Building A Resilient Faith Week 2: Fasting
Ever wondered the secrets of people who live a life of faith over a long haul? Why do some followers of Jesus have a resilient faith that can withstand the storms of life while others flame out or implode? Join us at Eastside this weekend as we unpack the secrets for building a resilient faith.
Begin with some conversation, checking in on how people are doing. You can talk about whatever you’d like but here are a few potential questions to get the conversation going.
- What do you think when you hear the word fasting? Is your response positive or negative? Share why.
- Have you ever fasted from something? Share with the group what you fasted from and about your experience.
Play Teaching Video for Week 2
Select a few questions to discuss as a group.
- Do you believe fasting is essential to your spiritual growth?
- “Fasting from any nourishment, activity, involvement or pursuit—for any season—sets the stage for God to appear.” – Dan Allender.
”If you say, “I will fast when God lays it on my heart,” you never will. You are too cold and indifferent to take the yoke upon you.” – D.L. Moody.
Share what stands out to you as you read these two quotes.
- Read Matthew 6:16-18. What did Jesus tell them about fasting?
- Read Luke 4:1-15.
- Jesus’ time in the wilderness prepared him for the mission God gave him. How can the practice of fasting help us face temptations and challenges?
- As you think about fasting this week, discuss these questions:
- What are some obstacles or fears you have regarding fasting?
- Is there a part of you that resists this practice or doesn’t see value in it?
- Where do you have time in your monthly or weekly routine to dedicate to fasting?
- Have your small group keep you accountable to make space for this practice.
- Talk through if the group would like to break the fast together and make a plan.
Going Deeper | Put In To Practice
These activities are designed for you to explore different methods of the weekly spiritual practice. Pick one or two to try this week.
The primary activity for this week’s homework is to practice fasting. Here are a few ideas:
- Join in on the church-wide fast this week. We will fast from food Wednesday at dinner and break the fast Thursday at dinner. Drink plenty of liquids and only do if you are medically able to.
- Fast from all food for one day. Only do this if you are medically able to do so. Be sure to drink water and, if you like, other drinks. Juice and milk can be good sources of energy when fasting.
- Fast from all food for one meal. Again, only do this if you are musically able to do so. Set a time frame for what fasting this meal means. Example: If you are going to fast from lunch, decide that you won’t eat anything between 10 am and 5 pm.
- Do one of the above fasts with your group, and break the fast by sharing a meal before or during your next small group meeting.
Things to consider as you plan to fast:
Gene shared ten reasons why we should fast.
- To strengthen your prayers. Nehemiah 1:4
- To see God’s guidance. Acts 14:23
- To grieve. Judges 20:26
- To seek deliverance and protection. Esther 4:16
- To express repentance. Joel 2:12
- To humble yourself before God. Psalm 35:13
- To express concern for the work of God. Daniel 9
- To minister to the needs of others. Isaiah 58:5-6
- To overcome temptation. Matthew 4
- To express love and worship to God. Luke 2:37
Think about your intentions as you begin your fast and tell God as you begin your fast.
- Start your time of fasting with a devotional or read Scripture. A Psalm is a great way to start. Then use a structure like the 4 R method to guide your time:
- Write down any thoughts that come to mind so you can refer back and see how God answered your prayers.
wrap up | prayer
Have everyone share one way to pray for them this week as they fast.
Consider splitting into groups of 2-3 and praying for each other. Alternatively, close the group praying for your group and God’s direction as you try fasting this week.