21 DAYS OF PRAYER

Here at New Song, we have set our hearts to be a people of prayer. In fact, we spend the first 21 days of January and August collectively seeking the Lord. Our rally cry has simply been, “Pray First.” In every situation, whether good or bad, we try to pray before we act. Many times people act first and then want God to bail them out of that situation; prayer, however, should be our first response, not our last resort.

Understanding the necessity of prayer is not enough. In order for it to become a part of our life, it needs to become something we look forward to doing. In fact, most people don’t enjoy prayer because they have never been taught how to pray. That’s where this simple Personal Prayer Guide can help. Using several prayer models out of the Bible and having some guides to make prayer more personal, this booklet is designed to bring joy into your time with God. When you discover the beauty of daily conversation with Him, you’ll experience the presence of God that will change your life. Once you learn how to pray, prayer can become a part of everyday life.

FASTING

We also encourage our church family to fast during one of these times of prayer emphasis. Of course, 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. Again, the overall goal is to disconnect from the world in order to connect with God.

TYPES OF FASTS

COMPLETE FAST
In this type of fast, you drink only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option. Some people fast this way one day per week for three weeks. Others fast three days in a row and then refrain from sweets, soda, etc, for the rest of the time. Still others skip one meal a day for the entire 21 days. Obviously, there are multiple options. Whatever you do, though, it’s important to seek advice from your family physician before beginning a fast of this type.

SELECTIVE 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.

PARTIAL FAST
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.

SOUL FAST
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.

Whatever type of fast you choose, make sure you not only speak to God, but take time to listen. Sometimes, especially in our generation, we fail to listen to what the Spirit of God is saying to us or asking of us. Here are a few Scripture references for you to read through:
Matthew 6:16-18
Matthew 9:14-15
Luke 18:9-14
Acts 27:33-37
Nehemiah 9:1-3