With our ALPHA Film Series starting in groups around our City next week, we wanted to prepare our hearts with a day of prayer and fasting, to seek God and pray for the people who will be taking part in this journey. And, we wanted to pray for ourselves as we partner together as a Church to share the Gospel, help people to explore Jesus and His teachings, and hopefully see a culture of Evangelism formed in us as a Church.
For those of you who are Fasting with us for the first time, and have some questions about this new practice, here is everything you need to know for our Alpha Day of Prayer and Fasting.
What is Fasting?
Fasting is a Christian Spiritual Discipline where we abstain from eating food and doing certain activities to make more time to seek God in Prayer.
“Christian fasting, at its root, is the hunger of a homesickness for God.” – John Piper
Fasting is really Feasting! Instead of feasting on food, we are feasting on the grace, love, and truth of God as we make time to be with Him.
Fasting and Prayer go hand in hand. So as we fast, our goal is to significantly increase the amount of time we devote to Prayer. Without praying, we aren’t fasting! We’re dieting or going on a hunger strike.
When we fast we say no to the consumeristic ways of our culture, and to the many desires of our flesh, and we say that God alone is what we truly need, and that He is our ultimate joy and satisfaction. As our stomachs grumble, we are reminded of our greater hunger for Him, and this reminds us to pray and seek Him.
How do we Fast?
As a Church we are just fasting for one full day, on Thursday, 17 January. We will not be eating food, or drinking caffeine or alcohol over that time. We will only be drinking water and fruit juice.
Not eating, cooking, doing grocery shopping and washing dishes makes much more time for us to pray, to study the scriptures and to seek and hear from God.
You might also decide to fast Social Media, TV or other time consuming and distracting activities to make more time to Pray and seek God during this period.
And, if for Medical reasons you are unable to do the full fast, perhaps you can fast something during the day, to make more time to pray and seek God.
Please also get your Children involved in the fast! Perhaps they could fast something with us? Whether it is some food, sweets or time in front of the TV, or on their Tablets.
Please make time to pray with them too, discipling them and including them in what the whole Church Community are all doing together.
Why are we Fasting?
- In obedience to scripture that says we should fast (Matthew 6v16).
- To grow as a Church in this spiritual discipline, so that this becomes a more regular part of our lives.
We are in a big moment of faith as a Church, trusting God to use us to serve many of our friends, family, co-workers and neighbours, by having them in our homes and lives, and exploring the Gospel of Jesus together.
- Pray for God to prepare us as we get ready to run ALPHA Groups around Durban.
- Pray for the people who have been invited to an Alpha Group to come, and have open hearts to the messages shared.
- Pray for people to be saved, and deeply impacted by the message of the Gospel over the next few months.
Where are we Fasting?
We are fasting wherever you are on Thursday, 17 January. And then are coming together in the evening at 6pm, at Glenwood Prep School to Worship God, and pray together.
We will break the fast with breakfast separately on 18 January.
Scriptures on Fasting:
If you want to read up on Fasting and study it more for yourself, here are some key scriptures on fasting to read and pray through:
Isaiah 58; Matthew 6v16-18; Luke 5v33-35; Luke 4v1-2; Luke 18v9-14; Nehemiah 1v4, 9v1-3; Esther 4v3 + v14-17; Acts 13v2, 14v23; Joel 2v12; Luke 2v36-37; 2 Samuel 12v16-23; Jonah 3v5-10
For those of you reading this who would be interested in doing the ALPHA Course with Harbour City, you can sign up here and we will put you into an ALPHA Group.
For those of you wanting to watch a Promo Video to see what ALPHA is all about, you can click here.