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Let’s Get Started: Helpful Tips and Information to Begin Pursuit 21

Let's Get Started

It’s finally here! Pursuit 21—twenty-one days of experiencing God through fasting and prayer—begins today!

There is no better way to launch the new 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 sets the course for the rest of the year. When we give God the the first of our year in prayer and fasting, we reap the harvest all year long.

If This is Your First Time Fasting

If this is your first time fasting, you may be concerned about surviving it. Don’t worry about how you’re going to keep your fast. As you commit by faith to pursue God through fasting, and as you spend time with Him in prayer each day, He will supply the strength you need. He will give you the grace required every moment of your fast.

And second, be assured of this: God is going to bless your season of fasting and prayer. He promises to fill those who hunger and thirst for Him! (Matthew 5:6) He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

What To Expect

The first few days may be physically challenging as your appetite and body adjust. If so, hang in there! You’ll get through it! And you’ll quickly discover that what you gain spiritually makes the sacrifice more than worth it!

Besides, the struggle is accomplishing something good—it’s showing you what bottom-line desires have been controlling you!

So be encouraged… and remember, fasting often becomes much easier after the first few days. For me, it’s the first three days that are usually the most difficult. But after about three days, I no longer crave the junk foods I indulged in from Thanksgiving to Christmas. And the experience of God in prayer each day motivates and encourages me—and makes me excited—to keep up the fast.

Experiencing God in Prayer

Fasting is a continual prayer. It’s body-talk expressing your heart hunger to God.

When I’m fasting, every time my stomach growls or I want to stress-eat, I tell God, “I want You more!That little phrase, as simple as it is, is is a prayer. So all day long as we fast, we are experiencing God in prayer.

More important than our talking to God, as we fast He is continually talking to us. And because we’re silencing our appetites and other voices through fasting, we’re able to hear Him more clearly!

So in summary:

  1. Don’t be surprised by the challenge the first few days.
  2. Brace yourself, you’re about to experience the indescribable reward of fasting!

Fasting is a blast!! It is! And it has many rewards! In the fasting articles to come (and the couple hundred already posted here), you’ll discover the Biblical reasons why this is so!

As we begin, I want to help you get off to a good start. So below are a few helpful tips and reminders.

Prepare In Order to Be Successful and Reap the Reward

How you prepare for the fast affects the success of it. I encourage you to take a few moments to read the following articles and prayerfully consider the items listed.

Properly preparing not only helps you keep your fast successfully, it lays the groundwork for what you want God to accomplish through your fast.

1. Write It Down: What a Difference a Piece of Paper Makes

As you begin your fast, it will be helpful if you write these four things down. Doing so will help you focus your prayers and be successful in keeping your fast.

2. How Should I Prepare for a Fast?

This article lists six steps to preparing for a fast. These include Approaching Your Fast with a Positive Attitude of Faith … Determining Your Motives … Determine Your Objective … and more.

3. Are You Ready to Begin Your Fast?

It’s important that you prepare your spirit and prepare your body as you launch your fast. This article gives the specific steps involved in preparing each.

4. Five Essential Questions as You Begin

As we begin, it’s vital that we approach our fast with the right heart—with the right motives and the right leading. Otherwise all the effort could be wasted! If we don’t begin by letting the Spirit examine our heart, our fast might originate with and be conducted by the flesh … and the flesh profits nothing! (John 6:63)

Arthur Wallis shares five questions to ask yourself as you begin your fast.

5. Set Your Mind

It’s important that you set your mind regarding a few key aspects of your fast. Your mind is the battlefield on which the fight of this fast is won or lost. So it’s important that you make a few vital determinations in advance—determinations that will prepare you and equip you to win the battle. Make up your mind and be determined about these seven things.

Helpful Information

I hope you feel at home on the Shades of Grace website for the next 21 days (and beyond).  Please feel free to post comments, ask questions, submit further prayer requests and share updates about your fasting experiences and answered prayers.

Since this website is your Pursuit 21 home, I would like to take a moment to give you a tour and make sure you know where to find the pages and links you may need.

Subscription

During Pursuit 21, I will be sharing new articles in order to encourage you on your fast. In the article archives, you will also find daily fasting posts for all twenty-one days (from the past eight years of Pursuit 21) that will provide encouragement and helpful information.

You might also like to subscribe to receive blog posts via email. (You can unsubscribe at any time.) As a subscriber, you will receive each new post in your email inbox.

Fasting Contract

It is important that you make a list of your causes for fasting (feel free to utilize the Pursuit 21 Contract). Keep it with you throughout the day as you fast. In the first few days, as your body adjusts to the fast, you may not feel like praying. You may feel lousy. That’s when you pull out your list of reasons for fasting and lay it before the Lord. This is your hit list! Keep it handy and pray over it frequently.

Twitter and Facebook 

Throughout the day each day, I will be posting on social media inspiring quotes and scriptures pertaining to prayer and fasting—as well as links to some of the articles from the fasting archives. You might like to join me there on Facebook and/or Twitter.

If You Have An Illness

Fasting with an illness can be challenging, but not impossible. There are healthy, safe ways one can fast, even with an illness. Having had a chronic illness my entire adult life, I’ve experienced first hand the ways one can safely fast with an illness.

If you have any health issues, I highly recommend that you read Fasting With an Illness: Safe Ways to Fast.

Let’s Begin!

We’re ready to begin! We’ve got some reading and praying to do to prepare, so let’s get busy!

Questions:

  • Is this your first time fasting?
  • How are you feeling about your fast? Are you worried you’ll fail? Or are you expecting God to give you the ability to keep your fast?
  • Are you excited about your fast? Perhaps like me, you’re not looking forward to the adjustment period here in the beginning. But are you looking forward to the spiritual benefits—the ways you’ll get to experience God during these three weeks of seeking Him?
  • Have you given careful prayer and consideration to your preparation? 

 

HELPFUL ARTICLES AS YOU BEGIN

FASTING DAY ONE FROM THE ARCHIVES

HELPFUL LINKS

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 “Let’s Get Started: Helpful Tips and Information to Begin Pursuit 21”

  1. Mamon says:

    I read your blog and I believe God is going to bless your season of fasting and prayer. And I also feel that when I am first fasting, the first few days are physically challenging as your appetite and body adjust. Thank you so much for post a valuable article.

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