What is fasting? Fasting is when you deny yourself good things, things you enjoy and go to for comfort, for a period of time so that you can use that hunger to intentionally draw near to God. Prayer and fasting can be an act of repentance and confession (Nehemiah 9:1-2; Joel 2:12-13); an intentional calling out for God’s deliverance and direction (2 Chronicles 20:2-4; Esther 4:16); and most of all a time of longing for Christ Jesus and his return (Matthew 9:4-16).
How should we fast? When we fast we must do so justly, loving our neighbor and those under our authority well (Isaiah 58:3-7); we must do so humbly, not for our pride or so that others will see our piety (Matthew 6:16-18); and we should do so purposefully together as a church seeking God’s will and guidance for the future (Acts 13:2-3). For more info listen to Pastor Jonathan Romig’s recent sermon on fasting (Prayer & Fasting | Matthew 6:16-18 – 3/2/2019)
What can I fast? Please talk with a doctor if you have any sort of medical condition that might make fasting food unsafe for you. There are a variety of options for fasting:
- Water fast – You could give up food and only drink water for up to one meal or several days.
- Juice fast – You could drink fruits and vegetables to keep you energy up but not eat food. A variation of this is the Daniel Fast where you only eat fruits and vegetables and drink water.
- Foods fast – You could give up certain types of food for your fast, like sugary foods or comfort foods that you go to when you’re stressed. Fasting is not dieting.
- Media fast – You could give up watching television, or the news, or surfing Reddit, Facebook, or Youtube. What entertainment do you go to the most?
- Other fast – You could give up anything that you turn to when life is tough, just to make sure it’s not an idol in your heart (Luke 14:18-20; 2 Corinthians 7:7).
Why are we fasting as a church? It’s been three-and-a-half years since we launched our church and we simply need a fresh movement of the Holy Spirit. We want God to come and fill our church family with his presence, give us direction, and help us love him and our neighbor more. We want to grow. We want to emphasize evangelism and discipleship. We want to see new converts. How might the Lord be leading us forward? As a body we need spiritual protection and for Christ to cast out Satan’s power from our town (Matthew 6:18). Let’s ask him to do all these things.
How should I prepare? Each day during the time of fast, spend time quieting yourself before God and cultivating an attitude of seeking Him first (Matt 6:33). Ask God to reveal to you any sins you would need to repent of, and thank Him for all that He has done for you and/or other areas of your life. Then pray specifically as the Spirit leads you and utters through you (Rom 8:26) on the specific prayer needs for each day in this guide and your life. May this time of prayer and fasting be a sweet time of deep fellowship with God through Christ in His Spirit.
How to use this guide? We’ve structured our 40 days of prayer and fasting from Tuesday March 12th through Saturday April 20th around one of Cornerstone’s core values: “Prayer – We invite God to work in our lives, church, and town. Romans 8:26” as well as an additional time of praying for our future the last 10 days. We’ve outlined people, ministries, and items to pray for each day. If it’s helpful, print it and check off each day when you pray. Let’s break our fast together at the Easter Sunrise “break-fast.” Thank you so much for dedicating time to praying and fasting together as a church.
Please pray for family relationships, children, youth, parents, health, finances, spiritual protection, work, frontlines, walk with God, and anything else you can think of. (Eph 5:21-6:18)
Day 1 (Tue/12th) – Various church families (*For the unedited guide please contact the church office).
Day 2 (Wed/13th) – Various church families
Day 3 (Thur/14th) – Various church families
Day 4 (Fri/15th) – Various church families
Day 5 (Sat/16th) – Various church families
Day 6 (Sun/17th) – Various church families
Day 7 (Mon/18th) – Various church families
Day 8 (Tue/19th) – Various church families
Day 9 (Wed/20th) – Various church families
Day 10 (Thur/21st) – Please pray for the new families and people God wants to bring to be a part of our church family.
Please pray for spiritual protection for the body, that God would meet all of our financial needs, for both spiritual and numerical growth, for direction and discernment for ministries, for unity, peace, and strength, development of our giftings, and putting into practice our vision, mission, core values, and Discipleship Pathway. Let each ministry be a reflection of Christ’s love and power working through us. (Rom 12:3-8; Col 3:12-17; Eph 6:10-18; Phil 2:1-11)
Day 11 (Fri/22nd) – Elders & Pastor (1 Tim 3:1-7; 1 Pet 5:1-11)
Day 12 (Sat/23rd) – Deacons & Staff (1 Tim 3:8-13)
Day 13 (Sun/24th) – Worship & Media Ministry Team (WMMT) and our musicians, singers, etc. weekly worship / Care & Connections (Col 3:16; Heb 10:19-25)
Day 14 (Mon/25th) – Youth / Children / Cornerstone Kids (Matt 19:14; Eph 6:1-2)
Day 15 (Tue/26th)– Buildings & Grounds / Finance / Budget / May Annual Meeting (Phil 4:10)
Day 16 (Wed/27th) – Outreach / Missions / Safe Families / Haiti / France (Matt 28:16-20)
Day 17 (Thur/28th) – Community Groups / Christian Education (Rom 12:9-13)
Day 18 (Fri/29th) – That we would put our Discipleship Pathway, our vision, and our church mission into practice throughout our whole church body, refining, cutting, and adding ministries as needed. (2 Pet 2:4-10)
Day 19 (Sat/30th) – Missionaries we’ve supported. (Phil 4:19; Eph 6:18-20)
Day 20 (Sun/31st) – Christianity Explored (John 3:16-17; Matt 11:28-30; John 17:20-21)
Please pray for Christ Jesus to invade our town of Westford and surrounding communities. Pray that God would open our community’s eyes to their desperate need for him and that we would see revival. Pray for us to be a blessing and messenger of truth, grace, justice, and mercy outside our walls. Pray for God to work through us to boldly share the gospel. (1 Tim 2:1-4, 2 Peter 2:13-17, Matt 5:13-16)
Day 21 (Mon/1st) – Christ’s light to shine through every corner of our church’s town and the town where you live.
Day 22 (Tue/2nd) – The Christians in town and from nearby churches to make gospel impacts for Christ’s sake.
Day 23 (Wed/3rd) – Our neighbors close by the church as well as our home neighborhoods.
Day 24 (Thur/4th) – Our workplaces, employers and co-workers, and that we would all do our work and business for God’s glory (1 Cor 10:31).
Day 25 (Fri/5th) – Families: marriages and children, senior citizens and the poor in town.
Day 26 (Sat/6th) – The schools: safety, school committee and their decisions, superintendent and office, teachers, students.
Day 27 (Sun/7th) – Town Government: Selectmen, town meetings, Town Manager and office
Day 28 (Mon/8th) – First Responders: Police and Firefighters
Day 29 (Tue/9th) – Library, businesses and other non-profit entities in town
Day 30 (Wed/10th) – God to prepare the town’s people for Easter by coming to our Easter services and that we would boldly invite family or friends to come.
Personal & Corporate Direction: We want to pray for the future of our church. Where are we and where is God leading us? Is there something we need to do different, more of, or less of? Pray that each of us, our teams, our Deacons, and Elders would get a clear sense of direction for the church body and that we would all be willing to head that direction together. Please pray this big request each day and use each day’s prayer to launch you wherever the Lord may lead (Eph 3:14-19).
Day 31 (Thur/11th) – “Lord, where have we sinned? Where have I sinned? Please reveal my sins and our sins to us so that we can repent, receive forgiveness, and go forward in faith.” (Ex 34:6-8)
Day 32 (Fri/12th) – “Lord, please grow my relationship with Christ. Give me a greater love for your Word. What next steps should I take at our church or on my frontline?” (Eph 3:17-18)
Day 33 (Sat/13th) – “Lord, would you give our church a deep relationship with you and each other. Would we love each other unconditionally, show grace to each other, and have deep unity as a church now and as we head where you want us to go?” (Eph 4:11-16)
Day 34 (Sun/14th) – “Lord, would you give our Elders, our shepherds, a clear sense of your direction and purpose? Please guide and protect them and give them your wisdom and Spirit.”
Day 35 (Mon/15th) – “Lord, help us hold our plans, preferences, and desires with open hands as we try to follow Jesus. What do we as a church need to sacrifice and what do I individually need to give up? Help me to be a living sacrifice.” (Rom 12:1)
Day 36 (Tue/16th) – “Lord, we know the safest place to be is in the center of your will. Take us there. Do what you have to do to get us there! We want to be right where you want us.”
Day 37 (Wed/17th) – “Lord, help us prioritize your heavenly kingdom above our earthly kingdoms. Help us see your kingdom and follow the King. Help us be faithful everyday. Thank you for being faithful for all eternity.” (Matt 6:10)
Day 38 (Thur/18th) – “Lord, give us humble hearts and listening ears to go where you want us to go. Help us change if we need to change and grow where we need to grow. Help us submit to your will in all things.”
Day 39 (Fri/19th) – “Lord, please give us wisdom and discernment. Please fill us with your Holy Spirit and move us exactly where you want us. We can’t see the future but you can. Please take us to the future you want for us.” (Prov 19:21)
Day 40 (Sat/20th) – “Lord, help us seek you first. We want to know you deeply. We want to see your face. May our church see and witness your glory in our lives, church, and town. Would you move and do beyond what we can think or imagine?” (Exod 33:18-23)