Day of Fasting
Fasting is an intentional act of going without food for a spiritual purpose, sometimes more than one. It is an act of worship, it is another way of giving to God. Other kinds of fasting are going without water or any other thing that our Good Father has given us for a specific period of time. Some fasting lasts for days, most fasting lasts for at least a few hours. If you’ve not ever fasted before I’ve found that a 24 hour fast (6pm – 6pm) is a good place to start. Eventually one may be able to fast for a complete day; one meal cycle including a night of sleep. This means eating anormal meal for dinner, say at 6pm and then going to bed, not eating the entire next day, sleeping again and then finally eating after about 36 or so hours. When you fast for the very first time, I suggest drinking lots of water. Lots and lots. Fasting is hard. And you should be prepared for your body to attempt a bit of a revolt, particularly with headaches. I’ve had to take some Advil or Tylenol to help counter this throughout my time of fasting. Along with scheduling plenty of fluids, it's also a good idea to schedule regular times of prayer. Most of us are not able to devote every hour of our fast to continual prayer but if we schedule a time, say at the top of each hour, we will be more likely to stay on task. Here is a link that may prove helpful for those just beginning to fast.
Why fast and pray? Simply stated, our fasting ought to be an acknowledgement that things here and now in time and space where we live are not as they ought to be. This is evident in at least two categories. First, We know that we have not been fully transformed into the image of Christ. This is because we still battle against our flesh, our indwelling sin. Without fail in my own fasting the Lord is kind to reveal to me some area of sin. Something that needs to be executed once and for all, by faith in Christ.
Romans 8:12-13 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Notice this is our obligation. We are required to be putting the deeds of the body to death. We must do this. And we have incalculable help from the Holy Spirit. It is “by” Him that we can be successful in this duty. How is this done? It begins with the Word of God and Prayer. Ephesians 6:10-20 is a familiar passage about putting on the armor of God. After the believer gets dressed for battle, where do we begin wielding the bible, the sword of the Spirit? We begin waging war as we practice prayer (see verse 18).
Secondly, we believe that the Kingdom of Christ is present here and now as he rules over all those who submit themselves to him. But we also understand that his Kingdom is not fully manifest, he is continuing to gather more subjects over which he will reign. And He has left us responsible to make Him known. This is called the great commission.
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Both of these very real needs will not be completely satisfied this side of the Resurrection, so we fast and pray. Both of these needs are possible here and now because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We plead with Him to make the changes necessary in us that make us more like Him and we cry out to Him to allow us to be a part of building his kingdom right where we are.
So, as your pastor, I urge you to participate however you are able. Today as we fast as one united church let’s ask the Lord to do what only He can do. Here’s my simple day plan of attack if you’d like to follow along.
10:00am – Read through a Psalm (51,139, etc.) Ask the Lord to reveal any “hurtful way” in me. Confess. Trust Christ will grant necessary repentance. Pray through 1 John 1:9.
11:00am – Read through the Great Commission; Matthew 28:18-20. Pray that Christ will give you opportunities to share the Good News with others. Ask for Providential appointments.
12:00pm – Read 1 Corinthians 6:11. Recount the things that you “were” and give God thanks. Also ask Him to reveal any linger sin or propensity to return to those sins. Ask Him to allow you to truly believe that you are justified and sanctified.
1:00pm – Read Mark 16:15 & Romans 16:16. Ask the Lord to give us boldness to proclaim Christ to others. Begin to pray about specific people the Lord brings to mind.
2:00pm – Read 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5. As the Lord to “choose” others to hear the message of his gospel. Ask Jesus to empower your words as you share the Gospel with others so that they may come to eternal life. Ask for Providential appointments.
3:00pm – Read Colossian 1:6-7 More providential appointments. Ask the Lord to allow many, many people to see and read our signs and mailers for the Chicken noodle dinner so that they might hear the gospel and it might bear fruit in them.
4:00pm – Read Colossians 1:28-29. As the Lord for the opportunity to “present every man complete in Christ” and that you might “labor, striving according to His power” that is working in you.
5:00pm – Read Psalm 30. Give God thanks for all He has done. Also praise Him for bringing Light City into existence. Thank the Lord for what He will do through Light City and through our Chicken Noodle Dinner.
Thank you and May the lord see fit to work in us and in our community in response to our fasting and prayer!