Week of Prayer & Fasting | January 13-17

Introduction

Have you ever spent time with someone and come away with a smile on your face, maybe even feeling warm and fuzzy on the inside? You walked away with a feeling of contentment and joy because there was something about being with them that was just good. Spending time with them was good for your heart and soul because it was just a delight to be with them. It left you longing for more.

Imagine if our relationship with Jesus was like that. Imagine if we created time within our frantic schedules to just sit with Jesus and enjoy His company. Not “when I have time I’ll get to it” … but intentionally carving out time to sit and be with Him. We were created to be in a relationship with God – a relationship that’s deep and meaningful, full of pure joy and delight.

This week, let’s be still and acknowledge who God is. Let’s expect God to show up in our lives and anticipate what He has for us. And let’s be obedient to what He shows us and calls us to.

May we choose to slow down; to focus our time and attention on the One who created us and who longs to be with us just because He loves us.

Opportunities to Pray Together

EVENING PRAYER
January 11-16, 2020
7:00-9:00 pm
Meeting Place 2, FAC Deerfoot Campus
All are welcome to use this space for quiet prayer; prayer team members will be available to pray with and for you. Come as you’re able.

PRAYER GATHERING
Friday, January 17, 2020
7:00 pm, Harvest Rooms, FAC Deerfoot Campus
No cost or registration
Join us as we end our week of Prayer & Fasting together as one church body.

 

Intro | What is Fasting | Prayer Guide | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday


Prayer Guide

Regardless of how long or if you choose to fast, we encourage everyone to engage in 5 days of prayer  January 13-17, 2020 as we seek God’s transforming power individually and as a community at FAC.

 

Monday, January 13

As we anticipate God moving and revealing Himself, we each need to ask ourselves: Am I serious about seeking after God? Am I willing to get serious? Do I want God to do things for me or do I want to actually know God more? There’s a difference between knowing of someone and actually knowing someone. You get to know someone by spending time with them and listening to what they have to say. The same is true when you seek after God. As you intentionally seek after God and anticipate Him revealing Himself to you, you’ll find Him.

 “When you search for Me, you will find Me; if you seek Me
with all your heart …” (Jeremiah 29:13, NRSV)

  1. Relax. Be still and quiet. Slow your mind and heart. Prepare your heart. Take a few deep breaths and wait on God.
  2. Listen to/for God. Ask, “Lord, what do You want to say to me?” Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes & heart to see God’s truth.
  3. Read the verse. Read through the above verse a few times. Read quietly to yourself, then read it out loud.
  4. Reflect on the verse.
    What’s impacting you from this verse?
    What is God saying to you through this verse?
    Is there a truth here you need to apply to your life?
  5. Record what God did. What did God say to you through this verse?

 

Intro | What is Fasting | Prayer Guide | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Tuesday, January 14

God is good. He is a good God. Do we really believe that? When we can live in the truth that God is good we come to see Him as the One who loves us, who knows what is best for us, who is able to guide us along the best pathway for our lives. When we truly believe God is good, we can trust Him in every moment, no matter what’s going on in our lives.

“For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and
His faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 100:5, NRSV)

  1. Relax. Be still and quiet. Slow your mind and heart. Prepare your heart. Take a few deep breaths and wait on God.
  2. Listen to/for God. Ask, “Lord, what do You want to say to me?” Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes & heart to see God’s truth.
  3. Read the verse. Read through the above verse a few times. Read quietly to yourself, then read it out loud.
  4. Reflect on the verse.
    What’s impacting you from this verse?
    What is God saying to you through this verse?
    Is there a truth here you need to apply to your life?
  5. Record what God did. What did God say to you through this verse?

 

Intro | What is Fasting | Prayer Guide | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Wednesday, January 15

We live in a broken world. And because of that we have to walk through broken circumstances in our lives. Sometimes those circumstances are the result of our own choices and sometimes they are the result of the choices of others. Regardless of which it is, the end result is the same in that those circumstances keep us from God. Nothing we feel or think or do can keep us from how much God loves us and wants to be with us.

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? … I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. (Romans 8:35-39 NLT)

  1. Relax. Be still and quiet. Slow your mind and heart. Prepare your heart. Take a few deep breaths and wait on God.
  2. Listen to/for God. Ask, “Lord, what do You want to say to me?” Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes & heart to see God’s truth.
  3. Read the verse. Read through the above verse a few times. Read quietly to yourself, then read it out loud.
  4. Reflect on the verse.
    What’s impacting you from this verse?
    What is God saying to you through this verse?
    Is there a truth here you need to apply to your life?
  5. Record what God did. What did God say to you through this verse?

 

Intro | What is Fasting | Prayer Guide | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Thursday, January 15

We are created to have a relationship with God simply because He loves us. God meets you where you are and is waiting to pour out His love on you. In the busyness of life, don’t forget the simple truth that God loves you. God’s love is unconditional and doesn’t discriminate. Take time today to reflect on the ways God has shown you love and pray for those who have yet to receive God’s love.

“I have loved you, My people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love
I have drawn you to Myself. (Jeremiah 31:3 NLT)

  1. Relax. Be still and quiet. Slow your mind and heart. Prepare your heart. Take a few deep breaths and wait on God.
  2. Listen to/for God. Ask, “Lord, what do You want to say to me?” Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes & heart to see God’s truth.
  3. Read the verse. Read through the above verse a few times. Read quietly to yourself, then read it out loud.
  4. Reflect on the verse.
    What’s impacting you from this verse?
    What is God saying to you through this verse?
    Is there a truth here you need to apply to your life?
  5. Record what God did. What did God say to you through this verse?

 

Intro | What is Fasting | Prayer Guide | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Friday, January 17

So often we go to God for what He can do for us, or rather, what we want Him to do for us. What if we flip that and choose to go to God with the only intent of being with Him? What if our only agenda was to just sit and be in His presence? Let’s choose a pattern of life where we just sit and linger a while with God, out of a desire to simply be with Him.

“Seek (look to) the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.”
(1 Chronicles 16:11 NIV)

  1. Relax. Be still and quiet. Slow your mind and heart. Prepare your heart. Take a few deep breaths and wait on God.
  2. Listen to/for God. Ask, “Lord, what do You want to say to me?” Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes & heart to see God’s truth.
  3. Read the verse. Read through the above verse a few times. Read quietly to yourself, then read it out loud.
  4. Reflect on the verse.
    What’s impacting you from this verse?
    What is God saying to you through this verse?
    Is there a truth here you need to apply to your life?
  5. Record what God did. What did God say to you through this verse?

REMINDER: PRAYER GATHERING
Friday, January 17, 7:00 pm
Harvest Rooms, FAC Deerfoot Campus
Join us as we end our week of Prayer & Fasting together as one church body.

 

Intro | What is Fasting | Prayer Guide | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday


What is Fasting?

Fasting in its simplest definition is understood as “voluntary abstinence from food or drink, especially as a religious duty.” As followers of Jesus, the purpose of all spiritual disciplines, including fasting, is to help us to become more like Jesus. We follow in His footsteps. Fasting helps us – personally and corporately – become aware of how God desires to work in us and through us.

We should never be motivated by the idea that our fasting will move God to do what we want; we cannot manipulate God. The purpose of our fasting is to draw us closer to God and to seek His will for our lives.

“One of the greatest spiritual benefits of fasting is becoming more attentive to God – becoming more aware of our own inadequacies and His adequacy, our own contingencies and His self-sufficiency –  and listening to what He wants us to be and do.” E.L. Towns

In the book of Esther, the Jews were on the verge of destruction because of Haman, one of the king’s advisors. Haman was filled with anger against a Jew named Mordecai because he didn’t bow or worship him. Haman looked for a way to destroy all of Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes.

Mordecai knew he was in trouble so he sought help from Queen Esther, who was his niece. Now, for Queen Esther to approach the king for help without being summoned first was very dangerous – she would literally be risking her life. So Esther called a fast.

“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:15-16 NIV)

Those 3 days of prayer and fasting changed history forever.

This is her moment. Esther goes to see the king, knowing she is quite possibly walking to her death. However, because Esther approached the king on behalf of her people, they would became a nation not of defeat but of favour and rescue.

When God’s people fast with proper motive – seeking His will – and with a humble and repentant spirit, amazing things happen.

This is our moment. We’re going to pray and fast as a church community. We’re going to seek God’s will for our lives, our church, our communities, our country, and our world.

Deciding How Long to Fast

For this prayer focus, decide if and how long you’re able to fast. You may fast for as long as you like; however, use wisdom and pray for guidance. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you when making this decision.

Beginners are advised to start slowly. Keep yourself hydrated at all times. Drink plenty of water and juices. Remember to replace your time of eating with prayer and reflecting on the Word. We’ve provided 5 days of guided prayer and Scripture for everyone to lean into together as a community, regardless of how long you choose to fast. If you’re unable to fast, still join us in praying!

Important Words of Caution

  • Please consult your family physician before attempting to fast if you have a physical condition that’s affected by your food intake, have any type of chronic illness, and/or are taking any kind of prescription medications. If you’re unsure whether you should participate for any reason, please consult your family physician.
  • Infants and small children should not fast. Older children who can understand fasting can participate by choosing a food they usually have each day and giving that up during the fast. The important thing is to explain that we’re giving up something for the purpose of focusing on God.

What to Expect

When we fast our body detoxifies, eliminating toxins from our system. This can cause mild discomfort such as headaches and irritability during withdrawal from caffeine and sugars. Naturally, we’ll have hunger pains. It’s important to limit physical activity and exercise moderately; to take time to rest.

We’re following Jesus’ example when we fast. Spend time listening to praise and worship. Pray as often as you can throughout the day. Get away from the normal distractions as much as possible and keep your heart and mind set on seeking God’s will for us.

As we enter this time of heightened spiritual devotion, it’s important to be aware that Satan will do everything he can to pull us away from our prayer and Bible reading time. When we feel the enemy trying to discourage or distract us, we need to immediately go to God in prayer and ask Him to strengthen us in the face of difficulties and temptations.

How to End a Fast

Don’t overeat when the time comes to end the fast. Because our digestive systems have most likely reduced enzyme production, overeating or ingesting certain foods too quickly may cause nausea, stomach aches, or diarrhea. Introducing regular foods slowly will help break a fast safely, without disrupting the digestive system.

Intro | What is Fasting | Prayer Guide | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday


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