It’s Time to Fast!
As we approach Easter, I’m asking our church family to fast and pray. We will set aside April 4-13 to fast together. You may be asking: Why should we do this? How should we fast?
Webster's definition for “fast” in this context is “To abstain from food; to eat sparingly or abstain from some foods.”
Fasting is mentioned throughout the Bible, and there are many answers as to why we should fast. Jesus fasted to prepare for ministry (Matthew 4:1-17, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-14). Paul and Barnabus fasted and prayed over the elders that they had appointed to the churches (Acts 14:23). The Israelites fasted day and night to win a victory (Judges 20:26). Ezra fasted and prayed for protection and safe travels (Ezra 8:21-23). Nehemiah fasted to mourn the state of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1:1-4). Anna, an 84-year old prophetess, worshiped God with fasting and prayer, never leaving the temple.
Jon Courson said this - “How long has it been since you’ve said No to your stomach? How long has it been since you’ve said, ‘I’m going to use the hour I would have spent feeding my growling, demanding stomach in order to pull away and pray for my family, for the community, and for myself because I’m struggling with this temptation or that addiction?’...When you say No to your stomach regularly, you’ll be amazed how much easier it will be to say No to the other temptations which plague you.”
So what do you fast from? Some might give up all food for those 10 days! Some might give up one or two meals each day. Some might give up sugars and caffeine. Some may follow a plan like “The Daniel Fast” which eliminates certain food groups. Maybe you need to stop watching T.V. or quit scrolling through Facebook or Instagram.
By the way…fasting should be uncomfortable! Choose something that will be meaningful enough to cause you to seek the Lord and draw closer to Him!
The most important reason to fast: Jesus expects us to! In Matthew 6 He tells us how to pray, how to give, and how to fast. But these three items were not requests. Jesus said WHEN you pray…WHEN you give…and WHEN you fast. He said:
“...when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:16-18
Fast for your ministry! Be thinking of the people in your life that you can invite to Easter Service! Think about the people that will be at Grace Church or watching online on Easter Sunday. Fast for our church leaders, staff, and volunteers. Fast for the state of our country and the world. Fast to spend more time worshiping God!
I look forward to our time fasting together, and I know that God will reward our church! If you have more questions, please call the church office - we would be glad to help you!
Praying For You!
P.S. Always check with your doctor before making major changes to your diet. Wisdom.