January 9 – 29, 2023

God wants to speak to every one of us

As a community, we are dedicating three weeks at the beginning of this New Year to pray, fast, and hear from God. We believe that God wants to speak to every one of us and prompt us to take next steps towards the “life and life to the full” (John 10:10) that Jesus came to bring. We call this the YOU+ life. And as his disciples, we want to create space to hear from him and do what he says so that we can enter into it.

From January 9-29, we invite you to join us for 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. To be a part, sign up for the Community Daily below to receive daily devotionals. Also, we have provided more information on this page to help determine how you want to participate.

Why Fast?

Jesus taught his apprentices to engage in practices that would help them draw near to the Father. Fasting is one of the oldest and most prevalent spiritual practices in the Bible. Great leaders in the Bible fasted routinely, including Moses, David, Jeremiah, Isaiah, John the Baptist, Jesus, and the disciples. In Matthew 6:16, Jesus addresses fasting when he tells the disciples, “When you fast…” Notice Jesus says “when” not “if.” Jesus assumes that we will fast. Though fasting is assumed, it is not required. We don’t have to fast. We get to fast. Like all intentional spiritual practices, fasting should not be legalistic. We are not earning approval from God through fasting. We are opening ourselves up to connect with him.

Types of Fasts

There are several different ways you can practice fasting. Here are some examples:

  • Complete Fast – In this type of fast, you drink only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.
  • Selective Fast -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.
  • Partial Fast – 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.
  • Soul Fast – This fast is a great option if your circumstances prevent you from fasting from food, 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. For example, you might choose to stop using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast.

Whichever type of fast you choose, over the 21 days you can choose to fast for one day, one day a week, one meal multiple days a week, multiple days per week, etc. 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.

Pray

Fasting goes hand-in-hand with prayer. Plan to set aside the time you would normally spend on meal preparation and eating (or whatever you choose to fast from) for focused time with God. Pray, “Come, Holy Spirit,” as you invite God to search you, guide you, and transform you to become more like Jesus.

Hearing from God

Disciples hear from God and do what he says. Maybe you think, “But I don’t know how to hear from God!” The Community Daily content during these 21 days is going to help us with that. Each day, we’ll share insights on how to hear from God and provide prompts for you to listen for him. To participate, sign up for the Community Daily, and you’ll receive a daily email each of the 21 Days.

Let’s encourage and challenge each other as we open ourselves up to hear his voice over the 21 Days. May we all follow him into the YOU+ life!