21 Days Introduction

21 Days of Prayer & Fasting
A Wesleyan Guide for Prayer and Fasting

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, preached and printed a sermon based upon Matthew’s account of Jesus’ teaching on fasting and prayer. The Sermon is Sermon XXVII Upon Our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount.  The scripture is Matthew 6: 16-18. The essence of the sermon is not to make too much of fasting nor should it be ignored.  Fasting can be a means of God’s grace working in our lives as we seek to hear from God through this simple act of denying physical need for spiritual gain.
Wesley wrote about fasting, “It is not all, nor yet is it nothing. It is not the end, but it is a precious means thereto; when it is duly used, he will surely give us his blessing.” Sermon XXVII Jackson’s Works, p. 344

Fasting: (Please see this Guide from Bill Bright)
By participating in this 21 Day experience you will be in good company. Moses, the Law Giver, Elijah the great prophet, and Jesus our Savior all fasted and prayed. Why? Were they not already advanced in their walk with God when they began their fasting? Yes they were—this is why they submitted themselves to this spiritual discipline so God could reveal more of Himself and His direction for them and those they led.

Fasting literally means to abstain from food. In some passages in the Bible you will read the story of Moses, “he ate and drank nothing” (Exodus 34:28). Some observe a 24-hour fast, the most popular is a 40-hour fast, while some will endure a 72-hour fast and only drink liquids.
In the early church Christians would fast on Wednesday and Friday by not eating any breakfast or lunch. They would only drink water or other liquids during their fast. The next form of fasting is abstaining from pleasing food or a full meal. In other words you would just eat toast and some protein with no flavoring or condiment. Daniel observed a form of abstaining from certain foods in the Book of Daniel as God revealed Himself in this fasting from fatty meats, etc.

During this 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer, the worshippers at Christ Church will participate by fasting together from sundown each Tuesday to sundown each Wednesday and again from sundown each Thursday to sundown each Friday.

Our series “Moving the Needle” is about doing whatever it takes for us to move forward even one step in a closer walk with God and closer to those we love, We believe prayer is one of the primary ways the Holy Spirit can help you s “Move the needle in our walk with God.  There are many forms of prayer. There are prayers of lamentation, tears, confession, adoration, petition, intercession, sacramental, and unceasing prayer just to name a few.
These 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting will focus upon Petition and Intercession both with “Sacred Specificity”. We need to name our needs and desires and pray specifically. We need to lift up others and pray specifically for the persons on our heart by name, the desire for their healing, surrender to Christ, direction in life, etc.  Both of these forms of prayer can be powerful experiences, which draw us close to God during our time of fasting. In the fasting experience we open ourselves up to hearing from God due to our posture of obedience and in our prayer time we hear from God through the reading of Scripture and listening.
During the 21 Days, pray for God to move the needle in your life and in your relationships! Pray “specifically” as In Luke 11—Jesus gave us permission “knock and the door will be open, seek and you will find, ask and it will be given to you.” Prayers of petition are expected from God for He knows we have needs. What are your personal dreams? Mark Twain once said, “Most men die at 27 we just bury them at 72”. Do you have a personal vision statement about your life—where you want God to take you?
Intercession: Pray for others “specifically”—Pray for God’s to move the the needle and expand evangelism and revival in our community in fulfilling our mission of “reaching millions of unchurched persons by developing thousands of fully devoted followers of Christ.” Next, name persons specifically whom you know that are unchurched, far from God, and then pray specifically that God would put someone in their path to encourage them, pray for them daily, and invite them to a life group, service project or to worship. Maybe that specific person is you? Perhaps God wants to use you as an instrument of His grace in the life of another person.
In Hebrews, Jesus intercedes for each of us, “Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.”  We are called to pray and intercede for one another. In addition we are called to pray even for our enemies according to Jesus’ own words in the Sermon on the Mount. Praying for others is one of the most important forms of ministry and compassion we can engage in. Pray for the unchurched, to pray for those struggling with drugs, finances, and relationships.

What do you pray for during the 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting?
We will have two foci:
Pray for God to “move the needle  Personally in your life and for God to Move the Needle in our Community for revival and people to have a greater hunger for Christ!  
  • Moving the Needle Personally—During the 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting ask God for:
    • Personal needs—ask the Holy Spirit, “how can I  move the needle so I can become physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy? (Exercise, watching what I eat, reading Bible daily, counseling?)
    • Challenge yourself to write out your personal plan and vision statement to move the needle in your life. Example, “To be a loving spouse, a leader in the lives of my children, and to encourage my unchurched friends to try Jesus by living a sold-out life for God.”

God’s Passion to “Move the Needle” among Christ Church worshippers —Where is God taking CC over the next 3 to 5 years?
God’s Vision—Ask God these three questions:

  • What are the biggest needs in our community? (Is it broken homes, marriages, poverty, drugs, illiteracy, students & children needing mentoring, jobs, etc.)
  • How is God already at work in our community? (Where do you currently see God moving and how can we join Him? How can we join Him in what he is already doing?)
  • In light of Christ Church’s mission statement—what is God’s dream for Christ Church over the next 3 to 5 years? In order to reach the unchurched and develop fully devoted followers of Christ what must we do:
    • Christ Church as a whole—all campuses? Pray for God to reveal one or two more   campuses for us to birth to reach more people for Christ.  
    • Specifically the community you are in and the campus you attend?

No Comments





no tags