Resources

LifeHouse Insider

You can friend LHWV on Facebook or subscribe through email to see the “LifeHouse Insider”.  In the “LifeHouse Insider” you’ll read thoughts every 1st Wednesday of the month from Pastor JD as well as be brought up to speed on events that will be happening within LifeHouse.  So send an email to [email protected] letting us know you’d like to subscribe, and we’ll make it happen.

Giving

If you would like to make a donation to LifeHouse Church, you can give during our weekly Sunday worship celebration or by mailing your gift to the church address or by giving securely online at the link provided on our webpage.  Our ideology is not to pressure or manipulate anyone to give.  We want each person to give because they believe in the vision of the church and want to invest in changing the world through this ministry.

“You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give.  Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure.  For God loves the person who gives cheerfully.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7

LifeHouse Church WV
DBA “Lifehouse Church Hedgesville”
85 Lynnhaven Dr. (Suite A)
Martinsburg, WV 25404

21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Guideline

Every year we partner with our Network of LifeHouse Churches to pray & fast for God’s leading and intervention in our lives, our churches, our communities, and our world.  Here is the guideline we use to keep our focus where it needs to be.  We invite you to join us on this journey of connecting with God.

INTRODUCTION TO FASTING & PRAYER

Do you miss the “good ole days” before the pandemic, restrictions, and endless crises that seem to have consumed the news cycle over the past 20 months? Are you spending more time looking back rather than ahead?

Looking back can be a trap of wrongly believing the best is behind us.  Even as the church, we can get trapped in looking back rather than innovating and living by faith, living boldly, and creating a preferred future, since we’d prefer the past.

While we can learn lessons from the past and look back to see the faithfulness and the miraculous of God, we must be a future-oriented church.  Don’t just look around and trust what you see. Trust the God who sees all and is above all and is over all. He loves you. He is for you. And he fights for you. He is your future!

Ephesians 3:20 (NIV), “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…”

How does God want to show up, and through you, do the unimaginable and the impossible in 2022?

21 Days of Prayer and Fasting is a season to put our full focus on God and pray and believe that the 2022 will be better than anything before! These three weeks invite us to increase our awareness of God and a dependency on God like never before. And we genuinely believe that nearly everything significant that God does through the church is birthed in fasting and prayer. Which means, if we are going to experience God-sized moments and impact in our lives, churches, and in our cities, it’s going to happen, not as a result of our best efforts, but through God’s blessing in response to our humility and desperation in times of extended fasting and prayer. It’s not that fasting and prayer moves the hand of God. No! God’s not impressed with our fasting. Rather, fasting and prayer opens our hearts and churches for God to impress Himself on us and to do his work through us. It’s not that we need more of God; it’s that God wants more of us. Fasting and prayer is a way to give God more of us and welcome His “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” into our lives and churches.

PRAY FIRST

Let’s pray first rather than as a last resort. Don’t get busy and do first.  Pray first.

We pray to an open, rather than empty, heaven, so we want to gather together in 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting to pray together and pray boldly. We don’t want to pray small, timid prayers but prayers that, if answered, would actually impact the local church, our city and communities, and shape history.

Rather than jumping into our plans for the New Year, we want to seek God for His plans and purposes in 2022. These three weeks are an opportunity for us to come together and both personally and corporately express our deepest need for God to do what only God can do – in our lives and church, as well as through our lives and church.  We’ve certainly learned in this past year how little control we have and how desperately dependent we are on God.

As a church, we are joining together to fast and pray for God to do a new and powerful work in our area. We believe that when we pray, we invite the supernatural of God to transform our natural abilities and efforts into something truly supernatural. On our own, we can only do our best. Together, we can only do what we do best together. But when we pray together, God brings his best to our best and cities, communities, and churches are powerfully impacted.

When we “pray first,” we are praying like everything depends on God. But it also means that we do something when we finish this season of prayer. Then, we work like everything depends on us. After “amen,” we get active becoming part of the God-response to the prayers we’ve prayed.

FASTING & PRAYER FOR OUR COMMUNITIES

Let’s join together as the Church in the Lifehouse Network to seek God, to humble ourselves in repentance and leverage our natural appetites as alarm clocks to focus our attention fully on God. Let’s use the start to 2022 as a time of sacred intensity, as a spiritual shower, and as a time of emotional, mental, and church renewal.

We are churches unifying in prayer as the Church. We are praying boldly for: God’s Kingdom to grow through local thriving churches, healing in our communities, transformation in our cities, and new spiritual life to come to our nation and generation.

We unify in a 21-day fast together following the model in the Book of Daniel, claiming breakthrough from God for the spiritual needs of ourselves and our communities, asking God’s blessing over the church of this region. Let’s unite our hearts and focus our prayers and leverage our desires, in order to seek God’s face in repentance and humility.

This guide provides more instructions about how you and your family can be a part of this Network-wide 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting. Join your church in the specific prayer gathering and coordinated prayer opportunities that are available. I guarantee this season of fasting and prayer will be the most exciting, challenging, and intense time of the year—both for you individually and for the church!

THANK YOU for considering how you can join in this life-giving prayer movement.

Why fasting? 

  • Don’t ask me why, but the discipline of fasting works. When we use our physical appetites as a constant reminder to pray, read the Bible or meditate, we grow desperate for God and realize how consumed we are with consuming. Fasting gets our priorities back into right order.

Why 21 days? 

  • In Daniel 10:2-13, Daniel prayed and fasted 21 days, during which time a spiritual battle was fought. After his 21-day fast, there was breakthrough and Daniel received the answers to his prayers.  These 21 days will be a time for us to get reconnected with the Creator of the universe and the Savior of our souls.

Why now? 

  • Throughout the year, things distract and dampen our passion for God, but we want to start off the New Year by clearing out the cobwebs in our hearts and by refocusing the “lens” of our spirit. We don’t want to wander through 2022 haplessly going about our business.  Nor do we want to attempt God-sized dreams without God’s presence going before us.  We want God-led strategies that will accomplish HIS will in HIS time through HIS power.

Why me? 

  • Together, we can accomplish something so much greater and more powerful than any one of us could as an individual. We don’t go through this ritual to earn a spiritual merit badge or prove how devoted we are to God.  Rather, we partner together in prayer & fasting as a way to partner with God in HIS purposes, His will, and His Cause for the Church and for every Jesus-follower.

How can I join in on this 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting?

Make a personal commitment to fast during the 21 days of January 10th – 30th.

  • “Fasting” simply means giving up the feeding of an appetite, then setting aside specific times to read the Bible and to pray (both individually and with a group).  You can fast from meats and sweets, entertainment and social media, or any number of appetites or activities that are a part of your daily routine.  The point is not what you are giving up, but what you are going to do with the time you gain. Let this be a challenge to focus our time and attention on God.

In preparation for the fast, read Psalm 51 and Isaiah 58.

  • These Bible passages explain that God isn’t interested in our pious sacrifices for Him, but in our obedience and willingness to do what he asks. God wants us to become more like Him.  That requires letting go of our own agenda and being “remade” to look, act, and think like Him. That requires time, attention, and discipline.

Mark your calendar for weekly prayer gatherings or organize your own.

  • Pastor JD will be hosting group prayer times each Sunday at 6:00 p.m. at Lifehouse Church. At these gatherings, Pastor JD will provide an atmosphere of worship, a brief teaching or encouragement on fasting, and an extended time of focused prayer. Please make an effort to attend these three gatherings over the 21 days of fasting and prayer.

Pause for prayer every day at 7:14 a.m. and 7:14 p.m.

  • As another way to unify our church community during the 21 days, we’re encouraging the entire church to pause for prayer at 7:14 a.m. & 7:14 p.m. every day.  We chose this time based on 2 Chronicles 7:14, and it’s a simple way to begin and end your day with prayer.

 Use the enclosed prayer guide for daily topics and weekly themes.

  • Enclosed are weekly devotional thoughts and daily prayer requests to unify our church during this time of prayer & fasting.  Place it on your nightstand or refrigerator to help you stay focused each day.

Record daily how God speaks to you.

  • Use the prayer journal provided to you to record the insights, thoughts, and convictions God places in your heart and mind during this time of fasting and prayer. Don’t be afraid to share them with others but be careful not to let anyone know that you are fasting and praying – you don’t want to lose your reward.

Week One | January 10-16

Focus: for your personal life and family

VERSE TO REMEMBER:

  • As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? – Psalm 42:1

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS:

Before God does something great through us, He does a great work in us. We must be emptied of ourselves, our sinful attitudes, desires, and habits. We must also be filled with God’s Spirit, renewed by His Word, and strengthened in our faith. Do a spiritual health check up by asking, “Are any obstacles in my relationship with God? How vibrant is my prayer life? Am I regularly going to God’s Word as my source of faith, wisdom, and guidance for life?”

As we enter this season of fasting and prayer, let’s start by focusing our attention on our own personal lives – our hearts, minds, souls, and families. Daily, take time in prayer, Bible reading, worship, and devotion with God. Re-establish these basic habits of spending time with God and renew your spiritual vitality.

DAILY PRAYER REQUESTS:

Monday, Jan 10: Use today as a time to allow God to prompt your heart in how He wants to change you during these next 21 Days of Fasting & Prayer. Journal what specific changes need to happen in your life spiritually and in your thinking and emotions. Read Isaiah 58 and discover what God wants us to accomplish during times of fasting.  Nehemiah 1:1-6

Tuesday, Jan 11: Focus on personal repentance from sin and receiving forgiveness from God. Pray for corporate repentance of sin and that God’s righteousness would be a safeguard for the church. Psalm 51; 1 John 1:9; Nehemiah 1:6-11

Wednesday, Jan 12: Focus on growing in godly character and the fruit of the Spirit. Pray to lay aside ungodly habits and attitudes. Pray for spiritually mature, Christ-like character, and purity of heart.  Galatians 5:19-26

Thursday, Jan 13: Focus on your relationships: a healthy & restored marriage, for your children and parents, for your friends, classmates, collogues and neighbors. Pray for any strained or broken relationships and ask God to bring healing and restoration. Colossians 3:12-17

Friday, Jan 14: Pray for a strengthening in your spiritual disciplines and personal devotions. Begin to develop the heart of worship personally by expressing your love of God and gratitude to God. Psalm 95 and 150; Nehemiah 8:1-8

Saturday, Jan 15: Pray bold obedience to God’s Word as you read throughout 2017 and for a lifestyle of sacrificial generosity toward God through the church; that there will be an abundance to advance the Cause of Christ. Malachi 3:6-18; John 14:12-17

Sunday, Jan 16:  Pray with Pastor JD at 6 p.m. at the church.

Week Two | January 17 – 23

Focus: for your church and the Church

VERSE TO REMEMBER:

  • …you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. – Ephesians 2:19-22

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS:

The church is made up of all who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior by faith. We are joined together as a community for the purpose of worshipping God together, growing in love and faith together, and sent out together to share and show the love of God with people who are far from Him. We don’t go to church; we are the church. We don’t “do” church; we are called to be the church.

The church is led by God-called and Spirit-empowered leaders who train and shepherd the believers. All believers are called and responsible to “do the work of the ministry” (Ephesians 4:11-13), and to build each other up in love. Each person is responsible to do their part within the church, so that the whole church is built up in love.

The church is not one denominations or location, but is made up of many unique churches, groups, and gatherings. Together, in unity, we make up the Body of Christ. May God strengthen and renew the leadership of our church and call new leaders, pastors, and missionaries, so God’s Kingdom is radically advanced.

DAILY PRAYER REQUESTS:

Monday, Jan 17: Pray that God would call many people to serve and lead within each church – as volunteers, small group & ministry leaders, pastors, church planters, and missionaries. Matthew 9:35-38; Nehemiah 4:6

Tuesday, Jan 18: Focus specifically on the names of each of your church leaders, starting with your lead pastor and his family to each pastor and ministry leader. Pray for protection, boldness, and courage. Ephesians 4:11-16; Nehemiah 3

Wednesday, Jan 19: Pray for the church to multiply. Every healthy organism grows and multiplies, and the church must as well. Pray that Christians will be bold witnesses of Jesus, that leaders will train other leaders, and that churches will start new churches. Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Nehemiah 2:18

Thursday, Jan 20: Pray for protection over the church, for unity and peace, and for provision in the church, so the vision of the church can be accomplished. Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-35; Ephesians 3:20-21; Nehemiah 6:9

Friday, Jan 21: Pray for the church of our city and region to be unified, that the church would expand and have an increased impact in this area. Pray for revival in the church and for godly leaders to preach the Gospel in love. Pray for the persecuted church around the world. Acts 4:29-31; Ephesians 4:1-6; Nehemiah 10:39b

Saturday, Jan 22: Pray for the spread of the gospel to foreign nations. Pray that the gospel would be shared to every nation, especially the unreached people groups of the world. Name each missionary and ministry leader in partner churches, campuses, and countries around the world – for their protection and courage, their marriage and children; for boldness, provision, and for fruitful ministry. Acts 11:22-26

Sunday, Jan 23: Pray with Pastor JD at 6 p.m. at the church.

Week Three | January 24 – 30

Focus: For Your Community and the surrounding region

VERSE TO REMEMBER:

  • So the wall was completed…in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God. – Nehemiah 6:15-16.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS:

As Jesus-followers, we are called to a God-sized vision for our community.  In spite of great opposition, Nehemiah accomplished God’s purpose in Jerusalem.  We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our city.  We can speak life into our community because God is for our community.

We can speak God’s love into poverty, addiction, homelessness, disunity, and other problems.  Seeing God move in our community begins with prayer and fasting.

We are called to pray for our neighborhoods, our community, and the surrounding region. We pray for the regional centers of influence – business, government, education, family, religion, media, and arts and entertainment.

DAILY PRAYER REQUESTS:

Monday, Jan 24: Pray for your neighbors, neighborhood, friends, peers, co-workers, and classmates. Pray that they would not only hear the gospel but respond through faith in Jesus.  Matthew 28:19

Tuesday, Jan 25: Pray for peace over our community, for protection, for prosperity and blessing from God. Pray for God to guard our city from division and disunity.  Pray for God to work in the midst of poverty, addictions, homelessness, and other problems. Jeremiah 29:6-7; Nehemiah 2:4-5

Wednesday, Jan 26: Pray a spiritual awakening in our region, for the salvation of many souls and the expansion and growth of the church as many new people come to faith in Jesus Christ. Jeremiah 29:11-14; Nehemiah 9:6

Thursday, Jan 27: Pray for the community, regional and national government – for our leaders, for justice, and for wisdom to rule in our land. Pray for government officials, as well as government agencies. 1 Timothy 2:1-2

Friday, Jan 28: Pray for the regional centers of influence – business (for economic well-being, for care and compassion to rule our finances), media (for a truth, honesty, and fairness to rule), arts and entertainment (for godliness and holiness to be promoted while vileness and rebellion would not receive fame and promotion). Proverbs 3:9-10; Exodus 35:30

Saturday, Jan 29: Pray for the students and children in our region, for the education system and the educators, for protection over our children, and for all who influence them.  Pray for opportunities to show Christ’s love in both public and private schools.  Matthew 7:28-29; Proverbs 10:14

Sunday, Jan 30: Pray with Pastor JD at 6 p.m. at the church.

ADDITIONAL CONTENT

 HOW DO I PREPARE FOR A FAST PHYSICALLY[1] [2]

  1. As a precautionary measure, you may need to check with your doctor before beginning your first fast, especially if you plan to participate for 21-days by drinking water and juices only.
  2. Several excellent books have been written regarding the physical benefits alone of fasting over a period of time.  I highly recommend you read the book, “Toxic Relief” by Dr. Don Colbert.
  3. Eat mainly raw foods and drinking plenty of water for a few meals, and perhaps for a week, before you begin your fast.  (Fact: your body needs at least 2 quarts of water per day to sustain life!)
  4. Decrease the size and frequency of meals before beginning your fast, especially a prolonged fast, but continue to drink plenty of water.
  5. Avoid chewing gum during the fast. Chewing activates the digestive processes.
  6. Days two through four of the fast are often the most challenging as you may experience headaches, slight dizziness, and other such symptoms.  Expect some physical, mental and perhaps, even some emotional discomfort. Also, sleeplessness and irritability often accompany a fast, but don’t allow the fast to become an excuse for improper actions and attitudes.
  7. When drinking juice during this fast, unsweetened and non-acidic juices are best. Tomato and orange juices are hard on the stomach, unless greatly diluted. Do not drink coffee or tea- however, herbal teas are fine.
  8. You may need to restrict some of your physical activity during the fast, especially rigorous exercise.
  9. You will likely experience some weight loss during a fast, but the weight usually returns quickly once the fast is broken.
  10. It’s important always to consider the feelings of others, particularly family members, when planning a fast; especially if “special events” have been planned that you need to participate in.
  11. Some people, even those with good intentions, may try to keep you from fasting; others may encourage you to end your fast before the appointed time. You should anticipate this and be prepared with a kind, yet resolved, response.
  12. End the fast, especially an extended one like 21-days, gradually.  You will need to wait five or more days before returning to a full meal.  So, during that time eat foods that are easily digested. Returning to normal eating patterns too quickly after a fast can cause serious medical problems, and may also minimize some of the physical benefits of the fast.

 Why We Should Fast and Pray

Let me emphatically establish, as we prepare for these 21 days of prayer and fasting, that this discipline in the truest context has everything to do with the attitudes of our hearts and the cries of our souls.  Throughout God’s Word we see the kind of prayer and fasting that God receives and the kind that He rebukes.  We also recognize clearly that Jesus Christ made prayer and fasting a significant priority and was unquestionably the key to His ministry, especially in the area of spiritual warfare and deliverance.  We should learn by His example and instructions in making prayer and fasting an integral aspect of our responsibility in ministry.

The disciplines of prayer and fasting should never be reduced to a formula or some mystical ritual we are to perform that will somehow guarantee a “move of God” in any respect.  Nor should prayer and fasting be treated as mere physical tests or exercises in mental discipline.  Simply stated, 21 days of supposed prayer and fasting could easily become just a quick weight loss program or a spiritual badge of honor for many.

God’s Word has a strong rebuke for those who fast for the wrong reasons or in an improper manner. I have never seen God respond favorably to prayer and/or fasting based on false pretenses or impure motives.  It’s important we note the following:

Improper Reasons/Motives

Prayer and fasting are improper when a person seeks:

  • To fulfill selfish desires and ambitions.
  • To attempt to manipulate God.
  • To elevate one’s status or personal agenda.
  • To promote false piety, legalism, or religious duty.

Improper Manner

Prayer and fasting are improper when they:

  • Draw attention to personal glorification.
  • Are attempted without sufficient seriousness and respect.
  • Are conducted while intentionally continuing to sin.
  • Are conducted while continuing to pursue selfish desires in pleasure and business.
  • Are conducted while promoting or continuing injustice, oppression, or impropriety.
  • Are conducted without drawing aside daily and dedicating ample time for sincere seeking, quiet communion, and devoted prayer with God.

 God-Honoring Fast

The Bible is filled with references to the prayers and fasting of God’s people, both in the Old and New Testaments. In Matthew 6, Jesus placed fasting on the same level as praying and giving. In each case, He provides specific instructions so we can understand that these three things, prayer, giving, and fasting, are integral ingredients and the disciplines of true believers.  In respect to prayer and fasting we realize that this dynamic practiced rightly in our lives enables our hearts to be clearly focused as we are drawn closer to God and His purposes.

It is difficult to explain the connection between prayer and fasting as a gateway to supernatural power. However, God’s Word does reveal to us that scripture, prayer, and fasting are the ways we humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord. When we humble ourselves, He promises to exalt and lift us up at the appointed time; obviously for His appointed purposes (I Peter 5:6; James 4:10)!

The very act of true fasting brings a sharp focus to the dramatic difference between our physical and spiritual natures. Eating is one of the most fundamental things we do as physical beings because one of our most natural desires is for food. Without proper nourishment we die. By exercising our wills and depriving ourselves of food for sincere spiritual purposes, we acknowledge our spiritual natures and honor God in the process. When we deny the natural for the purpose of calling upon God to do the supernatural, He will enable and empower us to experience His presence and power in extraordinary ways!

Also, through fasting, we confirm the words spoken by Jesus in the face of temptation during His 40-day fast, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Through prayer and fasting we forsake our own physical needs and call upon God as the Source and Sustainer of our lives.  True spiritual fasting will result in submission and devotion to God and His purposes, and to experiencing what it truly means to “live abundantly” as we are spiritually nourished by the Word of God- “O, taste and see that the Lord is good!”

God Blesses When Our Fasts…

  • Focus on Him and honor Him. (Although you will receive spiritual blessings, these are not proper motives for fasting.)
  • Have spiritual purposes. (Although you may realize certain physical benefits, these are not proper motives for spiritual fasting, e.g. for weight-loss purposes.)
  • Cause individuals to humble themselves and submit to the authority of God, His Word, and His purposes.
  • Cause individuals to acknowledge and repent of sin.
  • Deprive our natural desires and lusts to focus on the spiritual.

Focus on Fruitfulness

When we honor God by praying and fasting, we must realize that God will only work and bless in ways that are consistent and in harmony with His will and purposes. One of the primary functions of prayer and fasting is to help us discover what His ordained purposes and will are for our lives.  As we seek after all that is in God’s heart for our lives, families, and church, and we are committed to fully obeying Him in everything, He has promised to “raise us up” to a “new level” of ministry (Acts 13:22).

What We Should Fast and Pray For

The 21-Day Fast that Daniel undertook (Dan. 10:2-3) was for breakthrough. After 21 days Daniel was visited with divine revelation regarding his vision.

God has given us a great vision- “To reach up in passionate relationship with God, to reach in to nurture and disciple our family of friends, and to reach out to share Jesus with our community.”

God is calling us to a 21-day fast so we spiritually prepare ourselves, families, The LifeHouse, and our community for this time of expectation. When we are in expectation our focus, priorities, level of commitment, and prayers change.   

We Should Fast and Pray For…

  • The wisdom and knowledge of God’s calling personally and corporately
  • That we would see clearly everything we need to be and do to fulfill God’s call on our lives personally and corporately
  • The power to enforce the vision and mission (revelation) God has given us on both a “new” personal and corporate level of excellence and effectiveness
  • The Spirit to prepare our community and cultivate a hunger and readiness for God in the hearts our neighbors.
  • The increase in leaders to join and be raised up from with in The LifeHouse.

[1] The Power of Prayer and Fasting, Ronnie W. Floyd, pages 197-204.  Broadman & Holman Publishers.  Copyright 1997

[2] Toxic Relief, Don Colbert, M.D., chps. 4-6, Siloam, Strangs Communications Company, Copyright 2001