KAMPALA – As the new year begins, a large portion of the Christian community has announced commitment to fervent prayer and fasting for a given number of days of January.
This spiritual practice helps many Christians begin the new year with a focus on God and what he wants then to do individually and as a church.
Although most people choose January, this isn’t the only month reserved for fasting. The desire for many is to end 2019 better than they did 2018. As such, this may call for alignment of one’s will with God’s, through not only prayer, but fasting.
Praise Cathedral – Ntinda, whose 2019 theme is ‘Open Doors’ commenced fasting on Monday for 21 days, with hope to see the power of God break strongholds in their lives and the lives of others.
The Church senior Pastor, Godfrey Kamese said believers will also maximise the midnight hour (12am), known to be the most spiritual active period of the day, for prayer.
At Bethel Covenant Connection founded by Pr Masinde Gerald Rovis, fasting commended Monday.
The Church urged believers;
“As you start fasting, it is important to understand that you have entered into a spiritual battle. Part of the spiritual battle is fought as the body adjusts to the rigors of fasting. For most people, there is more than just a little detoxing happening in our bodies. But the battle is more than physiological; as we fast, a spiritual battle is being waged.
“Things are happening in the spiritual realm that we neither perceive nor understand outside of God revealing them to us,”
The Church explained that Fasting is more than just missing a meal. They emphasised that powerful seasons of fasting are experienced when we purpose to spend additional time in God’s presence during the fast.
“Every hunger pang, every feeling of fatigue, and every caffeine headache will be a reminder to call on God in that moment and to cry out for those things you are seeking Him to do in your life,”
Watoto Church also commenced its 5 days of fasting on Monday. The Ministry released a prayer guide, explaining that fasting, according to the bible, “is voluntarily abstaining totally or partially from food for a purpose and, in this case, it is to give yourself to seeking God.”
The Church however urged believers to be beware of their medical conditions and choose wisely.
“As a church, our theme for 2019 is ‘Faith OVER Fear’ and as an expression of that, we are setting aside 5 days at the beginning of the year to let God know that we will look to Him,”
On Thursday, the Church will pray and fast that Uganda’s leaders will rule with justice. They will pray that God will turn the hearts of leaders to care for the citizens – and that He [God] will place the righteous in places of leadership this year.
“Our prayer is that God will deliver this land from the spirit of greed and corruption. For security and peace in our nation. To heal our economy. The economy to be strengthened, and the restoration of a good weather pattern,”
At Worship Harvest Ministries fasting will go for 21 days. This will happen at all Church branches across the country. At the Worship House – Nansana, fasting will take 40 days.
Should I get involved too?
It is not uncommon for many believers to sense a leading of the Spirit to begin the New Year with a time of fasting and prayer. In fact, I believe every Christian should set some time aside during the month of January, (but not just in the month of January, mind you), for some time to fast and pray, and hear from the Lord. This should not be by band wagon effect.
The first thing you must understand is that fasting and prayer go together. If there is no prayer accompanying your fasting, then you are merely on a hunger strike. One of the greatest mistakes I see today is that people put way too much focus on the food, and miss out on the powerful spiritual benefits of the fasting experience.
Jesus spent time in fasting and prayer. If He did, then we know that we must do the same, but it shouldn’t be a bandwagon thing.
How and when should I start?
The fast that God calls is a fast where you must do it the way He tells you to do it – fast what he tells you to fast, and fast as long as He tells you to fast – This can be as a church or individually. There is power in a unity – Remember Esther 4:16, she pronounced a 3-day-crisis fast to pray against the plot of Haman. The results were undeniable.
“But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:16-18 KJV.