Next week, we will celebrate ‘Pancake Day’ in the UK, which is traditionally a feast day which comes before Ash Wednesday.
In the traditional church calendar, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent, for Christians all over the world. During lent this year, we will be encouraging all who are able to observe periods of fasting, as we believe that prayer, repentance and fasting are important for us as followers of Jesus who are seeking Gods heart and the advancement of his kingdom.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (1 Chronicles 7)
During this season, God has spoken to us as a Church about our role as Anointed Messengers and all that he plans to do amongst us during this time of divine favour. And so, we call you, TVC Church, to pray and fast – not out of tradition, but as a response to what God is calling us to, in this season. We will be praying and fasting to seek God for a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit, for us as individuals and as a Church.
So what is fasting?
Fasting, according to the Bible, means to voluntarily reduce or eliminate your intake of food for a specific time and purpose.
Fasting is a spiritual discipline that is taught in the Bible. We read that during the time that Jesus was on earth, fasting was a normal part of his prayer rhythms. We read in Matthew 6v16-18:
“When you give up eating, don’t put on a sad face like the hypocrites. They make their faces look sad to show people they are giving up eating. I tell you the truth, those hypocrites already have their full reward. So when you give up eating, comb your hair and wash your face. Then people will not know that you are giving up eating, but your Father, whom you cannot see, will see you. Your Father sees what is done in secret, and he will reward you.” (ICB version)
1. Fasting gives you more time for prayer. You can use the time you’d normally spend eating, as time in prayer for what God wants to do among us. In the Bible, fasting is always connected with prayer. The Bible says in Acts 13:2-3
“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” (NIV)
2. Fasting demonstrates the depth of your desire when praying for something. It shows you that you are serious enough about your prayer request to pay a personal price. God honors deep desire and praying in faith.
3.Fasting releases God’s supernatural power. It is a tool we can use when there is opposition to God’s will. Satan would like nothing better than to cause division, discouragement, defeat, depression, and doubt among us. United prayer and fasting has always been used by God to deal a decisive blow to the enemy!
1. Remember that fasting is not “earning” an answer to prayer. God cannot be blackmailed by human effort. God wants to answer our prayers and He answers out of grace. Fasting simply prepares us for God’s answer.
2. Fast only if your health allows it at this time. If you are able to do only a partial fast – do it in faith and God will honour your intentions.
Types of Fasting
- Complete Fast: abstaining from all food and only drink water (please note that if you are new to fasting, you may want to start with a partial fast / liquid)
- Liquid fast : Abstain from all food but allow liquid such as smoothies, fresh juices and puréed soups.
- Partial Fast: can involve when you eat (probably fast half a day starting from 6am -12pm)
An invitation to Fast Together
We want to invite you to fast with us, every Friday from the 24 February up until the 31st March.
Days of fasting beings will begin at 8am and finish at 6pm on each of these Fridays.
Prayer points will be posted every Thursdays evenings in preparation for Fridays day of prayer and fasting.
If you are able, why not join members of our prayer team on Facebook for half an hour of prayer as we break the fast together each Friday evening at 6pm?
If fasting is something that is new to you – we want to encourage you to give it a try! Maybe try a partial fast first? Fasting is not a requirement, but it is a good spiritual discipline.
16 Feb 2023