Many women from Alaska, the Lower 48, and even other countries, are joining together for a 21-Day-Fast this month. We come from many different churches and denominations. We have many different reasons for entering a season of intense prayer. We have needs in our families, churches, and communities that require a Divine intervention.
So we have decided to fast.
In our desire to see more of God, we are temporarily pulling away from some human pleasure. At the same time, we are drawing close to our Heavenly Father, pressing into His Word and His presence. Our drive to succeed is strong, but our frail humanity threatens to thwart our success before we even have the chance to gain momentum. We may become discouraged when we do not see our fasting goals happen the way we want them to. Here are a few suggestions to keep us focused and encouraged.
Focus on positive progress.
In last year’s fast, I actually only fasted on about half of the days, but the results of that fast were astounding. God didn’t look at me and say, “Because she missed half the fast, I will not hear her prayers.” Instead, He graciously acknowledged my baby-steps and showed up in many miraculous ways. Prayers from last year are still being answered today.
Will you and I falter and fail during this fast? Yes!! We will also face resistance and even attack from the enemy of our souls. But don’t let it discourage you. Instead, focus on the ways you can lean into the Father and celebrate the victories you have attained. Look at the opposition as a sign that the enemy sees you as a threat.
Write down an outline for your prayers.
If I don’t have a written guide to refer to, I waste precious time spinning my wheels, wondering what I should pray about. This year, I started with Priscilla Shirer’s prayer outline from her book Fervent. She follows an acronym for the word “PRAY”.
Praise: Decide what Bible passages will jump-start your praise and worship time. You could bookmark them in your Bible, save them on your smart phone, or write them in a journal (my personal favorite). You will branch out from here as the days progress, but at least you won’t have to waste time each day wondering where to start.
Repentance: If we harbor sin in our hearts, God will not hear us. (Psalm 66:18) Pray over passages like Psalm 51 and Daniel 9. Repent of known sin and ask God to reveal what else you need to confess. Then thank Jesus that His blood cleanses us from our sins. Acknowledge that you are covered by Jesus’ righteousness. Resist the temptation to gloss over this step, for the remaining steps are powerless without true repentance.
Asking: Take time to write out your requests–the areas where you need to see God’s hand move. Leave plenty of space in between them to write down more details that come to mind as you pray. Jot down verses that you will pray over these requests, which leads us to the last point…
Yes (to God’s will): This is where we agree with God about what He has already said He wants to do. Find Bible passages that speak to each situation you are praying for. Add them to your list of requests. Our prayers are much more effective when we pray for what God has already promised to provide.
Are you praying for spiritual growth? Personalize Colossians 1 as your prayer. Are you praying for protection? Pray Psalm 91 over your loved ones. Are you praying for spiritual strength? Prayerfully consider the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-20.
Celebrate God’s answers.
You may not see instant results from your prayers, but God just might surprise you with lightning-fast responses. Either way, record His answers and His miraculous interventions. They will boost your faith and the faith of others as your share them. Nothing inspires my faith like hearing about my friends’ answered prayer! I have not seen all my prayers from last year’s fast answered, but so much of what I am experiencing right now is a direct result of God’s answers to prayer. It still leaves me stunned by His miraculous power…and motivated to keep praying!
Dear Father, You are so gracious to allow us to boldly approach Your throne. We thank You for all the miraculous wonders You are already beginning to perform. Show us what sins we need to confess and forsake. Help us to listen closely to Your voice and pray as You want us to pray. Keep our eyes focused on You, standing firm and wearing our armor for battle. Hold us with the right hand of your righteousness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
It’s not too late to join us or to start your own private fast. Join our Facebook group for more equipping and encouragement about fasting and prayer.