FaithSpring’s 46-day Prayer Challenge for Lent
Day 45, Friday, April 14, 2017
Prayer Update! 100 hours and 25 minutes of Prayer through April 8, 2017.
Pray and engage in 24-hours of fasting. (Don’t give up now! Try your best and keep reading.)
On the 45th day of the Prayer Challenge, we arrive at our most difficult task. Today, we begin a time of fasting (withholding food) for 24 hours. This challenge will be very difficult for everyone, although in the history of the Christian Church, it is something that has been regularly practiced by billions of Christians. The purpose of this fast is to recognize the ultimate sacrifice made by Jesus Christ and demonstrate our faithfulness to God who supplies for all our needs.
In many parts of the world, this is a very strict and holy sacrifice. In our Prayer Challenge, this is a complete focus on Jesus Christ. When Jesus began His ministry, He retreated to a mountain where He engaged in a 40-day time of fasting. When Jesus was crucified, He spent three days in the tomb without nutrition. These are just two examples of Jesus’ fasting, but it is likely that Jesus practiced this discipline many more times during His lifetime.
First, here’s the rules for our fast: Withhold food for 24 hours. If this is not possible (especially for children, diabetics, and others whose physical requirements would prove to be dangerous to their health), then consider reducing/eliminating non-essential food and all drinks other than water.
Second, for those who have never practiced fasting, there are two keys to a successful fast: Prayer and water. Our bodies will crave certain foods and drinks, primarily because our bodies are conditioned to fulfill the hunger needs as they arise. There are several options:
- Fast from all calories. If you choose this challenge, drink only water and pray at every opportunity.
- Fast from all food (but drinks are okay). If you choose this option, then make sure to pray fervently and consume plenty of water and other beverages to supplement your body’s needs.
- Conditioned Fast. If your dietary constraints (mentioned above) will not allow you to fast from calories or food, consider eating just fruits and vegetables and the minimal amount of other foods and plenty of water as your body requires (and continue to pray!).
(Hint: Begin counting the 24 hours from your last meal, so for many of us, we will already have a head-start of 10-12 hours.)
Don’t put yourself in danger, but neither give up before you begin. You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish with a focus on Jesus Christ, along with plenty of prayer and water. God will care for you during your cravings, but even better, you will become a first-hand witness to how God supplies for the needs of His people.
“And when you fast, don’t put on a sad face like the hypocrites. They distort their faces so people will know they are fasting. I assure you they have their reward. When you fast, brush your hair and wash your face. Then you won’t look like you are fasting to people, but only to your Father who is present in that secret place. Your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:16-18, CEB)