We want to begin 2024 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.
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If you have never practiced the discipline of fasting before, you may be wondering, “Why should I 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.
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:
You are abstaining from all solid foods and have begun to seek the Lord. Here are some helpful suggestions to consider:
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.
Fresh vegetable juice made from lettuce, celery and carrots in three equal parts.
Herb tea with a drop of honey. Avoid black tea or any tea with caffeine.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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