Fasting and Prayer: Follow up and 10 Reasons You Should Fast and Pray

Fasting and Prayer: Follow up and 10 Reasons You Should Fast and Pray

Last week we took some time to seek God and break away from the distractions of life!  This is an annual thing that we use to refresh ourselves mentally and physically and seek God’s wisdom for the new year! We each took a unique approach to this week of fasting and prayer and we want to share our experience’s with you.  Every day was different and there were times of peace and joy and times of hunger and heaviness.  But through it all, we agree that it was completely worth it and even bittersweet as we returned to our lives of social media and making meals!  In the previous post we explained why and how to fast and pray! Continue reading as we recap some of our week and 10 reasons you should fast and pray!

OUR FASTING AND PRAYER EXPERIENCE

FASTING AND PRAYER

CAMILLE


How did you choose to fast?

I chose to do the partial fast schedule mentioned in the first post! I had primarily liquid throughout the day like coffee, water, and tea.  After my evening prayer time I would have a salad, fruit, or vegetables.  I work full time as a teacher and it was the only way to keep me going as I was home with my family at dinner.

What was your week like?

The first few days were tough getting used to it and Wednesday was probably the hardest day for me.  It wasn’t so much being too hungry, by then I felt good physically.  Wednesday was the day that I seemed to feel the “heaviest” spiritually and really needed to spend more time with God in the evening praying about some of the things that were on my heart.

Did you notice anything different about your experience than previous times?

This year’s week of fasting was not as physically difficult than years past.  It seemed to get better and easier as the week went on! Which I think is amazing, because you would think it would get more difficult throughout the week .

What areas of prayer did you feel like God was speaking to you?

The BIGGEST area of my life that I feel God was speaking to me about was my job.  I have been teaching high school for 10 years and I have known for the last couple years that a change was coming in that area of my life.  However, I haven’t had full clarity on that, I know that I feel it even stronger than ever! I want to live out the purpose for my life and being obedient to that is what I have to do.  The most difficult thing about that is understanding WHEN and HOW!  I am still seeking God for the wisdom I need to know when I should stop and how I will financially take care of my family without that income for a while.

What was helpful for you during this week?

The most helpful part of the week was having others that were also fasting and praying to support each other and pray together! There were moments where we would text each other and ask for prayer or share how the days were going.  It was so nice to have that support and group to turn to in the weakest moments!

LINDSEY


How did you choose to fast?

My husband and I decided to do a partial fast! We did liquids only throughout the day and then had a clean (non-indulgent) meal in the evening. We chose to have chicken, rice and a vegetable each night. We stuck to water, coffee, tea and beef broth otherwise. Our biggest distraction and what we chose to abstain from all week long was social media and television. We took those times to spend time with God and reconnect with each other as a family.

What was your week like?

My week overall was wonderful and always is, incredibly eye opening. The first day is typically the hardest without social media or entertainment. You feel like you aren’t quite sure what to do with yourself in the in between moments. I found myself reaching for my phone out of habit during any moment during the day when there was a “pause” or “waiting” time. It’s always makes me quite sad to realize how not “present” I am in the in between moments. Hunger wasn’t a huge issue for me. It’s incredible how much God will fill that feeling. Wed and Fri were the hardest days for me spiritually. I felt those two days were the days I had to push past a breaking point to receive what God wanted me to receive.

Did you notice anything different about your experience than previous times?

This year I settled in to the week much quicker. I had been feeling unsettled for some time about my overall daily routine before we decided to fast. I knew that I had been caught up in things like social media, mindless entertainment, and distractions but I was in a vicious circle that I couldn’t get out of or chose not to. This time really helped me to realize how much I need to start and end my day with HIM! That I NEED to be in HIS word daily. It is the medicine for all of our spiritual ailments. To know HIS word is to know HIM and it’s one of the greatest gifts he has given us. I think that this year’s experience will help me to create those habits that I crave and yearn for the remainder of the year.

What areas of prayer did you feel like God was speaking to you?

Man God really worked me over this year. I was fasting and praying for clarity on some major business stuff happening this year, which I feel we all received. BUT the biggest thing God showed me was how much he want’s me to be in HIS WILL! Being in HIS WILL was on repeat for me this week. I sometimes get bogged down with too many sermons, too many teachings, too much advice on how to serve HIM the “right” way that I can feel paralyzed with what to do. I feel he spoke to me and said as long as you SEEK ME above all else and strive each and every moment of every day to be in MY WILL everything else will fall into place.

What was helpful for you during this week?

The most helpful part of this week was doing it with my support systems. My husband fasted for the first time and to connect on that level with him was amazing. Also, being able to meet with Camille to pray and support each other is priceless. To have friends that you can connect with in such a deep, personal way is truly the biggest blessing in life.

CAIT


How did you choose to fast?

I chose to do a nontraditional fast as it relates to food and drink.  I fasted from Social Media, secular music and anything that wasn’t stricly in our meal plan. We continued to lift and workout hard all week so rather than doing a traditional food fast, we kept our meal plan super strict and I used the extra time I had not using social media (there was a lot!) to pray and spend time with the Lord.

What was your week like?

Overall it was really great, eye-opening and challenging.  I felt God near and his unfailing faithfulness all week.  I felt MUCH more in tune to His spirit and where/when/how He was guiding me. I also experienced challenges in the areas of prayer that I was focusing on- which seems to happen a lot 😉 however my response to the challenges/conflict was with a much better and loving perspective.

Did you notice anything different about your experience than previous times?

This was the first year I have participated and still ate, the first two years that Kody and I participated we did a strict food fast and only had water and peppermint tea.  This year was very interesting and eye opening for me in that no matter what you choose to give up, or whatever way in faith you decide to step out that God will meet you and His faithfulness will be so humbling and encouraging.  It makes me want to do this several times a year even if it’s for short periods just to be still and close and LISTEN.

What areas of prayer did you feel like God was speaking to you?

I felt God speaking to me the most in family- both our little family unit of 3, our extended family and into the family business (Kody’s landscaping business). I was just stopped- and made to focus and be so very grateful for exactly where we are (i.e. thanking God for the fleas- see Corrie Ten Boom for full story! it’s INCREDIBLE) and to put full faith and hope in HIM and Him alone.  There was such peace about it and about the future of Kody’s business (he does landscaping while working on his Social Work internship hours and starting the Masters program) and right now there’s about a foot of snow on the ground and there has been for WEEKS.  I know that this crazy winter is intentional and that we will come through with work, and in ways we can’t plan or imagine because it is our job to be faithful in HIS plan.

What was helpful for you during this week?

Our little BA community and our regular conversations, prayer request shares, and the solidarity.  The fact that I was not tempted AT ALL to look at social media was a shock to me (I’m on WAY more than I’d like to admit) and like whoa- thanks God, this is incredible and such a small morsel of tangible change that I’m going to take and run with.  Finally, seeing Evie respond to praying with me (by showing me her prayer hands and whispering Jeeesssuuussss about melted my heart and made me want to never stop.

Many people fast for different reasons and through different times throughout the year. If you aren’t sure if fasting and prayer is right for you, we have compiled a list of 10 REASONS FOR YOU TO FAST AND PRAY! Ultimately God will lead you when the right time to fast and pray will be. Listen to what the Holy Spirit is calling you to do and how you should approach this time honored tradition!

10 Reasons for You to Fast and Pray

Isaiah 58 is a verse by verse for the answers to exactly when you may want to try fasting and prayer!

  1. When caught in a sinful pattern, that you can’t break!
  2. When there is a heavy burden that you cannot shake!
  3. When you’re feeling oppressed by the world.
  4. When we want to give to someone else and bless others!
  5. When we need to be encouraged.
  6. When an answer to prayer is needed.
  7. When we need to examine ourselves and look deeper into our lives.
  8. When we need God’s direction for life’s big decisions!
  9. When we need spiritual restoration, renewed mind, and refreshed soul!
  10. When we need revival!

Thank you all for letting us share with you this extremely personal experience and we hope that we have inspired you to sacrifice and give up anything that is distracting you from HIM!

WE LOVE LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! HAVE YOU FASTED AND PRAYED THIS YEAR?! WHAT AREA’S DO YOU FEEL GOD WAS SPEAKING TO YOU?!

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1 Comment

  1. Caryn
    January 24, 2017 / 2:40 am

    You ladies are a breath of fresh air! Wow, great post! I love seeing the Lord speak to and work through His people. There is POWER in prayer and reading His word.

    “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
    ‭‭(James‬ ‭5:16‬)

    “But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” (Exodus 9:16)

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