Day 1 – Preparing to Fast
Preparing To Fast
“Declare a holy fast! Call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.” Joel 1:14
“Be Still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46
If you were not with us yesterday you may not have heard directly that we have set apart this week as a community to fast and pray. We typically have a time of fasting and prayer corporately at the start of each year, and this year we sensed to start a bit later in January. We are inviting all of us to come before God and consecrate ourselves to Him in the upcoming year of life and ministry. It is a time when we corporately come into agreement and believe together for breakthroughs in our personal lives, families, and our spiritual family.
How to participate:
Day 1 – Preparing To Fast: – If you’re a rookie at fasting, or a seasoned vet, I would encourage us all to read through one of articles on the UChurch web site. For a condensed summary pick one of the previous years guides (2013 is my personal favorite). These will remind you of the biblical reasons this discipline is so powerful, and are full of all the practical things you need to understand to experience a healthy and transformative week.
Ask God to show you what would be the best for you this week; length, type etc.
Before I began my journey of faith, I had never known of fasting as more than a weight lost tactic. When I began read the word and began to hear the amazing testimonies of ordinary people through history what had happened as a result of concentrating heart, mind, soul and body on God – I was stoked. Simple knowing Jesus gained spiritual power after he fasted and prayed was enough for me to leap in. Dr. Bill Bright nailed the simple reason for me in this quote.
“Fasting reduces the power of self so that the Holy Spirit can do a more intense work within us”. – Bill Bright. Sign me up.. I am all info being transformed. Key is: do the type of fast that works for you healthy wise and work wise.
What happens Next ? – Each day this week I will send out an email with a daily guide (posted on the web as well) that will have some personal encouragements to pray on and some sections of scripture to read. I will be including some of the prophetic words God has given to this UChurch tribe over the years.
These words describe Gods heart, his affirming of who we are as his children as part of the larger body of Christ and they describe an incredible future of how & where he is leading us as a community. God knows how he made us each individually (gifts, talents, experiences, passions) and he knows why he would have knit our lives together “for such a time as this”. This part of the daily post I will ask you to consider praying about in how you fit with your unique passions, gifting’s and experiences.
Remember, God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies those he calls. As you read and pray over these words, I know he will start calling you into new places knowing you will have ‘spiritual family’ to help equip and support you !
We sense some exciting steps will unfold in 2016 for those who have “ears to hear and eyes to see”.
For all of us, this week will be ongoing steps of personal freedom; it will be a clear commissioning for those seeking direction in ministry; but most importantly of all; it will lead and draw you further into the intimacy with the one who made you, loved and you and designed you. How crazy good is that! The very kingdom of God; peace, joy and right relationships will grow deeper within your heart !
See you soon
Ponder and Pray:
Consider praying the Disciples prayer (Matt 6:9-13 very slowly) – surrender your heart to each line and listen – he is thrilled you would put aside distractions and worldly pleasures to be with him. Listen and write what he gives you down.
Ponder this quote from Brennan Manning as you prepare to start your fast.
“The gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died, and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make brand-new creation. Not to make people with better morals but to create a community of prophets and professional lovers, men and women who would surrender to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within, who would live in ever greater fidelity to the omnipresent Word of God, who would enter into the center of it all, the very heart and mystery of Christ, into the center of the flame that consumes, purifies, and sets everything aglow with peace, joy, boldness, and extravagant, furious love. This, my friend, is what it really means to be a Christian.”
― Brennan Manning, The Furious Longing of God