20 day fast | january 1-20, 2019
In Daniel 10 we see Daniel launching into days of fasting and prayer because he saw a vision of a future world torn by war and hardship. In the New Living Translation we see that a Theophany (pre-incarnate vision of Jesus) appears and speaks to Daniel. In other words, about 700 years before the resurrection, in the same season we annually celebrate Jesus’ victory over the grave, Jesus miraculously shows up and speaks a powerful word to one of His own.
This is the heart of our 20 day fast! Our world is hurting and needs to hear God speak. We believe that Jesus established the Church as the physical manifestation of God’s answer to our broken world. Jesus left us on purpose and with a purpose…to love God and to love people into God’s Kingdom.
This 20 day fast will lead right up to Vision Sunday. It is our hope that in these weeks before we celebrate Vision Sunday, we would hear God’s voice and learn to live more on His purpose.
Practical considerations ought to be kept in view when fasting.
Decide what and how long you will fast:
Fast –With or without water.
Partial Fast –Abstaining from certain types of foods and/or limiting quantity of food. Like Daniel’s fast in Daniel 10:3 where he fasted delicacies, meat and wine. For example, you may choose to fast certain meals like lunch or to just drink fruit and vegetable juices.
Special Fast –Fasting things other than food like TV, Internet or Facebook.
Especially if you are choosing to fast significant amounts of food, ensure you are healthy and consider consulting a physician if you are unsure.
Pregnant women, diabetics and those with poor health or eating disorders should not fast.
Fasting can be a healthy practice that is beneficial to your body. Limiting physical activity and ensuring adequate rest is important.
Slowly reintroduce foods after fasting.
Take time to Pray
Fasting is more than doing without. It is a season of reallocating priorities to focus on prayer and seeking the Lord
Take part in prayer meetings and schedule specific times to pray.
Avoid Religious Displays and Beliefs
In Matthew 6 Jesus encourages fasting as a practice done before the Lord not for appearing more holy before people.
Fast as a confident child of God not a fearful slave trying to gain something from God.
Fasting is difficult. Rely on the strength the Lord graciously gives to those who ask.
If you slip up, take it to the Lord in prayer and continue with the rest of your fast.
This time of focused attention on prayer will accomplish much in your life and church.