Fasting First Friday
Parkway’s Prayer Ministry began “Fasting First Friday” as a way to draw the attention of our church to the desperate need for intercessory prayer on behalf of America. Intercessors for America has urged a First Friday Fast for over 40 years. Since fasting is rarely talked about or encouraged, read about what fasting is below. This spiritual discipline should have a place in every Christian’s life.
So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with Him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. (Daniel 9:3)
WHY ARE YOU FASTING?
Fasting is a way to prepare ourselves to pray more in line with God’s will. Simply stated, biblical fasting is refraining from physical food for a spiritual purpose. You may fast for guidance, healing, strength, revival, or another reason. Whatever the case, you are asking the Holy Spirit for help and guidance.
Fasting is found in both the Old and New Testament as David, Ezra, and Moses all fasted. Churches in Antioch and Galatia fasted during critical times in their ministries. Jesus, in His Sermon on the Mount, said, “When you fast” indicating He expected us to fast, not if we would. We fast on the first Friday of each month to show unity as a church body and to show that prayer is a vital part of our lives. We should pray for guidance even in the way God wants us to fast (such as drinking water only, or water and juices, or what kinds of juices and how often). We must be reasonable when we fast, so check with your physician if you are on medications or if you have any health issues. Other questions to be considered include, What activities, both physical or social will we restrict? And the larger issue is, How much time will we devote to being in God’s Word and in prayer?
HOW ARE YOU FASTING?
For maximum spiritual benefit, set aside ample time to be alone with the Lord on the day of your fast. Listen for His leading. The more time you spend with Him, the more meaningful your fast will be.
Begin your day in praise and worship.
Read and meditate on God’s Word, preferably on your knees (health allowing).
Invite the Holy Spirit to work in you, to will and to do His good pleasure according to Philippians 2:13.
Invite God to use you. Ask Him to show you how to influence your world, your family, your church, your community,
your country, and beyond.
Pray for His vision for your life and ask that He empower you to do His will.
Return to prayer and God’s Word.
Take a short prayer walk.
Spend time in intercessory prayer for your community’s and nation’s leaders, for the world’s unreached millions, for your family, or special needs.
Get alone for an unhurried time of “seeking His face.”
Avoid television or any other distraction that may dampen your spiritual focus.