January is the month that most churches across the country begin 21 days of fasting and prayer with a purposeful focus on God. Some begin the first day of the year, and others choose a few days later or even a week after. Fasting and praying allows us the opportunity to humble ourselves before the Lord and seek what He wants for us personally and corporately as a church.
This is my favorite time of year to fast. I used to dread fasting but God took me on an amazing spiritual journey many years ago which changed my whole outlook on fasting. Now I look for opportunities to fast and pray!!! My church will begin our corporate fast on Jan 9th! Have you ever seen that commercial where the woman is standing outside the door of a store saying, “Open…open…open”? She can hardly wait to get inside and start shopping. Well that’s me right now. I’m so excited; I might have to start a little earlier!!!
In My book Breaking Through To Higher Places at the end of chapter four, I lay out 9 questions to help you prepare for your fast.
- What type of fast will you do?
- If you are eating things, what will those things be?
- How long will you be on your fast?
- What will you do when you get hungry?
- When will you spend time in the Word?
- What events are coming up that could be a hindrance to your plan?
- Write down how you will handle each of them?
- How will you handle your fast at meal times for those in your family who aren’t fasting with you?
- Name at least three people you can make yourself accountable to, to help you succeed.
I encourage you to write these down and answer them before going into your fast. You might even have questions you might want to add. Having a plan will help you succeed. When we make a plan and stick to it, then we are free to spend time with the Lord without things getting in the way. And trust me, distractions come in all forms!
I always plan out my fast because I am eagerly awaiting and encounter with God. With a plan in motion, I am free to taste and see that the Lord is good!