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FASTING AND PRAYER

Fasting and prayer invite God to speak to us and move in powerful ways as we intentionally seek Him! We see spiritual results when we replace the time we spend in a certain area of life with time with God.

As you prepare for focused prayer time, here are some tips to help keep your prayers active during the 21 days:

  • Choose times when you are most mentally alert
  • Use different body postures during prayer such as lifting your hands, kneeling or walking
  • Pray out loud to keep your mind focused

Fasting is a spiritual discipline that draws us closer to God and brings clarity and understanding into our life. In the Bible, fasting always has to do with eliminating distractions for a spiritual purpose. If we don’t fast alongside prayer and Bible study, fasting is just a diet.

TYPES OF FASTS

Complete Fast
In this type of fast, you drink only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.

Partial Fast
This fast was common for the Hebrew people and involves abstaining from eating any type of food during a certain time of day, from sunup to sundown or choosing to eat only once a day. One type of partial fasting is intermittent fasting where you choose an eating window every day and fast for 14-16 hours.

Selective Fast
This type of fast involves removing certain foods or drinks from your diet. An example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, dairy, eggs, sweets and bread from your diet and consume water and juice for fluids and fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains for food.

Soul Fast
This fast removes indulgences and luxuries from your life outside of food, such as social media or television. It’s a good option if you have health issues that prevent you from fasting food or if you wish to refocus certain areas of your life that are out of balance.

Books and Resources

by Jentezen Franklin

In this New York Times Best-Seller and one of the best available books on the topic, Jentezen Franklin explains the spiritual power of fasting and offers a deeper understanding of God’s plan for fasting and the benefits available to those who participate. The book contains inspiring and practical information that readers need to know in order to access the power of biblical fasting. Those who seek God through fasting can expect tremendous rewards for their personal lives as well as for the church. They will see breakthroughs in many areas such as healing, finances, unhealthy dependencies and family relationships. This book also gives stories of those who have reaped miraculous rewards from this simple act of faith.

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by Chris Hodges

Why is it that so many Christians find it difficult to develop a vibrant and exciting prayer life? Even though prayer is foundational to the Christian life, many are intimidated or uncertain about how to talk to God. Prayer feels quaint and old-fashioned to some, sacred and uncomfortable to others. It’s not a lack of inspiration–there’s plenty of that. And it’s not that Christians don’t realize prayer is important–they know it is. So what’s the issue?

Pastor Chris Hodges has spent years studying the prayers of the Bible and the models of prayer that the scriptures provide for Christians. Now, he shares with readers the teachings and methods he’s used to successfully help hundreds of thousands of people understand how to spend time in conversation with God–and enjoy every minute. Pray First will help readers

  • gain the understanding and tools to make prayer work–and bring the joy back into their time with God; 
  • take a journey through the prayers of the Bible, which reveal how to make prayer more personal and powerful;  
  • learn about fasting, an often overlooked but powerful discipline that’s a vital companion to prayer; and 
  • follow proven, biblically grounded methods for making prayer a priority, not an afterthought.

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by Chad Veach

What comes to mind when you think about prayer? Does it feel like something for holy people but not for you? Or like a mystical experience you could never hope to achieve in real life? Or maybe just a boring duty with little payoff.

In this book, author and pastor Chad Veach demystifies the concept of prayer by explaining in practical terms what prayer looks like in our day-to-day lives. It turns out, it’s not hard! This passionate, personal approach to prayer removes the pressure to “pray right” and replaces it with the calm assurance that God wants to hear from us and respond to us in love.

Along with building a case for the importance of prayer, Chad uses stories and compelling insights from the Bible to give practical advice for how to make your prayers more effective. He highlights where we can and should pray and offers tangible strategies to implement a praying lifestyle within the busyness of modern life.

Prayer works! Here’s how to connect with God just like He’s always wanted.

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by Dutch Sheets

Called foundational, revolutionary, illuminating, and motivating, Intercessory Prayer continues to be a classic work after more than 20 years. This rich, biblical teaching is full of fresh insights showing how vital our prayers are and how God has always planned to work in partnership with us through prayer. As Dutch explains the nuts and bolts of prayer with wisdom, gentleness, and humor, readers will find inspiration and courage to pray for the impossible–and the persistence to see prayers to completion.

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by Tony Evans

Prayer is the most misunderstood and neglected aspect of the Christian life. It has been estimated that most Christians pray three to five minutes a day. Compare that to the time many spend complaining, and you’ll gain insight into the spiritual and emotional condition of our day.

Yet God has constructed the world in such a way that there is much He won’t do in a Christian’s life apart from prayer. Prayer, when combined with faith, can accomplish great things.

In this practical and comprehensive overview of prayer, Tony Evans covers a variety of topics, including:

  • Principles of productive prayer
  • The power of prayer and praise
  • Fasting and prayer
  • Prayer and God’s purposes

Tony’s expositions of various passages on prayer will help you realize its critical importance and encourage you to make it a dominant mark of your life.

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by Manny Arango

ARMA Online Courses can help you understand the Bible for yourself. Your subscription to ARMA gives you on-demand courses, like-minded community and learning resources. Two new courses are dropped every month covering books of the Bible, theology, and hot topics.

Welcome to our course on Fasting and Spiritual Discipline! Over these next series of videos, Manny is going to unpack Biblical fasting and Spiritual Discipline. Through this course, we are going to cover eight different reasons for fasting. Grab a notebook and pen and let’s get after it!

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