A Prayer and Fasting Guide


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Awakening A Prayer and Fasting Guide

Contents Prayer and Fasting Guide 3 Prayer

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Fasting 5

PRAYER AND FASTING GUIDE We are so glad you have decided to participate in an extended time of prayer and fasting to reset our spiritual compasses and bring about refreshing in every area of our lives. We see this as a critical time in the

Start Where You Are 5

transition period of our church family and we are looking forward to

Find a Fasting Plan that Works for You 5

seeking God together. Time and again in scripture we see God calling

Choose Your Type of Fast

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His people to fast and pray for spiritual power, renewal and awakening at

Specific Food or Activity Fast

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critical junctures in their lives. As a church family we will seek His power,

Daniel Fast 6

presence and preparation for the next chapter of ministry here at The

Juice Fast 7

Bridge in 2016.

Water Fast

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Total Fast 7

“Awakening” is intentionally designed to be flexible so you can participate

Fasting While Nursing or Pregnant

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at any level. Whether you have experienced a season of prayer and fasting,

Fasting and Eating Disorders

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or this is your first time, you can experience what God has in store for

Begin and Break the Fast Well

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you in a powerful way. This 3-Week guide has been designed to help you

Final Fasting Tips and Resources 9

navigate through your personal prayer and fasting journey. The primary

Internet: 9

focus of the guide is fasting, as we have found that is where most of us

Books: 9

need training.

Sample Menus 10

We pray that you will experience the presence and power of God in an extraordinary way as you commit yourself to Him over the next twenty-one days. …Awake, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you… Ephesians 5:14

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PRAYER

FASTING

As you prepare for the next 21-days, it can be tempting to start thinking

Important Note:

of a laundry list of prayers you would love to see answered. Instead, we

Fasting requires reasonable precautions. If you have any health concerns, please

encourage you to keep it simple. Think about the top 2 or 3 things on

consult your physician prior to beginning your fast, especially if you are taking any

your heart to focus on in your prayers. For The Bridge, we are focusing on:

medication, have a chronic condition, or are pregnant or nursing a baby.

• The Bridge Church Health • The Search for our Senior Pastor • Effectiveness in our mission of “Helping People Find Jesus and Following Him Fully”

In preparation, it is important to choose a fasting plan that works for you. While this section does provide general information about different types of fasts, and how to create your own plan, please remember there is

We ask that you also make these three themes a key part of your prayer

nothing inherently spiritual about one type of fast as opposed to another.

time over the next 3 Weeks. Use the space provided below to write down

These are simply guidelines and suggestions.

your requests, and be open to hearing what God wants to show you in those areas. Remember to record the breakthroughs, miracles, and answers

Do not let what you eat or do not eat become the focus of your fast. Keep

to your prayers.

the main thing the main thing, which is drawing closer to God. Remember that this is a time to disconnect enough from your regular patterns,

When praying, make your primary goal to know Jesus and experience Him more fully. Surrender yourself, to glorify God with your life. Focus on His

schedule and habits in order to connect more closely to God.

attributes of goodness and greatness, and you’ll begin to see everything

Start Where You Are

through that filter. Make time to pray daily. Don’t over-complicate this.

We are all at different places in our walk with God. Whether you have

Just have a conversation with God. Set aside a place and time where you

fasted before or this is your first time, start where you are. Your personal

can seek Him every day. We encourage you to commit to a certain amount

fast should draw you to seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy

of time each day to pray. Some people find that engaging in worship music

Spirit leads you to do.

is a great way to prepare your heart for prayer and eliminate distractions. During this fast, I am praying and believing God for:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 4

Find a Fasting Plan that Works for You In the scriptures, fasting typically involves abstinence from all food or at least certain type of food. We find all sorts of different types of fasts mentioned in scripture. As you think about how you should fast these next three weeks, we encourage you to prayerfully select a fasting plan that works best for you, it will be different for each person and there are many options depending on the season of life you are in. 5

There isn’t one approach that works the same for everyone.

Juice Fast A juice fast is simply consuming vegetable and fruit juices and

You may choose to fast all during the whole 3-Weeks, or only fast for a

water instead of solid food. Many people include protein in their

set number of days out of the that period. This should be prayerfully

liquid plan as well. Even if you choose not to make your entire fast

considered as it applies to your circumstances. Remember to disconnect

liquids only, substituting one or two meals with liquids can be an

enough from your regular patterns, schedule and habits in order to

alternative.

connect more closely to God.

Choose Your Type of Fast

Water Fast A water only fast is the fast most referred to in the Bible. A water

On the next pages, we’ve listed some options of fasts from which you may

fast is just that—no eating of any food or drinking of any liquids

choose.

except water.

Specific Food or Activity Fast

Periodic water fasts can be very beneficial, but extreme precautions

In this type of fast you simply omit an item from your diet. For example,

should be taken. For some people, it is hard to perform effectively

you may choose to eliminate all red meat, fast food, or sweets.

at their jobs and have energy for their families while drinking only water.

In scripture, fasting typically refers to refraining from food, but you may also fast from a regular activity or habit. This might include television,

We recommend consulting your physician first, and water fasting

social media, or recreation and then replacing the time spent in those

only for a day or two at a time. You may also skip a couple of

activities with focused prayer.

meals a day, while fasting and praying, and end the day with a meal.

Prayer and fasting can tune us into God while quieting competing distractions..

Daniel Fast

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Total Fast We strongly discourage the “Total Fast.”

The Daniel Fast is a model from the Book of Daniel that can be

A total fast is where nothing—neither liquid, solid food, nor even

followed for spiritual focus, bodily discipline, and purification.

water—is consumed for a very short period of time. There are

There are many interpretations as to what the fasting plan actually

examples of this type of fast in the Bible. It was an Old Covenant

involves. In one passage it states that Daniel ate only vegetables

type of fast associated with mourning, or deep grief, such as when

and water, in another he abstained from rich foods and wine.

David engaged in a total fast for a week, hoping that God would 7

spare the child he had with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12 ).

would like to go on a fruits and vegetables or juice fast, start eliminating meat, white grains, and refined sugars from your diet the week before.

Complete abstinence of food and water can be very dangerous to

The same principle applies to breaking your fast. When your fast is over,

our health. Attempting to go without water for any period of time

add foods back in gradually. Ending your fast with greasy or heavy food

can be extremely harmful to the body.

can make you feel sick.

Fasting While Nursing or Pregnant Strict fasting while pregnant or nursing is not recommended.

On the following pages, we will share a few simple fasting options with you. It is very important to drink lots of water while fasting. Prepare a plan ahead of the fast, and to not get legalistic about it. Remember why you are

Fasting and Eating Disorders If you have struggled with an eating disorder, this situation is a battle of the mind you can win through Christ (Philippians 4:13) and the help of other believers. Remember, fasting is only a tool used to get closer to God, and it actually should keep us from being preoccupied with food. If your method of fasting is going to cause you to obsess about what you eat in any way, you will need to change either your approach or your mindset. If giving up food is a stumbling block to you but you still want to fast, consider fasting from television, social media, or shopping..

doing this; to draw closer to God.

Final Fasting Tips and Resources

• As you select your type of fast, make a calendar that fits your plan. • Determine what each day and week will look like. • Make it a priority to attend church during your fast. • If you get off track, don’t get discouraged. Just get right back on track and keep going.

Here are some more resources for prayer and fasting: Internet:

If you can identify such other things, maybe you can give those up

desiringgod.org/all-resources/by-topic/fasting

instead of food.

cru.org/train-and-grow/spiritual-growth/fasting/personal-guide-to-fasting.html

Books: Remember that you are covered by God’s grace. God will show

Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough - Elmer L. Towns

you what to do. His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew

Hunger for God - John Piper

11:30). His way will bring rest to your soul.

Celebration of Discipline – Richard Foster

Begin and Break the Fast Well Depending on the type of fast you choose, it is very important to prepare your body ahead of time before beginning your fast. For example, if you 8

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SAMPLE MENUS Fruits, Vegetables, Juices, and Water

Breakfast Fruit smoothie with protein Mid-morning Snack Fresh fruit or fresh vegetables Lunch Raw vegetable salad with light, organic dressing and vegetable broth soup Mid-Afternoon Snack Fresh fruit or fresh vegetables Dinner Fresh salad with light, organic dressing and steamed or grilled vegetables

Liquids Only

Breakfast Mid-morning Snack Lunch Mid-Afternoon Snack Dinner

Fruit smoothie with protein Herbal tea or vegetable broth soup Raw, juiced vegetables Fresh fruit juice or fruit smoothie with protein Vegetable juice or vegetable broth soup

Modified Daniel Fast

Breakfast 1–2 servings whole grains with fresh fruit juice Mid-morning Snack Fresh fruit or fresh chopped vegetables Lunch 1–2 servings whole grains; fresh salad with legumes and light, organic dressing Mid-Afternoon Snack Fresh fruit juice or fruit smoothie with protein Dinner 1–2 whole grains; fresh salad with legumes and light, organic dressing

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THEBRIDGE

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