(By Dillan Howell, Worship Associate) Over the next 40 days, we as staff on the Worship Team here at Faith Promise Church have been challenged to go out of the ordinary, be a little different than most by taking some time to fast.
Fasting isn’t something that I do often and it definitely isn’t something that I’m good at. I like to eat! I like to eat a lot. In fact while I write this I’m starting to think, “Man, I’m hungry.” But what if we were called to be a little different, what if we were called to stand out from the ordinary? Good news…we are!
2 Chronicles 7:14
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Being a part of a worship ministry is a big deal. We share usually just as much as stage time as our Pastor and we carry the same message as our Pastor, but present it in a different way, obviously through music. Why do we so often believe that our Pastor is the only one who can face spiritual warfare and distractions to keep him from ministry? Well, because that’s what Satan wants us to believe.
Over the next 40 days I will humble myself down by not eating any red meats. That doesn’t mean I’m going to ask for my steaks well done and my burgers cooked all the way through!! It means anything that comes from a cow I’m not going to eat. Reason why? I love to eat cow. Not exaggerating it’s honestly one of the only things I eat! By not eating cow it’s going to weaken me and force me to rely on God. There are times I’m going to be tempted, what do I do? I pray for God to take the temptation. I’m going to find myself talking with God a lot more and I’m going to find myself begging God to heal my land.
I challenge you. I challenge you to find something that you rely on and give it up. In return I pray that you find yourself replacing that desire with prayer, replacing it with God.
My goal would be that as a worship team and as a church we can find ourselves weak, but strong in God by constantly seeking him, and trusting that he will heal our family, heal our schools, heal our work places and initially heal our land.
10 Things You Should Know Before You Fast
1. Headaches, bad breath and run-down feelings are signs that the fast is working
a. During a time of fasting the body purifies itself and feeds off of impurities and pollutants in your body. After approximately 3 days the headaches will begin to cease. After approximately 5 days the hunger becomes minimal.
2. Fasting will NOT impair the health of a healthy person
a. With wisdom and caution throughout history, fasting has been a prescribed method for healing and medical purposes.
b. Please take into consideration certain medical conditions and consult your physician if you have questions
3. Fasting increases a person’s faith
4. Drink plenty of fluids!!!
a. Suggest drinking a gallon of water a day to help in the cleansing process
b. Use purified water
5. Fasting is constant intercession before God
6. Fasting strengthens your inner will & discipline
7. Focus on the Word of God
8. Pray specifically
9. The victory often comes after the fast is over
10. Use wisdom and caution when breaking a fast
a. Break the fast with easily digestible foods
I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food ~ Job 23:12
Excerpt from Jentezen Franklin’s Book “Fasting”:
What is fasting? Since there are so many misconceptions about it, I first want to clarify what fasting, biblical fasting, is not. Fasting is not merely going without food for a period of time. That is dieting, maybe even starving, but fasting it is not. Stated simply, biblical fasting is refraining from food for a spiritual purpose and replacing that time you spend eating with praying. Fasting has always been a normal part of a relationship with God. As expressed by the impassioned plea of David in Psalm 42, fasting brings one into a deeper, more intimate and powerful relationship with the Lord. When you eliminate food from your diet for a number of days, your spirit becomes uncluttered by the things of this world and amazingly sensitive to the things of God.
Scriptural References to Fasting:
- Matthew 6:16-18 says “when” you fast
- Matthew 9:13-15
- Matthew 17:21
- Joel 1:14, 2:12
- Acts 13:2-3
- Acts 14:23
- Isaiah 58:4-8
- 2 Chronicles 20:3
- Hannah seeking the Lord 1 Samuel 1:7
- Nehemiah 1;4, 9:1
- David Psalms 35:13, 69:10, 109:24, 2 Samuel 12:16
- 84-year old widow – Luke 2:37
- Paul – Acts 27:9
There is not a real formula to help determine which type of fast or the length of the fast that is right for you. This is determined between you and God depending on your circumstances and what you’re seeking Him for. Don’t get crazy & bogged down in the details! You may want to begin with a one-day fast from sunrise to sunset. You will be amazed at the difference a one day partial or normal fast will make in your life.
There are three types of fasts found in the Word; the absolute fast, the normal fast and the partial fast.
- The absolute fast is where you take in nothing – no food or water. *this is extreme and should be done only for very short periods of time. Please always take into consideration your health
- The normal fast is where you typically go without food of any kind for a certain number of days. You should drink water and plenty of it! *Depending on the length of the fast, you may also choose to take clear broth and juices in order to maintain your strength.
- The partial fast can be interpreted in many ways – usually involves giving up particular foods and drink for an extended period of time. *most common partial fast is the Daniel Fast
Examples / References of Fasts:
40 Day Fast:
- Moses when he received the 10 Commandments Exodus 34:27-28
- Joshua fasted 40 days
- Jesus fasted 40 days Luke 4:1-2
21 Day Fast:
14 Day Fast:
7 Day Fast:
- Valiant men of Israel – 1 Chronicles 10:12
3 Day Fast:
- Esther called the Jews of her city to join her for a 3 day fast Esther 4-7
- Peter fasted 3 days
During these 40 days of prayer and fasting we really want you to seek the face of God regarding your personal walk with Him. Our desire is for you to emerge out of these 40 days with clear direction, confidence in your calling & your purpose being refreshed, renewed & revived to run the race with endurance.
We are going to SOAP the Word during these 40 Days. Sound weird?
S – scripture focus
O – obedience factor
A – application
P – praying through
*this is just a tool to help you as you study the Word
Our scripture focus as we start off this week is Isaiah 58:1-8
- Why are they fasting? [“is it?” phrases *NASV]
- What kind of fast does God desire? [“is it not?” phrases *NASV]
- What does it require?
- What is the outcome?
Action Points for this Week:
- Determine which biblical fast you’re going to do (Check out the blog tomorrow for a list!)
- Determine an act of compassion you can do at some point during the 40 days[when, where & how] (The Missions office can help you with ideas)
Meditation / Proclamation / Memorization: Isaiah 61:1
- Journal your journey (Jentzen Franklin has an awesome 21 day fasting journal that I strongly recommend)
- Facebook (Faith Promise Worship) and twitter (@fpWorship)
- Blogs: http://blog.faithpromise.org
- Online Prayer Forum: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Join Weekly Text Group (Text “WORSHIP” to 75309)