Prayer & Fasting Resources
For 21 days in the month of January, we as a church will seek Christ as a body and as individuals. This page provides resources to help you fast, pray, and seek Him during this season. Beginning on January 10th, we’ll post a new devotion each day. These have been written by Grace family and friends to help us focus on Christ and our submission to him. 
what is fasting
Fasting is something that many modern day Christians don’t do or don’t know much about. Yet it’s discussed all through the Bible, from the Old through the New Testament. So what is it?
 
Fasting is going without food — or something that is otherwise a good and healthy thing — for a spiritual objective. Fasting is not giving up something that we already know is unhealthy, harmful, or outright sinful. Fasting is choosing to do without something that is good to choose to focus your attention on God.
why fast?
Our elders believe that God is leading us as a body to fast and pray together in this season. We have some big things happening. Covid-19 cases are rising significantly in our county. Many, many of us at Grace have been affected by this either because we’ve gotten sick or someone we love has been sick. Many of us know individuals who have passed away due to the virus. Doing church well in this era of Covid-19 is challenging.
 
We’re also interviewing final candidates for our Lead Pastor position. The steering team and the elders have logged incredible hours praying and meeting to review applicants, listen to sermons, call references, and read material. We are in the final stretch. In the coming weeks, we’ll have candidates come to Grace to preach, visit, and interview. This is a big deal for us!
 
In Scripture, there are numerous examples of the leaders of God’s people calling on the people of God to join together in fasting and prayer to seek God for a specific purpose or season. As we fast, we will seek to know more of God as individuals and as a body. We’re asking God to provide clear direction as we select a pastor. We’re asking God to lead the man who will be our pastor to us. We’re asking God for protection and wellness in the midst of so much sickness.
 
Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly.
Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lord your God,
and cry out to the Lord. Joel 1:14 (ESV)
ways to fast?
There are many ways to fast. To fast well, many have found that it starts with a commitment. Decide to fast. Then decide how you’re going to fast. This section gives you some options to help you decide what and how you will participate in our fast. We encourage you to pray about what kind of fast God is asking you to do. Wait and listen to him. Remember that fasting is not about losing weight or feeling better. That may be a consequence, depending on the type of fast you choose. The purpose of fasting is to seek God. Period. 
 
In the Bible, fasting always refers to going without food. But fasting can also include setting aside other good and healthy things for a season. Let’s talk about ways to fast from food first.
 
Complete food fast: You can choose to go completely without calories — drinking only water — for a specific time period. For an otherwise healthy teen or adult, a 24 hours fast is a good choice. Healthy teens and adults can go without food for many, many more days than that. If you’ve never fasted before, 24 hours is a good place to start. You will get hungry. The choice to not give in to the hunger but rather spend time with God is part of the experience. Some people modify this, avoiding all food while drinking fruit juice at meals. This is often called a juice fast. The point is not to replace all your food calories with juice. But to drink a bit of juice to help you sustain the fast. For the 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, you might choose a complete food fast one day each week. 
 
Partial food fast With a partial food fast, you go without food for a specific time of day or a specific meal, usually over the course of time. So you may choose to not eat after 3:00 p.m. for the 21 days. Or not eat while the sun is up for an amount of time. 
 
Selective food fast With a selective food fast, you go without particular kinds of foods usually over the course of time. The Daniel Fast is a very common fast that people use. This is based on the meal plan that Daniel and his three friends chose to follow so as to avoid eating food that was consecrated to idols and not prepared according to the law. The Daniel Fast includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. With this fast, you abstain from eating meat, dairy, sugar, and many carbs. In the resource section below, we’ve got links to two Daniel Fast websites. These sites include information to get you started with many recipes. A person following a Daniel Fast doesn’t necessarily decrease their calorie intake. Rather, you’d avoid many, many foods that are typically part of our Western diet. The Daniel Fast is not the only selective food fast. There are others out there. Or you can devise your own. If you chose this approach, be intentional and committed.
 
Medical Reasons for Not Fasting Some of us take medications that need to be taken with food or have medical conditions that would make fasting from food unhealthy. If you want to fast but are unsure, ask your doctor. You may be able to do a partial or selective fast in a very healthy way, even if you need avoid a complete fast.
 
Non-Food Options for Fasting There are ways to fast that don’t involve avoiding food. You could give up social media for the 21 days. Or avoid exercise for the 21 days. Or eliminate TV, streaming, and movies. Fasting from food has a very immediate and direct impact on our mind and body. We quickly experience hunger, reminding our soul to turn its attention to God. If you choose something that is non-food related to set aside, it may take more time for this to have the same affect. Then again, many of us are very tethered to our entertainment or social media! If you’re inclined to do this sort of fast, seek God’s guidance regarding what and how long.
 
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to talk with the elders or staff. 
tips for fasting
Whatever approach you take to fasting, remember that it is not about focusing on the deprivation of something. Rather, it’s about using the opportunity to spend more time in prayer, meditation, Bible reading, or worship. Do something more than you usually do to seek God. If you currently have a quiet time on most days, add an extra time during the day to pray and read Scripture. If your current times with God are not as often or consistent as you think they should be, then make a commitment to spend some time every day during this 21 Days with Him. Spend more time than you currently do — whatever that means for you — with God. 
 
For some of us, it helps to be accountable to another person. Grace is not going to make or keep a list about who’s doing what and how much during this season. We’re doing this together, as a church, but it is also a very private matter between you and God. Scripture cautions against standing on the street corner telling everyone that we’re fasting, but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it together. So if you need support, ask a friend or spouse to be your fasting partner. You can choose to do the same fast together or just be supportive of each other as you individually fast. 
 
Before Fasting
  • Do not try to stock up on food before you start by overeating. It will make fasting harder.
  • Avoid foods that are high in fat and sugar immediately before you start. Again, it will make the fast harder.
  • If you’re going to fast for 24 hours or more, it helps to eat smaller meals the day before.
During the Fast
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Consider taking a multivitamin.
  • If necessary, decrease physical activity, especially if you’re going without food for extended periods.
After an Extended Food Fast
  • Don’t pig out. If you’ve gone without food for 24 hours or more, your body will probably not be happy if you eat a large meal, or foods full of grease, fat and sugar. It is not uncommon for the bathroom to be your friend if you eat too much after an extended calorie fast. Drinking some juice is often recommended as the first calories to ingest after fasting. Then eat a small, healthy meal. The longer you’ve gone without calories, the more important this is. 
Fasting Resources
If you’d like to study more about what the Bible has to say about fasting, here are two links:
 
There are several excellent books on fasting that look at Biblical teaching, discipleship, and our relationship with God:
 
Here are some links to information about the Daniel Fast: