2021 – YEAR OF GRACE AT THE CENTER LEHIGH VALLEY (TCLV)

God has loved us with an everlasting love and has purposed that we may become His children.  He sent His Son, Jesus, that we may have life (John 3:16). “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).  And to those of us who received Jesus, we are given the right to be called children of God. (John 1:12) and as children, heirs of all God’s blessings.  This is grace – unmerited favor.

We are declaring 2021, a year of grace; a year of unmerited favor; a year of God’s blessings to those who have received His Son. As God’s children, we have the right, the privilege, the opportunity, to approach His throne of grace confidently.

As we begin 2021, we are approaching God’s throne to receive perfect love, boldness,
wisdom peace and faith to

GLORIFY GOD, REDEEM LIVES, TRANSFORM COMMUNITIES

We encourage all the families and friends of TCLV to join us in a
Daniel Fast for 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting from January 3rd until January 24th.

You may choose other types of fast (see page 2), if you’d like. The important thing is that you join us in fasting AND join us in prayer during this time at 6am, noon and 6pm live on Facebook TCLV Prayer Center Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TCLVPrayerCenter).

2021 Verse of the Year — Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)
"Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

Types of Fasts

FULL FAST
Drink only liquids (you establish the number of days).

3-DAY FAST
This fast can be a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food.

DANIEL FAST
Eat no meat, no sweets and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables.

WHAT IS THE DANIEL FAST?
The Daniel Fast is a biblically based partial fast. It is a method of fasting that men, women and young people all over the world are using as they enter into the spiritual discipline of prayer and fasting.

There are two anchoring scriptures for the Daniel Fast. In Daniel 1 the Prophet ate only vegetables (that would have included fruits) and drank only water. So from these scriptures we get two of the guidelines for the fast:

1. Only fruits and vegetables
2. Only water for a beverage

Then in Daniel 10 we read that the Prophet ate no meat nor any precious breads or foods and he drank no wine for 21 days.
So from this scripture, we get a third guideline:

3. No sweeteners and no breads

PARTIAL FAST
A partial fast is from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm or from sun up to sundown.
You can select from three types of fasting —a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food.

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR FASTING

Matthew 6:16-18, Matthew 9:14-15, Luke 18:9-14

Relation to Prayer and Reading of the Word: 1 Samuel 1:6-8, 17-18, Nehemiah 1:4, Daniel 9:3, 20, Joel 2:12, Luke 2:37, Acts 10:30, Acts 13:2

Corporate Fasting: 1 Samuel 7:5-6, Ezra 8:21-23, Nehemiah 9:1-3, Joel 2:15-16, Jonah 3:5-10, Acts 27:33-37

Remember that it is the attitude of a heart sincerely seeking Him to which God responds with a blessing (Isaiah 58, Jeremiah 14:12, 1 Corinthians 8:8). May God greatly bless you as you fast!

HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE DANIEL FAST

WHAT TO EXPECT
When you fast that your body detoxifies, eliminating toxins from your system. This can cause mild discomfort such as headaches and irritability during withdrawal from caffeine and sugars. And naturally, you will have hunger pains. Limit your activity and exercise moderately. Take time to rest. Fasting brings about miraculous results. You are following Jesus' example when you fast. Spend time listening to praise and worship. Pray as often as you can throughout the day. Get away from the normal distractions as much as possible and keep your heart and mind set on seeking God's face. Start to drink several glasses of filtered water each day before you start the fast.

HOW TO BEGIN SPIRITUALLY
Start with a clear goal. Be specific. Why are you fasting? Do you need direction, healing, restoration of marriage or family issues? Are you facing financial difficulties? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Pray daily and read the Bible.

Preparing spiritually by confessing your sins to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness. Forgive all who have offended you and ask forgiveness from those you may have offended (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3-4). Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ and reject the worldly desires that try to hinder you (Romans 12:1-2).

Deciding the type of fasting you choose is up to you. You could go on a full fast in which you only drink liquids, or you may desire to fast like Daniel, who abstained from sweets and meats, and the only liquid he drank was water. Remember to replace that time with prayer and Bible study.

We are all at different places in our walk with God. Likewise, our jobs, daily schedules, and health conditions are all different and place various levels of demand on our energy. So most importantly, whether you’ve fasted before, or this will be your first time, prayerfully consider what your fast will look like.

Your personal fast should include a level of challenge to it, but it’s very important to know your own body, know your options, and most importantly, seek God in prayer and follow what the

Holy Spirit leads you to do. Remember, the goal of fasting is not just to do without food. The goal is to draw nearer to God.

DECIDING HOW LONG
Having a successful fast starts with the right preparation. It is important to choose ahead of time what type of fast, or what combination you will pursue. Not only will this help with making the necessary preparations to implement your plan, but as you commit to a specific fast ahead of time and know how you’re going to do it, you will position yourself to finish strong.

You may fast as long as you like. You may choose to fast all or several days out of the 21 days, such as, 3 or 4 days a week or specifically on Sundays and Wednesdays. Maybe you will do that, and end with 3 to 7 consecutive days at the end. This is your personal decision, and again use wisdom and pray for guidance. Beginners are advised to start slow.

BEGIN AND BREAK THE FAST WELL
Depending on the type of fast you choose, it is very important to prepare your body ahead of time before beginning the fast. Take a week or so to transition into your fast; otherwise, you could get sick. For example, if you would like to go on a fruits and vegetables or juice fast, start eliminating meat, white grains and refined sugars from your diet the week before. Also, start to cut back quite a bit on dairy products and some of your caffeine intake.

This same principle applies to breaking your fast. When your fast is over, add foods back very gradually. Eat small portions and snacks. Your body will be so cleansed and detoxified, you will most likely get sick if you add too much rich foods, etc. all at once.

DANIEL FAST SAMPLE MENU
Breakfast – Fruits, Vegetables, Juices and Water, Fruit Smoothies with whey protein

Mid – morning Snack – Fresh Fruit or fresh vegetables

Lunch – Raw vegetable salad with light, organic dressing and vegetable broth soup

Dinner – Fresh salad with light, organic dressing and steamed or grilled vegetables

Water – Drink plenty of water – at least 100 ounces per day

FASTING FOR KIDS

It is so important to model the principle of fasting to our kids and it’s actually quite simple to introduce different ways they can participate. However, their involvement should come only from a heartfelt desire to, just like our fasting should. The best way to encourage our kids to fast is to keep it fun and simple.

An easy way to explain the benefits of prayer and fasting to kids is to compare it to cleaning out old toys that might no longer work, or that they might have outgrown, to make room for new ones. As we clean out our bodies and make time to connect closer to God and His Word, we make room to receive new gifts from Him.

We do not recommend that children skip meals or drastically reduce their food intake, but a modification of their diet might prove to be an easy place to start. For example, fasting from specific items such as sweets, red meats, fried foods or even introducing a form of the Daniel fast which includes legumes, nuts and whole grains is a great way for children to participate in a safe and healthy way.

Another great way to fast is by reducing some of the time and energy spent watching TV, playing video games, using the computer or phone, and instead choosing to spend time praying, reading their Bible or serving others. Check our "Sample Fasting Calendar for Kids" below as an additional resource for you and your kids during the fasting season.

The main thing is for them to recognize the value behind setting aside special times to disconnect from some of the extra-curricular activities and treats they enjoy on a regular basis and learn how to connect to God in a closer way.

Of course, you should always check with your child’s pediatrician before fasting.