By Meredith Ryburn
Preparing for a time of prayer and fasting can seem overwhelming if you haven’t had a lot of practice. We want your 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting to be a success, so here are a few tips to help make sure you are ready.
What will you eat?
A huge part of fasting is the way that it disrupts our normal routines, shakes up our unconscious habits and causes us to refocus on God. Knowing before you start what your guidelines are will set you up for success. This year, corporately, we are doing a 21 Day Daniel’s Fast (Daniel 10) starting on Sunday January 12. Here is what to include and exclude from your regular diet:
Include - all fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, juiced or canned -- but watch out for added sugars), all whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, barley, grits, oats and plain popcorn), nuts and seeds, legumes (black beans, pinto beans, split peas, chickpeas, and lentils), quality oils (coconut, olive, sesame, etc) and natural herbs & spices.
Exclude - all meat products, dairy, all sweeteners (sugar, honey, molasses, agave, etc), all leavened bread, all processed foods, fried foods, caffeine and alcohol
When will you pray?
During these 21 days we are running after His presence in a deeper way, seeking to hear from God what His plans are for our lives. Be sure to plan ahead of time additional time each day to pray. In addition to your personal prayers, each day as a church we will have a specific prayer focus. Our intention for fasting is to draw closer to God and hear a vision from Him, so be sure to spend part of your time in prayer listening to what God is saying to you.
What are you asking?
As we begin our fasting and prayer spend some time writing out the questions and areas you are seeking God on for your life. Whether you like to keep it classic with a pen and notepad or you have a fancy app you use, write out specific questions. Each day during your time of prayer and listening, jot down the answers you are hearing.
Who will you partner with?
Everything is better with friends! Find a buddy and walk through your time of prayer and fasting together. There is power in partnering together in prayer (Matthew 18:20), having someone you trust to share with what you are believing to hear from God adds strength to your time of prayer and fasting.
How will you participate?
As always, we know there are sometimes things that keep us from being able to participate in the exact way as everyone else. But we believe in 100% participation, and that there is power in our unity. We want to encourage you to find a way to be part of these special days of prayer and fasting. Maybe you can set aside one meal each day, or eliminate only caffeine and sugar from your diet. However you choose to participate, find a way to be part.
Know that Phil and I are praying and believing that these 21 days of prayer and fasting will be a time of setting apart as we passionately pursue His presence. We are believing over your life that God will speak clearly and you will hear from Him in a way that defines your decade!
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.