21 Days of Prayer & Fasting Begins

I want to say thanks so much to Pastor Stovall & Kerri Weems of Celebration Church, Jacksonville FL, for providing online resources at Awake21.org. Each day I'll post the daily devotional provided by Awake21.org

Day 1:

Joel 2:12 NIV "Even now," declares the Lord, "return to Me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning."

If one were to look at
the kind of fasting that took place in the Old Testament, it would be easy to
assume that the reason for fasting is to gain forgiveness. In the book of Joel,
the Israelites had wandered far from God, and their sinfulness had resulted in
famine and pestilence in the land. Through the prophet Joel, God called them to
repentance, ordering them to declare a sacrificial fast that along with
mourning and weeping, would show God the sincerity of their repentance. In
return, the prophet said, perhaps God would, “turn and have pity and leave
behind a blessing.” 

Such a fast of
repentance is seen under the Old Covenant time and again, because under the Old
Covenant man had to rely on his works and sacrifices to avert the wrath of God.
But under the New Covenant, we don’t have to fast for forgiveness. Every wrong
we have done and will do was forgiven at the cross, and when we accept Christ, we
walk under a New Covenant of grace and forgiveness! We don’t have to fast, weep
and mourn to convince God of our sincere repentance or to avert His wrath.   I Thessalonians 5:9 tells us
that, “God did not appoint us to suffer wrath, but to receive salvation through
our Lord Jesus Christ.”
So then, why do we, as people under a New Covenant,
need to set aside special times devoted to fasting and prayer?

As we walk with God,
there are times that we feel far from Him or disconnected.  Joel’s words resonate with us who live
in a context of grace – “return to me with all your heart.” There are times we
realize that, though we have chosen to follow Jesus, the flame of our love for
him has grown cold. It is during these times we can return to God with our whole
heart, put aside the distractions of the world and focus solely on loving Him.
Your time spent in prayer each day of the fast can result in a new richness, a
rewarding connection with the Father. No matter where you are on your journey
with Jesus, you can always take a step closer towards Him.  

As we begin this time
of prayer and fasting, let’s turn our hearts toward God. Make a commitment to
seek God daily.  Pray that your love
for Christ will be increased and your passion for Him will be reignited over
the next 21 days.

  • I feel blessed and excited to be taking part in this fast with C3 – thanks for the blog! Its going to help get me through the morning with no coffee!!

  • I go to the Dream Center in North Charleston and saw your message last week…It was great! Just the idea of fasting is making me hungry:)… Thank you I hope you get a chance to come back.

  • This is awesome! I will be looking forward to daily devotionals during this fast.