/ / / How to Fast & Pray {Making Your Home a Haven: Week 4}

How to Fast & Pray {Making Your Home a Haven: Week 4}

16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites,
for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others.
Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father
who is in secret. And 
your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
(Matthew 6:16-18)

Welcome back to Week 4 of the Making Your Home a Haven Bible Study!

If you are wondering, what’s next?  I will announce the next Good Morning Girls Bible Study in mid-December. It will begin on January 13th – so I hope you will mark your calendars and meet me back here then.  

Now let’s finish our study strong!  This week’s spiritual discipline is fasting and prayer.  I know this is a holiday week in the states.  So do not feel pressure to take this challenge this week. Instead, learn more about  the power of fasting and prayer. Then, look at your calendar and ask the Lord to help you pick a day in the coming weeks or months ahead, where you can fast and pray.  Planning makes all the difference!  Now, join me for this week’s video as we discuss How to Fast and Pray.


Week 4 – Fasting and Prayer

This week is not going to be easy. Fasting is the most difficult spiritual discipline of them all.  Fasting is a servant that feeds our soul while we starve our body. Every time our mind signals “I want food”, it’s a signal to pray.  Giving up food and coffee from sun down to sun down brings out our soul’s deepest struggles. The hope of a bag of chips or a gallon of ice cream to drown out our sorrows is stripped away, and we find ourselves raw before God’s throne.

On days of fasting for me, I have minimal computer time and texting. Sometimes I do it with a friend, so we will text and email each other encouragement. But otherwise, it’s a quiet day. There is nothing and no one to conceal my honest feelings and it is there, before God’s throne, that I find time and time again, indeed God is enough.

Here’s a few tips as we get started.

1.) Look at your calendar and pick a day where you are home most of the day.

2.) I like to go from sundown to sundown, which means an early supper in the winter time on day 1 but the next evening it is such a joy to break the fast with family!

3.) Fasting is not to impress God or others. Fasting was created by God as a tool to bring us into a closer relationship with him.

4.) Without prayer, fasting is simply a diet. Be sure to commit to praying and meditating.

5.) If you are a mom of little ones, have the kids join in some of your prayer times. Also try to line up quiet activities for them to do so you can break away for pockets of prayer times. I will admit, lunch time and afternoon snack time can be a beast, but you can do it!

Are you hungry for God?

As Susan Gregory once said, “Sometimes you are so hungry, the only way to be fed is to fast.”

Week 4 – Challenge

Seek out a place of solitude to pray. Get alone with God outside or in your home.  Be still with God and fervently pray. If you are not able to fast from food because you are pregnant or have a medical condition, fast from something else like social media, music, your computer, or television.  Use the extra quietness to pray.

Keep your candle burning, the music playing and remember that God is always listening and He loves you.


 Here is this week’s Bible Reading Plan

This Week’s Verses of the Day:

(Leaders: You can use these images in your groups by using right click and “save as” or screen shot them.)

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Click HERE to print the Verses of the Day for Week 4.


Here’s the Daily Bible Reading Plan
Printable Bible Bookmark

Join me in making our home a haven for our families. Together we'll make our homes a haven of peace, joy, tranquility, and fun for all who enter. #WomenLivingWell #homemaking #friendship #makingyourhomeahaven

Printable Bible Coloring Bookmark

Bible Coloring Chart Bookmark 2

Signature GMG SOAK Bible Study Method

Video explaining the Bible Coloring and SOAK Methods of Study

 

Here are the highlighters, pens and pencils I mentioned in the video:

Highlighters – Acid Free – Bible Hi-Glider
Fine Line Non-bleeding Pens – Micron Archival Ink and Multi-Colored Gel Pens
Colored Pencils – Crayola Twistables and Crayola Colored Pencils
I use the ESV Inductive Study Bible as my personal study Bible.


Don’t Miss the Daily Check-Ins on Facebook and Instagram!

Join us EVERY weekday morning ANYTIME after 7:00amEST on Facebook
to discuss the day’s reading assignment.

Share pictures of your candles, flowers, playlists and favorite places to rest on Instagram by using the hashtags: #MakingYourHomeAHaven and #WomenLivingWell.

***Unlike my other Bible Studies, this series will only have Monday blog posts.  For daily encouragement during this challenge follow me out on –> Instagram and facebook .  I’ll be there every day cheering you on!



May our homes continue to be a safe haven for us to get away from the noise of the world and meet with God.  Even after this series ends, I encourage you to keep on going. Keep lighting a candle daily in your home, keep giving thanks, keep meditating on God’s Word and keep praying.

I am praying for you all this week.

May you have the best Thanksgiving ever!  God loves you!

Keep walking with the King,

Courtney ????

**If you missed any part of this study all of the videos and resources will remain available here on-line for you to do at your own pace or with a group in the new year.  You can find everything you need HERE.  <—–


What’s next?

Our next study will begin Monday, January 13th!
More details and resources for this study will be posted soon.


If you are looking to do a Bible Study
during our break here’s a few I recommend:

Ecclesiastes – Wisdom for Living Well
A 6-Week In-depth Bible Study with a Free Video Series

With over 150 5-Star Reviews on Amazon – this is my most popular Bible Study!  It is a  verse-by-verse in-depth study of the book of Ecclesiastes. You can find all of the free resources for this study along with the video series —-> HERE.


Ruth – God’s Amazing Love for You
A 5-Week In-depth Bible Study with a Free Video Series

This is my second most popular study.  It is a verse-by verse, in-depth study of the book of Ruth.
You can find all of the free resources for this study along with the video series —> HERE.


Rest and Release
A 4-Week Bible Study with a Free Video Series

You can find all of its resources and the free video seres —–> HERE.


Other books of the Bible

You can find all of the books of the Bible we have already studied together and the free resources to go along with those studies on this page —–> HERE.

I encourage you to pick a book of the Bible and study it on your own and I’ll be back in April to study a new one with you!


The  3-Month Habit Trackers are also
available on Amazon .  These are a great tool!

Find all the details including interior pics and a blog series to go with them —-> HERE.

This post contains an affiliate link.


 

11 Comments

  1. Dear Courtney, first thank you for womenlivingwell.org. I have enjoyed following and doing your bible studies for so many years now and still do. I blessed to have stumbled upon your site. Second, this is my first fast so I was wondering how many times throughout a year do you do a fast? Thank you, Gail

    1. Hi Gail!

      I’m so glad you are going to do fast for the first time! That is so wonderful!! 🙂

      I do not have any certain number of times I fast in a year. I just do it when I feel the Lord laying something heavy on my heart or when I am feeling like I need to be closer to God. So it will look different for everyone. Just do it as you feel led.

      Much Love,
      Courtney 🙂

    2. Gail,

      Like Courtney said- whatever works for you. I once heard James Dobson say he & his wife fasted once a week for their children as they were raising them. I usually try to fast once a week for a period of time – like during Lent or as Courtney said when things feel heavy on my heart.

      One thing I try to do on days I fast is to do what I call ‘An Hour of Prayer’. It’s where I pray for an hour straight by breaking the hour up into five minute segments into different types of prayer – praise, confession, thanksgiving, etc.

      Three weeks ago I started a round of fasting bc I had a large decision to make & was greatly concerned for my daughter (she was doing a semester aboard in Chile where protest, riots & all sorts of civil unrest was going on – thankfully, she’s now home safe & sound!). I’ll probably go thru Advent & might start another round during Lent.

      Line Courtney said in her video – give yourself grace & just do what you can.

  2. Hello Courtney! I’m.so excited that this is the first time I will be able to complete one of your studies!! I wanted to know, if we do the challenge this week are you asking us to complete it any day this week or today?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Quians,

      Good question! You are welcome to do this whatever day works best for you. I thought about doing a group fast but since this is Thanksgiving week and the most traveled holiday of the year, I had a feeling it may be a bad week to do this. So instead I’m encouraging everyone to look at their own calendars and pick the time that works best for them.

      Lots of Love,
      Courtney 🙂

  3. Thank you, Courtney, for this encouragement! I think fasting can be a forgotten spiritual discipline in our culture. Thank you for the practical tips and the spiritual encouragement! I needed this reminder.

  4. Thank you for this wonderful study, your encouraging videos, and all your effort! You look beautiful! I have never done a spiritual fast before and due to my health, I won’t be fasting food, but I have decided to fast in other ways. Thank you for inspiring us to get closer to God! So glad I joined this study! Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving…please give Snowball a hug for me!

  5. At different times & seasons, I have fasted once a week, but no in a long while. Three weeks ago I decided to get back into routine. And for the last three weeks the night before or morning of my fast I heard a speaker or read something about fasting. This morning I watched your video – It’s been so encouraging! Thank you!

  6. Courtney,

    Thank you so much for your blog! Several years ago your blog led me to a much deeper relationship with God than I have ever had.

    Fasting is something that I have been avoiding. ????, but I decided it was time to change that after watching your video. I actually went against your advice and fasted yesterday. It worked out very well. I was busy enough with Thanksgiving preparations not to be too distracted by not eating, but just as you suggested, every time I felt the hunger pangs, I stopped to pray for each person who was coming Thanksgiving Day. I was amazed when I got to one person on the list and my heart was just overwhelmingly weighed down for them. I continued to pray until the heaviness lifted. I really feel God magnified my prayers through fasting.
    Thanks again for your encouragement!
    Karla

  7. I suffer from migraines so missing too many meals is not a good idea as hypoglycaemia is a trigger. Not being able to go a whole 24 hours I decided to try just fasting from breakfast today. I’m using the prompt of hunger pangs to pray as you described in your video but I struggling with the prayer part. I identified a couple of things I wanted to pray about but honestly it is hard to keep praying on the same thing every 15 minutes or so – I feel like I’m just repeating myself and I just don’t have that much to say. I’ve not really fasted by myself before – only as an organised group activity with directed focus for prayer – so I would love any advice.

  8. I have been inspired many times by your messages. Your ministry is a blessing to me, families and groups. More grace and anointing to you and family IJN.

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