January 8 - January 29, 2012
In Matthew 6, Jesus addressed three specific pillars of a Christian life, Giving, Praying and Fasting. “When you give”, “When you pray”, and “When you fast ”
Ecclesiastes 4:12 — a threefold cord is not easily broken
Fasting, Praying and Giving
For these next three weeks we are setting ourselves apart to focus our attention on God
Corporate Objectives (Why is our church doing this?)
• To break strongholds that limit our church from progress and growth
• To overcome unhealthy behaviors
o Personal- Addictions, habits, unhealthy life practices , unbiblical behaviors
o Collective - Traditions and practices that are ineffective, irrelevant, or detrimental to progress
• To develop a more of a hunger and thirst for learning about God, God’s will and the application of God’s Word in our congregation,
• To empower our people to take our faith OUTSIDE of the church, in order to:
o Lead people to Christ
o Address community issues with the resurrection power of the gospel
Praying & Studying
• Prayer is the cornerstone of any effort to get closer to God. (Focused communication)
• Set aside daily time to seek the Lord.
• Make a special effort to attend Church School AND either Evening Prayer Meeting/Bible Study or Hour of Power during the period (Heb 10:24,25)
• Scripture readings: Matthew 6:5-15, Ephesians 6:18, 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18, James 5:16
• Making a sacrifice from your substance is integral to any program of consecration. God has always required sacrifices from the belongings of God’s people as part of their worship. In the Old Testament, worshippers had to always bring some form of sacrifice unto the Lord, regardless of their level of means
• God expressed His love for us through GIVING (John 3:16)
• GIVE YOURSELF FIRST. Then give of your substance. (God wants your heart)
• Determine a level of sacrifice that you will commit to during the period (1 Cor. 16:2)
• Scripture readings: Matthew 6:1-5, 2 Corinthians 9:7, Ephesians 5:2; Romans 12:1,2
• Biblical fasting is refraining from food for a spiritual purpose. The point of fasting is to apply the time and attention that you would give to eating to activities that will make your relationship with God more intimate (i.e., prayer, Bible Study, meditation, Spirit led service).
• Fasting is a way to conquer the physical and open the door to the supernatural in your life.
• Scripture readings: Esther 4:16, Daniel 10:3, Jonah 3:5, Matthew 4:2 (Jesus fasted), Matthew 6:16-18
Types of Fasts
• Total Fast-No food or drink
• Full Fast
- Drink only liquids
• Daniel Fast
- Eat no meat, no sweets, no bread; Drink water and 100% juice; Eat fruits, vegetables and lentils. (Daniel 1). Our corporate fast will be a Daniel fast.
• Partial Fast - From 6 am to 3 pm or from sun-up to sundown
• Fast of Sacrifice - Giving up television or anything that would be a personal sacrifice.
Scripture References for Corporate Fasting
• 1 Samuel 7:5-6; Ezra 8:21-23; Nehemiah 9:1-3; Joel 2:15-16; Jonah 3:5-10; Acts 27:33-37
• The church is promoting the DANIEL FAST for 18 days and a FULL FAST (liquids only) for the last 3 days
. However, if you cannot fast according to these guidelines, please choose another type of fast (see above). BOTTOM LINE: WE WANT YOU TO PARTICIPATE!!! (Youth, adults, seniors, EVERYONE)
• Start with a clear personal goal, such as a need for direction, healing, financial breakthrough, and/or restoration of relationship. Commit to the church’s collective goals. Prepare spiritually by confessing your sins to God and asking forgiveness
• Pray as often as you can; get away from the normal distractions and keep your heart and mind set on seeking God’s face
• Do not be too legalistic! The point is not to show how strong or dedicated you are, but to increase your dependence on God and to give you a way to prioritize God in your life. If you blow it, just continue where you left off and keep trying! Conquering the flesh is difficult, but God will give you the strength if you faint not!!
Food Guideline for a Daniel Fast
Foods You May Eat
Whole Grains: Brown Rice, Oats, Barley
Legumes: Dried Beans, Pinto Beans, Split Peas, Lentils, Black Eyed Peas
Fruits: Apples, Apricots, Bananas, Blackberries, Blueberries, Boysenberries, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Cranberries, Oats, Figs, Grapefruit, Grapes, Guava, Honeydew Melon, Kiwi, Lemons, Limes, Mangoes, Nectarines, Papayas, Peaches, Pears, Pineapples, Plums, Prunes, Raisins, Raspberries, Strawberries, Tangelos, Tangerines, Watermelon
Vegetables: Artichokes, Asparagus, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chili Peppers, Com, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic, Gingerroot, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Okra, Onions, Parsley, Potatoes, Radishes, Rutabagas, Scallions, Spinach, Sprouts, Squashes, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Yams, Zucchini, veggie burgers are an option if you not allergic to soy.
Liquids: Spring Water, Distilled Water, 100% All-Natural Fruit Juices, 100% All Natural Vegetable Juices. You may also drink protein drinks.
Others: Seeds, Nuts, Sprouts
Foods to Avoid
Meat, White Rice, Fried Foods, Caffeine, Carbonated Beverages, Foods Containing Preservatives or Additives, Refined Sugar, Sugar Substitutes, White Flour and All Products Using It, Margarine, Shortening, High Fat Products