Setting the Course for 2012 – Shades of Grace | Natalie Nichols- Shades of Grace | Natalie Nichols

Setting the Course for 2012

Setting the Course for 2012

Do you have deep longings for 2012 — things you want God to do in your life, a loved one’s life…on your job or in your ministry? Would you like to live in the center of God’s will with a  greater hunger for Him?

There is something you can do next month that will set the course for what God does in your life throughout 2012 — something that will bring you closer to God and release His wisdom, guidance and blessing in every area of your life.

Setting the Course

There is no better way to begin the year than with a Biblical fast. Just as beginning our day with prayer sets the course for the rest of the day and affects anything that might happen, so beginning the year with a fast affects our inner relationship with God and sets the course for the rest of the year.

Giving God the First

We give God the first of our day, the first of our week and the first of our income.  Why not the first of the year? “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Mt. 6:33).

When we give God the the first of our year in prayer and fasting…He gives to us all year long. During April, May, June…and even into December, we receive blessings that wouldn’t be ours if we hadn’t dedicated the first to God in January with a fast.

The Desire

Many people fear the hunger pains that occur during the first few days of a fast.  With the mere mention of the word “fast” stomachs begin to grumble and growl. Yet this feared deterrent can actually be a welcomed friend.

Thoughts of food can be the very things that spur a faster on to continual prayer.  During a fast, desires for food turn my day into constant communion with God. Each time I feel myself longing for food, I tell the Lord, “I want you more!  I’m hungrier for you than for food!” I believe you would agree that there are things we desire more than food:

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

The Reward

Jesus promises to reward those who practice fasting in the right way with the right motives.

”When you fast…your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:17-18).

The theme of Matthew chapter six is three main Christian duties: giving, praying and fasting. Most Christians would accept without question that it’s our responsibility to give and pray. But it is equally our responsibility to fast. And just as God promised to reward those who give and pray, He has guaranteed a reward to those who fast!

The Ability

As we begin this New Year, I urge you to prayerfully consider giving God twenty-one days of fasting and prayer. Respond obediently to what the Holy Spirit tells you.  If He leads you to fast, reply with a simple, “Yes sir.” Don’t worry first about how you are to fast…or whether you can make it twenty-one days.  God wants your obedient reply.  He will give you His ability to follow through.

“For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants” (Philippians 2:13, TLB).

The Holy Spirit will be faithful to call you to the fast He has ordained for you – a full fast, a Daniel fast, a partial fast…or a mixture of all three. He will give you specific direction. Between now and January 8th, you can pray and seek His will as to how He wants you to fast.

All He wants now is your simple commitment to obey – made only in faith. God will honor your obedience and trust in Him. He will give you wisdom, direction, strength and grace for the fast.

The Invitation

I would like to personally invite you to join me in Pursuit 21 – a 21-day fast January 8 through January 28.  Beginning and maintaining a fast is much easier when we join with others and fast with friends.

Mark January 8, 2012 on your calendar and prepare to be blessed!

I’m excited for what God has in store for us individually and corporately as we begin 2012 with fasting and prayer! Join me in the pursuit and let’s experience God’s promised reward.

“…for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

P.S. Below are a few quick tips and links for the next few weeks.


  1. Prayerfully determine the type and length of fast to which you will commit.
  2. Prayerfully determine your objective. (Why will you be fasting? For spiritual renewal, healing or financial provision? For freedom from bondage and addiction?)
  3. Utilize the Pursuit 21 fasting contract to record the type of fast to which you will commit and to list your causes for fasting. This step is helpful in moving from merely thinking about your fast to being committed to it.
  4. Consider subscribing to this blog in order to receive inspirational posts during your fast.


Question: Would you like to set a course of blessing for the entire year next year? What rewards would you like to reap in April, May, June…and even into December because you dedicated the first to God in January through a fast?


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Shades of Grace will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

One Response to “Setting the Course for 2012”

  1. kenny says:

    will start the fast in 2019

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