Come on now, shoot straight with me... I'm not the only one who thought summer went by a little too fast am I? I've been praying for you parents and students as school starts back up. I'm especially interceding for those who are sending students off to college, into kindergarten and for those whom back to school is a kinda tough. God is sovereign.
We spent the summer On the Road with Joe and I believe that God revealed to or reminded us all that through every beautiful and brutal turn in life, God is with us. If you missed any of it, check out the website or the app. Speaking of the website, our Media Director, Matt Vancil is in the middle of revamping our site and we can expect the launch of the new and much improved, barachurch.com on Bara's 5 Year Birthday, September 13th!
This week I will continue in our Back to School Sermon Series with Part 2 of Taboo: Because Nothing's Too Painful To Preach. I'm preaching a message from Luke 10:25-37 called "What Must I Do?" which I believe will be the best worst easiest hardest sermon on giving that you've ever heard. I encourage you to invite a friend and come enjoy the pain! Yeah, I said it, "invite a friend to a sermon on giving!
Below is the information on Fasting I said I would get out to you. I hope your fasts are going well. Remember, fasting is all about having a hunger for Jesus!
WHAT IS FASTING
It is abstaining from food, drink, or other items for a period of time in order to spend concentrated time praying and seeking the Lord. According to the Bible, there are three duties of every Christian: give, pray and fast. Fasting takes a lot of discipline and strength – strength that you can only receive from God. Your private discipline will bring you rewards in Heaven, Matthew 6.
DANIEL FAST – No meat or animal products (including dairy), sweets, dairy, caffeine, breads, processed foods or foods with additives. Only vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains & legumes, natural unsweetened juices, herbal teas & water. WEEKLY FAST – One day a week, water or juice only. CULTURAL FAST – No television, movies or any other type of media. FULL FAST – No food or juices, water only PARTIAL FAST - A partial fast is from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm or from sun up to sundown. This fast can be a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food. A juice fast or liquid fast.
TYPES OF FASTING
3 DAY FAST Esther 4:13-16, 5:1 – 9:3, Matthew 15:22-29, Acts 9:9,17 7 DAY FAST II Samuel 12:16-23, I Samuel 31:13 14 DAY FAST Acts 27:33,34, Daniel 10:3-13 40 DAY FAST Deut. 9:9, 18, 25-29, 10:10, Exodus 24:13-18, 32:15-17, I Kings 19:7-18, Matthew 4:1-11 CORPORATE FAST 1 Sam. 7:5-6, Ezra 8:21-23, Neh. 9:1-3, Joel 2:15-16, Jonah 3:5-10, Acts 27:33-37
REASONS FOR FASTING
WHEN UNDER DISCIPLINE - II Samuel 12:16 – 23
WHEN UNDER JUDGEMENT - 1 Kings 21:27
WHEN IN NEED - Ezra 8:21
WHEN IN DANGER - Esther 4
WHEN WORRIED - Daniel 6:18
WHEN IN TROUBLE - Acts 27:9, 33
WHEN IN SPIRITUAL CONFLICT - Matthew 4:1-11
WHEN DESPERATE IN PRAYER - Acts 9
HOW TO BEGIN YOUR FAST
Excerpt from “7 Basic Steps to Successful Fasting and Prayer” by Bill Bright
1. Set Your Objective Why are you fasting? Is it for spiritual renewal, for guidance, for healing, for the resolution of problems, for special grace to handle a difficult situation? Ask the Holy Spirit to clarify His leading and objectives for your time of prayer and fasting. This will enable you to pray more specifically and strategically.
2. Make Your Commitment Pray about the kind of fast you should undertake. How long will you fast—one meal, one day, five days, one week? The type of fast God wants you to undertake (water only, water and juices, “Daniel fast”—just vegetables, or fasting from some other fleshly desire such as, television, sports, chocolate, etc..) What physical or social activities will you restrict? How much time each day will you devote to prayer and God’s Word? Making these commitments ahead of time will help you sustain your fast when physical temptations and life’s pressures tempt you to abandon it.
3. Prepare Yourself Spiritually The very foundation of fasting and prayer is repentance. Unconfessed sin will hinder your prayers. Psalm 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” (NKJ) Here are several things you can do to prepare your heart: • Confess any sin that the Holy Spirit calls to your remembrance and accept God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9) • Seek forgiveness from all whom you have offended, and forgive all who have hurt you (Matt. 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3-4) • Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master; refuse to obey your worldly nature (Romans 12:1-2) • Begin your time of fasting and prayer with an expectant heart (Hebrews 11:6) • Do not underestimate spiritual opposition. Satan sometimes intensifies the natural battle between body and spirit (Gal. 5:16-17)
4. Prepare Yourself Physically Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Consult your physician first, especially if you take prescription medication or have a chronic ailment. Some persons should never fast without professional supervision. Prepare you body. Eat smaller meals before starting a fast. Avoid high-fat and sugary foods. Try tapering back on caffeine (coffee, cokes) prior to fasting to help alleviate caffeine withdrawal. Eat raw fruit and vegetables for two days before starting a fast.
5. Put Yourself on a Schedule For maximum spiritual benefit, set aside ample time to be alone with the Lord. Listen for His leading. The more time you spend with Him, the more meaningful your fast will be. Make scheduled times in the morning and evening that you will spend time with the Lord without any distractions. Try to make several “quiet times” in your daily schedule (these need not be long, maybe 2-3 minutes) to simply praise God and give Him thanks (Col. 3:15).
6. End Your Fast Gradually Begin eating gradually. Do not eat solid foods immediately after your fast. Sudden reintroducing solid food to your stomach and digestive tract will likely have a negative effect. Try several smaller meals or snacks each day. Be especially cautious of reintroducing red meats & dairy to your diet. This could cause a shock to your system.
What to Expect From a Fast
1. Fasting Creates a New Hunger “So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.” ~Ezra 8:32 When you fast ... you become hungry. At first, it may be hunger for food or whatever you are fasting from, but as the initial hunger pangs or longings cease, a new desire is formed. Fasting causes you to hunger in the midst of abundance.
2. Fasting Increases Sensitivity to God “There was also a prophetess, Anna...she never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” ~Luke 2:36-38. From this account of the widow woman, Anna, we can see that fasting and prayer had developed such a keen sensitivity in her that she perceived the Christ child at only a few days old. She could hear clearly what God was saying.
3. Fasting Works Humility “Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting. When my prayers returned to me unanswered...” ~Psalm 35:13 When we fast, we deny ourselves food; we often feel our natural strength wanting. In our weakness, we find ourselves more dependent upon God. It is a confrontation with the flesh; a time when we deny it satisfaction and provision. It is a time of turning aside from what we can provide, and turning toward what God alone can give. This is often the setting for a confrontation between the spirit and the flesh. After forty days in the wilderness, Jesus was hungry physically; Satan came to tempt Him - to use His position as the Son of God to create bread from stone. But, instead, Jesus humbled Himself and answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” ~ Matthew 4:4
4. Fasting Chastens or Disciplines “When I wept and chastened my soul with fasting that became my reproach.” ~Psalm 69:10 David maintained His spiritual life by means of bringing his body into subjection. Through self-inflicted chastening, we steady and strengthen our spiritual walk.
5. Fasting Changes Our Appetite “While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them’.” ~Acts 13:2 While fasting, you may find that God reveals a “change of plans” from what you are currently doing or even feel “called” to do. God often uses times of fasting and prayer to speak to the desires of our hearts, and to reveal His purpose and destiny for our lives.
6. Fasting Increases Our Capacity “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” ~Esther 4:16 This fast prepared Esther to overcome fear of man – and even greater: her fear of death. This fast increased her capacity for self sacrifice while it imparted wisdom. The survival of a nation depended on her willingness to lay down her life. She knew it was more than she could bear in her present condition with her present information so drew on God’s strength.
7. Fasting Brings Answers to Prayer “Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I.” ~Isaiah 58:9 A godly fast will bring answered prayer. It is the atmosphere for answers to questions, direction, help, and the revelation of God. It is a time when He says, “Here I am...I’m over here. Come to me.” This revelation may come through His Word, or as a still small voice, or by a strong confirmation of what He has previously shown us.
8. Fasting Leads to Quick Healing “Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear.” ~Isaiah 58:8 God set up the fast as a manner of healing His people - a time when the darkness of oppression, depression or infirmity is dispelled by light, such as the dawn. When this light breaks forth, healing soon follows. This could mean many things. It could be a revelation of sin, which, when repented of, allows healing to spring forth. It could mean a revelation of His will or Word, which brings healing and freedom where there was once darkness or ignorance. This healing could be physical, mental or spiritual. Even natural medicine supports this - many illnesses occur in the digestive system. A short fast gives your body a chance to refocus its energies on healing instead of eating. (Please consult a physician before undertaking a fast if you are ill.)
9. Fasting Opens the Door to God’s Protection & Provision “Then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard” ~Isaiah 58:8 God promised to be a guard before us and behind us. A fast renews your righteousness and sends it on before you. Then, as you give God the glory, He returns righteousness as your rear guard.
10. Fasting Looses Chains of Injustice “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke...” ~Isaiah 58:6 The kind of fast God leads us into has the power to loose any unjust chains that bind us. It also unties the cords tethering us to any yoke. This application is not limited merely to a personal liberation for us - it represents God’s desire to see us reach out and loose the ties that bind others, and remove the chains of oppression.
11. Fasting Frees the Oppressed & Breaks Every Yoke “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke” ~Isaiah 58:6 A fast is a time when we take our eyes off of ourselves and our own needs, and look around at the oppression and pain of others. In response, we learn to reach out in compassion and help - becoming agents of healing. Jesus said that His yoke was easy and His burden was light. When we are carrying a burden other than His; it is cumbersome, awkward and heavy. There is nothing more frustrating than feeling responsible for something over which you have no authority. It will weigh you down with hopelessness and frustration. During a fast, God checks these areas in our lives and exposes the yokes of fear, worry, stress and turmoil. He removes them and readjusts His yoke for our life, the one that keeps us dependent upon Him. If you’re feeling weighed down perhaps you are carrying too much.
12. Fasting Motivates Us to Provide Food for the Needy “Is it not to share your food with the hungry...” ~Isaiah 58:7 The benefit is obvious - if you are not eating because of a fast, then you are free to share your portion with those less fortunate. Maybe you should give away any food lingering in your refrigerator or pantry that has a significant pull on you. Share with someone else, but don’t proclaim or herald your fast... just give it to them. Fasting is Not a Burden - It’s a Privilege Fasting is intimate and private. It originates in the secret place between you and God. He waits in the secret place for you to join Him. After we visit Him in secret, He will reward us openly. Inward transformation brings about an outward anointing, blessing and provision. Inward transformation positions us for the promotion of the Lord. He will: Prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. ~ Psalm 23:5-6 This passage describes the open reward of the Lord. It is a feast of provision; it brings an assurance of His presence. Even in the midst of opposition, the believer who fasts as an act of separation from the world receives the rewards of God.
PASTORS Pray For: • Continued protection and provision of Pastor Joel, Kim and Pastor Ryan. • Added strength to lead and guide what God has placed them over. PEOPLE Pray For: • People who are leading ministries inside and outside of our church. • All the staff paid and non-paid. • Growth, addition and multiplication, multi-generational, multi-economic church that will display the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. PROVISION Pray For: • Continued financial resources to fulfill the vision God has given us. • Pray for people to experience financial breakthroughs. • The church to be blessed with more than enough. • God to open doors for great opportunities. • “Arise and Build” – as we continue to seek wisdom and direction for God’s call on Bara to find land and build a building. POWER Pray For: • Greater release of the Presence and Power of the Holy Spirit. • The Gifts of the Spirit to be released in and through the church body. • More signs, wonders, healings and miracles. PLANS Pray For: • God to clearly layout plans and strategies for all areas of our church including Arise and Build. • The planting of churches in the future. PURITY Pray For: • Righteousness, holiness, repentance and purity in all of our people and leaders. • Pure hearts, pure motives and a singleness of heart and vision. PRINCIPALITIES Pray For: • Our community and all those in authority over it. • Pray against all of the powers of darkness that dominate this age. PEACE Pray For: • Continued unity and agreement in our church.
I love you, Bara!
That all might know Christ and make Him known
Bara Student Ministry
BSM: Pool Party
This Sunday night we invite you to cool off and have a great time with a pool party. Summer is coming to an end but we're going to party like it's not! We'll be gathering from 6-7:15pm at the Lowe's (2405 Strathfield Lane, TC). We'll have plenty of good food, fun, and fellowship as always. Invite a friend, come hungry, and ready to have a great time! Contact Ryan:email@example.com if you have any questions.
Join us in Be Kids this week as we learn that just like a light bulb needs power to shine; those of us who follow Jesus need his power (the Holy Spirit) to help us make good choices and bless others Wee kids will hear the story of Paul and Silas in prison and explore the ways God's love helps us experience joy, even when bad things happen. If you have any questions contact Stephanie@barachurch.com
Family Worship Mark your calendars for Sunday August 31st as we will be having Family Worship. This is a time where children and adults worship together. We will have nursery for babies-age 2.
Groups at Bara If you are interested in Groups, please indicate that on your communication card and put it in the Offering Basket. The person to contact for groups is Dennis O’Brien: Dennis@barachurch.com.
Bara Church would like to invite you to experience WELCOME. WELCOME is a monthly luncheon designed for guests who have been attending Bara Church gatherings to get to know the church family on a deeper level. In WELCOME, we will explain what we believe, how we operate, and the history of our church. If you want to join the body of believers here at Bara Church, WELCOME is your first step. If you have questions or simply want to get to know a few families better, WELCOME is for you. The lunch is free, childcare is free, and committing to participate is easy – The next WELCOME will be Sunday September 21st, at the home of Tommy & Jennifer Maddox. Their address is 2541 Morgan Lane in Trophy Club. To sign up click here. For directions click here. If you have any questions please email Jennifer at Jennifer@barachurch.com.
Men of Bara please join us each Wednesday morning at 6:00 am for a Bible study led by Pastor Joel at Vinny’s. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. For directions click here.
Arise and Build
If you love accomplishing a lot at one time (think: one stop shopping) then you need to come check out our Arise and Build Prayer Nights every Tuesday evening at 7:00pm at the BARA offices. In less than an hour, you can praise The Lord for all He is doing in and through Arise and Build while you answer His call to pray audaciously for what is to come and if that wasn't enough: you will get to build new relationships with your BARA family!! One of the sweet byproducts of our Prayer Nights for those of us that have been participating is that we have experienced the joy of getting to know each other better in ways that can only happen by praying and spending time together. Give it a try and see how God can use a time of prayer devoted to building a building to actually build His church! For more information and directions to the Bara Church office click here.
Automate the Important
Would you be willing to set up an online giving profile on our website and automate the important? Not only will you not have to bring a checkbook to church, you will help us grow our ministries during all seasons of the year. If you miss a Sunday gathering or you like to do your finances with a debit or credit card. You might be interested to know that you can go to our website and make an offeringonline. Any offering you give will be entered into the barabase, which you can look at any time to see the up to date amount given by you or a family member. At the end of the year we will send you a year end giving statement for tax purposes. So jump in today and Automate the Important! To give right now, simply click here.
Daily Bible Reading Plan
One of our Core Commitments is humility, which is a result of bowing before God. One of the ways we submit to God and let Him lead us is to read the Bible daily. To get this week’s reading clickhere.
Love14God is the prayer, passion and promise of Bara Church in 2014. We encourage you to connect with Love14God on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and see the power of love! Click herefor more information.