Fasting is a discipline that uses hunger for food as a tool to fuel our hunger for God.
As we approach Easter, we want to draw close to God and ask for a greater understanding and experience of His presence and power in our lives and in our city. As God’s people, we hunger for Him to display His goodness and love in our day-to-day lives, and to bring the transformation that only He can into our city, our culture, and the lives of the people around us who haven’t heard and believed the gospel.
This week, Restoration City will fast during a meal, replacing the time that would normally be spent eating with time in prayer with God. We’ve written this guide to help shape that time of fasting and prayer. Feel free to follow it as closely as you would like or use your prayer time differently – however God leads you! What follows are a few areas to focus on in your prayer, along with some sample prayers and passages of Scripture to help you pray.
How to Use This Guide
This may be the first time you’ve done something like this. If you’re unsure of how exactly to go about this, here is how we suggest using this guide.
Don’t just work through lunch! Don’t merely distract yourself from your hunger by focusing on your job. Replace lunch with fasting.
Set aside the time you would normally take for lunch to find an isolated place to meet with God in prayer. Print this sheet out and leave your phone behind or on airplane mode in order to limit distractions. Go somewhere quiet to pray, where you won’t be interrupted (an empty room, a park, your car, etc.).
Note the theme of each section and read the sample prayer. Allow that prayer to anchor your time with God. Read through the selected passages of Scripture one at a time, taking a moment to reflect on them, and then using them to guide your prayers. Pray at a pace that allows you to complete each section before retuning to work.
Remember that this is not about your performance, your eloquence, or anything that you bring to this time other than a longing for God! This is time with your good Father – come to Him as His child!
“Father, as much as I hunger for food right now, I hunger for you more. Only you can satisfy me. You alone are the source of life.”
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
“Forgive me for not wanting you enough and for forgetting how much more important you are than even food! Forgive me for wanting other things more than I want you. Show me my idols and lead me in repentance and growth.”
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment…
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Psalm 51:1-4, 10-12
Humility and Dependence
“This hunger shows me my weakness. Help me to be humble and fully dependent on your strength, not my own.”
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
1 Peter 5:5
“I am reminded now of how desperately we need you. There is no life apart from you! Reveal this truth to my friends, my co-workers, my neighbors, and my family members who do not know you, Jesus!”
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Restoration and Return
“I can see so clearly how broken this world is, Jesus. I long for restoration through your Church and your gospel, and for the final restoration you will bring when you return. Come soon, Jesus!”
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.”
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
Each of our Community Groups will be breaking the fast together the night they meet during the week. If you are fasting individually, we would invite you to do the same around 7PM on the day you fast.