3901 Speedway, Austin TX 78751

PRAY FOR AUSTIN, TEXAS

HP/QC is joining churches across our city to make Austin, Texas the most prayed over city in America. Therefore, we have selected the 18th of every month as our day to cover 24 hours in prayer. Click on the link below to sign up for a 30 minute prayer slot (you can take more than one) to make sure we have someone praying during all 24 hours of the day. With your prayers, God can make some amazing things happen for our city! 

Three Prayer Priorities for America

by Ronnie Floyd
(The following prayer guide is used with permission from RonnieFloyd.com)
1. #PRAY4UNITY IN THE CHURCH OF AMERICA
“Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding and the same conviction.”1 Corinthians 1:10
  • God is calling His church in America to unify upon the authority of the Bible and the centrality of Jesus Christ, the only Savior of the world.
  • Ask God for thousands of local churches to unify as one body of Christ, agreeing together that God is our greatest need in America.
  • Call upon God for Jesus’ Church in America to walk in unity, harmony, and oneness, so His Church personifies, calls, and leads America to unity.
  • Convict the church in America to wake up spiritually, agree clearly, unite visibly, and pray extraordinarily for the next Great Spiritual Awakening in America to occur in our generation.
  • Call upon God to bring spiritual awakening now in America, shaping the future of America, just as the Great Spiritual Awakenings in our history have shaped our spiritual heritage as a nation.
2. ASK GOD SPECIFICALLY TO GIVE OUR NATION’S LEADERS CLEAR DIRECTION TO LEAD THE PEOPLE IN OUR NATION THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. 
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Lord Jesus, give our nation’s leaders a passion to lead by Your Word and according to Your will in all things.
  • Father, help our President, our Vice President, the Cabinet, and all the members of Congress, as well as the leaders in our state and in our region to know that God is able to reveal the path He wants us go to in our regions, states, and nation.
  • Spirit of God, move upon the leaders of our nation to work together toward resolving these critical issues:
    • Personal credibility and the integrity of leadership among their own colleagues charged with leadership in our nation
    • Divisiveness and vitriolic communication in our nation
    • Tax reform implementation
    • Healthcare reform
    • Immigration reform
    • Education reform
    • National security
    • Religious liberty
    • Sanctity and dignity of human life
    • Terrorism nationally and globally
    • Drug addiction and overdose
    • Other issues that may emerge this month
  • Sovereign God, we ask that You protect the leaders of our nation and their families, as well as the members of our military nationally and globally, and all the first responders in our nation.
3. APPEAL TO GOD PASSIONATELY TO INTERVENE SUPERNATURALLY ON THE NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER.
“Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3
  • LORD JESUS, we ask You to call all leaders of denominations, church networks, churches, government, education, business, cities, and all communities in America to create thousands of gatherings that will saturate their regions in prayer for unity in America.
  • Father, use all relationships, social networking and all forms of media to mobilize millions of people to prayer for America on Thursday, May 3.
  • Spirit of God, raise up all generations, all ethnicities, all churches, all denominations, all networks, and all languages to pray for America on May 3.
  • Great God in Heaven, please remove all obstacles that stand in the way of every gathering on the National Day of Prayer.
  • Now Lord, as the national organization of the National Day of Prayer Task Force leads in this national effort, please provide for the financial needs that exist as it forwards prayer in America.
  • Holy Spirit, as Dr. Ronnie Floyd, the President of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, provides direction and leadership over this national prayer movement, please give Him Your direction and will in all things.

Praying For Spiritual Awakening in Austin, Texas

by J. Kie Bowman
"Fastest Growing City in America"
"Strongest Economy in the United States"
"Third Most Lost City in America"
These are only a few of the things being said about our city--Austin, Texas. Over a million people in our area have no connection to a house of worship, and no clear evidence of a personal, saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Yet, we are home to some of the greatest churches in the country.

Pastors from across a broad denominational spectrum have come together, repeatedly, with a burden for this vast mission field we call "home". We are committed to reaching our city for Christ. To do this will require a mighty move of God and only when we pray in faith can we expect to see God's power break through. That's where you come in.

Several pastors have committed to "make Austin, Texas the most prayed over city in America." We need your help. We need you to join us in prayer!

Hyde Park Baptist/The Quarries Church has joined the Unceasing Prayer Movement in Austin by committing to pray for 24 hours, in 30 minute sessions, on the 18th of every month in 2016. Imagine what could happen if all of us would join our hearts with other believers in our city to cover not only the clock -- but cover the calendar -- in 24-hour-a-day prayer throughout this year! God has always wanted a praying people. This was the vision the prophet Isaiah prophesied and predicted 2700 years ago!

"On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the dayand all the night they shall never be silent. You who put the Lord in remembrance, take no rest, and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth." (Isaiah 62:6-7 ESV)
What God wanted for the Holy City of Jerusalem I feel confident He wants even more for His Church! We are His people and His witness in the world. We are the "watchmen on the walls" now and the heart of God has always been to raise up a praying people who "take no rest and give Him no rest." Jesus said His disciples "should always pray and not give up"(Luke 18:1). The Apostle Paul urged us to "pray without ceasing" (I Thessalonians 5:17). Unceasing prayer is the biblical model to bring revival and the blessings of God.
Now that you have joined with many others as part of the Unceasing Prayer Movement, you can find a growing number of ways to pray during your 30 minute prayer session. Look at the suggested guides then choose the one that works for you. In addition, I have provided some Scripture promises concerning prayer to encourage your faith as you pray. Thank you for praying!

Simple Guideline For a Powerful 30 Minute Personal Prayer Meeting

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.” (Matthew 6:6-7)
1. Find a place to pray free from distractions
2. It’s always good to read your Bible in order to help build your faith as you pray.
3. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your prayer time.
4. Remember, you’re never more like Jesus than when you’re praying for other people! Be sure to pray for lost friends and family members to be saved and for discouraged Christians, too.
5. Pray for your church to experience spiritual awakening.
6. In prayer, expect great things from God!
7. Pray for revival to come to many churches in our city.

HOW TO JUMP-START YOUR PRAYER TIME IN THE FIRST 5 MINUTES!

Minute 1: Thank God for everything He has blessed you with
Minute 2: Confess your sins
Minute 3: Pray for other people
Minute 4: Ask God to meet your specific needs
Minute 5: Bonus Time. Use this "free" minute to catch up from the other four—you'll need it! 

35 WAYS TO PRAY FOR 30 MINUTES

  1. Begin by praising God for who He is
  2. Thank God for all He has done in your life, for your church, in this city
  3. Prepare your own heart for prayer by confessing your sin (pride, anger, envy, lust, greed, laziness, gluttony, etc)
  4. Ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit
  5. Pray the Holy Spirit will convict our church members of the need for personal revival
  6. Pray for the Pastor and Church Staff as they serve the church
  7. Ask God to bring unchurched people to church this Sunday
  8. Plead with God to convince the lost to come to Christ
  9. Ask God to save people at every service of our church
  10. Pray for our Hispanic, Chinese, and Korean pastors, and their congregations to grow in spirit and in number
  11. Thank the Lord for the financial generosity of our church and for a continuous flow of sacrificial support for our ministries
  12. Pray for a genuine burden for holiness and a spirit of repentance and confession in our own church members
  13. Ask God to give our people a hunger and thirst for the presence of God and the things of the Lord
  14. Pray for the Pastor as he prepares messages from the Word for the church
  15. Ask God to make our church passionately devoted to the personal and congregational love of Bible study
  16. Pray for a hedge of spiritual and physical protection for the children of our church
  17. Ask God to speak to the youth of our church and send a revival among them
  18. Pray for the families of our church- especially for marriages to be strong
  19. Ask God's blessings on single adults and the many challenges they face each day
  20. Pray for single parents to be connected to the church and a small group, Community group, or Sunday School class
  21. Thank God for lay leaders and volunteers who teach in our church
  22. Give God praise for the many volunteers throughout our ministries who serve behind the scenes
  23. Pray our church will grow as the Lord leads new people to us
  24. Pray, pray, pray for a spirit of unity in our fellowship
  25. Pray for our Hyde Park Schools--the hundreds of students, parents and faculty
  26. Pray our church will be protected from physical attack and will be a safe place to serve and worship
  27. Ask God to continually bless our worship ministry leaders, ministers, musicians, and choirs
  28. Pray God will raise up new leaders and that He will call more people into service and ministry
  29. Ask God to transform our church into a House of Prayer for all nations
  30. Pray we will experience real revival in 2016 in answer to prayer!
  31. Pray for many people to be saved!
  32. Pray for our church to stay strong but loving in delivering biblical truth in our city
  33. Pray for the families of our staff and the unique challenges they face
  34. Pray for miracles of healing for those in our church on the prayer list
  35. Pray our television, social media, YouTube, Vimeo, website, and app ministries will be used to spread the gospel around the world

WAYS TO PRAY FOR SPIRITUAL AWAKENING

(used with permission from OneCry)

Prayer for Repentance 

"Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water."  (Hebrews 10:22) 
ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT TO REVEAL YOUR SIN AND BE WILLING TO CONFESS AND REPENT!
Have I confessed my sins to God?
Am I attempting to hide anything from the Lord?
Have I been honest with my family?
Am I abusing any substance?
Do I have an unforgiving attitude toward anyone?
Am I self centered?
Am I proud?
Is my ego hurting other people?
Am I angry and mean spirited?
Am I jealous of others?
Do I allow envy to control how I feel?
Am I sexually pure?
Are my "entertainment" choices pleasing to the Lord?
Do I tell the truth?
Am I greedy?
Have I attempted to restore relationships with those I have offended? Those who have offended me?
Have I avoided personal prayer and Bible study? Daily time with the Lord?

PRAYER FOR REVIVAL
"Great are Your mercies, O LORD; Revive me according to Your ordinances." (Psalm 119:156)
LET REVIVAL BEGIN IN YOUR OWN HEART!
Praise God for Who He is.
Thank God for His blessings in your life.
Ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit.
Ask the Lord to set your heart on fire for the things of God.
Declare your personal love for God.
Pray for the lost members of your family to be saved.
Ask the Lord to use you.
Pray for your family.
Call on God about the biggest need in your life right now.

PRAYER FOR AMERICA
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom He has chosen as His heritage!"  (Psalm 33:12) 
Pray for political leaders to repent and seek God.
Pray for Spiritual Awakening across all denominations.
Pray for unity in the Body of Christ.
Pray God raises up a new generation of Christians willing to share their faith.
Pray for peace and security for all the citizens of our country.
Cry out to God to bless struggling churches in the largely unchurched cities of America.

A WATCHMAN’S GUIDE TO PRAYING GOD’S PROMISES

This guide © 2012, 2015 by Dick Eastman, International President, Every Home for Christ (www.EHC.org) and is reprinted by permission of the author and Every Home for Christ International

THE SEVEN MOUNTAINS OF INFLUENCE 

(A Sevenfold Daily Prayer Focus)
In the mid-1970s God drew two visionary leaders together for a luncheon meeting in Colorado. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, and Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth With A Mission, were those men. As they came together each felt the Lord was revealing an important strategy necessary for impacting nations and cultures in such a manner as to initiate true transformation of a society. Little did they know they both had received the same insights. Indeed, a few weeks later in Switzerland, theologian Francis Schaeffer was to receive the identical revelation. The message was simple but profound: To impact all of a culture, people, or nation with the totality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, every major sphere of influence had to be impacted. More specifically, this involved seven clearly defined spheres or as some have come to define them, the Seven Mountains of Influence.

You may not pray in detail for all seven every day, but you can ask the Holy Spirit to help you concentrate on any specific sphere for a given day. These seven spheres include:
1.Religion (The Church, Ministries, and Other Faiths)
Pray for the Holy Spirit’s anointing on all churches, no matter their denomination. Pray for ministries involved in evangelism and discipleship, including foreign missionary activity. Pray for all faiths and religions that they will see the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray that Christians will be bold in their witness.
2.Family and Marriages (Youth, Children, Marriages, etc.)
Pray for families in general, and particularly the healing of broken relationships in marriages and families, especially among believers and those in Christian ministry. Pray for the sanctity of marriage. Pray against cultural influences that diminish the value of marriage and family.
3.Education (All Schools, Universities, Colleges, and Educators)
This focus involves all institutions of education, whether for the very young, when children are so easily influenced, or those studying at higher levels. Pray for teachers and educators. Pray for those you know by name. Add them to your daily prayer lists for each day. Pray also for the content of textbooks so they will reflect biblical values. Ask God to send a revival to all campuses.
4.Business (The Marketplace)
This focus involves praying for a spiritual awakening in the marketplace. Pray especially for Christian businessmen and women that God will use them to influence others in their professions. Pray for major corporations that they will build their companies on a foundation of high moral and ethical standards.
5.Government (Local, National, and International)
Pray for heads of your local, state (or province), and national government. Remember especially to intercede for the judiciary (judges) of your nation and the nations of the world. Intercede for other nations. Include the military, law enforcement, as well as other service officials, such as firefighters and civil servants.
6.Media (The Press, Television, Internet, and Social Networking)
Ask God to cause all aspects of the media and information technology to become a tool in His hands to change the culture around us for His honor and glory. Pray that the influence of the Internet and social networking will be used by Christians to capture a new generation of young believers. Pray that Christian values and ethics will find their way into all aspects of the media.
7.Arts and Entertainment (Including Sports)
This focus includes all those in any field of the arts or entertainment including sports. Some have defined this sphere as the “Celebration” sphere because it takes many such aspects into consideration. Ask God to use the influence of those who know Him in these arenas so they might impact many around them. Pray for entertainers or athletes you know by name who have a strong Christian testimony. Ask God to expand their influence

SCRIPTURE PROMISES

"The Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to Him."
Deuteronomy 4:7 
"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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
II 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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
II Chronicles 7:14
"Hear, O Lord my righteous plea; listen to my cry. Give ear to my prayer--it does not rise from deceitful lips."
Psalm 17:1 
"To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God."
Psalm 25:1-2 
"Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."
Psalm 32: 6, 8
"Call upon Me in the day of' trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor Me."  
Psalms 50:15
"Save me, O God, by Your name; vindicate me by Your might. Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth. Surely God is my help; the Lord is the One who sustains me."
Psalm 54:1-2, 4
"He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea."  
Psalm 102:17
"Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits."  
Psalm 103:1-2
"Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while he is near."
Isaiah 55:6 
"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD."
Jeremiah 29:12-14
"Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, O God - We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy."
Daniel 9:17-18 
"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."  
Mark 11:25
"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."  
Luke 11:9-10
"Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up."
Luke 18:1
"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you."
John 15:7
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."
Romans 8:26
 
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."
Ephesians 6:18 
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
I Thessalonians 5:16-18

CLOSER TO GOD 

In 21 Days

Beginning Wednesday, January 6 we will launch 21 days of prayer and fasting for personal repentance and renewal, church revival, and spiritual awakening in our city. CLOSER TO GOD IN 21 DAYS begins January 6 and goes through January 26. Sign up for days of fasting begins next week. A fasting guide has been prepared. I encourage everyone in our church to get involved! The fasting guide is available at the end of this article, at hpbc.org/2418, and on my blog (KieBowman.com), and in print upon request.

The “Hour of Power” is coming! On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, January 11 &12, 18 & 19, and 25 & 26 we will host dynamic prayer and worship meetings from 12-12:50 pm in the Hyde Park Baptist Chapel. Great worship and directed prayer will boost your plan to grow spiritually.
In addition, to help you stay motivated and pumped up, I will send everyone in our church a daily 3-minute video devotional by email during the weekdays of our 21 Days!

To add to our 21 days emphasis on prayer and fasting, our special guest preacher on Sunday, January 23 will be Dr. Ronnie Floyd. This month will be incredible for everyone who takes advantage of the opportunities for spiritual renewal!

Sign up now by clicking button below!

Continue scrolling down for "God's Call to Fasting"

GOD’S CALL TO FASTING

(A Practical Guide)

“I humbled myself with fasting…”
(Psalm 69:10)

“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting....” 

(Joel 2:12)

“Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting....”

(Daniel 9:3)
Prayer and fasting are significant spiritual disciplines any believer can utilize in order to yield our lives more fully to God. In Scripture, prayer is mentioned hundreds of times with no reference to fasting, but the opposite cannot be said. Fasting, in Scripture, is almost never discussed apart from prayer. They go together because fasting belongs with prayer and is, in one sense, an extension of prayer. In fasting we let go of our plans; in prayer we take hold of God’s plans. Prayer connects us to Heaven while fasting disconnects us from earth!
 
WHY FASTING?
Here are a few simple but powerful reasons why every follower of Christ should incorporate fasting into their plans for spiritual growth.

  • Fasting creates a deep passion for intense prayer
  • Fasting increases our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit
  • Fasting strengthens our resolve to obey God
  • Fasting heightens our desire for His presence
  • Fasting purifies our motives
  • Fasting reminds us to pray without ceasing
  • Fasting humbles us so our focus is on the Lord.

In addition to these thoughts, one of the most convincing incentives for fasting is the gallery of spiritual giants found in Scripture who fasted. We quickly think of Moses, Elijah, Daniel, and many others, but our primary example is Jesus. Jesus was obviously a man of prayer but He also was intensely committed to fasting. Not only did He practice it Himself, Jesus taught on fasting and expects His followers to fast.

WHAT IS FASTING?
The word, or some form of the word, fasting occurs more than seventy-five times in Scripture. Fasting was common in both Old and New Testament practice. Moses, Elijah, Nehemiah, Ezra, Daniel, John the Baptist, Paul, and Jesus all fasted. So did many others.

Fasting in scripture is always about denying ourselves food. For some today, fasting has become a metaphor for giving up almost anything for godly reasons. For purposes of developing self-discipline, there may be value in refraining from some practices for a time. The people of the Bible, however, would have never considered merely give up some pleasurable practice.

Consider, for instance, the Hebrew and Greek words we translate into English as “fasting.” The Greek word literally means “no eat.” The Hebrew is even blunter, where the word literally means “shut mouth!” When we discuss fasting, therefore, we mean refraining from food.

BIBLICAL FASTING FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH
Jesus encouraged us to fast when He said: “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matt. 6:16-18 ESV)

Notice that twice Jesus said “when” you fast, not “if” you fast. For many centuries devout and sincere followers have fasted for spiritual power and to increase the effectiveness of their prayers. Fasting is an important spiritual discipline for our own generation. Some of the practical points Jesus mentioned are:

  1. Fasting is expected by the Lord (“…when you fast”)
  2. Fasting is for the Lord’s notice not for the approval of others (“…may not be seen by others but by your Father”)
  3. God will bless you when you fast (“…your Father…will reward you”).

IS FASTING FOR TODAY
One day, some followers of John the Baptist came to Jesus with a challenge about fasting. They wondered why the disciples of Jesus were not fasting. It’s an interesting exchange.

“Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” (Matthew 9:14-15 ESV)

Jesus told them His disciples didn’t need to fast while He was with them but after He would be taken away, “then they will fast” (v15). The time for fasting is now- while Jesus is away in Heaven, awaiting His return.

PRACTICAL WAYS TO FAST
There are three fasts I recommend for almost anyone. If you have specific health conditions which affect your diet, check with your healthcare provider about the medical aspects of fasting. Some people, it’s true, will face extra challenges with fasts. For most people in reasonable health, one of these simple but powerful fasts, with thoughtful preparation, can be undertaken to increase your sensitivity to God’s Spirit.

THE PARTIAL FAST
In Daniel 10:2-3, the prophet, who was no stranger to fasting, described a “partial fast” in which he denied himself “choice food,” including meat. During a partial fast, you might want to limit your food to only fresh fruits or vegetables in the smallest amounts without sugar, salt, or seasonings. You would not want to drink any beverages other than water or limited amounts of 100% fruit/vegetable juices (avoid concentrates which are loaded with added sugar). For coffee or tea drinkers, it is appropriate to have a cup or glass without sugar or cream.

This might be the perfect fast for those who need to eat a small amount in order to take medication but still want to fast. As always, a fast is self-denial. So the menu isn’t the only important thing but also the small portions that matter. Use common sense, limit your intake of food, talk to your doctor, and trust God.

The spiritual benefits will include a heightened sense of the presence and joy of the Lord, if you spend quality time in Bible study and prayer. It is an excellent way for those fasting for the first time to begin this exciting, refreshing, and rewarding spiritual discipline.

THE ONE DAY NORMAL FAST
I have discovered the wonderful results of a regular one-day fast in which I only drink water and a little black coffee during a twenty-four hour period. I like to fast on a given day until breakfast the next day. The rewards are tremendous! The Bible always comes alive during these days in a special way, and our prayer life during the one-day fast can be as powerful as we might ever experience.

A variation of the one-day fast covers the twenty-four hours from sundown to sundown. You eat nothing from a late-day meal on one day until the same time the next day.

As with the other fasts mentioned, common sense must be used by those with preexisting medical conditions which require special diets. This guide is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Most adults and older teenagers, however, should be able to do a one-day water fast if He leads them to the fast and they seek God during the day.

THE EXTENDED FAST
For those more experienced with fasting, a three-day or long fast with only 100% fruit/vegetable juices, water, or, for the coffee/tea drinkers, a small amount of unsweetened black coffee, or tea is a great exercise in commitment and sacrifice.

During this fast, no solid foods, including fruits/milk products or soft drinks, are consumed. This is a more difficult fast since the body really begins to “cry” to be fed during the length of the fast. The spiritual benefits, however, outweigh the inconvenience and can be life-changing. Expect to hear from God during the extended juice fast. I do not recommend more than three days until you have checked with your doctor, spiritual leaders, and/or Christian family/friend. I did a 40 day fast several years ago and I’ve done a few 10 day fasts, and multiple 3 day fasts. I recently did a 21 day fast. I’ve never had any ill side effects. I highly recommend the extended fast.

Whenever you fast, remember to spend at least as much time in prayer and Bible study as you would have spent eating and preparing to eat. This isn’t a diet. Fasting is about seeking God for breakthrough in your spiritual life, so read the Word daily and pray and worship as much as possible each day. A lot of prayer and Bible reading are essential elements of a successful season of fasting.

PRACTICAL POINTS TO CONSIDER CONCERNING A FAST
• If you suffer from chronic health concerns (such as diabetes or other ailments) which demand a specific diet or regular medications requiring food, a complete fast of food might not be advisable without consultation from your doctor and careful planning.
• With any fast, drink plenty of water.
• On a long fast, consider supplementing water with a 100% fruit juice for an energy boost (do this in moderation as the sugar spike in fruit juice is not always as healthy as we might think!)
• Spend the time in prayer and Bible study that you would have normally spent in eating, preparing meals, cleaning up, or traveling to meals.
• Most physical activity is acceptable during a one-day fast, but avoid overexertion. If you feel dizzy or light-headed, rest and drink water or a small amount of fruit juice. Pace all activities. All of this depends upon how much control you have over your own schedule. It is important to carefully plan your fast, even a brief one.
• Exercise common sense. Talk to spiritual leaders and medical professionals, and be smart! • Ease into a fast by reducing your food intake slowly over a few days prior to the fast. This helps prepare your body for the lack of food during the fast.
• Remember, fasting is an exercise in self-denial. Always allow yourself the least amount of food (if any) and the most amount of prayer and Bible study.
• Ease out of the fast. For every day you fasted, spend the same number of days coming out of the fast by avoiding large meals.

YOU HAVE OPTIONS
During a called church-wide fast, or during any season of fasting, you have several options. The fast can last for several weeks, or perhaps you’ll decide to fast at least one day a week or fast for 3 days. Fasting is not a litmus test of your love for God in other’s eyes. Fasting is ultimately about seeking God for spiritual personal growth or spiritual breakthrough. Pray about any fast and proceed as the Lord leads you.

READ THE BIBLE THROUGH IN 22!

1 Year Bible Reading Plan