21 Days of Prayer + Fasting

As a church family, we will kick off 2021 with 21 days of prayer & fasting from Jan. 3rd - Jan 24th.

PRAYER GUIDE

We would love to send you a digital prayer guide so prayer can be an everyday part of your life. Simply click the "prayer guide" button below, submit your information, and we'll send you a prayer guide soon.

WHY FASTING?

Our church was founded on the principle of James 4:8 that promises if we “draw close to God, He will draw close to us.” Simply put, the goal of fasting is to draw closer to God. Biblical fasting is about eliminating earthly distractions for a greater spiritual purpose; it hits the reset button of our soul and renews us from the inside out. It also enables us to celebrate the goodness and mercy of God and prepares our hearts for all the good and new things God desires to bring into our lives.


The resources provided on this page are meant to help you gain wisdom and insight as you prayerfully consider what type of fast God is calling you to do. Your personal fast should present a level of challenge, but challenges are unique and specific to each individual. It is very important to know your body, your options, and, most importantly, to continue seeking God in prayer and following what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.


We would like to thank Celebration Church in Jacksonville, FL and Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, AL for providing many of the following resources.

GETTING STARTED

Having a successful fast starts with the right preparation. It is important to choose ahead of time what type of fast, or combination of fasts, you will pursue. Not only will this help with making the necessary preparations to implement your plan, but as you commit to a specific fast ahead of time, and know how you’re going to do it, you will position yourself to stay committed and finish strong. Here’s a list of what your fasting steps should look like:


STEP ONE: Pray

The journey of being prepared for a fast starts, ends and continues with prayer. Leading up to your fast, and during your fast, prioritize daily quiet time with Jesus. Everyone needs to find their own rhythm but a good starting point is the spend some time reading a Bible and/or Devotional, followed by a time of intentional prayer that ends with a period of reflection and listening. If you need a good place to start, we encourage you to explore some of the free reading plans below that you can access on your desktop or mobile device:


STEP TWO: Set Your Objective

Begin by deciding why you are fasting. Is it for spiritual renewal, for healing, for wisdom in a particular area, or the resolution of a specific issue? Pick the top 1-3 prayer requests or things you would like to seek God on. Don’t overwhelm yourself and make a laundry list of items. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead in deciding and clarifying your goals for fasting.


STEP THREE: Choose Your Fast

We are all at different places in our walk with God. Likewise our jobs, daily schedules, and health conditions are all different and place various levels of demand on our energy. Whether you’ve fasted before, or if this will be your first time, prayerfully consider what your fast will look like. Your personal fast should have a high level of challenge to it, but it’s very important to know your own body, know your options, and most importantly, seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do. Remember, the goal of fasting is not just to do without food. The goal is draw nearer to God.


STEP FOUR: Begin & Break Well

Depending on the type of fast you choose, it is very important to prepare your body ahead of time before beginning the fast. Take a week or so to transition into your fast; otherwise, you could get sick. For example, if you would like to go on fruits and vegetables or juice fast, start eliminating meat, white grains, and refined sugars from your diet the week before. Also start to cut back quite a bit on dairy products and some of your caffeine intake. This same principle applies to breaking your fast. When your fast is over, add foods back very gradually. Your body will be so cleansed and detoxified. You will most likely get sick if you add too much rich foods, etc. all at once.


Important Note: Fasting requires reasonable precautions. If you have any health concerns, please consult your physician prior to beginning your fast, especially if you are taking medications, have a chronic condition, or are pregnant or nursing a baby.

TYPES OF FASTS

While choosing what type of fast you will be undertaking, it is important to also decide ahead of time how long you will be fasting and to what extent you will be fasting. Some people may choose to fast at one level all 21 days and then culminate with a special 3 day fast at the end. Others may choose to fast one week out of the 21 days, or even fast once or twice a week throughout the 21 day period. This is a personal decision and one that should be prayerfully considered.


  • Specific Food or Activity Fast: This type of fast refers to omitting a specific item(s), activity or habit from your time of prayer and fasting. For example, you may choose to eliminate red meat, processed or fast food, sweets etc. It could also involve fasting from an activity or habit, such as television watching, a hobby or social media.


  • Daniel Fast: This type of fast is a great model to follow that proves to be extremely effective for spiritual focus, bodily discipline and purification in the body and soul. It is probably one of the most commonly referred to types of fasts within the church, however within the term “Daniel Fast”, there is room for broad interpretation. In the book of Daniel, we find two different times where Daniel fasted, once in Daniel 1 and again in Daniel 10. Daniel 1 states that he ate vegetables and water, and in Daniel 10, while the passage does not give a specific list of foods that Daniel ate, it does state that Daniel ate no rich (or choice) foods as well as no meat or wine. So based on these two verses, we can see that either of these, or any variations in between constitutes a fast. Again, there is nothing “inherently spiritual” about one type of fast as opposed to another. It is important to seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do. The link below will offer suggestions of what a Daniel fast can look like as well as some recipe options:
  • DanielPlan.com


  • Financial Fast: This type of fast is centers around gratitude and generosity. The basic premise is to spend less, give more and buy only necessities while abstaining from luxuries. This is a great fast for anyone who finds themselves focused on new and more. You can visit the site below to get more practical ideas and insight on what a financial fast can look like:
  • SeedTime.com



  • Water Fast: A water fast is eating no foods and drinking no liquids except water for a period of time. Extreme precautions should be taken with a water fast and should be done under the direction supervision and monitoring of your physician.


Important Note: Fasting requires reasonable precautions. If you have any health concerns, please consult your physician prior to beginning your fast, especially if you are taking medications, have a chronic condition, or are pregnant or nursing a baby.

KIDS AND FAMILY RESOURCES

If you have children, we encourage you to involve them in the journey of fasting with you. Their age and spiritual maturity will likely impact whether or not they participate in a literal fast but you should at least explain to them what a fast is and why you are choosing to do one. The main thing is for kids and teenagers to recognize the value behind setting aside special times to disconnect from some of the extra-curricular activities and treats they enjoy on a regular basis and learn how to connect to God in a closer way. One way for everyone in the family to participate is to write down a few prayer requests and pray together as a family for those things throughout the fast.


  • How to Explain Fasting to Your Kids & Teenagers: A simple and effective way to explain the benefits of prayer and fasting to kids is to compare it to cleaning out old toys or things that might no longer work. For older kids or teenagers, the analogy might be cleaning out a closet or dresser from old clothes and shoes that no longer fit. In either analogy, the principle is the same; we clean old things out to make more room for new things. This allows you to explain that fasting is a way to clear some old things out in your heart and life so that you can make more room for the new thing God wants to do in you and through you.


  • Kids Fasting How-To: If you believe your child is physically and spiritually mature enough to participate in a fast with you, please be advised that we do not recommend that children skip meals or drastically reduce their food intake. A simple modification of their diet might prove to be a more effective place to start. For example, fasting from specific items such as sweets, red meats, fried foods or even introducing a form of the Daniel fast which includes legumes, nuts and whole grains is a great way for children to participate in a safe and healthy way.* Another great way to fast is by reducing some of the time and energy spent watching TV, playing video games, using the computer or phone, and instead choosing to spend time praying, reading their Bible or serving others.


*Please note, you should always check with your child’s pediatrician before your child(ren) begin any type of fasting.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

There are also several websites and books that offer additional resources for spiritual growth, recipes and nutritional information to help you along the way. Here are a few resources we we recommend:


Websites:

DanielPlan.com

RebootwithJoe.com

Juicerecipes.com

All-about-juicing.com

JuicingwithG.com


Books:

Fasting: Opening the Door to a Deeper, More intimate, More Powerful Relationship with God by Jentezen Franklin (Purchase here)

Awakening: A New Approach to Faith, Fasting, and Spiritual Freedom by Stovall Weems (Purchase here)

Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard Foster (Purchase here)

The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives by Dallas Willard (Purchase here)


Important Note: Fasting requires reasonable precautions. If you have any health concerns, please consult your physician prior to beginning your fast, especially if you are taking medications, have a chronic condition or are pregnant or nursing a baby.