Praying and Fasting

Have you ever been:
• so excited about something you were not hungry?
• so caught up in a game that you did not want to stop to eat?
• involved in a project that you worked through lunch or dinner?
• concerned about something, someone that you did not want to eat?

Fasting is a way to concentrate our attention on God and His perspective rather than the challenge we face.

If you’re facing challenging decisions, crises, major needs – what to do? This is not an easy 1,2,3, fix. God provided a way to express brokenness and dependence in an intentional way. That is fasting.

Read Ezra 8:21-23
• Talk about it. What did Ezra do? What did God do?

Fasting is denying yourself of something valuable for a period of time to receive something from God or be set free by God.

1. Fasting is Good for Me

2. Fasting Strengthens My Dependence on God

Fasting is about connecting with the heart of God. It restores our hunger for God.

3. Fasting Enlists God’s Assistance for Great Things
Is there anything too hard for God?
What do you desire that only God can do?
List things that seem impossible for you: (these are areas to fast and pray – seeking His heart and will)

Steps to Consider when Fasting
• Make a Plan – There are different types of fast, including a Partial Fast (“Daniel Fast”), 
Full Fast, Liquid Only Fast
, and Creative Fast (from caffeine, cable, computer)
• Pray about Your Privacy
Not all fasts should be a secret. There are lots of public fasts in Scripture! The point is not to do it for accolades. A “need to know” principle is helpful
• Strategically Disconnect
Enhance your experience by removing distractions (cell phones, email, web, TV).
• Expect a Challenge
You’re going to be emotionally spent at times (if you go beyond 24 hours)
• It’s going to be hard.
You’re going to experience doubt.
• Rest and Be Still
Carve out time to be with God.
• Keep Moving
• Expect a Breakthrough!

Discover the adventure of fasting.
Pray for something specific.
Ask God for a breakthrough in the coming year.
Do something hard or extra-ordinary.

Father I pray in Jesus’ name that we would be people who practice the spiritual discipline of fasting, and that in doing so we would become more sensitive to Your leading.

For Your Kids
• What are some things that your child might “fast” from for a period of time, i.e. favorite toy? Remember time is different the younger we are; instead of day(s) from an item perhaps a morning or an hour, or a few minutes.
• What might your child fast about? Be creative… is it a friend who is sick; is there a test at school; is there jealousy about a friend; is there envy about a “new” toy a friend has…
• As he/she gets anxious, use it as a teachable moment to pray to Jesus about it.
• Rejoice when the fast is over “with an ice cream” (which may be getting a toy back).
• Talk about how it feels to know that God is with them and wants to spend time with them.

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