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We want to begin 2023 by crying out to God together. Join us for 21 Days of Prayer January 1 – 21. We want to commit together to call out to God for 21 consecutive days for our families, our church, and our nation. During this time, you may fast to whatever degree God leads and is appropriate for you. Those who cannot fast from food may choose to fast from social media, television, or something similar. Even if you cannot fast, pray with us. We want everyone to participate in some way. Join us for 21 Days with a great expectancy for God to work in our lives and our church mightily.

Why fasting?

If you have never practiced the discipline of fasting before, you may be wondering, “Why should a fast?” As prayer connects us with God, we believe that fasting helps to disconnect us from the world. Pastor Chris Hodges says that “Fasting allows us to quiet the appetites of our bodies and the desires of our souls so our spirits can stronger and closer to God.” A time of fasting can help us to declare our dependence on God and refocus on the spiritual.

For these reasons, I am encouraging our church family to what I call a complete fast, which means to abstain from all solid foods, for 7 days. This type of fasting calls for drinking only liquids, typically water with light juices occasionally. Consult your physician first, especially if you take prescription medication or if you are under medical supervision for an illness. Some people should never fast without professional supervision. If you are unable to participate in a complete fast here are some other options that you can consider.

  • Selective Fast – This involves removing certain elements from your diet. The most common example of this is what we call the Daniel fast in which you remove everything from your diet except vegetables and water. Or you might remove sugar, dairy or grain from your diet during this 7 day period.
  • Partial Fast – This would involve fasting all day and only eating one meal in the evening. Or you eat only one meal a day and use the other meal times for prayer and bible study
  • Soul Fast – This involves depriving your soul of comforts, pleasures and preoccupations such as, social media, movies, television, secular music.

Practical Tips for Fasting

Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Physical preparation makes the drastic change in your eating routine a little easier so you can turn your full attention to the Lord in prayer. Remember the following:

  • Do not rush into your fast.
  • Prepare your body. Eat smaller meals before starting your fast. Avoid high-fat and sugary foods.
  • Eat raw fruits and vegetables for two days before starting a fast.

You are abstaining from all solid foods and have begun to seek the Lord. Here are some helpful suggestions to consider:

  • Limit your physical activity.
  • Exercise only moderately. Walk one to three miles each day if convenient and comfortable.
  • Prepare yourself for temporary mental discomforts, such as impatience, crankiness and anxiety.
  • Expect some physical discomforts, especially on the second day. You may have fleeting hunger pains or dizziness. Withdrawal from caffeine and sugar may cause headaches. Physical annoyances may also include weakness, tiredness or sleeplessness.

5 AM - 8 AM

Fruit juices, preferably freshly squeezed or blended and diluted in 50% distilled water if the fruit is acid. Apple, pear, grapefruit, papaya, watermelon or other fruit juices are generally preferred. If you cannot do your own juicing, buy juices without sugar or additives.

10:30 AM - 12 PM

Fresh vegetable juice made from lettuce, celery and carrots in three equal parts.

2:30 PM - 4 PM

Herb tea with a drop of honey. Avoid black tea or any tea with caffeine.

6 PM - 8:30 PM

Broth made from boiling potatoes, celery and carrots with no salt. After boiling about half an hour, pour the water into a container and drink it.

Tips on Juice Fasting

Drinking fruit juice will decrease your hunger pains and give you some natural sugar energy. The taste and lift will motivate and strengthen you to continue.

The best juices are made from fresh watermelon, lemons, grapes, apples, cabbage, beets, carrots, celery or leafy green vegetables. In cold weather, you may enjoy a warm vegetable broth.

Mix acidic juices (orange and tomato) with water for your stomach’s sake.

Avoid caffeinated drinks. And avoid chewing gum or mints, even if your breath is bad. They stimulate digestive action in your stomach.

Breaking the Fast

How you break your fast is extremely important for your physical and spiritual well-being.

Begin eating gradually. Do not eat solid foods immediately after your fast. Suddenly reintroducing solid food to your stomach and digestive tract will likely have negative, even dangerous, consequences. Try several smaller meals or snacks each day. If you end your fast gradually, the beneficial physical and spiritual effects will result in continued good health.

Here are some suggestions to help you end your fast properly:

  • Break an extended water fast with fruit such as watermelon.
  • While continuing to drink fruit or vegetable juices, add the following:
    • FIRST DAY: Add a raw salad.
    • SECOND DAY: Add baked or boiled potato, no butter or seasoning.
    • THIRD DAY: Add a steamed vegetable.
    • THEREAFTER: Begin to reintroduce your normal diet. 

Gradually return to regular eating with several small snacks during the first few days. Start with a little soup and fresh fruit such as watermelon and cantaloupe. Advance to a few tablespoons of solid foods such as raw fruits and vegetables or a raw salad and baked potato.

Bible Reading Plan

Click the button below to download the 2023 Bible Reading Plan.

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