Fasting and prayer are a powerful combination to lift our spiritual lives to a new level. We are more focused and intense as we deliberately set aside time to pray like this. The fasting side is intense in itself, but when mixed with prayer it adds another dimension of seriousness and passion to how we approach God. It is much like a week where we go away with our spouses and just spend time with each other. It elevates the marriage, and enhances the love between the two. So it is when we pray and fast for a prolonged period of time.
Think of the times in the Bible when there was prolonged fasting and prayer: Moses on Mount Sinai (twice) spent 40 days with God. This season altered the entire relationship they had with God and forged a new covenant for the nation with God for the next 1400 years. Elijah was 40 days alone with God launched the prophets’ school that gave a spiritual voice to a broken nation. Jehoshaphat called the nation to fast and pray due to a three nation alliance coming to destroy Judah. But God defeated this triad and gave King Jehoshaphat a great victory. Ezra was three days before God pleading for the nation and its recovery. Daniel spent 21 days praying about the future welfare of the Jews. Jesus spent 40 days of fasting before entering His public ministry. Each of these seasons launched great spiritual movements that had eternal impact.
What will happen if we seriously and passionately seek God this next week with a united theme to be inspirational this year. Let’s shake off the rags of stagnation and even toxicity. Let’s renew ourselves to be God’s people.
What will happen this week? Will God respond to our prayers and fasting? Will He hear us? His promise is that He will hear us and will do mighty things which we cannot even dream. Let us earnestly seek Him with all our hearts. Let us pray in faith. Those who come to God must pray in faith that He is and He will reward those who diligently seek Him. Make this a week that will be remembered in our history for the years to come. Let’s mark this week as the week when we as one people grabbed hold of God in a new way and encountered His presence, His love, His purpose, and power to accomplish something inspirational for His glory.
We on a personal level need this week. Our marriages need this week. Our families need this week. And so does our church.
Schedule when we will meet to pray collectively…
All of us
What is Biblical fasting? Fasting is voluntarily not eating food for a period of time. Consuming water, or some other fluid is acceptable and appropriate..
Warning: if you have medical problems or are using medications at this time consult your doctor first before engaging in fasting
Fasting is encouraged by Jesus, the apostles, OT leaders, and many church leaders throughout history as an important discipline for spiritual power, maturity, or progress in the work of God on earth. Fasting is not a way to make God love you more. Fasting does not impress God with your spirituality. Rather, fasting is needful for us because of our weakness and bent to love this world too much and let it distract us from eternal realities. We are admitting our need of Him. We are separating ourselves from our dependence on food for a short time to better separate ourselves to loving and serving God for eternity. Fasting is mixed with prayer for greater focus.
Read your 40 day Prayer Journal Day 1 Pg 22-23
Why do we need to pray? What is at stake?
The fulfillment of a promise.
New Year’s is when we make promises or resolutions that we hardly ever stick with.
What we need is God’s promise not our promises.
His promises change everything that is!
A man counted all the promises in the Bible and arrived at 7474. If that number is accurate it means there is an average of 6 promises per chapter. That means the Bible is loaded and overflowing with the abundant promises of God. 3800 times the Bible says, “God said”.
Day Two: Tuesday
Read Day 2 of your journal
Today let’s focus on the first part of the Promises of God. God has given us many promises that we can enjoy and experience a relationship with God Himself. I remind you of the three cultures we live in: toxic, stagnate, and inspirational. Which one accurately defines your relationship with God in 2018?
Toxic would be living in rebellion to God, addictions ruling, doubts winning over faith, defeated and discouraged most of the time, undisciplined in prayer and reading the word, not sharing your faith, etc.
Day 3 Wednesday
Read your journal Pg 26-27
What is knowing God?
Where do we learn who is God?
The Bible tells us to look for the knowledge of God in the following areas or arenas:
Day Four: Thursday
Read your journal Pg 28-29
In our quest to know God we can learn the knowledge of God in His names. God has many names that reveals who He is. The first of the big three is Elohim so named in Gen. 1:1 “In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth.”. It is the plural form of El and reinforces the root El meaning “power.” So Elohim is the fullness and superiority of God’s power witnessed by His biggest miracle in the OT, creation itself. God is eager for you to know He is powerful, in fact, All Powerful. He is the power above all other powers. There is no power greater than God, Elohim.
Day 5 Friday
Read your journal Pg 30-31
This week I was hoping that you were able to gain that precious knowledge of God. Knowing God is the most important discovery one could make. Where do we most clearly see this knowledge? In Christ Himself. He is the image of the invisible God, the radiance of His glory. Heb 1:1-3, Col. 1:15-18. Jesus is the most clarifying place to know God. Not just about God, but to know God as intimately as one can know another.