We are starting the new year with 14 days of prayer and fasting

We are going to start the year together as a church with a season of prayer and fasting as we believe and seek the Lord for breakthrough in our lives, in our church, and in our city. We believe in the power of prayer and we believe if anything of significance is going to happen, it is going to be birthed in prayer. There are three levels to our contending: Our lives, our church, and our city. 

Matthew 4:4

Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Prayer & Fasting in the Bible

Watch Bert’s sermon tracing fasting through the bible and what that means for us today.

 
 

Why an all-church fast?

We’re not only stepping into this together as a church because it’s a normative part of following Jesus, but we are contending for a few things together.

Ezra 8:23

So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.

Fasting confirms our utter dependance on God by finding him a source of sustenance beyond food. Fasting unto our Lord is therefore feasting–feasting on him and doing his will. – Dallas Willard

There are three levels to our contending: Our lives, our church, and our city.

For our city, we’re contending for:

  • The kingdom of God to breakthrough the darkness

  • Those are who far from God would be brought near

  • Those who are disconnected, disillusioned, or have been hurt by the church, would be reconciled

  • Jesus will to be done in Ventura

For our church, we’re contending for:

  • Our vision of 100/10/1

  • Our future and the mission God has for us

  • Our finances and sustainability

  • A more permanent home for our church in the city

What are you contending for in your life? Your job? Your family? A big decision?

It is no vain thing to wait on the Lord and trust Him. – Arthur Wallis


Prayer & Worship Gatherings

Throughout the fast, there will be moments of prayer and worship during times in which we'd normally be eating. Please join us for any or all moments to seek the Lord together during our fast.

Morning Prayer

Location: Anthem Ventura HQ (228 E. Thompson Blvd. Suite B)
Days: Jan 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23
Time: 7:00-7:45am

Lunchtime Prayer

Location: Alcorn’s House (34 S. Hemlock St.)
Days: Jan 15
Time: 12:00-12:30pm

Location: Alcorn’s House (34 S. Hemlock St.)
Days: Jan 17
Time: 12:00-12:30pm

Location: Ventura Pier
Days: Jan 23
Time: 12:00-1:00pm

Worship Night

Location: Anthem Ventura HQ (228 E. Thompson Blvd. Suite B)
Day: Jan 21
Time: 5:45-7:00pm


Fasting FAQs

What’s our plan?

Watch the video below for a brief overview.

 
 

What is fasting?

Fasting is a willing abstinence from food for a period of time.

Why do we fast?

Fasting is an ancient discipline to break the power of the flesh–our desires, sins, and cravings–and to feed on the Holy Spirit;  and fasting is a means by which the disciple of Jesus prays with their entire body.

What types of fasts are there?

The fast you choose should present a level of challenge, but it’s 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. Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Take into consider your health, any current medical conditions, and consult your physician, especially if you have health concerns, are taking medication, have a chronic condition, or are pregnant or nursing.

Here are a few types of fasts:

Complete Fast → You drink only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.

Partial Fast → This involves abstaining from eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon. Typically known as a sunup to sundown fast. You can also use specific times of the day, for example: 7:00am-7:00pm

Selective Fast → You remove certain elements from your diet. One example 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. Once again, there is an element to fasting where you are removing that is otherwise something normal in your diet.

Soul Fast → This is a good option if there are health concerns that prevent a full or partial fast. An example might be eliminating all media (social media, TV, music, podcasts, etc.), for the duration of the fast.

Where do I start?

Our 14 days of fasting will start Thursday January 10. The night before, in your Community Group, share some of your excitements, fears, and which type of fast you will be doing.

How can I prepare to fast?

Here are a few practical tips to prepare:

  • Think about your plan, write it down, and share it with your community group. Begin your fast with a committed heart.

  • Eliminate caffeine from your diet 1 week before you begin. This helps reduce the likelihood of headaches.

  • Enter into the fast by ramping in, eater smaller meals or even skipping a few meals before the fast. Similarly, at the end of the fast, ramp off, i.e. don’t eat a huge feast the day after the fast, but slowly introduce greater amounts of food back in.

  • Consult with your physician if you have medical concerns or questions.

When is it over?

Break the fast with your CG on Wednesday January 23. During that night, share your experience, breakthroughs, struggles, etc. with your group.

What to do while fasting?

Each time you feel a hunger pain or think about food or take a lunch break (with no lunch!), use it as a prompt for prayer.

Turn your heart to God and ask him to starve your flesh and feed your Spirit. Use your imagination to “see” yourself drawing strength from God himself.

Here are a few other things that can be incorporated into those prayer times:

Break a Habit → Identify a specific sin or habit or pattern in your “flesh” that you want to break. Spend the fast in prayer for freedom in that area.

Journal → Take a little time for self-reflection. Get your journal out or go for a walk and think about what this Practice is revealing about you. Richard Foster said, “Fasting reveals the things that control us.” If you just feel “hangry” all day, or if you can’t make it more than a few hours, ask yourself, “Why do I feel this way?” Treat yourself compassionately, as God does, yet honestly as well. Remember: the point isn’t a guilt trip but freedom.

Read Scripture → “Feed” on the word of God, like Jesus did in the wilderness.


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