Week 8: Fasting

Monday: Watch

Answer These:

  1. What are some of the distractions that take time away from your time with God?
  2. In what ways have you found that denying yourself allows you to spend more time with The Lord?

Pray This:

Father, you are good and provide everything that we need. Thank you that we can come to you with all things. Help us create space to be present with you. Help us know what distractions are keeping us from our time with you. God, we repent of the things we have placed before you.  Amen.

Tuesday: Read

Biblical fasting is done for a spiritual purpose. Fasting is not simply going without food, there must be a spiritual motivation for a fast. Today, you will look up multiple passages in scripture that model fasting. In a journal or on a piece of paper, write down what you believe the purpose of the fast was in that particular verse. Likely, you will need to read the verses surrounding the passage in order to have a better context and understanding. 

Spend some time in these passages: 

  • Luke 4:1-2
  • Nehemiah 1:4
  • Acts 13:2

Answer These:

  1. Do you think fasting is an important discipline for believers? Why or why not?
  2.  For what purpose do you think you would participate in a fast?  

Pray This:

Father, thank you for graciously modeling fasting in scripture. Thank you that denying self allows us to depend on you in a deeper level. Lord, help us to understand the true motivations of fasting. Help us see how it is used to bring you glory. Amen.

Wednesday: Pray

On Thursday, you will be asked to fast from something, so today will be spent in prayer preparing for the fast. Before anything else, ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind why a fast will be helpful for your spiritual walk. There are plenty of spiritual reasons to participate in a fast and we want to go before these things in prayer. Likely, the reason you are fasting is different from someone else participating in this practice. Take the time today to pray through each of the reasons for fasting listed below. Pray through all of them so that all of us who are participating in the fast tomorrow will do so for a greater spiritual purpose. 

 

Reasons we may be fasting are: 

  • Repentance of sins we have committed.
  • Spiritual strength against a current struggle we are facing.
  • To awaken a deeper love for God that may be dulled because of a desire for other things.
  • To test and see what distractions control us.
  • To demonstrate our love and desire for God above all things (even His gifts).

 

Answer These:

  1. What are your perceptions or past experiences with fasting?
  2.  In what ways are you expectant for The Lord to use your fast?

 

Pray This:

Father, help us to understand your desire for us to give up things in order to draw nearer to you. Search our hearts, Lord, and help us to see any motivations that are not pure or helpful in growing us in your likeness. Lord, prepare us for tomorrow and use it in mighty ways to make your name great. Amen.

Thursday: Practice

Today, you will be able to practice fasting. You can do a partial fast where you give up certain things, or a complete fast from all food. Fasting, however, isn’t limited to what you eat. If you have a medical condition or history with easting disorders, we ask that you do not give up eating today. Fasting asks that you give up anything that is a distraction from God. That time you would typically spend with that activity is replaced by time in prayer. 

Some things people commonly fast from other than food are social media, technology, television, alcohol, or social activities. Choose something to fast from today. Remember to spend the time you would normally use on the activity to pray and seek The Lord.

Answer These:

  1.   How tempted were you to turn to the distraction you gave up today? 
  2. How did fasting from something influence the way you related to God today?

Pray This:

Father, we repent of the distraction that take our time away from you. Thank you that we can give things in order to have a clearer vision of you. I pray that you would meet us in our needs today. I pray that today would be used to draw us closer to you. Amen.

Friday: Reflect

It is so easy for distractions to consume our minds. It’s so easy to fill time with things other than time in prayer.  Spend some time listening to the song “Clear the Stage” by Jimmy Needham. Pay close attention to the words of the song.

Answer These:

  1. What are some of the things that are filling your time in this season of life?
  2. What distraction do you need to surrender in order to make more time for prayer?

Pray This:

Father, we repent of the things that we place in front of you. God, I pray that we would be made aware of the distraction we need to surrender in order to place our attention on you. God, thank you for providing time and space this week to focus on you. I pray we would continue to grow in our adoration of you as we spend time with you. Amen.

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