Here at C3 Church, we've just started 21 days of prayer and fasting. We do this every January as a way to dedicate our year to God and, to be honest, the past couple years I've really struggled to stick to the fast I commit to. I have all these lofty goals of what I'm going to fast and how spiritual it's going to make me, then fail miserably.
This year is different.
And you know why it's different? Because I'm different. My focus is different because I've found a purpose beyond myself in fasting. In a staff meeting today, Pastor Matt shared a devotional called "This is hard," and I wanted to share a portion of with you. If you're fasting, this will encourage you. And if you're not, I'd encourage you to start with one day. The purpose of fasting is to refrain from food in order to draw closer to God.
So the king of Israel set out with the king of Judah and the king of Edom. After a roundabout march of seven days, the army had no more water for themselves or for the animals with them.
“What!” exclaimed the king of Israel. “Has the Lord called us three kings together only to deliver us into the hands of Moab?”
But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no prophet of the Lord here, through whom we may inquire of the Lord?”
An officer of the king of Israel answered, “Elisha son of Shaphat is here. He used to pour water on the hands of Elijah.”
2 Kings 3:9-11
While the harpist was playing, the hand of the Lord came on Elisha and he said, “This is what the Lord says: I will fill this valley with pools of water. For this is what the Lord says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord; he will also deliver Moab into your hands.
2 Kings 3:15-18
In this passage, the nation of Israel was in the middle of a war, but all they could focus on was the water. Of course they needed water in order to continue, but it completely distracted them from the war. They asked God to provide water, but forgot to ask Him about the war.
My prayer for you is that, during this fast, you don't get distracted by the water. And by that I mean don't let food and drink, or physical symptoms of fasting, or even the challenges of your life distract you from the reason your fasting. That is to press in to God in prayer. Pray for your life and for your family, but also think bigger... pray for your city. How much would your city change if you really prayed for it? Then put those prayers into action.
This is going to be the best 21 days EVER!
What are you believing God for during your time of fasting?