Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you…– Joshua 3:5
Get Ready for the Amazing Things That God Will Do In Your Life
One day, a man lost his wife from a lingering disease. Totally depressed and unwilling to live without his wife by his side, the widower decides to end it all. One morning, he left a suicide note, and went up the mountains. His plan was to starve to death. He would only allow himself to drink from the mountain streams, nothing else.
After a couple of weeks, the man noticed something. Though he had lost weight, he was not dying. On the contrary, he never felt healthier and stronger. Many ailments he suffered for years simply disappeared.
After a month, the man went down the mountain looking years younger. He eventually got married again and started a new family.
Go Up the Mountain of the Lord
Fasting—without prayer—has by itself incredible physical benefits.
But fasting without prayer is only 50% of the equation.
Imagine what Prayer and Fasting can do together. It’s a powerful force that will radically change your life.
And the story above is a great analogy of what happens to our souls.
For 40 days, I’m inviting you to also go up the “mountain of prayer” and drink only from the “streams of living water”. When you do that, you cleanse your soul of toxins and actually become stronger. And you’ll go down that mountain spiritually rejuvenated. You’ll also start a new “spiritual family” and beget new “spiritual children”!
Friends, I’m inviting you to 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting.
In one sentence, here’s our mission for this fast: We want to grow closer to God and receive all that He wants to give to us.
So starting Ash Wednesday all the way to Holy Saturday, as an entire Community, we want to empty ourselves from lesser things so that God can fill our lives with greater things.
I’m excited at the amazing things that God will do among us!
Miracles Happen When People Fast
Why am I excited?
Because from my experience, miracles happen when people fast.
For some reason, fasting makes us more expectant, more open, more trusting, more focused, more determined, and more sensitive to the Spirit—that more miracles happen when we fast.
I’ve seen how people have received healing, guidance, financial blessing, family blessing in their lives when they fast.
And entire communities get revived when they fast.
In the next few pages, I’ll explain to you how we’ll do the fast together…
The 5 Big Blessings of Prayer and Fasting
Fasting has many, many blessings.
But here are the five big ones you want to focus on and pray for…
Blessing 1: Prayer and Fasting Bring You Closer to God
You will experience a spiritual revival.
When you fast, you’re telling God that He’s more important than food.
So instead of eating, you spend it in prayer, reading Scripture, writing your journal, before the Blessed Sacrament, reading Spiritual books…
It declares that you’re dead serious about pursuing Him because you’re crazy enough to say No to something as basic as food.
If you can say No to a very basic need, what else can you not do for the Lord?
You also gain discipline—something crucial for any kind of success in the world.
By learning to say No to small things, you’re able to say Yes to bigger things.
Friends, there are many, many blessings when we fast. But at the end of the day, God Himself is the greatest blessing of your fast.
Remember: If after you fasted, you experienced miracles and healing, but you didn’t grow closer to God—then your fasting would have been a failure.
Blessing 2: Prayer and Fasting Unite You with the Poor
Every time I fast, I remind myself that this is the daily experience of 12% of the world’s population. Not because they’re fasting. But because they’re poor.
740 million people will sleep tonight hungry.
And out of those 740 hungry people, 30,000 will die of starvation.
Half of those 30,000 will be children.
Fasting shouldn’t just make me more spiritual.
Fasting shouldn’t just open me up for more blessings and miracles.
Fasting should also move me to love the poor in a more passionate way.
When I fast, I’m also committing my life to end their hunger and poverty.
After our 40-Day Prayer and Fasting, we should be more resolved as a people to love the poor of the Lord. To work in Anawim and our partnerships with He Cares and Gawad Kalinga. To do all that we can to serve God in His poor.
Blessing 3: Prayer and Fasting Opens You to God’s Power
Years ago, I met an elderly man who was suffering from emphysema.
I noticed the symptoms. Even if we walked for just a few meters, I saw him catching his breath.
“Because of smoking?” I asked him gently.
“I stopped twenty years ago,” he said, “so partly, yes. But also because of my lazy breathing.”
I raised my eyebrow. It was the first time I heard of such a thing.
He knew I didn’t understand, so he went on, “My doctor isn’t your normal doctor. He’s an expert in alternative medicine. So he says that all these years, my breathing has been very shallow.”
After our conversation, I did some research. Obviously, it NEVER said that shallow breathing causes emphysema. But I learned one thing: It’s very important to regularly take deep breaths. Through regular aerobic exercise. (My old friend never exercised.) Through breathing exercises. Through meditation that uses breathing. And just by your usual morning stretches and inhaling a few times.
Deep breathing removes the toxins from your lungs. It also releases tension which affects your health.
Think about it. Just like you and me, this man had oxygen all around him 24 hours day. But he smoked, clogging his lungs so that it can’t absorb 20% of what he was inhaling. And to top it off, he breathed in a lazy way, decreasing again his oxygen intake.
Friends, that’s what happens with God’s Power.
God’s power is all over us, around us, above us, beneath us, and inside us.
But we do exactly the same thing: We clog our spiritual lungs and we’re lazy when we breathe in God’s power in our lives.
But Fasting is like Deep Breathing.
When you pray and fast, you’re inhaling a greater amount of God’s power into your life!
Fasting isn’t a bribe. “Lord, I’m fasting, so you better give me what I’m asking for!” That’s not how it works.
When you fast, God doesn’t change. You do.
You become more expectant, more open, more sensitive, more attentive.
So when you fast, you can pray for something specific in your life.
· wisdom for an important decision you need to make;
· freedom from a particular bondage;
· physical healing;
· family restoration;
· financial blessing;
· any miracle that you need!
I know many of you have already written down your seven dreams in your Novena to God’s Love. Pray for them in these our 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting.
Blessing 4: Prayer and Fasting Cleanse Your Body
God wants us to take care of our physical bodies.
One way of caring for it is by fasting.
By relieving the body from the hard work of digestion, it focuses its energies on getting rid of the toxins we’ve piled up in our system from all the wrong food we’ve eaten. All the junk, the chemicals, the stuff that shouldn’t be in our body in the first place. These toxins weaken our immune system and make us more susceptible to disease.
Your body, after three days of fasting, will also burn up and decompose diseased, damaged cells in your body. What a beautiful way to purge the bad!
If you fast, you’ll do some “house cleaning” for your own body, removing the toxins and diseased cells naturally—while blessing your soul at the same time.
Let me warn you, however: fasting isn’t a weight reduction program.
If you want to lose weight permanently, you need to change from an unhealthy diet to a healthy diet permanently. A 40-day diet won’t work. A lifetime change of diet, yes! So I repeat: Fasting isn’t the answer to a permanent weight loss.
Blessing 5: Prayer and Fasting Empower Our Ministry
In the Bible, people fasted before they started their ministry or before a big change in their ministry. Moses did it. Elijah did it. Daniel did it. Esther did it. And Jesus did it.
Honestly, I feel our ministry is reaching a tipping point. In the next few years, we’ll see how our work for the Lord will grow by leaps and bounds.
So fasting will release God’s power in our ministry.
Because we need God’s anointing for the many things we’re doing. To name a four prayer intentions:
1. We’re growing our Central FEAST to three and four sessions
2. We’re planting weekly Local FEASTs all over the world;
3. We’re using more radio, television, and the Internet to share God’s love;
4. We’re expanding KerygmaFamily.com;
5. We’re aiming to raise more funds so that we can use 50% for evangelism and 50% for our ministries to the poor.
Yes, the 40-Day Prayer and Fasting will jumpstart our ministry.
Commit to the Fast You’ll Do
There are some people who can’t fast.
To name a few: Extremely thin individuals; Those suffering from anorexia or bulimia; persons with tumours, bleeding ulcers, cancer, blood diseases, and heart disease; pregnant and nursing mothers; Individual taking insulin because of diabetes and those suffering from hyperglycaemia. For the rest of you who are unsure, I strongly urge you to ask your doctor before you fast.
If you can fast, this is how we’ll do it as a community.
There are two parts of our 40-Day Prayer and Fasting.
Part One: Six Fridays prior to Holy Week.
Part Two: Holy Week itself.
I recommend a liquid fast during these six Fridays and during the entire Holy Week. Either a water fast or a juice fast, but I’m biased towards a natural-fruit-and-vegetable juice fast.
Note: Some of you may want to do more than this. That’s fine. There might be some of you who’d want to try a liquid fast for the entire 40 days. (I won’t recommend it unless you’ve been fasting before, taking seven-day fasts, 14-day fasts, and 21-day fasts…) Just consult your doctor if you’ll do any kind of extended fast.
Here’s a brief explanation of different kinds of fasts…
Option 1: Water Fast
Jesus fasted for 40 days with water only fast. Once, I tried water only fast for five days—and it’s great—but can be too exhausting for some people. In a water only fast, toxins are released too abruptly and maybe too hard on the body. Saying all that, I know lots of people who do water only fast and did so successfully. The key is to drink lots of water.
Option 2: Juice Fast
This, I believe, is the best kind of fast—from a physical health perspective. You only drink vegetable and fruit juices—to aid in flushing out all toxins and regenerate your body. As much as possible, get real vegetables and fruits that you mash and shred in a juicers. (This is a small kitchen gadget that you could buy.) What kind of vegetable and fruits should you juice? The best are fresh carrots, celery, lettuce, beet, grape, etc. Get a good juicing book from the bookstore and look under fasting. As a second option, you may use pre-packaged fruit and vegetable juices that you buy from the store, but it should be 100% juice—no added sugar. If you want to do a juice fast for 40 days, I recommend that you see a doctor just to get his go signal.
Option 3: Bread and Water Fast
I know many persons who like this fast. They drink water and eat bread the whole day, nothing else. (Uh, not raisin bread and donuts, I’m sure.) In the Bible, Daniel fasted this way.
Option 4: One-Meal-a-Day Fast
I’ve met people who miss breakfast, lunch, and just eat at 5 p.m. for dinner—and they do that for the forty days of Lent. (Each year, hundreds of millions of Muslims do this during their Ramadan.)
Friend, the choice is yours.
Pray to God what kind of fast He wants you to take.
I’ve not even listed here other forms of fasting that may be a great blessing to you: Fasting from TV, fasting from shopping, fasting from newspapers, fasting from negative thoughts…
Remember: From a spiritual perspective, your inner attitude is more important than what kind of fast you choose.
How To Take a Fast
If you decide to take a liquid fast for seven days during Holy Week (or longer), please read the following five steps to have a great fast. If you’re not taking a Liquid Fast, then just read Step #3.
Step 1 Physical Preparation
If you’ll do any of the first two kinds of fasting above (water fast or juice fast), I strongly recommend that you prepare for it well. Start eating a softer diet three days before. Stop eating meat and focus more on fruits and vegetables. Reduce sugar intake—so you won’t crave for it during the fast. Lessen the quantity of your meals and drink at least 10 glasses of water everyday. Tip: When you wake up, drink two glasses of water already, and then drink a half-glass or a glass every hour after that.
Step 2 Begin Your Fast
The first two or three days of your fast will be the most difficult. You will feel hungry. Some people have headaches (perhaps withdrawal effects of not having sugar and caffeine), feel dizzy, have bad breath and bad odour. That’s the toxins coming out.
On Day Three or Day Four, you begin to feel better as your body finally shifts to cleansing mode—and stops complaining. You no longer feel hungry as before.
From Day Four to Day Seven, you’ll feel stronger and more alert. (And for many days after, should you decide to fast for more than seven days.)
I cannot emphasize this enough: Each day, drink 10 glasses of water.
Throughout their seven days of fasting, many persons can maintain their regular schedule of work and household chores. Others, however, need a lighter schedule. Listen to your body. You can take moderate walks as your exercise.
Step 3 Grow Closer to God
This is the main reason why you fast.
So instead of eating meals and snacks, pray.
Read spiritual books. Write your journal. Adore before the Blessed Sacrament. Go to Mass more often. Go to confession.
I recommend that you gather with other members of our community (who are also fasting) during lunch and dinner time—and pray together.
I recommend that during the six Fridays of Lent—while people are fasting—the various small groups and ministries of the community gather for prayer.
Bring to the Lord also your personal vision, the things that you want to happen to your life. Read this list each day.
And pray also for the intentions of the Community.
Step 4 Beak Your Fast
If you fasted for seven days, take three days to adjust to real food. (If you fasted for more than seven days, you have to take more than three days to adjust as well.)
For example, break your fast by eating salads and fruits on the first day, add toasted bread on the second day, and add a small amount of steamed fish on the third day. No oils, dairy products, and meats during the adjustment period.
Your stomach is much smaller now, so stop before you feel full.
I strongly recommend that you rethink your lifelong diet at this time.
Many quit smoking when they fasted. Many experienced deep spiritual changes because of the fast. That’s my prayer for you.
Step 5 Adopt the Best Stuff into a Permanent Lifestyle
There are some things in the fast that I do as a lifestyle. They’re too good to limit only during fasting days. So I do them every day.
Like spending each day with prayer, journaling, and spiritual reading.
Like reading my vision statement each morning.
Like drinking lots of water every day.
And drinking vegetable and fresh fruit juices, and eating more salads. And not eating meat and focusing on fish for my protein needs.
Bless your body and bless your soul.
Have a great 40-Day Prayer and Fasting, my dear family.
You will be blessed.
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…– Ephesians 3:20
Lord, I Commit To 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting
Be with me Lord as I start this journey of prayer with you. Most of all, I’m doing this because I want to grow closer with You. I want to become more like Jesus. I want to be more loving to the poor. Grant me a Spiritual Revival!
Second, I want to be more open to the amazing things that you will do in my life. Specifically, I’m praying for these Seven Dreams:
Third, I’m also praying for our Community’s dreams:
1. That our Central FEAST grows to 8,000 members;
2. That our weekly Local FEAST be held in 100 cities all over the world;
3. That kerygmafamily.com will be 100,000 members;
4. That our TV, Radio, and Internet Ministry will go global;
5. That we can start giving 50% of our Community Funds to our work for the poor;
6. That God will raise more servants in the Community;
7. That God will bless Bo Sanchez and all the servants of the Community.
I claim victory. Thank you for anointing me. Thank you for blessing me. Amen.
Printed Name and Signature
For more information about Bo’s work or the Light of Jesus, you can call (632) 7259999 or log on at http://www.bosanchez.ph/.