Fasting Vision for January 2021

VISION FOR FASTING  |  January 10th-24th

Antioch is casting a vision for a three week fast starting this Sunday, January 3rd. They have invited us to join them. Throughout the three weeks, there will be morning prayer times and Thursday evening worship times. You are free to attend any/all!

Tues & Thurs mornings 7-8am @ Antioch Church Office
M-F Noon prayer @ Multi-purpose room across the street from the Lebanon Y.
Thurs evenings 7-8:30pm @Multi-purpose room across the street from the Lebanon Y.

I’m sharing this with you so that you don’t get caught off guard :-) I would like to join in with them as a church, but it would be wise to be prepared both physically and spiritually. So, here’s our suggested plan for The Gathering: 

1) Pray

Praying and see if fasting in January would be something that the Lord would have you do. Ask someone who has been in the Lord for longer than you about fasting and learn from them. Start dialoguing about what it would look like for you. 

2) Plan

Plan to join The Gathering in fasting from the evening of January 10th to the evening of January 24th. There are several ways to go about fasting. At the most basic level, the definition of fasting means to go without food. A more theological definition would be to starve yourself of physical food to hunger for God.  Here's three options to consider:

  • Plan #1: Complete fast without food. Consult your doctor and see handouts provided by the church for direction on this plan. 

  • Plan #2: Intermittent fasting.  Intermittent fasting is withholding from eating for a certain duration of each day. A basic plan would be to only eat from the hours of an 11 AM to 7 PM.

  • Plan #3: Daniel Fast.  From the name, this plan derives from the eating habits of Daniel from the Old Testament. We will provide handouts for specific direction.  

With fasting, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that fasting is only a time when we are really in trouble and needing answers to our problems. But this is not the way of Jesus. He assumes that we are fasting and praying. In the book of Matthew, He is recorded saying, “When you fast…” (Matt 6:16). 

Fasting is however a great way to focus our mind and heart on what God wants for our lives. If you would just think how much time and energy you spend grocery shopping, preparing food, eating food, cleaning up, and getting ready for the next meal, the time really adds up! Fasting allows you to slow down and hunger for God. It is not a time to just get more stuff done since you are not eating anymore, but rather use the hunger pains to direct your attention to the Lord.

As we enter into 2021, would you join us in fasting and praying? Here are three general things to begin praying for: 

1) Reaching upward

Pray for you, your family, and your church family to grow in your love and adoration for the Lord. Ask the Lord how he would deepen in your walk with him this year.

2) Reaching inward 

Pray for you, your family, and your church family about how we can continue to love one another and serve one another better. Ask the Lord how he would use you in the lives of other people in the church. Is there anyone you would like to pursue to disciple/be discipled by? These are the questions you want to lean into the Lord for direction.

3) Reaching outward 

Pray for you, your family, and your church family about specific people who need the love of Christ and specific ways to reach them.  Lay before the Lord your calendar, your regular rhythms of life and your relationships. Ask him to use you to make his name famous.