A Guide to 7 Days of Prayer & Fasting
The Beginning of Breakthrough
In 2019 ICA Church Bangkok is believing for “breakthrough.” We are believing for breakthrough in your life, this church, this city, and the world. We are believing for breakthrough in situations that were once deemed hopeless and lost. We firmly believe that this breakthrough will come through an intentional time of prayer and fasting. It is through humbling ourselves and seeking God that this breakthrough will come. Looking back in this church’s history there are countless moments where God has so clearly moved, and all of those moments were preceded by fervent and intentional times of prayer and fasting. This is why we start this year together in prayer and fasting. Starting on January 6th we invite you to join us for 7 days as we faithfully seek God first, trusting in His power alone to create lasting impact in our lives, our church, and our world.
Is 7 Days of Prayer and Fasting for me?
Our heart’s desire is that every person would not only know God, but be known by him as well. Prayer and fasting are powerful tools for you to encounter a deeper relationship and presence of the living God. It is a physical way of declaring “More of you and less of me.” If you sense God has more for your life, 7 Days of Prayer is a great place to start believing Him for all that He has for you. As you practice seeking Him first, He will move on your behalf like never before. You will start to see the power of prayer impact your relationships, work, family, and every area of your life. Whether you join us in person or online, we would love for you to be part of 7 Days of Prayer.
The fantastic thing about this 7 day journey is that you are not alone. You will be surrounded by a great community of believers who are also seeking the Lord through prayer and fasting.
When is it?
Starts: Sunday, January 6th Ends: Saturday, January 12th, 2019.
ICA Church Bangkok will be open Monday at 7:00pm to 8:00pm and on Tuesday through Friday from 9am to 8:00pm for anyone who would like a place for prayer and reflection.
What is fasting?
Fasting is to voluntarily abstain from eating/drinking for an extended period of time. “Eating” and “drinking” can represent anything that is holding you back. What do you “consume” in terms of social food, intellectual food, spiritual food, and emotional food? Are these things distracting you from your relationship with God? Are you relying on things that have nothing to do with God to get you through your day? You may not even realize you have an addiction. For example, if you “have to have” coffee every day, and you are not willing to give it up, you are addicted. Maybe your fast needs to just be about coffee. Ask God and He will show you. Everyone doing a physical fast should consult a physician first. If you have medical issues, consider fasting TV or media. The point is that there is something God wants you to separate yourself from for three weeks so that you can see Him more clearly. Don’t cheat yourself by removing yourself from the fast entirely.
The goal of fasting:
The goal of fasting is a personal encounter with the Living God
“He must increase and [we] must decrease.” - John 3:30 “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” - 1 Peter 1:16
You may experience many benefits from fasting (cleansing your body, breaking addictions, etc.), but the goal of fasting is to experience God. Right now your life may be all about you, what you want, and when you want it. Imagine if you separate yourself from your perceived needs (such as food)…you may see that life is all about Him
Fasting in the Bible
Special revelation -
Exodus 34:27-28 In times of war - Judges 20:26 Courage and wisdom - Esther 4:3,16 In times of grief - Nehemiah 1:4, 2 Samuel 1:12, Samuel 31:13, 1 Chronicles 10:12 Spiritual recuperation - 1 Kings 19:1-9 Mourning - Daniel 10:1-3 Repentance - Jonah 3:5, Daniel 6:18 Ministry preparation - Matthew 4:2 Spiritual power - Mark 9:29 Ministry commissioning - Acts 14:23 Set aside self for holiness - 1 Corinthians 7:5 Spiritual discipline - 1 Corinthians 11:24-28 (Paul “fasted often”)
Steps for a Successful Fast
Step 1: Set Your Objective
Before starting a time of fasting it is important to ask yourself “why” are you fasting? Are you looking for spiritual renewal, guidance, healing, resolution of problems and difficult situations? We encourage everyone to as the Holy Spirit for clarity and guidance as you begin your fast. ICA Church will be sharing some simple directions as the fast continues, but we highly encourage everyone to have an objective to enable you to pray more specifically and strategically.
Through fasting and prayer we humble ourselves before God so the Holy Spirit will stir our souls, awaken our churches, and heal our land according to 2 Chronicles 7:14. Make this a priority in your fasting.
Step 2: Make a Commitment
Praying and Fasting for 7 days is a commitment, so take time to pray about what kind of fast you will committing to for the next 3 weeks. Jesus implied that all of His followers should fast (Matthew 6:16-18; 9:14,15) For Him it was a matter of when believers would fast, not if they would do it. Before you fast, decide the following up front:
What type of fast is God leading you to undertake? (There will be a detailed list of “types of fasts” in the coming pages.)
What physical or social activities will you restrict or need to alter due to the fast?
How much time each day will you intentionally devote to prayer and the reading of God’s Word?
Making these commitments ahead of time is crucial to sustaining your fast, as well as providing the greatest opportunity to draw nearer to God in His presence.
Step 3: Prepare Your Heart
As you begin this fast it is important to prepare your heart in two ways: through repentance and through openness. Is there any unconfessed sin in your heart that would hinder your prayers? At the same time, are you willing to have an open heart to fully receive what God is speaking to you? Be willing to receive what God is speaking to you. Take time to surrender your full heart to God before beginning this fast.
Here are some things you can do to prepare your heart:
• Ask God to reveal to you any unconfessed sin. • Confess every sin that the Holy Spirit calls to your remembrance and accept God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9). • Seek forgiveness from all whom you have offended, and forgive all who have hurt you (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3,4). • Make restitution as the Holy Spirit leads you. • Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit according to His command in Ephesians 5:18 and His promise in 1 John 5:14,15. • Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master; refuse to obey your worldly nature (Romans 12:1,2). • Meditate on the attributes of God, His love, sovereignty, power, wisdom, faithfulness, grace, compassion, and others (Psalm 48:9,10; 103:1-8, 11-13). • Begin your time of fasting and prayer with an expectant heart (Hebrews 11:6). • Do not underestimate spiritual opposition. Satan sometimes intensifies the natural battle between body and spirit (Galatians 5:16,17).
Step 4: Prepare Your Body
Your physical preparation will depend on what kind of fast you are committing to. Those undertaking a food related fast are encouraged to take reasonable precautions. Consult your physician first, especially if you take prescription medication or have a chronic ailment. Some persons should never undertake a physical fast without professional supervision.
If you chose a fast like the Daniel fast (fruits and vegetables) if will most likely affect your physical body and lead to a cleansing of your system. There may be days that you feel sick as your body detoxes. The good news is that if you stay strong to your commitment you will make it! There are many things that we consume on a daily basis, that when removed can affect our bodies. That is why we recommend that you:
• Avoid binging on any food items. For example, don’t eat a huge steak dinner in preparation for a Daniel fast. It will only make the dramatic change more difficult. • Take a few days to dial back your intake of things like caffeine or high-sugar drinks/foods. • Take note of how the fast might affect any current exercise regiments you have.
Step 5: Create a Schedule
The goal of the fast is a personal encounter with a Living God, so plan where and when you will spend time seeking him in prayer and the Word. The temptation in a fast is to fill our time with distractions to keep us from feeling hungry, but remember that the point of this fast is communion with God not simply surviving a change in diet or habits.
• Begin your day in praise and worship. Read and meditate on God’s Word. • Invite the Holy Spirit to work in you to will and to do His good pleasure according to Philippians 2:13. • Invite God to use you. Ask Him to show you how to influence your world, your family, your church, your community, your country, and beyond. • Pray for His vision for your life and empowerment to do His will.
• Return to prayer and God’s Word. • Take a short prayer walk. • Spend time in intercessory prayer for your community, the unreached millions, for your family or special needs.
• Get alone for an unhurried time of “seeking His face.” • If others are fasting with you, meet together for prayer. • Avoid television or any other distraction that may dampen your spiritual focus
Step 6: End Your Fast Gradually
At the end of your fast their will be a temptation to binge on whatever you have abstained from. Take it slow. If you have done a vegetable fast 7 days we encourage you to avoid introducing a huge quantity of raw meat or cheese into your diet at once (trust us, the results will be rough).
If you have fasted television or social media then try to avoid binge watching the newest season of the show that just came out or spending countless hours scrolling. Again, the goal of the fast is communion with God not surviving a nature of binging and purging.
Step 7: Expect Results
John 14:21 - “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
Christ tells us that if we seek him, he will reveal himself to us. If you make a commitment for these 7 days; if you humble yourself and seek God’s face; if you intentionally meditate on the Word of God, you will experience a deeper understanding and awareness of His presence.
Go into the fast expecting that God will move in your life and the life of this church. We believe that through this fast the Lord will give you new and fresh spiritual insights. We believe will strengthen your faith and confidence in Him. We believe that he will refresh you spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Above all, we believe that God will commune with you and will answer the prayers and cries of your heart.
A fast is not a spiritual cure-all or simple fix. This fast is a committed time of surrender and seeking, and we believe that through this time you will have a personal encounter with the Living God.
Types of Fasts:
• Drinking only liquids, typically water and/or light juices.
• Broth or soup may be included as options.
• Removing certain elements from your diet
• Daniel Fast (the most widely practiced selective fast) - abstaining from meat, sweets, or bread; drink water and juice, and eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Partial Fast or Jewish Fast
• Abstaining from eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon.
• Or fasting during specific times of the day. For example: 6am-3pm, or from sunup to sundown.
• This is a common fast for anyone new to fasting, those with medical/health issues that would prevent them from fasting, and those looking to specifically address an area of their life out of balance.
• Suggestions: social media, television, shopping, etc.
Sample Menus for Various Fasts
Sample Menu 1: Fruits, Vegetables, Juices & Water
Breakfast - Fruit smoothie with protein powder
Mid-morning Snack - Fresh fruit or fresh vegetables
Lunch - Raw vegetable salad with light dressing and vegetable broth soup
Mid-afternoon Snack - Fresh fruit or fresh vegetables
Dinner - Fresh salad with light dressing and steamed grilled vegetables
Sample Menu 2: Liquids Only
Breakfast - Fruit smoothie with protein
Mid-morning Snack - Herbal tea or vegetable broth soup
Lunch - Raw juiced vegetables
Mid-afternoon Snack - Fresh fruit juice or fruit smoothie with protein
Dinner - Vegetable juice or vegetable broth soup
Sample Menu 3: Modified Daniel Fast
Breakfast - 1 - 2 servings whole grains with fresh fruit juice
Mid-morning Snack - Fresh fruit or fresh chopped vegetables
Lunch - 1 - 2 servings whole grains; fresh salad with legumes and light dressing
Mid-afternoon Snack - Fresh fruit juice or fruit smoothie with protein
Dinner - 1 - 2 whole grains; fresh salad with legumes and light dressing
Daniel Fast Information
Foods To Include:
All fruits. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Fruits include but are not limited to apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon
All vegetables. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables include but are not limited to artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, ginger root, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, zucchini, veggie burgers (an option if you are not allergic to soy).
All whole grains. Including, but not limited to, whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes, and popcorn.
All nuts and seeds, including, but not limited to, sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame. Also, nut butters, e.g. peanut butter and almond butter.
All legumes. These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannelloni beans, white beans.
All quality oils. Including, but not limited to, olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, and sesame.
Beverages: Spring water, distilled water, or other pure waters.
Other: Tofu, soy products, vinegar, seasonings, salt, herbs, and spices.
Foods To Avoid:
All meat and animal products. Including, but not limited to, beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish. All dairy products. Including, but not limited to, milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs.
All sweeteners. Including, but not limited to, sugar, raw sugar, honey, syrups, molasses, and cane juice.
All leavened bread, Including Ezekiel Bread (it contains yeast and honey) and baked goods.
All refined and processed food products. Including, but not limited to, artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.
All deep fried foods. Including, but not limited to, potato chips, french fries, corn chips.
All solid fats. Including shortening, margarine, lard, and foods high in fat.
Beverages. Including, but not limited to, coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.