Fasting & Prayer Guide
What is fasting? Fasting is voluntarily going without food — or any other regularly enjoyed, good gift from God — for the sake of some spiritual purpose. Fasting draws us into a closer relationship with God and sharpens our focus to seek His perfect will in our daily lives.
Sometimes a fast is needed in order to petition God and to seek his favor for others. The early New Testament church fasted and prayed for Paul and Barnabas' ministry (Acts 13). Early believers also fasted and prayed when choosing leaders in the church (Acts 14:23). David fasted for the life of his baby through Bathsheba after he had committed adultery with her then set up having her husband killed in battle (2Samuel 12:15 - 16, 22). The people of Nineveh, a gentile nation, fasted for God's mercy (Jonah 3).
Fasting is meant to be a private act between us and God. We are warned by Jesus himself in Matthew 6:16-18 not boast to others that we are fasting in order to be seen by men. It is also important to remember that fasting is not an end unto itself. It should, of course, draw us close to God and focus our minds to think like he does. But it should ultimately lead us to help those who are oppressed, feeding those who are hungry, providing shelter for those who have none, and giving clothes to those who are in grave need (Isaiah 58:6 - 7).
1. Pick your fast.
2. Prepare for your fast.
3. Pray during your fast 10 minutes per day alone and with family.
1. Food: Abstain from eating meat, fried foods, and sweets.
2. Facebook: Abstain from viewing all social media and unnecessary electronics.
3. Finance: Only spend money on the bare necessities (e.g. bills, gas, groceries, etc).
Choose a specific place to pray away from distractions so you can concentrate. Ringing phones and crying children will sabotage your "quiet time" before it gets started.
Pray at the same time every day, if at all possible. Make it part of your regular routine and it will become habit. Write it into your schedule and then treat it just like a daily appointment.
Pray out loud. Many people can pray under their breath or in their minds for long periods and still maintain intensity, but for most of us it's a quick ticket to dreamland. When we pray out loud we have to form intelligent sentences. We have to concentrate more on what we're praying about.
Keep a notepad handy so you can jot down different things that come to mind while you're before the Lord. Sometimes you'll get great ideas totally unrelated to what you've been praying about. If you jot them down you can quickly get back to the topic at hand without being too distracted.
Make a list to keep track of your prayer needs. This can be done several ways. Prayer needs can be listed by category like "Church," "Family," or "Unsaved friends." Or they may be listed by the days of the week. Each day you pray for a different set of needs.
Suggested Prayer Model: A.C.T.S.
A.C.T.S. is an easy way to remember key elements of prayer. It’s simply prayer in four parts:
“Praise be to God!” — Psalms 68:35
Tell God how much you appreciate Him. Express your love for Him. Praise His power and majesty. This is a great way to begin your prayer time. Sometimes I watch the sun rise, and praise God for the beauty of His creation. You should never run out of praise. “How awesome are your deeds!” —Psalms 66:3
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” — 1 John 1:9
Tell Him where you have fallen short. Be specific. I thank Him for the forgiveness I have in Christ, and ask for help and strength to turn away from future temptations.
Always “glorify him with thanksgiving” — Psalms 69:30
You have plenty of reasons to be thankful. Thank God for His love, His faithfulness, His patience and a million other things. Express gratitude for what He’s doing in your life. Thank Jesus for dying on the cross for you. Thank the Holy Spirit for indwelling you, and never leaving. Thank Him for being your conscience, your counselor and that “still small voice.”
“Make your requests known to God.” — Philippians 4:6
Tell God what you want, no matter how small it seems to you. Do you really think any of your requests are big to God the Creator? You should have lots of intercessory prayer here. Remember: As a Promise Keeper, you are committed to pray for your pastor and your church every day.
Family Concerns; Health; Finances; Relationships; Safety & Protection; Against the devil and other satanic forces; Unsaved & Unchurched People; Our Nation; Creekstone Church Family & Leadership; Pastor & Family