21 Days of Prayer/Fasting: Day Two
Welcome to Day Two
How did day one go?
During the next 20 days you are going to have a lot questions and experiences with God. Some of the greatest benefits may not happen until after your fast is complete. I can’t wait to hear the stories of how God does amazing things in your personal life, family group, work atmosphere, and beyond.
At Real Life Church, we believe anything you fast can provide spiritual benefit. While fasting is mostly attributed to food, anything you do with a desire to move closer to God will be honored by Him. I personally think it would be easier to fast food for a month rather than go without my coffee and facebook updates. Maybe you’re like me. Anything you cannot do without for even a day might be something your addicted to. Wouldn’t be an awesome thing to tell God, “You’re more important to me than ______ (fill in the blank). Therefore as an act of worship I’m ________ (not going to drink any caffeine or even look at social media) for 21 days. Instead I’m going to talk to you and drink in your Word.” WOW! Think what that could do for your relationship with God.
Before we go any further, I think’s a good idea to define what fasting is for you and what it is not.
Below is a portion of an article about this whole topic. Check it out then take a few minutes to define exactly what you are fasting, why, and how long.
The rest of this post was taken from the Christianity section of about.com.
What Fasting Is
In many cases, a spiritual fast involves abstaining from food while focusing on prayer. This can mean refraining from snacks between meals, skipping one or two meals a day, abstaining only from certain foods, or a total fast from all food for an entire day or longer.
For medical reasons or personal preference, some people may not be able to fast from food altogether. They may choose to abstain only from certain foods, like sugar or chocolate, or from something other than food. In truth, believers can fast from anything. Doing without something temporarily, such as television or soda, as a way of redirecting our focus from earthly things toward God, can also be considered a spiritual fast.
The Purpose of Spiritual Fasting
While many people fast to lose weight, dieting is not the purpose of a spiritual fast. Instead, fasting provides unique spiritual benefits in the life of the believer.
Fasting requires self-control and discipline as one denies the natural desires of the flesh. During spiritual fasting, the believer’s focus is removed from the physical things of this world and intensely concentrated on God. Put differently, fasting directs our hunger toward God. It clears the mind and body of earthly attentions and draws us close to God. So, as we gain spiritual clarity of thought while fasting, it allows us to hear God more clearly. Fasting also demonstrates a profound need for God’s help and guidance through complete dependence upon him.
What Spiritual Fasting is Not
Spiritual fasting is not a way to earn God’s favor by getting him to do something for us. Rather, the purpose is to produce a transformation in us—a clearer, more focused attention and dependence upon God.
Fasting is never to be a public display of spirituality—it is between you and God alone. In fact, Jesus specifically instructed us in Matthew 6:16-18 to let our fasting be done privately and in humility, else we forfeit the benefits.
While Old Testament fasting was a sign of mourning, New Testament believers were taught to practice fasting with a cheerful attitude.
Lastly, it should be understood, spiritual fasting is never for the purpose of punishing or harming the body.