Invitation to Fasting
During our four-week teaching series God & Sex from August 18th to September 14th, we’d like to invite our whole church to practice a 24-hour fast on Wednesdays.
By this we don’t mean fasting from Netflix, social media, online shopping, or just certain types of foods… we mean fasting from all food for a 24-hour period. For this practice, we recommend eating dinner on Tuesday evenings and then breaking your fast at dinner on Wednesday evenings. (See bottom of this post for a few other practical tips.)
Here is why we’d like to pursue this practice during this teaching series:
Part of what makes a teaching series like this challenging for us — in which we’ll be talking about sexual addictions like pornography and promiscuity — is that we haven’t been trained in how to deny our bodily desires. We may want God to just miraculously heal us of our sexual addictions; the problem with this hope, however, is that it ignores our own agency in what we choose to do with our bodies. More often than not, God will use our agency and spiritual development in partnership with His supernatural power to free us from sexual addictions.
And this is where fasting becomes a helpful practice. In fasting from food, we learn how to practice living in bodily self-control while depending on God. We learn how to say no to what our bodies want and to rely on Jesus, who is our ultimate provider and sustenance. It is this posture that allows us to live into the truth of Jesus’ words:
“It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”Matthew 4:4
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”John 6:35
As you practice a 24-hour fast on Wednesdays from August 18th to September 14th, we recommend this prayer to help draw you closer to God:
Thank you, Creator God.
May my hunger remind me that I physically and spiritually depend on you and exist for intimacy with you.
A few other practical tips for fasting:
- Remember to regularly drink water throughout the day.
- If you’re able, try to avoid strenuous exercise.
- Don’t give blood on your day of fasting.
- If you’re pregnant, nursing an infant, diabetic, or have any other health issues, it might best to consult your doctor before fasting.
- If you’ve struggled in the past (or are currently struggling) with an eating disorder, we acknowledge that fasting might be complicated or triggering. If so, we encourage you to make healthy choices for yourself while nevertheless joining us in prayer.