Focusing on the new year for us means more than just setting goals and resolutions! As believers in Christ we are called to fast and pray. This is not a new fad, or a way to drop a couple pounds. In fact, it’s an ancient biblical principle, and it’s still relevant for us today! During the week of fasting and prayer our goal is to refocus, renew, and refresh our soul for the year ahead! We have seen great things happen as a result of this small sacrifice. It may seem strange, but I guarantee this is game changer for us as we prepare for our goals ahead. If you want to draw closer to God, watch Him move in your life, take BIG steps in your faith, or you even need a transforming miracle in your life, this is one way we have seen God do those things! We hope this post will also inspire you to refocus your priorities, renew your mind in God’s word, and refresh your soul in exactly the way you need it!
Keep reading and you will find out more about fasting, the importance of prayer, and practical steps and tips to keep you going!
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1
Fasting and Prayer: How to Refocus, Renew and Refresh Your Soul
WHAT IS FASTING?
Fasting is “giving up” something or temporarily abstaining from something in order to focus and rely on God. It could be food, an activity, or anything that may often take up our time and even distract us from seeking God. It’s a physical act that brings spiritual rewards. So many times our guilty pleasures become”addictions” and can take up so much of our time and focus! Fasting helps you focus on God, read the Bible, and pray for the future. It’s a SACRIFICE of the flesh and denying the flesh is a struggle…..which is why this is not for the “faint of heart”. It’s downright tough sometimes, but remember “all things are possible with God” and it’s temporary!
Hebrews 13:15-16 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
John 6:51 “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”
Prayer is the KEY and fasting would be pointless without it! Prayer is talking to God and seeking guidance in every area of life. During the fast you are relying on God for comfort, this is where the supernatural takes over and things really start to happen! Ask God to help you during the fast! The prayers are what help satisfy us physically and spiritually, bringing us comfort to get through these days. It can be uncomfortable physically and mentally, but I promise it is WORTH IT! The extra time that you have ,from not cooking, eating, and cleaning is the time to set aside to be in prayer.
To help, we will be designating EACH DAY with a PRAYER FOCUS and you are welcome to try this too! See the weekly prayer list below and make it your own!
Philippians 4:3 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.
WHY WE CHOOSE TO FAST AND PRAY?
2017 holds so many unknowns, but what we do KNOW is that “GOD can do in a moment, what we CAN’T DO in a lifetime!” There is no better way to get alined with God and set aside this week to refocus our life, renew our minds and refresh our soul!
Starting our new year with a week of fasting and prayer is the perfect way to get our priorities straight and seek God for wisdom for all the things to come. This is SO important as we are stepping out in faith in many areas of life, seeking clarity for big life decisions, and receiving God’s wisdom. Every time we fast and pray, we see BIG things happen and grow spiritually. Spiritual growth is key in our Christian “walk” and if we aren’t growing, then it’s easy to become stagnant. Fasting and prayer is a re-calibrating of the spirit, mind, and body and beautiful miracles are always involved in some way!
Ephesians 6:12 –“we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. “
Hebrews 4:16- Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
HOW TO FAST AND PRAY
The Bible gives examples of people fasting for one day, three days, seven, and even forty days! There is no right or wrong way to do it as long as you are seeking God and praying! Ask God what you should FAST from and do that! It may be a meal, watching television, social media, or something else. No matter what you decide to fast, just make sure you are giving that time over to God in prayer. Give it a try and see what kind of experience you have. It may not be easy but it will be worth it! You can customize your week however you feel will best suit you and your relationship with God! You don’t have to give up all food or all media, it’s a PERSONAL thing, but it’s proven to be a huge blessing for us and KNOW God will do amazing things in you!
BEFORE FASTING AND PRAYER
- Consider your schedule- make sure you are able to commit the time and that it won’t affect others.
- Plan your weekly prayer focus- (see below) write down your prayer requests under each day.
- Journal- use a journal to keep track of the prayer requests, write down your thoughts and prayers throughout the day.
- Bible and Devotional- have God’s word ready for you to read and “feed” your soul as you go. God speaks to you through His Word.
- CLICK HERE for a FASTING & PRAYER guide to help you through it!
WEEKLY PRAYER FOCUS AT A GLANCE: Here is what we plan to spend each day praying about this week. Feel free to use this or create your own with areas in your life where you want to see God work and have spiritual guidance.
Tuesday: Work, business, and people
Wednesday: Future plans, wants, desires
Thursday: Fears and the unknown things ahead
Friday: All of the above or just BE STILL and ask God to speak to you!
EXAMPLE OF CAMILLE’S DAILY ROUTINE:
- Wake up and listen to my daily Bible verses on my phone (Audio) as I get ready (download on app store)
- Drink my coffee/with scoop of protein and a piece of fruit
- Drink water and herbal tea ALL DAY
- At lunch, read my Prayer and Fasting Daily Reading, Prayer List, and write down people and things in Journal
- Protein shake and fruit (if needed)
- At dinner, continue with no food or have a fruit, vegetable/salad, or protein shake
- Maybe go to the gym and walk or do a light workout
- In the evening, read my current book, pray, and go to bed early
TIPS: Un-Plug from all things that take time away from God!
- Turn off the TV
- Log-out of Social Media
- No Secular Music
- Rest Often: Don’t over-do physical activity or intense workouts
- Be Active: Get outside and take a walk if you can and enjoy the outdoors
- Keep it personal: Don’t tell the world! Try to only tell your spouse, significant other, or spiritual leaders/friends. Others may not understand and this is not for pity or attention and in fact the Bible (Matt. 6:16) tells you not to draw attention to yourself during this time of fasting.
REMEMBER: This is an act of faith, a sacrifice that God asks us to make when we are seeking His will and answers in our lives. Expect great things and don’t be discouraged along the way. This is next level Christianity, so don’t be discouraged if you struggle! It’s in the struggle that God helps you, shows you more of yourself, and carries you through until the end.
BREAKING THE FAST
We will break the fast Friday with our family for dinner! This is a great time to share a meal with those you love and even share the insights and wisdom you have gained that week! Even if you don’t do a full week of fasting, we would challenge you to set aside some time, give up something that has taken over your free time and BE STILL, pray, read, and mediate on God and the scripture.
“So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and he heard our prayer” Ezra 8:23
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE DONT’ HESITATE TO ASK! IF YOU WANT US TO PRAY FOR YOU DURING OUR TIME OF FASTING AND PRAYER WE WOULD LOVE TO! PLEASE EMAIL OR COMMENT AND WE WILL PUT YOU ON OUR PRAYER LIST!