Happy New Year again!
I’m brimming with vision, excitement, and expectation as we begin Taking New Territory this year!
This year we will again have a special time of corporate Fasting & Prayer, but with a different format.
Instead of doing the 21day Prayer & Fast that we’ve done for many years, we will be doing 3 days of Prayer & Fasting corporately MONTHLY. I’m always excited about this “church activity” because the believers come out of it very energized and with a renewed commitment to experience God. There really is no better way to reset our spiritual compass and bring about refreshing in every area of our lives than through prayer and fasting.
Here’s some reminders and a few suggestions about approaching this time of consecration with Fasting and Prayer.
Why We Fast & Pray
We don’t do this to influence God into acting on our behalf.
Abstaining from food does not impress Him.
Fasting helps us to receive from God but does not push God to action. We don't have to do anything to move God to exercise His power for us. He is not unwilling to help us; it's not His inability to intervene on our behalf. The problem is our spiritual dullness.
Fasting is a spiritual instrument we use that positions us to be more spiritually "tuned in" and intentionally “unplugged” from the influences that clutter our spiritual receptivity.
What Is Fasting?
Fasting is to abstain from eating for an extended period voluntarily. “Eating can also represent anything that is a barrier or holds you back from the life you know Jesus made available to you.
What is distracting you from the relationship with God you want?
What is it you are relying on that has nothing to do with God to settle you down?
Have you redirected the passion you once had for God to something else?
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what should be a goal during the fast.
Everyone doing a physical fast should consult his or her physician.
If you have medical issues, consider fasting TV or media.
The point is that there is something God wants you to separate yourself from for three days (or longer, or permanently) so that you can see Him more clearly.
Don’t cheat yourself by removing yourself from the fast entirely.
A Personal Encounter With the Living God
You will experience many benefits from fasting (cleansing your body, breaking addictions, etc.), but the goal of fasting is to experience God in a fresh personal way.
It’s about you accessing your alignment with Him.
Right now your life may be all about you; God will use the fast to calibrate your heart. Be willing to hear what God says needs to change, and be ready to change.
When you eliminate things that are keeping you from focusing on God, He can show you things about your life that you never realized.
The Practice of A Fast Involves Special Prayer And Waiting Upon God.
• The idea of a fast is not the issue of self-denial but of seeking God.
• Give special times of prayer, praise, and intercession. Dedicate specific times during the day.
• Find occasions to agree with others in prayer. Their partnership becomes a strong bond of fellowship in a fast.
• Take time in the Word of God. David said, "Your Word is sweeter than the honeycomb" (Psalm 19: 10), and Jesus made clear the Word of God is nourishment to the soul as well (Matthew 4).
Feed on it, and you will find strength for the fast.
OUR TAKING NEW TERRITORY ACTION PLAN FOR JANUARY’S FAST
Many will do more; some will do less but the goal is to be ultra-consistent and develop dominant habits for this year and beyond.
The monthly fasts will begin Wednesday noon and end Saturday noon.
Fast at least one meal a day (if you can without defying your medical advice)
If you can only go without food one day; make it Friday and break it after Saturday Prayer.
Attend Corporate Prayer at the church on the Fasting Saturdays @ 10:00 am
10 minutes DAILY Praise & Thanksgiving
10 minutes DAILY Meditation in Scripture
10 minutes DAILY Praying in Spirit
10 minutes DAILY Being still, listening to the Holy Spirit
10 minutes DAILY Speaking God’s Promises over your life
(Can mix it up, some in the morning, noon and night)
• Make attending the Wednesday, Saturday Prayer, and Sunday Services a priority during the fast.
• Unplug from social media, excessive entertainment during F&P days. Use the quality for God, family and you.
Practical Considerations To Keep In View When Fasting.
• Remember, the fast is about communing with God, so don’t fill your time with distractions that will keep you from feeling hungry. Commit to spending more time with the Lord.
• Do not fast if there are medical or dietary reasons prohibiting it.
• Always drink plenty of water while fasting, for it washes out physical impurities released into your system by the fast.
• Some whose regimen cannot seem to tolerate a complete fast find that taking fruit juices helps them remain in the "spirit of the fast."
• Those who for any reason are unable to participate in going without food, often find the "spirit of the fast" is sustained by regular, disciplined times of prayer beyond their usual pattern of devotion or intercession.
• People, whose work is of such a heavy energy expenditure that a total fast is outside of reason, often find the Daniel "partial fast" works for them. This voluntary reduction of intake, denying the flesh delicacies while still feeding the basic need for energy, is a fast more applicable to some.
• Explain to your family what you are doing when you’re fasting.
• Never complain or brag about your fast, and try to avoid talking too much about it.
Challenge yourself spiritually during these 3 days to do things you have never done!!
We’re Territory Takers!