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Sunday, January 15th - Saturday, February 4th, 2017

As we begin this new year, we desire to make God our greatest priority in very real and concrete ways, specifically through the spiritual disciplines of fasting and prayer. From Sunday, January 15th through Saturday, February 4th our church family will be fasting and praying for 21 days. We are expecting to encounter God in profound ways during this season and believe that the prayers we pray will have a ripple effect throughout this year and well into the future of our church.

During this season we're inviting and encouraging all of the Hope Midtown community to join together in:

           1) Fasting from Sunday January 15th through Saturday February 4th

              *Suggestions for fasting are below - please discern how you feel led

           2) Praying daily

              *We are providing a 21 day devotional guide with a brief daily scripture and prayer so that we can be reading and agreeing in prayer together each day.

           3) Prayer and Worship Night on Friday, January 27th from 8pm to 9:30pm

               *We’re inviting our entire church family to join us for a special night of worship and prayer at Hope Church Astoria's Sunday morning location (36-14 35th Street, Queens, NY 11106).

Additionally, we will have some smaller prayer gatherings and opportunities for training that you're welcome to join as you're interested and able:

           1) Prayer in Home Group Gatherings

           Throughout the 21 days, home groups - as they usually do - will provide times for corporate prayer. You can check out our list of Home Groups here.

           2) Prayer Workshops

           At Hope Astoria on Sundays, Jan 22, 29, and Feb 5 from 1-2:30pm we will be offering workshops on listening, prophetic, and healing prayer.

FASTING

We believe that God wants to deepen our love for him and for our neighbor in 2017, but first our hearts must be softened in God’s presence. Biblically one of the greatest tools God uses to accomplish this is through the spiritual discipline of fasting. Seasons of fasting help us to eliminate the noise and distractions from our lives in order for us to seek God with greater intensity. God’s desire to restore the lives of the broken in our city come into greater focus in our hearts as the Spirit burdens our souls with God’s love for our world. Fasting also promotes renewed levels of gratitude and service towards others as we are reminded of the poor and hungry during our fast and are challenged to live out the Gospel for their benefit.

TYPES OF FASTS

Your personal fast should present a level of challenge, but it is very important to know your body, your options, and most importantly, to seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do. Take time to pray and discern how God is leading you as well as a consult a physician if your health requires before you begin.

            COMPLETE FAST - In this type of fast, you drink only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.

            SELECTIVE FAST- This type of fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, and bread from your diet and consume water and juice for fluids and fruits and vegetables for food.

            PARTIAL FAST - This fast is sometimes called the “Jewish Fast” and involves abstaining from eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to specific times of the day, such as 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sunup to sundown.

            SOUL FAST - This fast is a great option if you do not have much experience fasting food, have health issues that prevent you from fasting food, or if you wish to refocus certain areas of your life that are out of balance. For example, you might choose to stop using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast and then carefully bring that element back into your life in healthy doses at the conclusion of the fast.

DAILY PRAYER GUIDE

During our 21 day fast, we invite you to join in praying through Scripture, particularly prayers that are found in Bible. We have created a calendar to help center ourselves in Christ as we pray through Scripture during this time. Everyday at 8 A.M. you will receive a calendar reminder with a verse of Scripture and a short prayer.

The majority of the Scripture verses in these daily reminders are prayers found in the New Testament. As we pray these verses, we are praying inspired prayers that the Apostles themselves were guided by the Spirit to pray. As you meditate on these verses, allow God to speak to you and then in turn pray these verses and allow God to speak to your heart. We will provide a brief, written out prayer in addition to the verse of Scripture as a way for us to agree in prayer. As you pray, allow the Spirit to guide you and cause these verses and the prayers that flow out of you to be your own.

If you would like to be included in this calendar reminder, please email drew@hopechurchnyc.org and we will include you.

WORSHIP AND PRAYER NIGHT

Friday, Jan 27 from 8-9:30pm

During our 21 days of fasting and prayer we are calling our entire church family to join us on Friday, January 27th from 8 P.M. - 9:30 P.M. @ Hope Astoria's Sunday morning location (36-14 35th Street, Queens, NY 11106) for a time of worship and prayer. We will be personally praying for everyone in attendance. Please prioritize this gathering!

PRAYER GATHERINGS

During our 21 days of fasting and prayer, our Home Groups will gather to pray together. More information on these gatherings will be listed below - Please stay tuned!

PRAYER WORKSHOPS

During this special season of prayer and fasting, we're providing opportunities to grow in your prayer life both personally and in prayer for others. These workshop trainings are designed to help you connect with God and grow in discernment and faith as you pray. There are many valuable forms of prayer (far beyond just these three!). We find, however, that often people feel comfortable praying to God, but less comfortable trying to discern or hear from him. We therefore focused this series of workshops in this area. Each of these prayer workshops offers an opportunity to gain a Biblical foundation and practical guidance in connecting with God in prayers that involve an expectancy of God's active presence.

1) Listening Prayer Workshop - Sunday, Jan 22 from 1-2:30pm

Interested in learning to hear better from God and developing your personal prayer life? This workshop provides instruction on conversational prayer (a form of prayer where you both speak to and listen to God). You’ll get a theological foundation, practical instruction on how to discern, and a chance to practice in a safe and supportive environment. A pizza lunch will be provided. Please RSVP by contacting Denise at denise@hopechurchnyc.org so that we have a headcount for lunch and supplies.

2) Prophetic Prayer Workshop - Sunday, Jan 29 from 1-2:30pm

This workshop offers instruction on prophetic prayer - a form of praying for others where you pause to attune yourself to God and listen to his leading. You’ll receive a theological foundation, practical instruction on how to discern, and a chance to practice in a safe and supportive environment. A pizza lunch will be provided. Please RSVP by contacting Denise at denise@hopechurchnyc.org so that we have a headcount for lunch and supplies.

3) Healing Prayer Workshop - Sunday, Feb 5 from 1-2:30pm

This workshop offers instruction on praying for others for physical healing. You’ll receive a theological foundation and practical instruction in a safe and supportive environment. A pizza lunch will be provided. Please RSVP by contacting Denise at denise@hopechurchnyc.org so that we have a headcount for lunch and supplies.

RESOURCES

Sermon on fasting by Pastor Denise Rhrissorrakrai

Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by A. A. Calhoun - PDF of chapter on Fasting

Richard Foster's book Celebration of Discipline has wonderful chapters on prayer and fasting.