Prayer and fasting have always been foundational to what God is doing at ITOWN. The stories we've heard of how God has answered prayer during 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting are too numerous to count.
We join together as a church, Monday through Friday, from 12-1 PM at the Olson Farms campus, The Lounge (303 W Market Street) in Bluffton, or live online. We hope you will join us and see how God can move in your life in a big way.
How do we make prayer a part of our everyday life? We can learn from three things that Jesus did…
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35 NIV
A CERTAIN TIME
Jesus got up very early in the morning to spend time with His Heavenly Father. In order for prayer to work, we should do the same. Make a daily appointment with God and keep it.
Ask yourself: When will I pray?
A CERTAIN PLACE
Jesus had a prayer place. Your prayer place needs to be an undistracted environment where you can pray out loud and perhaps have some worship music playing in the background.
Ask yourself: Where will I pray?
A CERTAIN PLAN
Go into your prayer time with a plan. If it changes that’s fine. When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, He gave His disciples a prayer outline. We call it the Lord’s Prayer. This outline along with several other tools are available on the ITOWN app.
PRAYER & SCRIPTURE DEVOTIONAL
Not sure where to start in your prayer life?
This is a great prayer outline mixed with Scripture readings. Simply walk through the outline while you look up the passages of Scripture.
Thanksgiving & Praise:
Present Yourself to God
Think of a fresh reason to thank Him. (Psalm 100:4, 118:24)
Kneeling before Him as your Lord
Lifting your hands to Him as your Source
Standing in praise before Him as your King
Clapping your hands with rejoicing
Dancing with joy as a child
Bowing your head in humility
Confession & Cleansing:
Present Your Heart to God
Ask God to search your heart for: (Psalm 139:23-24)
Sin – receive cleansing and righteousness
Selfishness – receive holiness and sanctification
Stress – receive life and power
Sickness – receive healing and strength
Order & Obedience: Present Your Day to God
Present the day’s details: (Psalm 37:4-5, 31:14-15; Deuteronomy 33:25)
Choose the fear of the Lord.
Commit your works to God.
The goal of fasting is to draw nearer to God. Biblical fasting always has to do with eliminating distractions for a spiritual purpose; it hits the reset button of our soul and renews us from the inside out. It also enables us to celebrate the goodness and mercy of God and prepares our hearts for all the good things God desires to bring into our lives. Remember, your personal fast should present a level of challenge, but it is very important to know your body, your options, and, most importantly, to seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.
TYPES OF FASTS
In this type of fast, you drink only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.
This fast is sometimes called the “Jewish Fast” and involves abstaining from eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to specific times of the day, such as 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sunup to sundown.
This fast is a great option if you do not have much experience fasting food, have health issues that prevent you from fasting food, or if you wish to refocus certain areas of your life that are out of balance. For example, you might choose to stop using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast and then carefully bring that element back into your life in healthy doses at the conclusion of the fast.
This type of fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, and bread from your diet and consume water and juice for fluids and fruits and vegetables for food.
TIMING OF A FAST
At ITOWN, we encourage fasting for 21 days each year in the month of January. This is part of 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, a season of focused prayer as a church family. You may also choose to fast at other times during the year for your own spiritual development. It’s very typical to fast a single meal, a whole day, or three days or more. The timing of your fast is not as important as the strength of your focus on God as you fast.
Matthew 6:16-18 Matthew 9:14-15 Luke 18:9-14 Acts 27:33-37 Nehemiah 9:1-3