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TJC Fasting Guide

THEN THEY WILL FAST — MATTHEW 9:15

EASTER 2016

At The Journey Church (TJC), our prayer is that God the Father would create in us a hunger for the Lord Jesus as we seek the Holy Spirit’s outpouring in our church faith-family as well as in our local community. As we approach Easter, we are calling our members to participate in a congregational fast (see Joel 2:15-16; Acts 13:2) on the three Fridays prior to Easter (March 11th, March 18th, and March 25th). We printed Fasting Guides for you and placed them at the Connection Center, but we will also be posting each Friday's fasting devotional here on our website.

Fasting is a lost spiritual discipline in contemporary evangelical Christianity, but it is a vital discipline to the life of a disciple of Jesus (Matt 6:16-18; 9:14-15). Biblical fasting has four goals:

  1. An extended time of Bible intake: The focus of fasting is not merely the absence of food. Fasting is the abstinence of food for spiritual purposes. We replace the time we would commit to the preparation of our meal, eating, and cleaning for time of focused prayer and Scriptural intake as we humble ourselves before the God (Ezra 8:21).
  2. An intentional focus on the spiritual reality of life: Fasting encourages concentration on God and his agenda for the world in Christ. Fasting creates a heightened sense of spiritual awareness as we subtract the noise of our lives and commit ourselves to God in this discipline for a speci c purpose (Psalm 35:13).
  3. An experience in radical dependence: Fasting is a real life illustration of our utter dependence upon the Triune God. Our need for physical food reminds us of our need for a deeper (and more soul-satisfying) spiritual food (John 6:22-65; Matt 6:11)
  4. An enhanced vision for the fruit of the Spirit: Fasting provides a way to impose self- control in our life. Working on self-discipline fosters Christ-like character and builds fortitude for spiritual self-discipline (1Cor 9:24-27).

On March 11th, March 18th, and March 25th we are asking TJC-ers to fast—to hunger for God to do a gospel-work in West Chester, PA. We encourage you to participate however your body allows. There are three basic ways you can choose to fast during this time period:

  1. 36-Hour Food Fast - After eating dinner on Thursday night, do not eat again until breakfast on Saturday morning.
  2. 24-Hour Food Fast - After dinner on Thursday night, skip breakfast and lunch, but then eat dinner an hour later than normal on Friday so that the fast is for a full 24 hours.
  3. Alternative Fasting Options - Pregnant women and diabetics (or any other relevant medical issue, including eating disorders) may need to fast from social media, television, a mobile device, etc instead of food. Others may want to fast from solid food (using smoothies and fruit juice instead) or just forgo one meal at some point during the day.

*If you choose to fast, remember to be safe by drinking water and not overexerting with exercise on fast days.