21 DAYS OF PRAYER & FASTING
The goal of fasting is to draw nearer to God. Biblical fasting always has to do with eliminating distractions for a spiritual purpose; it hits the reset button of our soul and renews us from the inside out. It also enables us to celebrate the goodness and mercy of God and prepares our hearts for all the good things God desires to bring into our lives. Remember, your personal fast should present a level of challenge, but it is very important to know your body, and your options and, most importantly, to seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.
BENEFITS OF FASTING:
1. Helps us overcome the calamities of life.
Fasting is the Biblical way to humble ourselves (Psalm 35:13; 69:10). Esther fasted when faced with danger (Esther 4:16). Ezra fasted for protection (Ezra 8:21-28). Jehoshaphat fasted in the time of the invasion of the confederated armies of Canaanites and Syrians (2 Chronicles 20:3).
2. Renews our connection with God.
Jesus said that His disciples will fast when He is gone (Mark 2:20). When we fast, we get our hunger back for the presence of God.
3. Empowers us to fulfill God’s calling in our life.
Most of the people in the OT fasted in a crisis; Jesus fasted for His calling. We should not fast only during problems, but also for our purpose. Anna was fasting for the coming of the redemption of Israel. (Luke 2:37).
4. Defeats the devil.
Once, the disciples of Jesus could not cast out a demon. Jesus said, This kind does not leave, but by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21). Fasting helps to break the bonds of wickedness, undo heavy burdens, and empower us to break every yoke (Isaiah 58:6).
Types of Fasts
Your personal fast should present a level of challenge, but it is very important to know your body and your options and, most importantly, to seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.
SOUL FAST: This fast is a great option if you do not have much experience fasting food, have health issues that prevent you from fasting food, or if you wish to refocus certain areas of your life that are out of balance. For example, you might choose to stop using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast and then carefully bring that element back into your life in healthy doses at the conclusion of the fast.
PARTIAL FAST: This fast is sometimes called the “Jewish Fast” and involves abstaining from eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to specific times of the day, such as 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sunup to sundown.
SELECTIVE FAST: This type of fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, and bread from your diet and consume water and juice for fluids and fruits and vegetables for food.
COMPLETE FAST: In this type of fast, you drink only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.
Timing of a Fast
At Echo City Church, we encourage fasting for 21 days starting in January. This is part of 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, a season of focused prayer as a church family. You may also choose to fast at other times during the year for your spiritual development. It’s very typical to fast a single meal, a whole day, or three days or more. The timing of your fast is not as important as the strength of your focus on God as you fast.