Prayer and Fasting

What is fasting?

Fasting and abstaining from food helps us realize the physical need our bodies have to be nourished. Our weakness without food is meant to move us toward a greater understanding of all our spiritual needs as well, which is our need to feed upon Christ and rely upon him for our spiritual nourishment. Our task is to seek God's kingdom and to hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matt 5:6). So when you are physically hungry during the fast, pray that Christ would feed you with his word to meditate on. Let your stomach remind you to pray about these Biblical convictions that we are praying through together.

What should one fast for and when?

Fasting is a spiritual discipline that moves us toward a greater dependence on Christ. Contrary to popular misconceptions, fasting is not reserved for a certain subset of Christians; Jesus himself often spoke about fasting as something that is expected for all believers. There are a number of reasons why one should fast: to strengthen prayer, to seek God's guidance in a particular matter, to express repentance, to humble oneself, and to overcome temptation. Oftentimes, we should rely upon the Spirit's guidance and the wise counsel of godly leaders as we try to determine when and how long we should fast.

Example of a Fasting Guide:

In 2024, our church began the practice of fasting through biblical convictions that we believe are presented in the Scriptures for us to maintain as a church. Below are a few of those convictions and the guide we provided the church. We hope this guides helps to create a pattern for how you can pray and fast for the church, your family, or for whatever the Lord might lead you.

Three core convictions that we are praying and fasting about.
1. Pray that we would be committed to God Centered Corporate Worship

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Rom 12:1–2.

Through him (Christ) then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.” Heb 13:15

What characterizes corporate worship according to the New Testament?
  • Teaching the Scriptures for spiritual nourishment (1 Tim 4:1–16)
  • Teaching the Scriptures to equip the saints for the work of ministry (Eph 4:11–13)
  • Singing praise to God with Thanksgiving (Col 3:16)
  • Praying with the body in unity (Acts 2:42–47; 1 Tim 2:1–2, 8)
  • Participating in the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper together (Matt 28:19; 1 Cor 11:17–34)
  • Stirring one another up to love and good works (Heb 10:24–25)
Prayer points for Corporate Worship:
  • Pray that we would faithfully preach, learn, and grow in our understanding of the glorious gospel of God (Father, Son, Spirit) together.
  • Pray that God would be glorified in this body of believers and that our faith in him would grow, producing a deeper and increasing love and consideration for one another.
  • Pray that we would consider what God has designed for his people and continue to gather and spur one another on to love and good works.
  • Pray that God would grant us repentance where we have not prioritized corporate worship.
2. Pray that we would practice Meaningful Membership for the Spiritual Good of Others

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.Heb 10:24–25

What characterizes membership for the spiritual good of others according to the New Testament?
  • Baptized into one body, drinking from One Spirit, and united with one mind (1 Cor 12:12–13; Eph 4:5–6; Phil 2:2)
  • Loving one another as Christ has loved us (John 13:34–35)
  • Living for others, and not the self (Phil 2:3–5)
  • Serving one another in love (Gal 5:13, 14)
  • Carrying one another's burdens (1 Cor 16:1–2; Gal 6:1–2)
  • Being tender hearted towards one another (1 Pet 3:8)
  • Interacting with one another so as to teach, disciple, encourage and admonish one another (Col 3:16; 2 Tim 3:16–18; Matt 28:18–20; Titus 2:1–10: 2 Tim 2:2)
Prayer points for Meaningful Membership
  • Pray that we would be mindful of God so that we may be intentional to care for one another as Christ has cared for us.
  • Pray that we would be a people marked by prioritizing the interests and needs of others over our own.
3. Pray that we (pastors) would exercise Godly Leadership and Oversight

"And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, Until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Eph 4:11–16

What characterizes godly oversight according to the New Testament?
  • Men faithfully living out the qualifications of the overseer (1 Tim 3:1–7; Titus 1:6–9)
  • Shepherding the specific flock we are entrusted with (1 Pet 5:2)
  • Overseeing all members of the specific flock as each are important to God (Heb 13:17)
  • Feed the flock (1 Tim 4: 11–16; 1 Tim 5:17)
  • Protect the flock (Psalm 23; 1 Tim 4:11–16; Titus 1:9b; 1 Pet 5:1–4)
  • Know the flock (Heb 13:17)
  • Pray for the flock (Acts 6:1–6)
  • Examples for the flock (Heb 13:7)
  • Lead the flock (1 Tim 5:17)
  • Equip the whole body for the work of ministry (Eph 4:11–13)
  • Entrust certain men with godly leadership (2 Tim 2:2)
  • *Though a servant role and not a leadership role, we desire to be served by faithful deacons who consider the whole flock’s needs (Acts 6; 1 Tim 3:8–13)
Prayer points for Godly Leadership
  • Pray that we would continue to grow in our oversight of the whole flock, for God’s glory and the good of every church member.
  • Pray that we would be wise, exercising oversight willingly but not under compulsion, and eagerly, but not for shameful gain, examples to you, but not domineering.
  • Pray that Christ would be our greatest affection.

What songs could we sing to lead our hearts to pray?

  • What a Friend we have in Jesus

What other resources can help me learn more about fasting?

What if my physical health would keep me from fasting?

There are other things you can fast from:

  • Technology
  • Entertainment
  • Social Media/News
  • Certain Foods
  • Or fast from anything that tempts you to depend upon more than Christ.
  • Regarding food fasts, if there are other times or days that work better for your schedule, please apply to your life accordingly.

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