Are you starting the new year with a time of prayer and fasting? Many of us will either individually or corporately, alongside our church family, take some time at the beginning of 2018 to draw closer to God through prayer and fasting.
Whether this is your first time to fast or you have fasted many times before, take a pause to listen to what the Lord has to say about this year. Although there are undeniable physical benefits to fasting as well as spiritual growth to be expected, don’t get too far ahead of yourself and jump into the “doing” of fasting without experiencing the “being” with God and His will for you.
If this is your first time to fast, it may seem overwhelming and you may be unsure of what to do. Don’t worry! God is more concerned about the heart behind your fasting than whether you get every detail exactly right.
If you fast every year, you may be eager to jump right into it, but don’t take this time for granted! God wants to do a new thing in our lives every year, and it will take intentional pause and listening on our parts to discern what He is trying to tell us.
Here are some scriptures to meditate on as you prepare to fast in 2018:
- “Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” – Isaiah 43:19
- “And Jesus said to them,”The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” – Matthew 9:15
- “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” – Matthew 6:16-18“
- Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke?” – Isaiah 58:6
- But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.” – Daniel 1:8
- “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.” – Exodus 33:15