21 Days of prayer and fasting

January 5-26, 2020

North Cleveland will be participating in a 21-day fast from January 5-January 26. During this time we will focus on prayer as a church family as well. The purpose of fasting is to become closer with God. It is a way of hitting the reset button spiritually and renewing us from the inside out. It also allows us to celebrate God’s goodness and mercy and prepares our hearts for all the good things that God desires to bring into our lives. Each one of us should have a personal fast that presents a level of challenge. However, it is important to know our bodies, our options, and to seek to follow God in prayer in what He leads you to do.

BASICS

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?

BIBLICAL FASTING FOCUS

1 TIMOTHY 2:1-2
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

ROMANS 12:1
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.”

MATTHEW 6:33
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

ISAIAH 58:6
“[Is] not this the fast that I have chosen to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?”

TIPS

How to Begin
Start with a clear goal. Be specific. Why are you fasting? Do you need direction, healing, restoration of marriage or family issues? Are you facing financial difficulties? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Pray daily and read the Bible.

Preparing Spiritually
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).

Deciding What to Fast
The type of fasting you choose is up to you. 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 to replace that time with prayer and Bible study.

Deciding How Long
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. Use wisdom and pray for guidance. Beginners are advised to start slow.

What to Expect
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. And naturally, you will have hunger pains. Limit your activity and exercise moderately. Take time to rest. Fasting brings about miraculous results. You are following Jesus’ example when you fast. Spend time listening to praise and worship. 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.

How to End
Don’t overeat when the time comes to end your fast. Begin eating solid food gradually; eat small portions or snacks.

TYPES OF FASTS

COMPLETE FAST
This fast calls for drinking only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.

SELECTIVE FAST
This type of fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, or bread from your diet and consume water and juice for fluids and fruits and vegetables for food.

PARTIAL FAST
This type of fast is 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 sunup to sundown.

SOUL FAST
This fast is common for those who do not have much experience fasting food, who have health issues that prevent them from fasting food, or who wish to refocus certain areas of their life that are out of balance. For instance, some might select to abstain from watching television or using social media for the duration of the fast, and then choose to carefully bring that element back into their life in an orderly fashion at the conclusion of the fast.