21 DAYS OF PRAYER & FASTING | January 1-21, 2019
Join us this year as we kick-off the new year right with 21 days of prayer and fasting. As a church,
we want to give God the first 21 days (and all of it truthfully) through an intentional time of drawing near to Him through prayer and fasting. Below you will find more information on fasting and prayer, as well as a guide to help us commit to be praying about the same things together as one family each day. The best is yet to come and we're better together!
The goal of fasting is to draw nearer to God. Biblical fasting always has to do with eliminating distractions for a spiritual purpose; it hits the reset button of our soul and renews us from the inside out. It also enables us to celebrate the goodness and mercy of God and prepares our hearts for all the good things God desires to bring into our lives. Remember, your personal fast should present a level of challenge, but it is very important to know your body, your options, and, most importantly, to seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.
Types of Fasts
Your personal fast should present a level of challenge, but it is very important to
know your body, your options, and most importantly, to seek God in prayer and
follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.
In this type of fast, you drink only liquids, typically water with light juices as an
This type of fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, and
bread from your diet and consume water and juice for fluids and fruits and
vegetables for food.
This fast is sometimes called the “Jewish Fast” and involves abstaining from
eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to
specific times of the day, such as 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sunup to sundown.
This fast is a great option if you do not have much experience fasting food, 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. For example, you might choose to stop
using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast and then
carefully bring that element back into your life in healthy doses at the conclusion
of the fast.
7 BASIC STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL FASTING AND PRAYER
By Bill Bright
I believe the power of fasting as it relates to prayer is the spiritual atomic bomb that our Lord has given us to destroy the strongholds of evil and usher in a great revival and spiritual harvest around the world.
Increasingly I have been gripped with a growing sense of urgency to call upon God to send revival to our beloved country. In the spring and summer of 1994, I had a growing conviction that God wanted me to fast and pray for forty days for revival in America and for the fulfillment of the Great Commission in obedience to our Lord’s command.
At first I questioned, “Is this truly God’s call for me?” Forty days was a long time to go without solid food. But with each passing day, His call grew stronger and more clear. Finally, I was convinced. God was calling me to fast, and He would not make such a call without a specific reason or purpose. With this conviction, I entered my fast with excitement and expectancy mounting in my heart, praying, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” I believe such a long fast was a sovereign call of God because of the magnitude of the sins of America and of the Church. The Lord impressed that upon my heart, as well as the urgent need to help accelerate the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this generation.
As I began my fast, I was not sure I could continue for forty days. But my confidence was in the Lord to help me. Each day His presence encouraged me to continue. The longer I fasted, the more I sensed the presence of the Lord. The Holy Spirit refreshed my soul and spirit, and I experienced the joy of the Lord as seldom before. Biblical truths leaped at me from the pages of God’s Word. My faith soared as I humbled myself and cried out to God and rejoiced in His presence.
This proved to be the most important forty days of my life. As I waited upon the Lord, the Holy Spirit gave me the assurance that America and much of the world will, before the end of the year 2000, experience a great spiritual awakening. This divine visit from heaven will kindle the greatest spiritual harvest in the history of the Church. But before God comes in revival power, the Holy Spirit will call millions of God’s people to repent, fast, and pray in the spirit of
2 Chronicles 7:14:
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
The scope of this revival depends on how believers in America and the rest of the world respond to this call. I have spent fifty years studying God’s Word and listening to His voice, and His message could not have been more clear.
This handy reference guide, Seven Basic Steps to Successful Fasting and Prayer, will help make your time with the Lord more spiritually rewarding. I encourage you to keep it with you during your fast and refer to it often because it gives easy-to-follow suggestions on how to begin your fast, what to do while you fast, and how to end your fast properly.
During my forty-day fast, God impressed me to pray that two million Christians in North America will fast for forty days by the end of the year 2000, and pray for national and worldwide revival and for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. I urge you to prayerfully consider this challenge.
Before you fast, I encourage you to read my book, The Coming Revival: America’s Call to Fast, Pray, and “Seek God’s Face.” It will help equip you for the coming spiritual awakening.
HOW TO BEGIN YOUR FAST
How you begin and conduct your fast will largely determine your success. By following these seven basic steps to fasting, you will make your time with the Lord more meaningful and spiritually rewarding.
STEP 1: SET YOUR OBJECTIVE
Why are you fasting? Is it for spiritual renewal, for guidance, for healing, for the resolution of problems, for special grace to handle a difficult situation? Ask the Holy Spirit to clarify His leading and objectives for your prayer fast. This will enable you to pray more specifically and strategically.
Through fasting and prayer we humble ourselves before God so the Holy Spirit will stir our souls, awaken our churches, and heal our land according to 2 Chronicles 7:14. Make this a priority in your fasting.
STEP 2: MAKE YOUR COMMITMENT
Pray about the kind of fast you should undertake. Jesus implied that all of His followers should fast (Matthew 6:16-18; 9:14,15) For Him it was a matter of when believers would fast, not if they would do it. Before you fast, decide the following up front:
How long you will fast—one meal, one day, a week, several weeks, forty days (Beginners should start slowly, building up to longer fasts.)
The type of fast God wants you to undertake (such as water only, or water and juices; what kinds of juices you will drink and how often)
What physical or social activities you will restrict
How much time each day you will devote to prayer and God’s Word
Making these commitments ahead of time will help you sustain your fast when physical temptations and life’s pressures tempt you to abandon it.
STEP 3: PREPARE YOURSELF SPIRITUALLY
The very foundation of fasting and prayer is repentance. Unconfessed sin will hinder your prayers. Here are several things you can do to prepare your heart:
Ask God to help you make a comprehensive list of your sins.
Confess every sin that the Holy Spirit calls to your remembrance and accept God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
Seek forgiveness from all whom you have offended, and forgive all who have hurt you (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3,4).
Make restitution as the Holy Spirit leads you.
Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit according to His command in Ephesians 5:18 and His promise in 1 John 5:14,15.
Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master; refuse to obey your worldly nature (Romans 12:1,2).
Meditate on the attributes of God, His love, sovereignty, power, wisdom, faithfulness, grace, compassion, and others (Psalm 48:9,10; 103:1-8, 11-13).
Begin your time of fasting and prayer with an expectant heart (Hebrews 11:6).
Do not underestimate spiritual opposition. Satan sometimes intensifies the natural battle between body and spirit (Galatians 5:16,17).
STEP 4: PREPARE YOURSELF PHYSICALLY
Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Consult your physician first, especially if you take prescription medication or have a chronic ailment. Some persons should never fast without professional supervision.
Physical preparation makes the drastic change in your eating routine a little easier so that you can turn your full attention to the Lord in prayer.
Do not rush into your fast.
Prepare your body. Eat smaller meals before starting a fast. Avoid high-fat and sugary foods.
Eat raw fruit and vegetables for two days before starting a fast.
WHILE YOU FAST
Your time of fasting and prayer has come. You are abstaining from all solid foods and have begun to seek the Lord. Here are some helpful suggestions to consider:
Avoid drugs, even natural herbal drugs and homeopathic remedies. Medication should be withdrawn only with your physician’s supervision.
Limit your activity.
Exercise only moderately. Walk one to three miles each day if convenient and comfortable.
Rest as much as your schedule will permit.
Prepare yourself for temporary mental discomforts, such as impatience, crankiness, and anxiety.
Expect some physical discomforts, especially on the second day. You may have fleeting hunger pains, dizziness, or the “blahs.” Withdrawal from caffeine and sugar may cause headaches. Physical annoyances may also include weakness, tiredness, or sleeplessness.
The first two or three days are usually the hardest. As you continue to fast, you will likely experience a sense of well-being both physically and spiritually. However, should you feel hunger pains, increase your liquid intake.
STEP 5: PUT YOURSELF ON A SCHEDULE
For maximum spiritual benefit, set aside ample time to be alone with the Lord. 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.
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 empowerment 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.”
If others are fasting with you, meet together for prayer.
Avoid television or any other distraction that may dampen your spiritual focus.
When possible, begin and end each day on your knees with your spouse for a brief time of praise and thanksgiving to God. Longer periods of time with our Lord in prayer and study of His Word are often better spent alone.
A dietary routine is vital as well. Dr. Julio C. Ruibal—a nutritionist, pastor, and specialist in fasting and prayer—suggests a daily schedule and list of juices you may find useful and satisfying. Modify this schedule and the drinks you take to suit your circumstances and tastes.
5 a.m. - 8 a.m.
Fruit juices, preferably freshly squeezed or blended and diluted in 50 percent distilled water if the fruit is acid. Apple, pear, grapefruit, papaya, watermelon, or other fruit juices are generally preferred. If you cannot do your own juicing, buy juices without sugar or additives.
10:30 a.m. - noon
Fresh vegetable juice made from lettuce, celery, and carrots in three equal parts.
2:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Herb tea with a drop of honey. Avoid black tea or any tea with caffeine.
6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Broth made from boiling potatoes, celery, and carrots with no salt. After boiling about half an hour, pour the water into a container and drink it.
Tips on Juice Fasting
Drinking fruit juice will decrease your hunger pains and give you some natural sugar energy. The taste and lift will motivate and strengthen you to continue.
The best juices are made from fresh watermelon, lemons, grapes, apples, cabbage, beets, carrots, celery, or leafy green vegetables. In cold weather, you may enjoy a warm vegetable broth.
Mix acidic juices (orange and tomato) with water for your stomach’s sake.
Avoid caffeinated drinks. And avoid chewing gum or mints, even if your breath is bad. They stimulate digestive action in your stomach.
BREAKING YOUR FAST
When your designated time for fasting is finished, you will begin to eat again. But how you break your fast is extremely important for your physical and spiritual well-being.
STEP 6: END YOUR FAST GRADUALLY
Begin eating gradually. Do not eat solid foods immediately after your fast. Suddenly reintroducing solid food to your stomach and digestive tract will likely have negative, even dangerous, consequences. Try several smaller meals or snacks each day. If you end your fast gradually, the beneficial physical and spiritual effects will result in continued good health.
Here are some suggestions to help you end your fast properly:
Break an extended water fast with fruit such as watermelon.
While continuing to drink fruit or vegetable juices, add the following:
First day: Add a raw salad.
Second day: Add baked or boiled potato, no butter or seasoning.
Third day: Add a steamed vegetable.
Thereafter: Begin to reintroduce your normal diet.
Gradually return to regular eating with several small snacks during the first few days. Start with a little soup and fresh fruit such as watermelon and cantaloupe. Advance to a few tablespoons of solid foods such as raw fruits and vegetables or a raw salad and baked potato.
A FINAL WORD
STEP 7: EXPECT RESULTS
If you sincerely humble yourself before the Lord, repent, pray, and seek God’s face; if you consistently meditate on His Word, you will experience a heightened awareness of His presence (John 14:21). The Lord will give you fresh, new spiritual insights. Your confidence and faith in God will be strengthened. You will feel mentally, spiritually, and physically refreshed. You will see answers to your prayers.
A single fast, however, is not a spiritual cure-all. Just as we need fresh infillings of the Holy Spirit daily, we also need new times of fasting before God. A 24-hour fast each week has been greatly rewarding to many Christians.
It takes time to build your spiritual fasting muscles. If you fail to make it through your first fast, do not be discouraged. You may have tried to fast too long the first time out, or your may need to strengthen your understanding and resolve. As soon as possible, undertake another fast until you do succeed. God will honor you for your faithfulness.
I encourage you to join me in fasting and prayer again and again until we truly experience revival in our homes, our churches, our beloved nation, and throughout the world.
GUIDE: 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting
(January 1st - 21st, 2019)
The goal of fasting is to draw nearer to God; to seek Him in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do. As we join together in prayer and fasting these first 21 days of the new year let’s commit to seek Him together in these 21 different areas -and enjoy the fact that we are doing this together as one family.
January 1: Pray for the fast.
Pray that God would direct your heart and the hearts of those participating in the 21 days of prayer and fasting. Dedicate these days to Him and for His purpose in your life and in the life of Mission City Church. And, let’s praise Him in advance for what He’s going to do.
January 2: Pray for the vision and mission of the church.
Pray for the vision and mission God has given Mission City Church to seek to develop a river of multiplying leaders for the purpose of saturating Vermont with the message and mission of Jesus. Pray for the supernatural work of God to make this happen through changing lives and opening up communities, and calling faithful believers to take courageous steps of obedience to accomplish this vision and mission.
January 3: Pray for the unity of the church.
Pray for the unity of Mission City Church, and that God would protect our fellowship and love for one another. Pray against attacks of the enemy to divide what God has united in Christ. Pray also that God would help you to protect the unity of the church.
January 4: Pray for the leadership of the church.
Pray for the pastors of Mission City Church, as well as our staff. Pray for their families. Pray for their spiritual health and holiness, and against the works of the enemy on them and their families.
January 5: Pray for God’s provision for the church.
Pray for the resources that Mission City Church will need to accomplish the mission and Vision God has given us, and for our stewardship of those resources.
January 6: Pray for individuals within the church.
Pray for those that call Mission City Church home. Pray for their spiritual growth and next steps.
January 7: Pray for those we want to reach.
Pray for those where we live, shop, work and play that we haven’t yet reached for Jesus. Pray that God would soften their hearts, and pray that the church would be faithful to reach them and share Jesus with them.
January 8: Pray for your personal relationship with Jesus.
Pray for your personal relationship with Jesus. Ask God to show you areas of your life that He is not Lord over, and to help you learn how to repent in those areas. Pray for whatever God has planned for you and your life this year -pray for His will to be done and for Him to help you become more like Christ.
January 9: Pray for your family’s relationship with Jesus.
Pray for your family, and their personal relationships with Jesus. Pray for those who have a relationship with Him to grow stronger, and for those that do not to give their life to Him. And, pray that God would show you how He wants to use you in their lives.
January 10: Pray for your friends’ relationship with Jesus.
Pray for your friends, and their personal relationships with Jesus. Pray for those who have a relationship with Him to grow stronger, and for those that do not to give their life to Him. And, pray that God would show you how He wants to use you in their lives.
January 11: Pray for your next steps.
Pray specifically today that God would show you what your next steps are in your walk with Him, and service to Him. Pray that He will help you know to take them.
January 12: Pray for your weaknesses.
Pray for those areas in your life that you wish to see grow and become more like Christ. This may be a use of your time, a talent, a treasure, or maybe something that you recognize (or not) that you personally struggle with. Pray that God will help grow through it.
January 13: Pray for your strengths and spiritual gifts.
Pray for those areas in your life that you recognize (or not) that are spiritual gifts and strengths. Pray that God will help be more aware of them and how to grow in them in order help build up His church.
January 14: Pray for your role in the mission.
Pray today for your specific role in the mission. You may be serving, or you may not be serving, in some capacity already. Pray that God would either affirm what your doing, or pray that He will show you what maybe needs to change. Pray that He would direct you to where He has designed you to help accomplish the mission.
January 15: Pray for church planters in Vermont.
Pray for those pastors who have planted, or are planting, a church in the state of Vermont. Pray for their health, spiritual state, and family. Pray also that God would provide for their work in the kingdom. Here a some of our partners:
- Todd West: Crosspoint Church, Williston, VT
Ben Preston: New King Church, Burlington, VT
Chris Geoppner: Riverbank Church, White River Jx, VT (& Claremont, NH)
January 16: Pray for church planters in New England.
Pray for those pastors who have planted, or are planting, a church in the New England. Pray for their health, spiritual state, and family. Pray also that God would provide for their work in the kingdom. Here a some of our partners:
Anthony Milas: Granite United Church, NH & MA
Rory Lawrence: Legacy Church, Nashua, NH
Josh Gagnon: Next Level Church, NH, NY & FL
Deryck Frye: Connect Community Church, Framingham, MA
Jonathon DelTurco: International Family Church, N. Reading, MA
January 17: Pray for church planters in Nepal.
Pray for those pastors who have planted, or are planting, a church in the Nepal. Pray for their health, spiritual state, and family. Pray also that God would provide for their work in the kingdom.
January 18: Pray for Mission City Kids & Students.
Pray for the family ministry of Mission City Kids. Pray for our leadership in this area, and servants. Pray for the kids who will hear about the love of Jesus on their level. Pray for salvations and for families to be equipped to better disciple their children to be lifelong followers of Jesus!
January 19: Pray for Mission City groups.
Pray for the groups of Mission City Church. Pray for their leader, and for more leaders. Pray that these groups to grow develop greater community with one another, and pray that they will begin to be even brighter lights for Jesus in the different communities they meet in.
January 20: Pray for our communities.
Pray for the actual communities that Mission City Church has locations in, and for the future locations as well. Pray that God would give us greater impact and favor for Him within them.
January 21: Pray for God’s direction for the church.
Pray, as we conclude, that God would continue to guide Mission City towards His vision and mission for His glory.