JANUARY 9TH - 29TH
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
At the start of a new calendar year, we set aside some time to fast and pray in order to reset and realign ourselves with God. Come and join us as we put God first in our lives and make 2023 a year in which we devote ourselves to serving Him.
You can use the information on this page as a roadmap to a productive fast. As your fast progresses, check back here for regular updates for useful advice and links to additional materials.
Are you interested in receiving updates about our daily prayers and messages of encouragement throughout the fast? Join us by clicking the link below!
JOIN US FOR PRAYER
Click below every Tuesday at 12:15 PM to join us online for prayer!
As a result of the inclement weather, we have made the decision to hold tonight's prayer gathering exclusively online at 6:30 PM through the use of Zoom rather than in person. If you would like to pray with us today, January 25th, at 6:30 PM, click below.
Monday through Thursday, throughout the fast from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM beginning January 9th, the sanctuary will be open for individuals to pray at their own pace. Come as you are for a time of meditation and prayer. Park in the office lot and enter through the church office doors on Dussel Drive.
Morning prayer is held every Tuesday between 6:30 AM and 7:30 AM in Studio B, and evening prayer is held between 6:30 PM and 7:30 PM on Wednesdays in Studio B, all throughout the fast.
WHAT IS A FAST?
How you start something sets its course and plays a big role in how well it does in the long run. We want to set aside some time at the beginning of the year to pursue God on purpose as a group and as individuals. Throughout the Bible, we see both men and women praying and fasting.
Fasting is meant to bring you closer to God by taking away distractions and forcing you to depend on God for your food. During this time, we pray that you will see God in new and unfiltered ways. We think this time of fasting and praying together will strengthen your faith as a Christian.
It has less to do with eating less food and more to do with getting rid of noise and other things that get in the way. This helps us understand God better. It's about getting in the habit of focusing more of your attention on God and less on yourself.
During a fast, you should focus on listening to Jesus, meditating on and feasting on the Bible, and praying and worshipping to be in His presence more. As you become more spiritually aware and open to the Spirit during this time, your spiritual expectations will expand.
WHY DO WE FAST, AND WHAT IS THE PURPOSE?
When the Bible refers to fasting, it’s all about food and restricting all or some foods for spiritual purposes. Fasting is about more than just what we eat. It is also about our spiritual lives as Christians. You would just be dieting if you didn't change anything about your spiritual life. Even though you might lose weight during this time, that's not the point.
SHOW GRATITUDE THROUGHOUT YOUR FAST
We should be grateful for this time we can spend developing a deeper and stronger relationship with God. In Numbers 11, you’ll see that the Israelites spent their time groaning and complaining about the food they were unable to enjoy.
Gratitude and thanksgiving to God for a deeper knowledge of who He is and all that He has done for you should be your first thought every morning.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 | Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
DO NOT RUSH INTO YOUR FAST
The last meal or two before a fast should be carefully planned. Before beginning a fast, it is recommended that you reduce the size of your meal. Indulging in a sugar binge a day or two before a fast will only increase your cravings for sweets during the fast. You should start eating raw fruits and vegetables three days before you plan to start.
During this time, it is important to reflect on your spiritual goals. Having a goal in mind as you enter this time is helpful, whether that goal is the salvation of your loved ones, the improvement of your financial situation, or a closer walk with God. By setting a target, you can resist the urge to break the fast in the middle. While making preparations for your fast, take time to read the Bible and pray.
Confess your sins to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness. Forgive all who have offended you and ask forgiveness from those you may have offended (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3-4). Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ and reject the worldly desires that try to hinder you (Romans 12:1-2).
PREPARING NATURALLY - WHAT CAN I EAT AND DRINK?
During the 21-days you are to only eat fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Avoid "choice foods" such as meat, dairy, and sugars.
All fruits and vegetables. They can be frozen, dried, juiced, or canned. (Fast Tip: eating fruits and vegetables with more color is better for you).
All nuts and seeds. If you’re feeling hungry? Grab a serving size of mixed nuts, or try eating sugar-free nut butters such as peanut butter or almond butter. You may also want to try tahini (sesame seed paste). (Fast Tip: Nuts have a higher fat content, which satiates hunger pangs).
All legumes. Legumes are black beans, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, white beans, etc.
(Fast Tip: Incorporate hummus when meal planning. Legumes significantly replace essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, which is why you should try and consume them throughout your fast).
All quality oils, such as olive oil, canola, coconut, peanut, and sesame. (Fast Tip: use a mixture of olive oil and vinegar on mixed vegetables, legumes, and other cooked vegetables for lunch or dinner).
Liquids Drink lots of water - You can be creative and use fruits or even some vegetables to add natural flavor. Drinking juice is allowed during the fast in addition to water. You should avoid drinking beverages containing caffeine, high sugar or alcohol.
All Soy foods such as tofu, TVP (textured veg protein), and other soy products. (Fast Tip: adding tofu to your vegetable will increase the protein value and flavor of your meal).
When using condiments, try to use fresh herbs and spices whenever possible. (Fast Tip: Spices like fresh ginger help with digestion)
HOW DO I FAST?
Whether this is your first time participating in a spiritual fast or your eleventh, spend time deciding which pace works for your spiritual and physical health*
- 21-Day Daniel fast (no meat, sugar, bread | eat fruits and vegetables, water, and juice)
- 21-Day Partial fast (juice & water only from 6 AM to 6 PM)
- 21-Day Full fast (juice and water only)
- Other: Choose something sacrificial that you want to give up throughout these 21 day
*Use wisdom when beginning your fast; consult with your healthcare advisor before participating.
WHEN DOES THE FAST BEGIN?
The fast begins on Monday, January 9th, and ends on Sunday, January 29th.
Here are a few resources to help you throughout your fast:
• Bible Project: Feasting & Fasting podcast
• Snack Ideas
Each day during the fast, tune in to our podcast for daily guided prayer. This will be a time focused on a specific topic that will walk you through prayer and meditation each day. Download our podcast here, or click below to listen now.
We invite you to enjoy music during your fast that will prompt reflection, adoration, and gratitude. May you find it uplifting and refreshing during this time in God.