James 4:8 -Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
ARE YOU READY? Monday we begin our 21 day Pursuit. We give ourselves to prayer and fasting as a corporate body! The first three full weeks of the year we dedicate to God; soul, mind, body and spirit. WE WILL DEAL WITH OUR SPIRITUAL HUNGER FIRST! Jesus promises in Matthew, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.”
The combination of fasting and praying is not a fad or a novelty approach to spiritual discipline. Fasting and praying are not part of a human-engineered method or plan. They are not the means to manipulate a situation or to create a circumstance. Fasting and praying are Bible-based disciplines that are appropriate for all believers.
Two important reasons we should Fast and Pray:
1. The Scriptures Teach Us to Fast and Pray
2. Fasting and Prayer Put You into the Best Possible Position for a Breakthrough
First, if the Bible teaches us to do something, we should want to do it. To obey the Lord in every way that He commands is paramount to our spiritual success. Second, if fasting and praying are means to a breakthrough that God has for us, we must use these disciplines so that we can experience that breakthrough! Fasting and prayer break the yoke of bondage and bring about a release of God’s presence, power, and provision.
Biblical fasting is going without food. The noun translated “fast” or “a fasting” is tsom in the Hebrew and nesteia in the Greek language. It means the voluntary abstinence from food. The literal Hebrew translation would be “not to eat.” The literal Greek means to abstain or “no food.”
You may decide to go without entertainment and social media outlets, you may put down your television remote or newspaper or perhaps some hobby or form of recreation. I encourage you to add this form of discipline to your fasting-as long as you specifically replace it with prayer. But to be biblically accurate, fasting has to do with our abstaining from food.
DON’T JUST GIVE IT UP-REPLACE IT! Just to “give up” something is a frivolous approach to fasting. We must replace what we fast with prayer! Spiritual fasting involves our hearts and the way in which we relate to and trust God. Fasting gives us discernment and strength to follow through on what God will reveal to us about circumstances in our lives, a direction we are to take or a command we are to follow.
Control of eating is a valid reason to fast—just not the main reason. The purpose is not the number of pounds you might lose during a fast, but rather, trusting God to help you regain mastery over food during a fast. Jesus said, “…..The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41). Fasting is a means of bringing the flesh into submission to the Lord so He can strengthen us in our mastery over our own selves. Fasting in the flesh makes us stronger to stand against the temptations of the flesh. God’s promise is to help us as we overcome the flesh and put all carnal temptations into subjection.
USE THIS DEVOTION GUIDE AND FOCUS OF PRAYER. This will allow us to UNITE IN PRAYER and receive the promise of Agreement
Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
Day 1 – Mon, 6 Jan – Key Verse: Matthew 6:33 Prayer Point: teach me to seek you first in all things
Day 2 – Tues, 7 Jan – Key Verses: Psalm 51:1-13 Prayer Point: purify my heart and motives
Day 3 – Wed, 8 Jan – Key Verses: Psalm 101 Prayer Point: shield my eyes/ears from unrighteousness and cause me to behave wisely.
Day 4 – Thurs, 9 Jan – Key Verses: James 3:1-12 Prayer Point: tame my tongue & train it to speak life
Day 5 – Fri, 10 Jan – Key Verses: Romans 12:1-2 Prayer Point: transform my mind/thoughts
Day 6 – Sat, 11 Jan – Key Verses: 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 Prayer Point: show me how to love unconditionally
Day 7 – Sun, 12 Jan – Key Verse: 1 Timothy 1:2 Prayer Point: grant me peace for things beyond my control
Day 8 – Mon, 13 Jan – Key Verses: Psalm 37:7-9 Prayer Point: help me be patient when I‟m ready for change
Day 9 – Tues, 14 Jan – Key Verses: 2 Timothy 23-26 Prayer Point: cause me to be kind whether others deserve it or not
Day 10 – Wed, 15 Jan – Key Verses: Philippians 2:3-11 Prayer Point: remind me to be good to others
Day 11 – Thurs, 16 Jan – Key Verses: 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 Prayer Point: show me how to be faithful to my spouse or keep me celibate while I wait on a spouse
Day 12 – Fri, 17 Jan – Key Verses: Ephesians 6:4, Colossians 3:21 & Deuteronomy 6:6-9 Prayer Point: teach me how to be gentle toward the kids I have authority over or can easily influence
Day 13 – Sat, 18 Jan – Key Verses: Titus 2:11-14 & 2 Peter 1:3-8 Prayer Point: help me to uphold self-control in my mouth, body, and finances
Day 14 – Sun, 19 Jan – Key Verses: 3 John 1-2 & Isaiah 58:6-9 Prayer Point: cause me to prosper in health & break me of every addiction I have (physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually)
Day 15 – Mon, 20 Jan – Key Verses: Matthew 28:18-20 Prayer Point: use me to lead someone to Christ
Day 16 – Tues, 21 Jan – Key Verses: Malachi 3:10-12 Prayer Point: give me courage to tithe consistently
Day 17 – Wed, 22 Jan – Key Verses: James 5:13-16 Prayer Point: heal those who are ill or injured
Day 18 – Thurs, 23 Jan – Key Verses: Psalm 121 Prayer Point: teach me to come to you for every void I have which no human being can fill
Day 19 – Fri, 24 Jan – Key Verses: Matthew 25:31-36 Prayer Point: teach me to share what I have with others who are less fortunate
Day 20 – Sat, 25 Jan – Key Verse: Psalm 119:105 Prayer Point: remind me to trust your Word not what I see
Day 21 – Sun, 26 Jan – Key Verse: Philippians 1:6 Prayer Point: remind me that everything YOU‟VE started, YOU will complete
DAILY PERSONAL PURSUIT!
Each Day you will read a different person’s story or perspective about the Passionate Pursuit of God!
TODAY’S ENTRY: Senior Pastor Buel Curtis. Joseph has been one of my favorite Bible heroes because he lived a life of striving to follow and fulfill the plan God had for him. There had to be a special encounter with God that kept Joseph focused and determined. We read of the dreams he shared with family members, and we can see how they played out, but as far as we know Joseph had no foreknowledge of the circumstances that would lead him to the king’s palace as second only to the Pharaoh of Egypt.
If Joseph can have that kind of relationship with God, so can we. Pursuit of the God we cannot see will direct us in paths we do not foresee. Some of those roads may not be of our choosing, but we won’t need to understand as long as we continue to place our hope in Him.
Choosing Your Fast:
The type of fast you choose is between you and God. He will honor your best sacrifice.
Full Fast Drink only liquids (you establish the number of days).
The Daniel Fast Eat no meat, no sweets and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables. Learn more on the separate GUIDE TO THE DANIEL FAST
3-Day Fast This fast can be a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food.
Partial Fast A partial fast is from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm or from dawn to dusk. This fast can be a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food.
FAST AS A SPIRITUAL COMMITMENT / BE SPECIFIC
- Fasting involves a spiritual commitment to God. Be clear and follow the guidelines of your commitment. “Daniel purposed in his hear that he would not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8).
- Before beginning your fast, write down a plan and make a verbal commitment to the Lord.
- When you approach your fast with determination and a clear goal, you will be less likely to waiver in weak moments.
Annual 21-Day Corporate Fast January 6-26, 2014
Celebration and Miracle Service: January 26 , 2014 (A.M. Service)
My cause or reason for fasting:
I will fast: Begin Date: ______________ End Date: ______________
Type of fast: _______________________
Who will I ask to fast with me, if anyone?
By the strength and grace of God I commit to the above fast.
Sign and Date
WEB PAGE LINKS TO FASTING TIPS, DEVOTIONS AND RESOURCES.
Daniel Fast Instructions
Types of food included in this Daniel fast:
• Vegetables, preferably fresh or frozen vegetables. Vegetables such as potatoes, beans, and soybeans will help provide substance. If canned vegetables are desired, use sodium free or drain and wash prior to cooking. Individuals who have intolerance to beans should substitute with soy products.
• It is advisable to take a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement during the fast (1 per day). You may also include various nuts to serve as a protein supplement.
• Whole Grains: Brown Rice, Oats (including Oatmeal), Barley and Pasta
• Legumes: Dried Beans, Pinto Beans, Split Peas, Lentils, Black Eyed Peas
• Fruits: Apples, Apricots, Bananas, Blackberries, Blueberries, Boysenberries, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Cranberries, Oats, Oranges, Figs, Grapefruit, Grapes, Guava, Honeydew Melon, Kiwi, Lemons, Limes, Mangoes, Nectarines, Papayas, Peaches, Pears, Pineapples, Plums, Prunes, Raisins, Raspberries, Strawberries, Tangelos, Tangerines, Watermelon (Limit your intake to 2 citrus fruits per day i.e. lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges)
• Vegetables: Artichokes, Asparagus, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chili Peppers, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic, Gingerroot, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Okra, Onions, Parsley, Potatoes, Radishes, Rutabagas, Scallions, Spinach, Sprouts, Squashes, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Yams, Zucchini, Collard greens, Turnip greens
• Seeds, Nuts, Sprouts
• Olive Oil, Seasonings and Spices
• Liquids: Spring Water, Distilled Water, Soy Milk, 100% All-Natural Fruit Juices, 100% All Natural Vegetable Juices (apple juice, orange juice, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, etc.) (no sweetened drinks or sweetened fruit)
Maintain portion control refer to the USDA Food Pyramid on www.mypyramid.gov for the recommended number of servings per day. (For example, limit fruits or vegetables to 7-10 per day and nuts to 12-15 per meal). Do not eat 10 oranges for breakfast when you would normally eat only one.
Foods not included in this Daniel fast:
• Sugar, sugar substitutes and sugar products (desserts, soft drinks, etc.)
• Table or Box Salt (Use Sea Salt)
• Drinks including caffeine (coffee, tea, etc.)
• All bread, enriched grains, and white rice
• Meats: red meat, fish, poultry, seafood, etc
• Dairy products: Milk, Cheese, Butter, Eggs, Yogurt, Cream (soy, rice, almond and hemp substitutes are ok)
• Fried Foods
• Margarine, Shortening, High Fat Products
Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily throughout the fast. This is very important.
You may experience moderate to severe headaches for the first day or two as your body rids itself of caffeine, salt, sugar, and various impurities. My personal experience is that day 3 is when I have the most severe headaches! You may need to take Advil or aspirin. If your doctor has advised against Advil or aspirin, please contact your doctor for an alternative.
Use your discretion along with the advice of your physician and prayer to modify the Daniel fast to adhere to your medical needs. Anyone with a medical condition related to eating or under the treatment of a physician must consult their doctor before proceeding. Also, if you have extreme difficulty with the fast, such as impairment of your ability to work at your job, you will have to make adjustments. Utilize wisdom. Seek the Lord and discuss it with other Christians involved in the fast to find alternatives.
“God’s kingdom isn’t a matter of what you put in your stomach . . . It’s what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ.” (Romans 14, The Message)