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Dear Journey Family,

Will you take the 21-Day Prayer & Fasting Challenge with Us?

Join us as we start the new year with an intentional seeking of God’s presence, God’s direction and His Goodness. I like to think of Biblical fasting as hitting the rest button of our soul. Prayer and Fasting in combination serve the powerful purpose of eliminating distractions so we can reconnect with God more purposefully and refresh our spirit man. The soul renewal that happens from the inside out, enables us to prepare our hearts for all the good things God desires to bring into our lives.

It’s as though we open up the floodgate of God’s power and it rushes out, and things happen from the flood of his presence. The goal of fasting is to draw neared to God.
The combination of prayer and fasting are more than just spiritual disciplines. The combination of prayer and fasting seems to align the heart of man with the heartbeat of
God. Our desire is that as we start the new year our heartbeat would be in sync with God’s heartbeat.

Apart from your personal commitment to prayer and fasting (see below for resources)
we encourage you to join the entire church body in the following:
  • Please engage with the entire church family in the 21-day prayer and fasting devotional. We have set up an online link on both the journey APP and website.
  • We want to have people commit to pray throughout the entire 21-day period. Therefore, we have set-up a sign up genius for 21 days with time slots for intentional prayer in the A.M and P.M. These will be 21 intentional minutes of prayer. Pleas sign up for one or more of these slots. We want all the slots to be filled up.
    • Prayer points during this time:
      • Clarity/Vision for my life, church and family
      •  New names written in lambs book of life 2023
      • More of God to be revealed in my life, church and family
    • Journey Tuesday night prayer service at 6PM. We encourage you to join us for our regular Tuesday night prayer meetings at 6PM.

WHEN TO PRAY?
In every situation, we should pray before we act. People often act first and then want God to bail them out of that situation, but prayer should be our first response, not our last resort. Simply understanding the necessity of prayer is not enough. For prayer to become part of our daily life, it needs to become something we look forward to. When you discover the beauty of daily conversation with Him, you’ll experience the presence of God in a way that will change your life! Pray first! Pray daily!

HOW TO PRAY? 
We don’t have to follow a specific formula to talk with God, but practicing different ways to pray can help us find a deeper purpose and connection toHim. Suggestions to make your prayer time even more meaningful - take notes, or write down your prayer requests; play worship music in the background. The most important step is committing to regularly entering God’s presence each day. To understand how to have a lifestyle of prayer, we can look at the example Jesus gave during His life on earth: “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.

Here's a basic outline to help you get started:
Have a certain TIME.  Make a daily appointment with God and keep it!
Have a certain PLACE. Jesus had a specific place He went to pray. Having a designated place to pray helps us remove distractions and frees us to worship and prayout loud.
Have a certain PLAN. When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, He gave them a prayer outline we call “The Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6:9-13).
Using this outline is just one resource. I’ve listed a few more below and encourage you to search out what works for you.

Prayer Starter Kit | Cru
Prayer Has Its Reasons - Focus on the Family 
How to Pray: 11 Creative Ideas for Teaching Kids - Ministry Spark 

WHY FAST?
The goal of fasting is, to the best of my ability, to disconnect from the world and 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. Remember, your personal fast (whatever you choose to give up or abstain from) 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.

WHEN TO FAST?
As a church, we have decided to do a 21-day fast to start off the year. We begin this Sunday, January 9, and continue through Saturday, January 30.
This is intended to be 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.

HOW TO FAST? (Types of Fasts)
Complete Fast: In this type of fast, you drink only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.
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.

Scripture References: Matthew 6:16-18; 9:14-15, Luke 18:9-14, Acts 27:33-37, Nehemiah 9:1-3

Additional Fasting Resources:
7 Steps to Fasting | Cru
Fasting 101 Questions by Jentezen Franklin 
Personal Guide to Fasting | Cru
 
Praying with you and for you as we embark on this journey together.

-Pastor Adrian