Before He would preach a sermon or perform His first miracle, Jesus would be led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be confronted by the archenemy of heaven. Satan himself would make a valiant attempt at circumventing the earthly ministry of God’s Son. It would be an epic match of will and conviction. Jesus prevailed. He yielded not one inch to the evil one. That defining moment became the launching pad for three years of public ministry that changed the course of history. There were two things that Luke noted in his narrative. One, that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1) and second, that he was fasting (verse 2).
It has been said that fasting is the most powerful spiritual discipline because it strikes at the core of our flesh. When practiced, it diminishes the natural desires of the flesh and gives way for an acute focus on spiritual things. The target is a redirected hunger toward the things of God! In the Old Testament, God commanded Israel to observe several set times of fasting. For New Testament believers, fasting was neither commanded nor forbidden. While Christians were not required to fast, many practiced prayer and fasting regularly.
In most cases, a spiritual fast involves abstaining from food while focusing on prayer. This can mean refraining from snacks between meals, skipping one or two meals a day, abstaining only from certain foods, or a total fast from all foods for an entire day or longer. Spiritual fasting is not a way to earn God’s favor; rather it is to produce a transformation in us—a clearer, more focused attention and dependence on God. In Matthew 17:21, a reference is given to the place that fasting plays in spiritual deliverance.
We are calling The Foursquare Church to a 21-day fast from February 1-21, 2011. We believe that the season before us is critical. The door of opportunity is before us. The kingdom of darkness has been launching an all-out assault upon the church. Never have we witnessed such demeaning threats and assaults against the global church. “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing…” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5, NKJV).
The choice of how you fast is a personal decision, but we are inviting you to join our movement in a collective fast to position ourselves as warriors during this season. We must contend with great courage and not shrink back from the threats of the evil one. This spiritual discipline enables us to engage this fast with divine insight and strength. The world needs us to link arms in a fight for their very souls. Let’s do it, together!
Here is a recommended list of daily prayer points (download available below). May the Lord give us grace for these days, and may we witness breakthrough on multiple fronts!
Daily Prayer Points
- Day 1: Pray for those in authority (global, national and local leaders).
- Day 2: Pray for the harvest (that the Lord of the Harvest will send laborers into the fields as 4 billion people have yet to proclaim Jesus as Savior).
- Day 3: Pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church (that a fresh Pentecost results in the release of an emerging generation).
- Day 4: Pray for strong global partnerships (that the Lord will give us a global strategy to reach the 100 nations that we have yet to penetrate).
- Day 5: Pray for healthy leaders (that the Lord will strengthen our leaders across the globe spiritually, physically and emotionally).
- Day 6: Pray for healthy churches (that the Lord will strengthen our churches with vibrant worship and anointed leadership).
- Day 7: Pray for church planting (that the Lord will revive our church planting nationally with healthy, reproducing churches).
- Day 8: Pray for Connection ’11 (that the Lord will visit us in a dynamic way in Columbus, Ohio, and that we will leave with a renewed vision for reaching the world).
- Day 9: Pray for Asia (that the Lord will continue to give us breakthrough in this strategic region of the world).
- Day 10: Pray for Africa (that the Lord will give us breakthrough in the Muslim strongholds of North Africa).
- Day 11: Pray for the Middle East (that the Lord will give us kingdom strategies for reaching the lost in this very important region of the world).
- Day 12: Pray for the immigrant population (that the Lord will give us favor and grace concerning immigrants and that we will be moved with great compassion for them).
- Day 13: Pray for the Native Americans (that the Lord will kindle a revival among them and that we will be able to help serve God’s purposes among them).
- Day 14: Pray for Central and South America (that the Lord will continue the revival that He has begun and that it will flow over into the rest of their region and the world).
- Day 15: Pray for Europe (that the Lord will bring a new reformation among these countries that will spread like wildfire across the globe).
- Day 16: Pray for America (that the Lord will bring us back to the roots of our beginning of spiritual hunger and commitment).
- Day 17: Pray for our Bible colleges and institutes (that the Lord will use all of our educational and training centers to equip, encourage and release the next wave of pastors, church planters, worship, youth and children, evangelists, missionaries and other ministers).
- Day 18: Pray for our missionaries (that the Lord will provide all of their needs while strengthening the work of their ministry and giving them great favor and influence).
- Day 19: Pray for the marriages and families of our ministers (that the Lord will protect, heal, strengthen, supply and give hope to those who have answered the ministry call).
- Day 20: Pray for our central office and district staff (that the Lord will continue to strengthen, lead and fill with His Spirit).
- Day 21: Pray for unity and focus of mission for The Foursquare Church (that the Lord will speak to us clearly during these days of His will, purpose and plans).
Daily Prayer Points
By: Glenn Burris Jr., president of The Foursquare Church