On many occasions in the Bible, the leaders of God’s people called them to times of fasting and prayer. Most of the time this was a response to the gracious and merciful grace of God. The people realized their utter and desperate need for God, and would respond by spending a period of time denying their physical appetites in order to pursue satisfaction in their spiritual appetites.
This past Sunday we looked at Jesus teaching from the Sermon on the Mount on fasting, and examined several Scriptural reasons that God’s people ought to fast (listen here is you missed it). During the sermon, we mentioned that as a church, we planned to set aside tomorrow (Thursday, June 4) as a day to fast and pray for Genesis Church, our members, and God’s mission in us. Consider joining us by setting aside some time and fasting in some way in order to seek God deeply. Here are some ideas about how you might fast.
- A one meal fast – If the idea of fasting is completely new, you might start by choosing to skip a single meal and spend that time praying, reading the Bible, and pursuing God. You might try getting up early and spending an hour or so with God during your breakfast time. Or take a lunch break in a park and spend the time with God.
- A morning to evening fast – This is a very good way to incorporate fasting into life tomorrow. Choose not to eat anything until dinner tomorrow night. During normal meal times, instead of eating, spend the time with your Bible open, maybe using a prayer journal, and pray for the needs and people in our church. Furthermore, each time you feel hunger, see this as a reminder that your spiritual hunger for God is so much more important, yet too often, we don’t even feel it.
- A day fast – Spend the entire day fasting, skipping all meals.
- A fast from media or other appetites – You may incorporate fasting from TV, movies, internet, video games… as part of your experience. This might be a good idea, especially if you tend to be a person who has addictive tendencies in some form of media.
A couple other thought and reminders before you join us in fasting. First, if you have some medical concerns or issues, check with a doctor before trying a food fast. And if you cannot skip meals like this, that is OK. Find other ways to dedicate yourself to God and join th experience. Second, if Thursday does not work, no big deal. Try another day. The day is not the issue. The key is that we as a church (and those who are partnering with us in other ways) are seeking God deeply and calling on him to make us aware of our spiritual need and fill the hunger with his goodness and glory. God bless.