Our church in Qatar embarked on a 21-day Fasting this month. This is an effort to begin this year with focus to God and be immersed in His presence. We sought inspiration from prophet Daniel, as he fasted and prayed for 3 weeks.
I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.Daniel 10:3 NIV
We are guided by the anointed Minister Jentezen Franklin who is a well-known advocate of this 21-day fasting.
Below are what I learned so far in my 1-week journey.
1. Fasting is not a diet.
Since Daniel fasting is similar to Vegan style of foods, there’s a tendency to focus on it having a goal of losing weight alongside with soaking in God’s presence. For me, it’s as simple as crossing out certain foods in my grocery list and cook the rest. I made good soups, and made just soups (where I can consume only half of the meal). I’m having more trips to the bathroom than booking my Uber ride. I had headaches on the first few days, subsided eventually. Such body reactions tend to sway us in our focus. Our goal is to have deep fellowship in the Lord through intimate worship, catching His vision on our church for this year. The comparison between fasting and diet seems light and dismissive, but when you are in the height of fasting and worshipping in the spirit, you’ll know that thinking fasting as a form of diet will grieve your spirit.
2. Fasting is about Building and Defending Simultaneously
In the book of Nehemiah, when they’re rebuilding the ruins, they have unique strategy to build the walls and prevent attackers from destroying these.
who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other,Nehemiah 4:17
We are building the foundation of God’s word in our lives, at the same time guarding these from all the sins and attacks of the enemy. It appears like the attacks are frequent and strong, however I would like to think that it’s when we’re in the spirit of fasting and prayer that our spirit are more conscious with all the works of the enemies. The warfare is in the air, we are fighting a spiritual battle.
3. Let go of the past
This hits me hard. It’s not about your rapport, stature, accomplishments, failures, etc. It’s not about your past. Learn to let go and embrace the calling God is giving us today!
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,Philippians 3:13 NIV
4. Daniel Fasting is like Pregnancy (my humble opinion)
Come to think of it. First week is like the first trimester. We encounter headaches, cravings (always coming back to food :)), mood swings, etc.. Then pregnant woman is getting used in the 2nd up to the 3rd trimester, but there’s still a risk of miscarriage. As we pray and fast, we are carrying God’s Word. We knew something good is going to happen. In a biblical term, often refers to as ‘travailing’. We have to be careful in the following weeks to carry the word.
5. Intimate Worship
Fasting and praying provide more opportunities to be in God’s presence. There, our priorities are redefined, we quickly shake our excuses away. For there we reflect how precious intimate worship is that nowhere we would want to be otherwise.
6. There’s power in numbers
Come to think of one person genuinely seeking God in spirit and in truth. Imagine the impact that person is capable of. How much more if more persons wholeheartedly seek God? That’s congregational worship, standing in the gap between God and His people.
7. Praying is becoming more of a desire rather than a routine
The power of praying and fasting is that we are being humbled before the Lord. So humble that I can admit that sometimes praying throughout the day is becoming a routine to me, i.e. on waking up, before eating, and before sleeping. While fasting, praying is becoming a second-nature to me. I’m conscious of the devotion I read the morning, and it’s at the back of my mind the entire day. Sure enough, throughout the day, something will happen that will either confirm or challenge what I read the morning. That triggers my attitude to pray.
If you can read this, then I haven’t bored you (yet). 🙂
God bless you.