Prayer & Fasting Week Testimonials
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
How is 2022 going for you so far? For me, a highlight has been our week of prayer and fasting (2/21 - 2/27). It was so good to dedicate a week to pray and fast through Isaiah 40 together. We saw that we can trust God even in our weariness, that God’s character is more certain than our circumstances. It’s been so encouraging to hear from many of you about how God moved in your life that week. The week of prayer and fasting helps grow our appetite for our all-satisfying God.
Following are some testimonials about our 2022 week of prayer and fasting. I trust these will encourage us and build one another up as we seek to trust and follow Jesus together (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Thank you to those who shared these testimonies to encourage the church.
Let’s continue to be praying Isaiah 40 for one another as a church family, that God will renew our strength. Love you, GBC!
I chose to fast from TV, social media and food for the week of fasting and prayer. Because I made the commitment to not watch TV, I was convicted on how much time I wasted on entertainment. (Living alone can be boring, so naturally it is easy to turn to TV to distract from boredom). My prayer life has increased in time, content and intention. When I turned on the TV after the week of fasting I realized there was very little worth watching.
I have always believed that God created everything - He is the Creator...but I never thought of God as the "un-created One". There is no one who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand or marked off the heavens with the span of his arms. God sits above the vault of the earth. God did not consult anyone, no one taught God anything...He is the GREAT I AM!
The week of prayer and fasting was unexpectedly challenging for me. I felt hungry for food, but that didn't translate into any greater sense of my need from God. By Thursday, I realized I was going through the motions of doing the things suggested in the guide. I approached the week of prayer and fasting with my strength and an expectation of quid pro quo. By Friday, however, I decided that I would continue to fast and pray, but I stopped doing it for the sake of "checking the boxes," and instead prayed, "God, I want to want you more; and I want what You want for my life and GBC. If my desires don't align with Your will, then change my desires." I sense that something somewhere in my heart changed a bit during the week of prayer and fasting, and I think that's a good thing.
The week of prayer and fasting was a paradigm shift for me this year. I didn't grow up fasting or learning about it in the church. The podcast and night of prayer and worship were helpful in learning more about this spiritual discipline. I have thought of fasting as more of a focus on the prayer side, which is not bad at all, but I think I had too much of a formality bent to it. This year because of the holiday and sick kids at home throughout the week there were not many opportunities for me to set aside concentrated time to pray. It was more praying throughout the day.
I was able to focus on the fasting side of it more and grew in the reality that my strength and needs are found in Jesus' provision alone. I felt hungry and weak a lot but it was a tangible discipline of self-control through the help of the Spirit. It helped me realize that in God's kindness he has asked me to fast so I remember how each meal is a gift from him and he truly is the bread of life that gives me energy for the day. It has been a good reminder to depend on him and call on him throughout the day for my needs.
It has also been good motivation to put fasting back into our routine. Something that we had started practicing after last year's week of prayer and fasting but got lost in the business of life.
This year's week of prayer and fasting helped me see how important it is to take deliberate steps to let God's word shape our minds and hearts. Isaiah 40 says a lot of wonderful things about God and his care for his people. And while these truths are things we've thought about before, they were lodged more fully in my heart as we fasted and focused repeatedly and prayerfully on those profound truths throughout the week. Hunger helped me feel my need for God, and it stirred my affections for him in response to his love and care.
The week of Prayer and Fasting was eye opening and strengthened my faith. I fasted from social media that week along with fasting from food. I had some really tough conversations with a family member on Monday and Tuesday, and it was very emotional and I struggled with anger and frustration. Honestly, I would usually just zone out on my phone or just sit in my anger, but God was showing me just how much I really need to turn to him in every situation. He was teaching me to humble myself and to ask for discernment in how I respond in difficult conversations. I am so grateful for the fasting guide, it helped me to be more prayerful and in the word.
Leading up to the fast week, I was not abiding in Christ. My fears, frustrations, and anxieties were preventing me from seeing God's goodness and sovereignty. The discipline of fasting really kickstarted my walk with Christ. As the week progressed, God helped me see how much He loves His children and wants to abide with us. And the fasting helped me see how desperately I need Jesus.
My testimonial may fall in the bucket of “useful because not everyone has a great experience with these kinds of things.” I really enjoyed our week of prayer and fasting but also found it incredibly difficult. For me, it’s pretty easy to not eat food. The hard part is to replace that time and redirect that effort into prayer and time in the Word. That challenge is good confirmation that this is something I need.