When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Nehemiah 1:4 NIV
We were preparing to launch into a message series at Indian Creek titled I Want My Life Back. The series was based on the story of Nehemiah, and as you probably know, Nehemiah rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem in fifty-two days. His date with destiny started because he mourned, fasted, and prayed. Our prayer team decided we should construct a fasting wall to prepare our congregation for this important series.
What is a fasting wall? Here is what we did. We set out to find fifty-two people who would each take a day to fast. The idea was to begin the fast at six in the evening, which was the beginning of the day for the Jews. Throughout the twenty-four hours, the person on the fasting wall would drink liquids but refrain from solid food until six oclock the next evening. After the fast, the person would eat their supper meal.
We hoped the person could take off the whole day and spend time in the prayer room, in a quiet place, or out in nature praying for our church. We were kicking off a spiritual growth initiative called Become. We were asking people to prayerfully discern what God would have them become in this next chapter in the life of our church.
In many cases, the person couldnt take the whole day off but they did pray. We didnt find fifty-two different persons, but there was a noticeable difference in the spiritual temperature at Indian Creek. And some people had such a great experience, they wanted to serve again. One person decided to take one day a week during these fifty-two days to fast.
For many people, this was the first time they fasted a whole day. While it posed a hunger challenge there were multiple reports that this day spent fasting was one of the best days in the spirit and in the Word ever. Several reported that they were surprised that by eating just before six oclock one evening and just after six the next day, they felt strong throughout the day.
One of the prayer leaders asked me last week if they could arrange a fasting wall for all 365 days of the year. Im not sure what will happen with that, but I think God sure knew what he was doing when he thought of fasting.
– Pastor Gary Kendall, Indian Creek Community Church, Olathe, Kansas