WASHINGTON FREE METHODIST CHURCH

 

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WASHINGTON FREE METHODIST CHURCH

 

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jANUARY 1 THROUGH JANUARY 21 2023

 

21 DAYS OF PRAYER AND FASTING

let us draw near to God with glad and sincere hearts 

 

Matthew 6:16-18

16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Luke 18:9-14

9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

 

 WHY FAST

In Matthew 6:16, Jesus looks tells His followers, “When you fast” and proceeds to give specific instructions about how they are to fast and pray. It’s interesting that Jesus didn’t say ‘if’ you fast, He said ‘when’ you fast. This tells us that Jesus assumed His followers were going to fast. This means fasting is a spiritual discipline that every Christian must devote themselves to.

 

All throughout The Bible, God’s people consistently took time to fast and pray in order to grow closer to God and experience breakthroughs in specific areas. If you are wanting to deepen your relationship with God or see Him move supernaturally in a specific area, this is a great time to fast and pray.

 

WHAT IS FASTING

Fasting is a powerful spiritual discipline that aligns our hearts more closely with the heart of God and also empowers us to see breakthroughs in specific areas. Fasting is when we go without food (or specific types of food) for a period of time and instead direct our attention more fully to God. It helps us, as believers, to not be ruled by our physical desires but to grow in spiritual power and authority over the desires of our flesh.

 

TYPES OF FASTS

When deciding on a fast, seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.

 

Selective Fast

 

This type of fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, and bread from your diet and consume water and juice for fluids and fruits and vegetables for food.

Partial Fast

 

This fast is sometimes called the “Jewish Fast” and involves abstaining from eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to specific times of the day, such as 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sunup to sundown.

Complete Fast

 

In this type of fast, you drink only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.

Soul Fast

 

This fast is a great option if you do not have much experience fasting food, have health issues that prevent you from fasting food, or if you wish to refocus certain areas of your life that are out of balance. You might choose to stop using social media or watching tv for the fast and then carefully bring it back into your life at the conclusion of the fast.