With Christmas festivities behind us, and hopefully some happy memories made, it’s time to turn our minds to our annual SUM Community Fast.
The fast will start in a week’s time, on Monday 4th January. If you haven't already, check out my video from last week.
Personally, I’m so in need of this year’s fast. Because of what we’ve been through with the pandemic, I have an especially strong desire to get before God and reflect on where we're at. When vulnerable from fasting, you just can’t help but hit the couch and listen to Him more than usual. And though fasting is very difficult, that is the benefit I know will come next week.
Every time we fast as this SUM community, at least a few of us will hear something from the Lord and post it in the comments. In fact, I look back on the years and remember many of the conversations or moments we’ve had together from these times.
Besides hearing God, fasting does something in the spirit realm and brings shifts in our homes. What power comes when a group of people does it together! We probably can't imagine this side of Heaven. Jesus said that some things from the enemy can only be removed through prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29). These shifts aren't always noticeable straight away, but sometimes they are.
So, how do you feel about going for it this year? If you're new to it, here are some tips for preparing:
- Ask God how he would like you to fast. You could fast each day sunrise to sunset, and then have a small dinner in the evening. This is a good challenge. Another way is to just have soup for five days -- That is harder. And, if you're a seasoned faster you could try no food for five days. This one takes some mental preparation.
- Jot down a list of questions for God, or things you’d like to talk to him about over that week, and dig out a special notebook and pen ready for the week.
- Make sure you have plenty of drinks in the house.
- Pray about telling your spouse, and if you want to tell them ask for God's help. It took me a few fasts before I plucked up the courage to tell my husband -- I feared he'd find it just that little bit too weird. However, when I finally did tell him he was fine. Puzzled, but fine. Last year he even took me out for a smoothie to help me keep going!
- If you are on holiday or have guests over, plan ahead which meals you'll fast from: Setting fasting goals ahead of time seems a good strategy.
- Don’t plan too much exercise or activity during that week. That might send you over the edge!
- Get yourself some super comfy clothes at the ready (e.g., track-pants) so that you can hunker on the floor or on the couch for that nice time with God. Somehow, I find comfy clothes help me get through!
As for over here, I will be home quietly with my boys who are on school holidays. I plan to tell them and Bryce so that they understand my inertia that week, and I hope to do no food at all for the five days. Having attempted this a few times it's perhaps not as intimidating as it used to be. I know its power so I’m game. I’ll still have coffee and tea, juice, protein shakes, and yoghurt drinks. Some here even go further than that, doing water only. I have to say I'm building up to that still.
So, team SUM, are we up for it? Post in the comments and share what you think you’re going to do. It’s fun doing this together and we always love seeing each other’s adventures on this week.
Lynn will be posting next on Friday, and then I'll be back on Monday to kick us off with the fast.