This year we are inviting the church family at Sonrise to conduct 4 fasts throughout the year of a length of 3-7 days. I wanted to share some of the heart behind these fasts and some great resources with you.
Why the 3-7 Fast?
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. Matthew 6:16-18 NIV
Jesus taught us in the Sermon on the Mount about fasting. He said, “when you fast…” He is implying that fasting would be a part of a lifestyle for followers of Jesus. Fasting is the most dynamic and challenging spiritual discipline in my opinion and theological understanding. If there was a short cut to spiritual breakthrough, it would be through humility, prayer and fasting. Fasting is an intentional time to deprive yourself of food so that you can give yourself to humility, prayer, confession of sin and worship. Jesus, Moses, Elijah and Paul the apostle all practiced fasting as a spiritual discipline and means of grace.
We have selected a length of 3-7 days because it is a good training ground for fasting that would be safe for most people. Fasting should be entered into under the guidance of a doctor if done for more than 3 days. There are several fasts stated in the Bible that range from a total fast of no food or water for three days in Esther to 21 days of a partial fast in Daniel to the 40 day fast of Jesus in the gospels. I would encourage you to prayerfully consider fasting 3-7 days (or longer if you are led) with
- A water only fast
- A juice fast
- A Daniel fast (no meats, dairy or sweets)
- An intermittent fast (no breakfast and/or lunch, or one meal a day)
Our dates for fasting are:
- January 8-14
- March 27 – April 2
- July 9-15
- September 24-30
For this first fast in January 8-14, I am asking that we as a church focus on:
- Repentance, revival and awakening in our nation.
- Our heart for the house offering on March 7 to begin our Sonrise building expansion
- The prayer networks of America would be strengthened
- The church would know how to practice hospitality even with people who have different beliefs
- The church would not compromise her beliefs and would stand up for her convictions even when their is opposition.
Here are some of my favorite resources on fasting that I encourage you to dig into:
- The International House of Prayer in Kansas City has one of the best free overviews of fasting that I have seen: https://www.ihopkc.org/about/fasting-guidelines-and-information/
Videos on fasting benefits and instruction:
- 4 Keys to Fast Effectively with Instant Results – Dr. Myles Munroe
- Why You Must Pray with Fasting – Dr. Myles Munroe
- The Insane Benefits of Water-Only Fasting – Dr. Alan Goldhamer