NORTHchurch is about to start 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting that will start this Sunday, March 14 and end on Easter Sunday, April 4. We are being very intentional during this 21 days to pray and fast for the ones around us and in our lives that are lost, lonely, hurting, and fallen away from God and the church.
Heather and I are committing to a 21-day Daniel Fast. Read below for more information.
WHAT IS A FAST?
According to the dictionary a fast is to abstain from something for some purpose. Well, we are choosing to abstain from certain foods that feed the body for the purpose of feeding our spirit.
A very wise NORTHchurch staff member recently shared with me, “We often think fasting is about sacrifice. Fasting is not about sacrifice. It’s about priorities.”
Jesus made it clear that fasting, like giving and praying, is a normal part of the life of a follower of God. In Matthew 6 He said, “When you fast…” Not if. He taught that attention should be invested in fasting as much as giving and prayer. And Jesus practiced fasting. He fasted often, once going 40-days without any food (Matthew 4).
One of the necessary reasons to fast is because sometimes it is absolutely critical for situations you will encounter in life. So be fasted up and ready when it comes, and trust me it will come. Once Jesus’ disciples asked, “Why could we not cast it out?” To which Jesus replied, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting” (Mark 9 NKJV). If Jesus could have accomplished all He came to do without fasting, why would He fast? How much more should fasting be a common practice in our lives?
WHAT IS A DANIEL FAST?
“In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.” (Daniel 10:2,3)
A Daniel Fast is a 21-day choice to prioritize certain foods and drink above other options with the intent of seeking God. To be in ‘mourning’ was to deny self of the comforts the flesh enjoys, while feeding the spirit through prayer and obedience to God. I urge you to spend time with God listening and learning and when needed follow through with what He asks you to do. As you study His word and wait upon Him you will be strengthen and encouraged in your faith. It will be an adventure you will not soon forget.
WHAT CAN I EAT ON A DANIEL FAST?
There are a lot of ideas on what can and cannot be eaten on a Daniel Fast. My basic guideline is to eat no meat, no sweets, no diary, and no bread. Avoid additives to food (this covers a lot). Drink water and all natural juice. Eat fruits and vegetables. For recipes and more comprehensive information on a Daniel Fast go to http://daniel-fast.com.
I have fasted in the past, but never this long. Also, this will be my first time participating in a Daniel Fast. I am excited, nervous, and expectant that God will reveal Himself in powerful ways during this time.
I invite you to join with me in this 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting. You do not have to do the Daniel Fast. You may want to fast from caffeine, TV, sweets, one meal during each day, or social media (but not reading this blog, of coarse). Whatever it is, make that commitment to God for 21 days to give up something in your normal routine to give Him more time, re-focus and re-prioritize on Him, and pray for the lost, lonely, hurting, and fallen away from God and the church.
Are you in?