Fasting + Prayer
A core part of this season of discernment will be to seed into our minds and hearts
the spiritual-shaping that comes from exercising the disciplines of prayer and fasting.
Prayer is the work of aligning our hearts with the will and ways of God. It is creating space and place for us to quiet ourselves enough to hear God speak.
The accompanying discipline of fasting is rooted in self-denial and humility which stirs a greater spiritual awareness. One person said it to me this way, “when you deny in the physical, somehow the spiritual ear is more attuned to the presence and voice of God.
Option 1 | Thursday Fast
All Day or Lunch Only
January 4 Focus | Search Us
January 11 Focus | Break Us
January 18 Focus | Cleanse Us
January 25 Focus | Use Us
February 1 Focus | Send Us
Option 2 | 40 Day Fast
Full or Partial Fast
Saturday Morning Prayer Gatherings
These corporate times of focused prayer with other believers both encourage and strengthen the faith of the church Body. As we give up time to be with one another on Saturdays, we’ll begin to live with the conviction that prayer is the lifeblood of the church and have an expectancy that God will meet us in a special way when we gather in His name..
Saturday prayer gatherings will last an hour long, and feature different forms of prayer with one another each week.
January 6, 13, 20, 27
9 AM | Main Sanctuary
9 AM | Downhaus Hall
Concert of Prayer
The concert of prayer is a time when, under the direction of several leaders and often with a particular theme or focus, individual voices blend into a single offering to God. The concert of prayer is distinct from other gathering times as prayers are orchestrated with various blends of thanksgiving, praise, intercession, etc., being offered around a theme that has been impressed on the life of the leaders.
Like a symphony to God, the beauty of this comes as various perspectives, insights, and passions are heard through the voices of those seeking the will of God together. Prayers may be individual, with partners, or in small groups. In general, they are kept short so that all voices are heard. Prayers may be prayed through a song, extemporaneously, or through reading prayers from the Scripture or the saints. Often music encourages those gathered to raise their corporate voices in praise, worship and confession.
Just as rests are essential to a symphonic score, so too silence provides a pause in our seeking after God so that we can listen and discern His voice above all others. One last thing…in the word “concert” is the word “concerted.” There is a concerted effort and desire for unity. From all that is offered, God orchestrates His people to be of one mind and heart to rejoice, to repent, to make requests, and to intercede for others.
6 PM | Main Sanctuary
Fasting is a period of spiritual focus that is accomplished through a time of deliberate self-denial. A discipline taught in the Bible, fasting is an outward sign of an inward-focused attitude. It is not about doing without, it is about looking within. We live in an age that encourages self-indulgence but that focus does not provide a healthy environment for our prayer life. By going without food for a period, we are reminded of our dependence upon God. Fasting is a time when spiritual nourishment replaces physical nourishment. We substitute prayer for food. In doing so, we can build a closer relationship with God.
Fasting has been a long-standing Christian tradition. By intentionally denying our own needs and humbling ourselves for a period of time, we are better able to focus on God’s will and desires for our lives. We are following Jesus’ example when he spent 40 days in the desert striving to understand God’s will and calling upon his life. Fasting gives you more time for prayer. You can use the time you would normally spend eating as time in prayer for what God wants to do among us as we continue to actively Imagine a place where the Kingdom of God is manifesting among us.
No. It is considered a spiritual discipline and has been used with amazing results through the centuries. In fact, John Wesley would not ordain his preachers unless they agreed to fast two days per week.
If you have any medical problems, are on special medications, or if you are pregnant or nursing, we would invite you to enter into a special time of prayer without fasting. If in doubt, consult your physician.
Not usually. We would recommend this practice to adults and older youth. As adults fast, however, it offers a great opportunity to open the Bible and talk with our children about why we are doing this.
We recommend you begin with one meal in a day or a 24-hour fast on Thursdays during these 40 days together. That could begin after dinner one night and conclude with dinner the following night. Some choose to go from breakfast to breakfast.
We ask that you join us on Thursday of each week during this church-wide time of discernment between January 2 and February 10. Fasting dates in these 40 days would be January 4, 11, 18, 25, and February 1. Those who want to engage in longer and protracted fasting times should consult the instructions at collegechurch.com/fasting.
Look at the following scriptures or the articles provided at collegechurch.com/fasting.
Scripture References: Exodus 34:38, Matthew 4:2, Matthew 6:16-18, Mark 2:18-20, Luke 2:36-38, Acts 13:1-3, Acts 14:23.1
Scripture About Fasting
Here is a verse-by-verse list of Scriptures that mention fasting in both the OT and NT. Reviewing not only the reference, but the surrounding circumstances will encourage your heart and mind as you practice this spiritual discipline.
Richard Foster, “Fasting for the Lord”
Nazarene Missions International, “Refraining from Food for a Biblical Purpose”
Nazarene Missions International, “The Daniel Fast”
The Daniel Fast is a model or template for a way of Biblical fasting. It is a great article for those not able or wanting to completely abstain from food. The Daniel Fast is a 21-Day pattern for a Biblically-based partial fast. Many scriptures are included.