Preparing for Next Week's Fast

We are heading into our first ever corporate fast as a church family at Generations. I've been so encouraged by your embrace of this collective pursuit, so thank you.

We begin this upcoming Sunday, January 26th. What we are heading into however, is not to be taken lightly or entered into cavalierly. So, this blog is an attempt to have us all think through some of the different dimensions of the fast in order to prepare ourselves wisely and deliberately for the week ahead. Hope this helps.


Brothers and sisters, this will be difficult. Let's not romanticize it. There is a reason you have never done this or that you have rarely done this. And doing a full week is a long time. Pray for strength. Pray for resolve and resilience. Pray for the living God to meet you in this process.

You will see some ugly things in yourself. As you remove food and go-to beverages as well as entertainment from your normal flow of life, things will come to the surface. The whole concept of "hangry" is not just physiological, it is spiritual. As you deny yourself normal coping mechanisms which suppress or distract from your flesh, the Spirit will reveal attitudes, thoughts, behaviors, dependencies, desires, etc. which you may be surprised and unsettled by. That's God's grace and mercy to gently reveal our need for Him. He's not surprised or unsettled. He knows already that which is unknown to you and He is not repelled by it. He's accounted for all the sin you don't know about. As you see things in yourself, breathe in the fresh air of the gospel. Confess and lean on Christ.

You have an enemy who hates your spiritual progress and closeness to Jesus. He will oppose you. He will accuse you. He will seek to discourage and frustrate you. He will exploit sin and immaturity in your life to beat you down. When Jesus was filled with the Spirit and led into the wilderness, for 40 days of fasting, Satan was there to tempt him. He will be there to tempt us to believe lies too. By saying yes to this week of fasting, you are putting yourself in the crosshairs of the kingdom of darkness. Focus on the word and on prayer and on worship and on community. Use these resources to their fullest advantage. Fight for the ground which the enemy will not concede willfully. He who is in you is greater than he that is in the world.


However you have determined to approach this from a dietary standpoint, don't just go into it cold turkey (yum... turkey). We aren't trying to go hard core, water only for 7 days. Don't over reach. Remember, do the Daniel fast, or a liquid fast with smoothies and shakes and no solid foods. Dropping to zero calorie intake would be foolish. Again, consult a physician before entering into this. While there is a place for more extreme fasts for short durations of time, our emphasis here is on meaningful changes and some real self-denial, but we don't want anyone compromising their health.

Do your grocery shopping. Have the things on hand you need to make preparations efficient. Know what you will and won't put in your system and remove temptation beforehand. Account for work and normal lunch meetings. You might schedule lunch breaks with people from church to just talk and pray and eat a carrot or drink a kale smoothie. :) Consider your biggest challenges during the flow of a normal week and intentionally decide how to approach those moments.


Don't just assume that fasting is automatically spiritually beneficial. It's not. But it is supposed to be. To take spiritual ground in your life this week, you need a plan of attack. Prayer and time in the word is not a plan by the way. Unless you know what you're going to pray for and about, and what you're going to read or study.

We are putting out a daily prayer focus with a passage from scripture to assist you with that. But it is probably not in itself sufficient to fill your week. I have heard of some people studying a certain book of the Bible in depth while fasting, or memorizing a chapter of Scripture, or writing out an entire book (like one of the epistles) to just meditate on it as you go. Have a plan for what you will do with the television off and podcasts off. Be intentional.

You may have kids in the house not doing the food fast, but who could do the media and entertainment fast with you. But that means you need a plan for them too. What will you do as a family to fill the time which entertainment often occupies. That may include a range of things like bible studies, worship, prayer, as well as games activities and conversations. Think it through and prepare your children over the weekend for what's coming. Don't just spring it on them. Talk about it and give them a vision for the week together.

To maximize this week, keep your bible close at hand. Keep a journal close at hand. Even if you don't normally journal, consider doing so this week. Write down your thoughts and emotions. Write down what the Lord is revealing about you and about Himself. Process the Word of God on paper. Record observations.

Attend evening prayer where it is being hosted. We want everyone to attend at least one night of prayer, but there is no limit to the number of nights you can attend. Also, consider getting together with others who live closer for fellowship and prayer. Plan to connect with one another. We are in this together after all.

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