Sunday, October 21, 2018

Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—not reluctantly or out of compulsion, since God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 CSB

God’s word teaches us that it is the attitude of the giver that is most important, not the amount. That is why it is so important that we are not driven by external pressures. God loves a cheerful giver because that is who God is – a cheerful giver. 

As we begin this week of prayer and fasting, let us decide in our heart what we are going to do. Then let us purpose to do it with a glad and thankful heart. 

If you are new to fasting, this week is truly a great opportunity to learn the incredible value of fasting and prayer. Biblical fasting is simply abstaining from food for spiritual purposes. Often fasting reveals the things that control us. For those who desire Jesus to be Lord of their whole life, such things are vital to identify and bring into prayer. Fasting also helps us focus on the truth that we are sustained by “every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” not food or temporal things. In other words, fasting becomes less about abstaining from food and more about experiencing what it means to feast on God’s Word. 

So if you have purposed in your heart to join in prayer and fasting this week, it would be a good idea to decide what that will look like and for what purpose. 

If you’re interested, here is a fuller explanation on fasting with additional tips for those new to fasting.

These questions below, however, should help you get started in planning for this week:

1. Will you fast entire meals or a type of food?
     – If meals, how many meals in a day will you fast?
     – If a type of food, what type?

2. How many days do you intend to fast this week?

3. Are these decisions free from external pressure and feelings of unwillingness? If not, what can you decide differently so you can engage in this week with a glad heart?

Here is the last but most important question: For what purpose are you fasting and praying this week?

Take some time to really think about this. What are you hungry for in the Spirit? What are you seeking God for through prayer and fasting?

Once you have an answer, write it down as we encourage to keep a journal of what you are learning and experiencing throughout the week. Then be sure to come to Prayer and Praise this Saturday to share what God has shown you.