Prayer and Fasting Jan 2016
As a church, every year we commit to fast throughout the month of January. January is a time to regroup and go again; it is a time to stir up our Spirit of faith; it is a time to lay aside our busyness and focus on Jesus; it is a time to redefine our goals, purposes, motives and methods; it is a time to lay aside sin habits and “weights” and run with everything in us the race set before us.
There is no doubt, God has called, equipped, commissioned and anointed us to multiply. He has given us a great territory to go and possess and we need each other to do it. A corporate fast is a tremendous way to join together, express our unity and commitment to one another, and to purposefully take hold of the Kingdom of God. Let’s rise up and go for it as we have never done before. Let’s commit to fast and pray, humble ourselves to seek the face of God and then hit the rest of 2016 running! The greatest victories won and breakthroughs achieved are most often as a direct result of fasting: Fasting causes the glory of God to flood our lives and situations; it causes healing to “spring forth speedily”; Satan to flee in stark terror; and our minds to be filled with fresh knowledge, wisdom and insight and the “deep things of God”. Fasting is not something to be taken casually or relegated to a lower position on our list of priorities.
To ensure that we are all praying along the same lines, I have given some pointers for your prayer times further on in this booklet. This is of course in no way rigid - please be led by the Holy Spirit in everything you do, but just as in Acts chapter 4 when they all prayed with one voice and in one accord, I’m sure that Citygate all praying the same thing will bring a tremendous breakthrough.
Often when I declare a fast, I am led to read Isaiah Chapter 58, where there are some wonderful instructions as well as promised rewards from fasting. Further on in this booklet you will see how we are using this chapter as the basis of this fast. I have enclosed a list of the purposes and rewards of this fast for you to use as a prayer model.
As I have already said, fasting is a powerful tool, which causes wonderful things to happen. Just in case you may need some clarity on what fasting actually is and how to fast, here are some basic guidelines:
1. Fasting does not change God or increase His commitment to us or to answering our prayers; it is a way to humble ourselves, putting down the desires of our flesh, in order to more accurately hear from God.
2. Fasting puts us in a greater position of authority to declare and enforce God’s word.
3. It is important to “declare” your fast - declare what it is for and how long it will last.
4. A fast can be for as long or as short as you decide. It can be for one meal on one day, for one meal every day, for one whole day, for a number of days, or any other amount of time you decide - the important thing is not necessarily how long you fast, but that you declare it, keep to it, and PRAY during the time of the fast in a specific way - fasting without increased prayer is nothing more than a cheap way to lose weight!
5. Fasting puts us in the position to be filled with the Holy Spirit in a greater way.
6. Fasting is a time not to just ask God for things, but to believe that you receive exactly what you set out to achieve by faith - Jesus said that if you fast in secret God will reward you openly (with the reason for the fast). Fasting is not a time to hope for something to happen, it is a time to press in and get hold of everything God has for you personally and for the church corporately!
7. If you have never fasted before, do not begin with a whole week’s fast! Begin with a day or with one meal every day. If you are entering a prolonged fast (for more than a few days), please be wise with what you drink during the fast and what you eat before and after the fast - please speak with Pastors Julian and Sharon or anyone else on the leadership team if you have any questions.
Remember: Fasting does not impress God - it puts us in a position to more clearly hear what He is already saying and declare it out - God’s will shall come to pass for Citygate Church this year in Jesus’ name.
The Fasting Rota will be in church again this year, so please be sure to put your name down for the meals / days that you have decided to fast with us.
Let me encourage you to regularly declare the attached Fasting Declaration and let your faith be built and released as you do.
Thanks for being part of this awesome vision - we are going from Glory to Glory, from Faith to Faith, from Strength to Strength and from Victory to Victory - Keep running the race and fighting the good fight of faith - WE WIN!!!
Yours in the Vision
Fasting points from Isaiah chapter 58
The purpose of this fast:
Verse 6: To set the captives free in our God-given territory of London - to see people Born Again and delivered.
Requirements during a fast:
Verse 7: To meet peoples’ needs practically
Verse 9: Put away from us all criticism and judge mentalism
The rewards to declare over the church, believing and receiving them by faith:
Verse 8: - Our Light flooding out of the church
- Powerful and immediate Healing & Restoration in every area of life
- Our righteousness shall go before us to open doors of favour & blessing
- God’s Glory shall protect us all around
Verse 9: God will declare openly that He is Present with us
Verse 11: - The Lord will continuously guide us
- The Lord will satisfy us spiritually and financially no matter what circumstances we are in
- We shall be a source of living water for London
Verse 12: - We shall rebuild the spiritual ruins of the city
- We shall be declared to be restorers and repairers of peoples’ lives and the city and streets of London
Specific things to believe and receive for in 2016:
1. That people would come to Know God in great numbers
2. That people would Find Freedom from all sickness, poverty, oppression, limitation, rejection, regret etc.
3. That people in Citygate would Discover their Purpose and confidently step into and fulfil their God-given destiny
4. That people would Make a Difference in other people's lives and in our community through serving the Kingdom of God and the Citygate Vision. That we move forwards as a might army - each part doing their work through being committed to church life.
5. That 2016 will be a year when both individually and corporately we will "Pursue, Overtake and Recover all" that God has given us
6. That Citygate Church would be filled with the Glory of God is a fresh way, and that God would be enthroned in a mighty river of Praise and Worship.
7. Citygate's Youth and Young Adult's ministries to grow significantly
8. Small Groups to grow and multiply
9. That the Church and Church Partners would flourish financially in all the abundance that God promises.