goal. Be specific. Why are you fasting? Do you need direction, healing, revival, restoration of marriage or family issues? Are you facing financial difficulties? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Pray daily and read the Bible.
2) Preparing Spiritually
God cannot work in you and through you if your life is full of sin. Confess your sins to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness. Forgive all who have offended you and ask forgiveness from those you may have offended (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3-4). Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ and reject the worldly desires that try to hinder you (Romans 12:1-2).
3) Deciding what type of fast you are doing
You must choose what fast you will be doing. You could go on a full fast in which you only drink liquids, or you may desire to fast like Daniel, who abstained from sweets and meats, and the only liquid he drank was water. Remember the practice of fasting means that you are replacing that time where you would be eating with prayer and Bible study.
4) Deciding how long your fast will last
You may fast as long as you like. Most can easily fast from one to three days, but you may feel the grace to go longer, even as much as 21 to 40 days. If you feel led to a complete fast, please see your personal physician before you attempt this type of fast. Going without food will affect your body. Use common sense, wisdom and pray for guidance. Beginners are advised to start slow.
+ WHAT TO EXPECT DURING / AFTER THE FAST
What can you expect during your fast?
When you fast your body detoxifies, eliminating toxins from your system. This can cause mild discomfort such as headaches and irritability during withdrawal from caffeine and sugars.
So, remember what Jesus said in Matthew 6, “But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” and do your best not to let anyone know you’re fasting by complaining about it, looking like it or being mean. We all can get a bit edgy when we go without certain foods, coffee or cokes for a while. So pray that you don’t bite anyone’s head off because you’re fasting.
Fasting brings about miraculous results. You are following Jesus’ example when you fast. Spend time listening to worship music. Pray as often as you can throughout the day. Get away from the normal distractions as much as possible and keep your heart and mind set on seeking God’s face.
What can you expect after your fast?
Here’s a tip from experience...don’t go to Outback and order the biggest, greasiest bacon cheeseburger on the menu! It will not end well. When you come off your fast, realize your body has been purified and has gone without certain things (proteins, sugars, caffeine, etc.) for some time. It will take some time for your body to re-adjust. So, don’t overeat when the time comes to end your fast. Begin eating solid food gradually; eat small portions or snacks.
There is no special formula for prayer. There are no “buzz words” or phrases that capture God’s attention more than any other. Prayer is pouring your honest, surrendered heart out to God and seeking His answers to your struggles. When asked by His disciples about prayer, Jesus responded with the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13).
“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.""
Jesus’ response points out four key attributes of prayer. We’ve made an acrostic to make easy to remember every time you pray. This isn’t a formula, but if you need a little direction in your prayers, this serves as a great guide.
PRAISE: Praise God for who He is and His attributes. Begin by giving Him your worship and adoration.
REPENT: Confess to God the things you have done in word, thought or deed which led you into sin. Confess and repent.
ASK: After you have spent time in praise and repentance, make your requests known to God by asking Him to provide your needs.
YIELD: God is always at work around you. Take time to notice when He invites you to join Him to become part of His mission.
+ RESOURCES, BOOKS, FOOD LIST
Several fasting resources are available in THE SOURCE (CC Bookstore) at Christ's Church.
FASTING by Jentezen Franklin. Scripture filled to teach and support the practice of Biblical fasting as a means of focused prayer.
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE DANIEL FAST by Kristen Feola. This has over 100 all natural recipes for the Daniel Fast.
FOODS LIST & RECIPES:
+ WHAT ARE SOME OTHER WAYS I CAN FAST?
We realize that not everyone can do the “Daniel Fast” for all kinds of reasons and that’s ok. We have, however, provided some other ideas and practices for those who still want to participate in this fasting season. Our goal is that 100% of our church family would come along side us as we focus our full attention on the things of our heavenly Father.
Drink only liquids (you establish the number of days).
*Please talk to your personal physician before attempting a Full Fast.
The Daniel Fast
Eat no meat, no sweets and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables.
*There are resources in The Source to assist you with this.
*Recommend reading “Fasting” by Jentzen Franklin.
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.
Maybe it’s time to give up certain things in the technology world. Whether it be social media platforms like Facebook or Snapchat to Video games and yes, even Netflix. Whatever is distracting you from seeing God’s true vision and the life He has for you this is a perfect time to set those things aside to focus on Him.
+ FASTING GUIDELINES
Fasting involves much more than going without food. Genuine fasting requires planning and preparation, and it also demands an intentional and complete commitment to seeking the Lord throughout the fast.
Below are several steps you should take if you desire to fast effectively.
PLAN YOUR PRAYER TIME
Determine how much time you will spend praying and studying God’s word daily. Part of the fast is filling the time you normally would spend preparing and eating meals with prayer and study. You must be intentional in this.
TAKE A SPIRITUAL INVENTORY BEFORE YOU BEGIN
When you fast and pray you are giving up food to discipline your body. Make sure you do the same with your attitudes and thoughts. You want to bring all parts of your life under the discipline of Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Acknowledge your sin, repent, and be done with it. For God to hear your prayers you must first empty yourself of your sin. Ask for forgiveness and then live forgiven. (1 Chronicles 7:14-15)
CHECK YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
If you have hurt another person, you must go to them and ask for forgiveness. If there is someone who has offended you, pray for them and forgive them. (Mark 11:25-26)
ASK GOD TO TEACH YOU FROM HIS WORD
Remember, there is a measure of spiritual blindness in each one of us, so we must ask the Holy Spirit to teach us and to take away our spiritual blindness. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
ASK GOD TO FILL YOU WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
The more you know about the Holy Spirit, the more you can give Him control of your life. And the more you walk with the Holy Spirit, the more He can exercise His influence through you. (Ephesians 5:18)
YIELD YOURSELF FULLY TO JESUS CHRIST
Give everything to God. Once you have yielded your physical self you must also yield your inner self. (Romans 12:1)
ASK FOR FAITH
The first step toward a stronger faith is developing an expectant heart for things which you are praying. (Hebrews 11:6)
BE AWARE OF SPIRITUAL ATTACKS
Remember there is an enemy and he will do anything and everything to destroy your fast and wreck your faith. Be prepared to face the enemy by keeping your thoughts on God and His Word. (Jude 20)