Fasting is a time of spiritual renewal. We sacrifice meals and meal times putting our bodies into submission for the sake of spiritual growth. We spend time, especially meal times, reading the Bible, in prayer, and listening in quiet meditation. We begin this year in fasting and our aim in 2017 is to walk with Jesus in every area of life. Below are daily scripture readings we will focus on as the body. Please unite with us in fasting. As you spend time in the word, prayer, and meditation write your thoughts and reflections.
Week of the Jesus Fast January 09-13, 2017
During the week of our Jesus Fast we will focus on the fast of these Biblical Personalities
The Queen Esther Fast (Esther 4:1-17)
Queen Esther fasted and prayed with her people so that she could go before the king to spare the lives of the Jews from the deadly intentions of Haman.
The King Jehoshaphat Fast (2 Chron. 20:1-28)
King Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast throughout Judah for victory over the Moabites and Ammonites who were attacking them.
The Joel Fast (Joel 1:13-2:31)
The prophet Joel called for a fast to avert the judgment of God. The people of Nineveh, in response to Jonah's prophecy, fasted to avert the judgment of God (Jonah 3:4-10).
The Jesus fast (Matthew 4:2-11, 1-13, Luke 4:2)
Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights while in the desert, being tempted by Satan to turn stones into bread and eat them, among other temptations.
The Nehemiah Fast (Neh. 9:1-38)
Nehemiah fasted to repent of the past and to renew to the present covenant that Israel had with God.
The collective goal of this fast is to renew and strengthen the NEW MAN, one that is
“Righteous, Truthful, Healthy and Holy”
Biblical Accounts of Fasting
·Moses fasted for forty days and forty nights, twice back-to-back, without food or water; the first, immediately before he received the tablets on the mountain with God
·King David fasted when the son of his adulterous union with Bathsheba was struck sick by God.
·King Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast throughout Judah for victory over the Moabites and Ammonites who were attacking them (2 Chronicles 20:1-28)
·The prophet Joel called for a fast to avert the judgment of God.
·The people of Nineveh, in response to Jonah's prophecy, fasted to avert the judgment of God.
·The Jews of Persia, following Mordechai's example, fasted because of the genocidal decree of Haman.
·Queen Esther declared a three-day fast for all the Jews prior to risking her life in visiting King Ahasuerus.
·Saul, later Paul, did not eat or drink anything for three days after he converted on the road to Damascus.
·Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights while in the desert, being tempted by Satan to turn stones into bread and eat them, among other temptations. (Matthew 4:2, Luke 4:2).
·The prophetess Anna, who proclaimed the baby Jesus to be the Messiah, prayed and fasted regularly in the Temple (Luke 2:37).
·Jesus teaches on the outward appearance and demeanor of a fasting person (Matthew 6:16). It is also an assumed action of the believer (see: "And when you pray..." Matthew 6:5 - "When you fast..." Matthew 6:16)
·The church in Antioch were worshipping the Lord and fasting when the Holy Spirit told them to send Barnabas and Saul for work (Acts 13:2).
·Paul and Barnabas appointed elders with prayer and fasting (Acts 14:23).
Biblical Teaching on Fasting
·The prophet Isaiah chastised the Israelites in Isaiah 58 for the unrighteous methods and motives of their fasting. He clarified some of the best reasons for fasting and listed both physical and spiritual benefits that would result (Isaiah 58:3-13).
·Jesus warned his followers against fasting only to make others admire them. He provided practical steps on how to fast in private. (Matthew 6:16–18).·The Pharisees in Jesus' time fasted regularly and asked Jesus why his disciples did not. Jesus answered them using a parable