Together We're Better

january 1-21,2023

2023 marks our 13th  Annual 21-Day Fast and It's safe to say that The Garden, as we know it, would not be here today if not for these times of fasting and prayer at the start of the new year! Lives change, hearts are made new, bodies heal, vision is revealed, and we draw closer to God as we honor His Word.  (Matthew 6:16-33)

Pastors Thom and Shelby and the families of The Garden invite you to join in our annual time of corporate prayer and fasting, January 1-21.  While there are many ways to fast, effectiveness can be increased as we seek God as a body. Unity commands a  blessing! (2 Chronicles 7:14, Acts 27:33-37, Psalms 133)  

Most will jump right in with a 21-Day Daniel Fast on January 1. If you're newer to fasting, here’s a great way to ease into it:

Week 1: No sweets
Week 2: No sweets and no breads
Week 3: No sweets, no breads, and no meats
During this time, be encouraged that hundreds from The Garden family and millions of fellow Christ-followers all around the world are also fasting and seeking God! The human mind cannot comprehend God's response to one, simple act of obedience. Let's position ourselves to receive everything God wants to do in - and through - us! Our annual fast always results in powerful testimonies.  True to His Word, God responds to our obedience when we fast. (Ezra 8:21, Isaiah 58:6, Matthew 6:16-18, Mark 9:29)

We'll meet for communion January 1-20 at the church from 7:00-7:15pm.  Can’t make it here? Celebrate communion from your home!  

Remember...It’s Not JUST About the Food
If a Daniel Fast was only about what we do or don't eat, it would just be a a lifestyle choice to simply go vegan. Fasts are a sacrifice of self. If you feel like you shouldn't eat a particular food, even if it’s “approved,” then don’t eat it.  Heed the prompting of the Holy Spirit.  Ask God to reveal anything that distracts you from growing closer to Him. Dietary changes make physically aware that we're sacrificing - or worshipping -  what we want for what we want MORE.  This also applies to our heart, mind, and emotions. Often, we need add 'wrong thinking" to the list of what we're fasting. Take an inventory of your life and ask Him what needs to be stripped off and thrown aside, for you to be successful in the race!  (Hebrews 12)

Without Prayer, It's Just a Diet
Fasting doesn't move God closer to you. It moves you closer to God. Be intentional about spending more time in prayer and God's Word.  Some find it helpful to keep a journal of special insights and blessings received during a fast. The practice of fasting prepares our spirit to receive and understand the things of the Spirit.  The Lord will reveal His plan, answer prayers, and set things in motion as we wholly submit to Him.

Finish strong
The enemy would LOVE to pull you off track because he knows how strong you’ll be coming out of this fast! Learn to say "no," and avoid justifying things you've committed to fast during this time. You have what it takes and are obeying God’s command.  (Matthew 5:6, 6:16-18) When you’re having a weak moment, thank Jesus that He didn’t quit the task He set out to accomplish. (Hebrews 12:3-4) The only person monitoring your fast is you, so you need to be faithful to the fast by living it carefully. Be strong and do it! (Joshua 1:9)

Helpful Resources
There are lots of websites and books on Daniel Fasts. If you come across contradictory information, remember that your best resource is the Holy Spirit and the Word. Pray, study, ask, then most importantly...listen and obey!
Those previously diagnosed with a medical condition directly effected by your diet should consult your doctor before beginning a fast.  If you are truly physically unable to participate in any portion of our corporate fast, ask God how you can adjust your diet and lifestyle to deny your flesh and focus on Him, and participate in this time of fasting and prayer with us.