21 Days of Prayer & Fasting
January 10th – January 30th
21 Days of Prayer & Fasting
This 21-day prayer and fasting journey is designed to help you connect to God and prepare your heart for the New Year. God has a great purpose and plan for your life, and our desire is that in this New Year you would experience this more than ever before. This 21-day prayer journey is designed to not only prepare and connect your heart to God, but also to prepare and unify our hearts as a church.
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Genesis 25-26; Psalm 6; Luke 10
It Start’s Today!
These next three weeks will be a time for you to turn down the noise of life to hear the voice of God in a fresh way drawing you closer to the presence of Jesus. Jeremiah 29:13 promises, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Fasting isn’t something we “have to do,” it’s a spiritual discipline that we “get to do” to draw us closer to God. In Matthew 6:16-18, He says “…when you fast.” Fasting isn’t commanded but it is expected in the life of the Christ-follower. The focus isn’t on what you are saying “no” to, but Who you are saying “yes” to. We call it fasting but it’s really slowing down to hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit.
We are praying for you in these 21 Days that you will experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in a personal and profound way.
Genesis 27-28; Psalm 4, Luke 11
Why We Fast
Fasting helps us check what’s going on inside of our heart, mind, and soul. As we fast, we should be checking ourselves to make sure that our hearts are aligned with the will of God.
In Mark chapter 9, there is a story where Jesus miraculously heals a boy who is possessed by a demon. After the crowds leave, Jesus is sitting around with the disciples and they ask Him why they, the disciples, didn’t have the power to cast out the demon? He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting.”
The point is that spiritual freedom, sometimes, can only come through intentional prayer and fasting. This is not some kind of trick or some kind of guarantee. However, if you are up against something spiritual and it feels like there is no way to overcome it or move beyond where you are, we can fast for breakthrough because we know that God uses fasting in this way.
Have you ever had to make a decision where you felt like you needed God’s wisdom or direction? Fasting can help us get clarity about how to move forward. Fasting is a great way to make spiritual decisions. In James 1:5 it says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 1:6
Genesis 29-30; Luke 12
Building Fasting Muscles
We are so proud of you! You are taking the spiritual challenge to hear the voice of God more clearly. Although you may feel physically weak when you fast, you are strengthening yourself spiritually. Fasting leads to becoming stronger in our walk with Jesus!
As followers of Christ, we need to learn to say no. Our culture says that you should get what you want when you want it. In this season of prayer and fasting, we need to strengthen our “no” muscle, because there is plenty in life that we need to say “no” too. We are called in Luke 9:23 to deny ourselves and take up our cross daily to follow Jesus. It’s a choice that we get to decide. When temptation arises, you have already decided that you are not going to walk in your own way, you are going to walk in the way of Jesus!
As you are going through your day, temptation will arise and when it does, stand firm. Remember that as followers of Jesus, we aren’t just denying a small thing, like food or Facebook. God knew all of the self-control in the world isn’t enough to overcome strongholds in our lives or the ways of the world. Fasting is a gift to help us overcome. Use this gift to deepen your faith and see God move in mighty ways.
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” -Isaiah 40:31
Genesis 31-33; Luke 13
We live in a world that is constantly fighting for our attention. Distractions are everywhere and it can be so hard to focus on God when we are surrounded by the noise of the world. What if we decided to spend a small portion of each day listening and focusing on God?
Let’s not be so focused on the worldly things that we forget God is still moving, speaking, and desiring our attention. We have to learn to shut out the noise so that we can hear the still small voice of God. God is still speaking—the question is, are you listening?
Throughout the Bible, we can read story after story of people who listened to God and found peace and direction. We pray that during this season we will be able to turn down the noise of the world, to focus your life and attention on God. Take 15 minutes today to sit in the presence of God. Pray and listen for the voice of God. God wants to speak to you! We challenge you to make this a daily habit. Take the first 15 minutes of each day with God. Five minutes of prayer, five minutes in the Word, and five minutes of journaling.
Genesis 34-36; Luke 14
Consistency in Prayer
Consistency is a vital aspect of bearing fruit. Trees follow patterns every year producing fruit and extending their roots just as they were created to do. In the midst of difficult or pleasant circumstances, they are consistent. What they are designed to be and what they are built to do does not change based on what happens to them. The truth is, we too can learn to produce no matter our circumstances.
Paul declares in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to “pray continually.” You may have heard the expression “exercise your prayer muscle.” Athletes don’t just occasionally practice to win Olympic gold medals. Likewise, we can’t expect a radical transformation in our lives without a radical commitment to prayer. If we want to produce no matter our season, we need to train like the apostles and devote ourselves continually to prayer.
Training is a conscious choice. One that grows and develops with consistency. It’s not easy and requires discipline. Let us devote ourselves to a lifetime of communing with Him! Commit to taking a few minutes to pray every day. Set a time that will be good for you and make a list of people or situations—globally, locally and personally—to pray about.
This is a guided prayer to help you as you begin to spend time praying- GUIDED PRAYER.
Genesis 37-38; Psalm 7; Luke 15
Natural vs. Supernatural
When you think of fasting, what do you think of? Most of us would say going without food, staying away from social media, or taking a break from something we enjoy. At its most basic definition, that is what fasting is—but it is so much more than that! Fasting is letting go of the natural to take hold of the supernatural. When you fast, you are denying yourself something natural in order to take hold of something supernatural.
Fasting reminds us that we need God. In the Bible, Nehemiah understood this well. He was facing a situation that was too big for him and he needed God. We see that Nehemiah fasted and prayed before he did anything else. He was in captivity, walls were destroyed, his people were in trouble.
If we take Jerusalem as a symbol of our own lives, there are many people surrounding us today who fit this description. All you have to do is look around you to see people’s lives in ruin—marriages falling apart, kids in rebellion, and despair surrounds us. We need God. We need God to do what only He can do. We need God to move in the supernatural, so that transformation can happen in the natural!
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”- Isaiah 30:21
Genesis 39-41; Luke 16
Fasting vs. Slowing
Our current culture has been labeled the “microwave society,” we want everything right now! Whether it’s meals, news & information, music, relationships, success, or power—we have a mentality that we get what we want, how we want it, and when we want it. As followers of Christ, our lives are not defined by what we eat or drink, the clothes we wear, or the amount of money in our bank account.
We are citizens of another Kingdom. This world will never truly satisfy us. We are called to live differently. We would like to challenge you to slow down! Do not let this time of prayer and fasting slip by in a rush or hurry. Don’t work through your lunch break because you are not eating. Redirect your time to focus on Jesus.
Think of this concept as “slowing”. It is all about unhurried times of prayer, taking time to listen to Jesus, and learning more about the Holy Spirit. God wants to speak to us and spend time with us, but we have to slow ourselves down to hear the still small voice of God. Take 20 minutes today, put on your favorite worship music, and sit still in the presence of God. Take time to pray and also take time to listen. Open your Bible and read. Slow down and spend time with your Creator.
Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! – Psalm 27:14
Genesis 42-43; Psalm 5; Luke 17
Prayer Beyond Compare
Social media comes with amazing benefits and opportunities, but everyone else’s perfect pictures in the exciting “story” of their lives can leave us feeling like we don’t measure up. Comparison is like a virus and the first thing it kills is our confidence.
Comparison causes us to look to other people or cultures to set our standards. This leaves us with the lie that we will never be good enough, smart enough, or _____ enough (you fill in the blank). It can even poison our prayer life. We can become so wrapped up in feelings of inadequacy that we forget where our true value lies. Thus, we avoid talking to God.
In Hebrews 4, Paul points out that our God is one who can relate to us. It’s as though Paul pinpoints our tendency to focus on our flaws and says, “Look, the only one who has any right to stand in judgment, instead offers mercy!” Paul then directs us to “approach God’s throne” with confidence. The Greek word Paul uses for confidence is “parresia,” literally translated to mean “freedom in speaking…without the use of figures and comparison.” Paul knew that for us to experience the fullness God has for us, we have to step out of the comparison trap and into conversation with the only One whose opinion truly matters.
In what areas is comparison killing your confidence? As you pray today, approach God with confidence. He is both Holy and relational as He identifies with every situation, thought, and emotion.
Genesis44-46; Luke 18
Praise & Worship
A special part of prayer and fasting is moments spent in worship. God seems to show up differently in these seasons than others. Well, it’s not God who shows up differently, it’s actually us.
Why is it that in a season of sacrifice, the intimacy of worship increases? One of the first times in the Bible the word “worship” is ever used is in Genesis 22:5. God had asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac. Abraham had waited years to have a son. Isaac was a promised gift from God. He represented the future of Abraham’s people, he represented a promise and a legacy Abraham would leave, but in that moment God’s question to Abraham was, “Are you willing to sacrifice what you most hold dear for me?”
During seasons of fasting, we’re positioning ourselves to do that same thing. We’re sacrificing and saying “no” to the things that are dear to us so that we can say “yes” to God. God is the only one who deserves our praise and worship. True worship comes from a heart that says, “God, there is nothing I will hold back from you. You have full access to my life.” True worship involves sacrifice.
In what areas is comparison killing your As you continue in prayer and fasting lean into daily worship in your personal quiet time. Take 5 minutes with your favorite worship song playing and allow yourself to worship God from a place of sacrifice.
Genesis47-48; Psalm 10; Luke 19
Still. It’s not a word many would use to describe our society today. Whether it is the millions of flickering pixels we are constantly fixated on, our seemingly ever-expanding to-do lists, or the lingering need to always be doing something, achieving something, or producing something—we have forgotten what it’s like to be still.
Sabbath comes from the Hebrew word “Shabbat,” and simply means to rest or cease from labor. Having a regular rhythm of rest and stillness from our work is so important to God that He modeled it for us Himself by creating in six days and resting on the seventh. Did God rest because He was tired, burnt out, and overworked? No. He was showing us the key to proper Sabbath rest is to be still before you have to be.
This is the exact opposite of how most of us practice being still, if we practice it at all. Mostly we work and hustle until we are completely exhausted. Then we book a vacation to try and recuperate, but end up even more exhausted by all the planning and activities we lined up for ourselves while on vacation that when we get back we say, “I need a vacation from my vacation.”
This Weeks Challenge:
What if instead of working non-stop until we stalled out, we decided to follow God’s example by having a regular practice of being still. This week commit to taking one day to truly be still and experience Sabbath as God designed you to.
Genesis49-50; Psalm 8; Luke 20
Praying Anointed Words
We are anointed with a purpose and, through the Holy Spirit, our very words carry an anointing. Prayer is more than simply talking—prayer invites His presence. In Luke 1, we see a beautiful picture of the power we have to speak anointed words to inspire courage in one another. God has chosen Mary to carry Jesus into the world. It says in the scriptures that even though “Mary is confused,” she says “yes” to God. She obeys even though she knows the journey ahead will not be easy.
Now, as a virgin about to give birth, can any of us actually imagine what she must have felt? When Mary did not know what to do or what to think she knew where to go. She went to the home of someone who would echo God’s word over her. This action changes the course of human history. Elizabeth’s words were preceded by His presence. After hearing her encouragement, Mary responded in song. The mother of our Lord went from silence to singing!
This is what we get to be for each other. We all have shortcomings, doubts, and fears, but when the Spirit of the Living God prompts our words, they cannot fail. Invite His presence through prayer so that your words carry His anointing.
“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.” – Mark 11:23
Exodus 1-2; Psalm 88; Luke 21
Sin & Unforgiveness
Sometimes the hardest person for us to forgive is ourselves. You think forgiveness is for other people but not for you because you’ve done too much, gone too far, and feel like it’s just too late. The enemy loves to remind us of the mistakes we made in the past because guilt and shame keep us in bondage, unable to move forward into the future that God has planned for us. Does the sin of your past continue to bother you even though you have asked God to forgive you? These thoughts come solely from the enemy. He will wait for weak moments in our lives (for example, when we are fasting) and whisper our failures to us.
Look to Scripture agree with God’s perspective on your past. The Bible says that when we ask Jesus into our hearts, our old life vanishes and we become a new person. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” The book of Revelation calls Satan the accuser and the “father of lies.” The way we resist him is by knowing and speaking the truth of God’s Word. In Revelation 12, we read about how he is ultimately defeated. So, if the enemy reminds you of your past today, go ahead and remind him of his future!
“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities… As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” – Psalm 103:10,12
Exodus 3-5; Luke 22
Prayer, Supplication, Thanksgiving
Have you ever found yourself praying in the midst of a desperate situation? We can find it so easy to pray in times of need or desperation, but we quickly forget to pray when life is going well. God’s Word shows us that prayer needs to be our first response, not our last resort. God wants to bring the light of heaven into any situation that you are in. He can open doors that we don’t even have the key for. He can move anything that might seem immovable. Prayer is powerful!
Prayer in its most simple definition is talking with God. It is an opportunity to talk to God, to know Him, to be known. We can have a conversation with Him, anytime! There are also different ways for us to communicate and pray to God—through supplication and thanksgiving. Through prayers of supplication, we are able to make requests to God. He is a good Father, who wants to provide for you. What are you asking God for? Through prayers of thanksgiving, we are able to give thanks to God for all that He has done in and through us. There is so much in our lives to be thankful to God for. What do you need to thank God for in your life?
As you take time to pray today—remember that prayer is a conversation with God, where we can make requests to Him, where we are able to thank Him for all He has done, and where He wants to speak to us. Take extra time today to pray and then finish your time by listening to what God wants to speak to you!
Exodus 6-8; Luke 23
Armor of God/Spiritual Warfare
We are in a battle! A spiritual one. We have a real enemy. He wants to rob, kill, and destroy. The good news is that there isn’t a wrestling going on between good and evil where the winner isn’t determined. God is victorious!
Although we are victorious through Christ, every day we need to put on the full armor of God. If there was word of an intruder coming to your home, you would be positioned to protect your life, family, and home. In the same way, we need to be prepared to protect our souls. God has come so that we will have life and have it to the full, but we have to be prepared for the battle that we know is happening around us—because, at the same time, the devil is looking for someone to devour.
Today, pay special attention to what you are opening yourself up to that is not the Spirit of Christ. What you are watching, what you are laughing and joking about, what you are reading, what you are listening to—wickedness has a tendency to worm its way into our spirit and souls, sometimes even unknowingly. Jesus wants to set us free, but we need to repent, pray, and put on the full armor of God each and every day, so we can walk in the abundant life God has for us!
“Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness. ” – Matthew 10:1
Choose Something to Fast
Fasting, while highly spiritual, is something that is also highly practical. The concept of fasting is abstaining from something for the purpose of giving your time and attention to focus on God. There are a variety of things and ways you can choose to fast. You can choose to fast a certain meal or type of food, social media and or entertainment, a hobby or activity, or a combination of these things. The purpose is that you choose something meaningful that you are able to replace with spending time with God in prayer and the Word.
Fasting for spiritual purposes must include prayer. Prayer is not complicated it is simply talking to God and opening your heart to hear God talk to you. Whether you are spending 5 minutes or 5 hours in prayer, the point is that you are spending time praying. In order to help you focus your prayer and unify our hearts as a church, we have provided both a prayer pathway, as well as prayer points below.
God, today I come to You with thanksgiving and praise (Ps. 100:4). Instead of focusing on my circumstances, I choose to remember and reflect on all You have already done for me though Christ Jesus (Ps. 103:2).
Thank You For
- Your unconditional love (John 3:16, Rom. 5:8, Rom. 8:38-39, 1 John 4:10)
- Forgiving ALL of my sins (Ps. 103:3, 1 John 1:9, Heb. 10:14, 2 Cor. 5:21)
- Redeeming & restoring my life (Ps. 103:4, Ps. 130:7, 2 Cor. 5:17)
- Giving me grace & favor (Deut. 28:1-4, Ps. 23:6, Rom. 5:2)
- Promising complete & total healing (Ps. 103:2, Is. 53:5, Jer. 30:17)
- Providing for ALL of my needs (Phil. 4:19, Ps. 23:1, Ps. 34:10)
- Your purpose & plan for my life (Ps. 139:16, Jer. 1:4-5, Eph. 2:10)
- The gift of your Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17, John 14:26, John 15:26, Acts 1:8)
I thank you, in Jesus Name, for all these promises and declare them as truth over my life, my family, and my church (2 Cor. 1:20).
I freshly commit myself to You, asking that by the help of Your Holy Spirit, You would empower me today to serve and follow You with all of my heart, mind, and soul.
GIVE ME EYES
- To see You; what you have done for me; and who I am in Christ.
- To see people, the way You do, as Your sons and daughters You love unconditionally.
- To see every opportunity, You would give me to share Your love with those around me.
GIVE ME EARS
- To hear the voice of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding my every step.
- To hear the needs of those around me and how You are asking me to help.
- To hear words of encouragement from You that I can give to others.
GIVE ME A HEART
- That is pure, surrendered, and fully submitted to Your lordship.
- That is full of compassion for those You have and will bring into my life.
- That desires to see the lost saved, the broken restored, and the hurting mended and healed.
Read & Respond
One of the primary ways we believe God wants to speak to you is through the Bible, the living breathing Word of God. While it can be easy for some to become overwhelmed with the thought of hearing from God through the scripture, by using the Life Journal, we believe anyone can do it. Simply order a Life Journal or download the reading plan from Lakeshorecf.com, then spend time reading the designated chapters in one of the reading plans you choose. Lastly, respond to God through capturing what He is saying to you through writing it in your journal.
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Prayer is for everyone.
In addition to 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting for adults, our youngest prayer warriors can join in all 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting! In this guide, kids can read scripture and be encouraged to pray through an activity just for them.