I encourage you to start the New Year of 2019 seeking God's face with prayer and fasting! I began this discipline long before I became a published author and really recommend it. I have had so many answers to prayers that I lifted up during my January Prayer and Fasts.
Here are three reasons for beginning a new year with fervent prayer and fasting:
1) By doing so you set the course for the rest of the year.
Just as beginning your day with prayer sets the course for your normal day and covers anything that might happen, the same is true of the beginning the year with a fast and planned, fervent prayer.
2) Blessings will happen for you and your family through out the year because you gave God the first fruit of the year. Our God is the God of first fruits whether the tithe of your money, Sunday, the first day of the week, or January, the first month of the year. When you give Him the first fruit, the rest of the money, the week or the year will be under His special blessing and protection.
3) You release the principle found in Matthew 6:33: "Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."
What is Fasting?
It is NOT just going without food. That is dieting. Biblical fasting is refraining from food (and/or other activities) for a spiritual purpose. Fasting and prayer brings one into a deeper, more intimate relationship with God, His voice and His wisdom. Now I ask you, does a Christian or a writer need anything more than these things?
Three specific duties of a Christian Jesus taught in the Beatitudes are giving, praying, fasting. Jesus said, "When you give" and "When you pray" and "When you fast." He made clear these are to be part of a normal Christian life. When these three are practiced by a Christian, they create a type of three-way cord that is not easily broken. In fact, Jesus went on to teach that "Nothing will be impossible." Fasting along with your prayer can cause God to zoom in on your children. In addition it can help bring health to you body and many other blessings.
So what kind of fast will you choose? There are several ways to fast. And one amazing principle that has ALWAYS worked with my fasts, was that once I decided on a type fast and the length, God made it so much easier than you would imagine. He honors your fasting with supernatural help to accomplish it.
A total fast means no food or water for a period of time. Personally, I've never felt led to do this type of fast without water. I am such a water-drinking nut to keep toxins flushed out.
When Jonah called the huge city of Nineveh to repentance, the pagan king ordered a total fast for all the people and also the animals.
In John 4 the Bible says Jesus fasted food forty days, but does not mention water.
A juice only fast. I've done this type fast several times for one, two, or three days when I need direction or confirmation on something important. I mix half apple juice and half water and sip on it during the fast as I pull aside to seek God's voice.
Once I did a fast with only water for three days to confirm God's call into full-time ministry. The enemy really fought this fast and calling. Since one of my parents had diabetes, the devil whispered, "You're really diabetic yourself. If you try to go without any food, you'll die." Well, we don't have diabetes and I declare I never will. I didn't eat any type food for three days and I didn't die, or even suffer, actually. God energized the whole thing and really confirmed our calling into ministry.
The enemy really fears a fasting, praying Christian!
Other type fasts: When pastoring we sometimes led our church into what we knew as a Daniel Fast of no pleasant bread (sweets) or meats for 21 days. (Daniel 10:1-3) This is really a vegetarian healthy detox for your body of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and filtered water. Sometimes we encouraged our congregation to add "no secular TV or movies" to clear their minds. This is the type fast I most often practice, sometimes just for a week, seven days, or even for three days.
If you ask the Lord, He will share the type fast He would like for you to do, and he will enable you to do it.
In Part 2 I will share some prayer points for a strong January Prayer and Fast.
Thanks for stopping by. Do you believe and practice fasting?
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Onward into 2019!
Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com,on Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin; and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartinLink to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon:http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI