Before you Meet: Recommended 24-Hour Fast
In order to make the most of your prayer experience with your Life Group, we recommend that you spend time preparing to hear from God. One of the disciplines that helps with this is fasting. Fasting is a way we eliminate the noise and distractions of the world around us and focus more completely on hearing God’s voice. While we fast, we are reminded and become more aware of our dependence on God. By fasting, we intensify our prayers, place ourselves in a position of submission, and become more sensitive to hearing God’s voice.
Preparing for Your Prayer Time (10-12 MINUTES)
| Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. Isaiah 65:24 |
The Church of Scotland defines prayer this way: “Prayer is an offering of our desires unto God for things agreeable to His will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins and thankful acknowledgment of His mercies.” This summarizes well the components of prayer. Our hearts should be set right before praying and our desires within God’s will in all things we bring to Him.
ASK YOUR GROUP: What uncertainties or expectations do you have coming into this prayer experience?
As you begin, consider playing a worship song and reading a devotional or passage of Scripture (Psalms 8, 19, 34, 121 and/or 138 are great options) to prepare your heart and mind for time in prayer. Move into a space where you will not be interrupted.
Pray for the group before you send them off, asking God to speak and be present through His Spirit.
Individual Prayer Time (60 MINUTES)
In prayer we are led by the Holy Spirit to look deeper in – Deeper into the truth of His word and deeper into our own hearts as He reveals to us those areas that we have attempted to hide away from His view and the view of others. Take time to allow him to speak by His word and by His spirit as you journey deeper in.
Directions: Select and read a passage below 3 times
Don’t give in to the temptation to simply glance over these passages, some of which may be very familiar to you. Take time to read the passage and, in turn, allow it to read you. After each reading, take time to listen and respond to the corresponding prompt.
Study, Reflection, and Prayer Journaling
Reading 1. Read the entire passage for understanding – what is the “big idea” of the passage?
Reading 2. What is one word or phrase the Holy Spirit impresses on you? In silence, meditate on that.
Reading 3. What do you sense the Holy Spirit revealing to you? What specific situation in your life today relates? What is the Lord’s personal invitation to you from the Scripture? Write down a prayer or pray quietly.
Choose 1 or 2 of the following options:
OPTION 1: Psalm 8
OPTION 2: Philippians 2:1-11
OPTION 3: Psalm 148
OPTION 4: Psalm 139
OPTION 5: Romans 6:1-14
OPTION 6: Eph 1:3-11, Gal 5:16-26
Debrief and Celebration (45 MINUTES)
After your prayer time, take time to share a meal together to break your fast. Share how you heard God’s voice, what this focused prayer time meant to you, and how it affected you. Discuss which passages you studied, and look for common themes and “big ideas” that you heard and saw. Share how the fasting time prepared you and whether your prayer time felt more focused or insightful from this discipline. Share any other relevant feelings or revelations from God during this time in fasting and prayer.