Prayer & Fasting 2020

Andy Elmes

Andy Elmes

26th December 2019

Our goal isn’t to make God do anything – rather to hear him, to see what He is wanting to do, and to humble ourselves in order to pray and seek His face.

As a church, we will be fasting together during the month of January. We are believing God for a shift to take place in the church and for huge breakthrough in people’s lives as we set aside this time to fast, pray and seek His face.

In January 2019, we took time as a church to fast and pray for the year ahead. We are so glad that we did as over this past year we have seen some amazing things happen as well as significant breakthrough in certain situations. We put this down to that consecrated time of prayer, fasting and seeking God’s face in January. The year 2019 has not been without its challenges, but as we’ve journeyed through those difficult times we have very much known the hand of God upon our church family.

We are believing for an even greater move of God in 2020 in our individual lives, in our church and in the communities where we’ve been called, and so we invite you to join us again this year as we set aside the month of January to fast and pray individually and as a church. For two specific weeks, we will be calling the whole church to fast and pray together. Our vision is to get as many of our church family fasting and praying during this time as we can. As we humble ourselves and pray, we believe the Lord will respond in a very powerful way and that we will see things shift in people’s lives and situations.

Fasting is a very bespoke thing where each individual should choose what they give up and for how long. Remember, God always looks at the heart! So we are asking each individual to join us in this time of fasting and praying by designating a period of time (or times) in January to fast and, for that time, to lay down at least one thing that you will feel leave your life – something that causes a reaction in your soul.


Options for when to fast:

Join us for our designated fast from Monday 13th to Sunday 26th January. This will start the day after our annual Vision Sunday (Sunday 12th January) and end on Sunday 26th after a special evening of prayer and worship at our Presence evening, held at Empower Centre Portsmouth.

Fast something over the whole month of January.

Mix and match – fast something for the whole month as well as specific days of full or partial food fasting.

Options for what to fast:

Full food fast – nothing to eat for a designated time.

Partial fast – don’t eat any ‘pleasant thing’ that you would normally enjoy, sticking to food that is very plain/basic (a Daniel-type fast).

Social media or television – these days fasting things like social media can be as effective for some as fasting food. This is especially good for those with dietary or health concerns.

Anything else that has an important part in your daily life that you would feel the absence of by laying it aside for a time. We all know ourselves well and know what causes that reaction within our soul when we think about laying it aside for a time.

We are all made so wonderfully different and what one person gives up may not mean anything to another person. This is why it’s good to look at your life and ask what would mean something personally to you. As we’ve already said, God looks to the heart and knows the cost to us personally of the things we are laying aside.

Fast and pray.

This month of fasting is not just about removing things from your life, it’s about adding prayer to it! One of the purposes of fasting is to create space to pray and seek the Lord during the time that would normally be used on what is being fasted. During your time of fasting make sure you increase your praying as well. Set aside time to seek God’s face and hear His direction. 

Prayer can take place on your own or with others. Perhaps you could find a small group of friends and take time to pray together at different times during January.

Silencing the soul to hear God.

Fasting does not twist God’s arm to make Him do things. If we could persuade God to do something by ceasing to eat for a while, that would not make Him very dependable! Fasting is actually about what happens in us. As we lay aside food (or other things that normally take our time and feed certain enjoyments in the soul) we will be able to tune in spiritually to hear what the Lord is saying. Our spirit man will become more sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Our goal isn’t to make God do anything – rather it is to hear him, to see what He is wanting to do, and to humble ourselves in order to pray and seek His face.

Harnessing the power of agreement.

Something powerful happens when the church comes together with a common cause. We harness the power of agreement, which is a powerful thing indeed. There is power in praying together. In Deuteronomy 32:30 we read, regarding God’s army, that “one man can chase a thousand, or two can put ten thousand to flight”. There is a multiplier effect in being together before God. It was the corporate prayer of Acts 1:14 that produced the corporate power of Acts 2:42-47. Corporate prayer brings corporate power (Acts 4:14-31).

Opportunities to pray together in January:

As well as praying individually we have arranged the following opportunities to come together as we pray and seek God’s face…

FC Portsmouth

Presence – Sunday 12th Jan, 7:00pm – Empower Centre Portsmouth

Prayer Meeting – Tuesday 14th Jan, 11.30am – 12:30pm (after Talking Church) – Empower Centre Portsmouth

Presence – Sunday 19th Jan, 7:00pm – Empower Centre Portsmouth 

Prayer Meeting – Tuesday 21st Jan, 11.30am – 12:30pm (after Talking Church) – Empower Centre Portsmouth

Presence – Sunday 26th Jan, 7:00pm – Empower Centre Portsmouth (all congregations)

FC Gosport & FC Bridgemary

His Prayer – Wednesday 15th Jan,  6:15am-7:15am – Empower Centre Gosport

Prayer Meeting – Thursday 16th Jan, 7:30pm – Empower Centre Gosport

His Prayer – Wednesday 22nd Jan,  6:15am-7:15am – Empower Centre Gosport

Prayer Meeting – Thursday 23rd Jan, 7:30pm – Empower Centre Gosport

Presence – Sunday 26th Jan, 7:00pm – Empower Centre Portsmouth (all congregations)

FC Havant & FC Waterlooville

Prayer Night – Sunday 12th Jan, 6:00pm-7:00pm – Empower Centre Havant

Prayer Meeting – Tuesday 14th Jan, 11.30am – 12:30pm (after Talking Church) – Empower Centre Portsmouth

Worship & Prayer Night – Wednesday 15th Jan, 7:30pm-9:00pm – Waterlooville Community Centre

Prayer Meeting – Tuesday 21st Jan, 11.30am – 12:30pm (after Talking Church) – Empower Centre Portsmouth

Presence – Sunday 26th Jan, 7:00pm – Empower Centre Portsmouth (all congregations)

FC Waterside

Prayer Meeting – Sunday 12th Jan, 6:30pm-8:30pm – FC Waterside Offices

Prayer Meeting – Sunday 19th Jan, 6:30pm-8:30pm – FC Waterside Offices

Presence – Sunday 26th Jan, 7:00pm – Empower Centre Portsmouth (all congregations)

FC Guildford

Prayer Meeting – Monday 13th Jan, 11:00am-12:00pm – Empower Centre Guildford

Prayer Meeting – Wednesday 15th Jan, 8:00pm-9:00pm – Empower Centre Guildford

Prayer & Worship Evening – Friday 17th Jan, 7:30pm-10:00pm – Empower Centre Guildford

Prayer Meeting – Monday 20th Jan, 11:00am-12:00pm – Empower Centre Guildford

Prayer Meeting – Wednesday 22nd Jan, 2:00pm-3:00pm – Empower Centre Guildford

Prayer Meeting – Thursday 23rd Jan, 7:30pm-9:30pm – Empower Centre Guildford

His Prayer (instead of His Breakfast) – Saturday 25th Jan, 10:00am-11:00am – Empower Centre Guildford

Presence – Sunday 26th Jan, 7:00pm – Empower Centre Portsmouth (all congregations)


Updates and encouragements.

Each day over the two weeks that we are fasting together there will be teaching and encouragement from different Family Church leaders posted on our website. To receive these encouragements visit www.family.church and subscribe.

Do’s and dont’s.

DO use wisdom as to what you fast during this time if you are on medication or have health issues. Seek medical advice if you feel this is necessary. Choose something that has an effect on your soul without having an effect on your health. Remember God sees the heart of what you are doing.

DON’T make a big song and dance about it with other people. Remember, God sees what is done in private before Him, not what is done for man to see.

When you fast, do not look sombre as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:16-18)

DO journal. As you take time to pray and hear the Lord’s voice make sure you write down what you hear so that you can refer back to it. This will benefit you and others later on.

DON’T be religious about it. Make it part of your relationship with the Lord. You’re doing it to seek, hear and draw close to Him.

DO drink lots of water if you are doing
food-related fasting. Fruit juices are good too.

Thank you for joining us in what we believe is going to be a significant time during which we will see a shift in the spiritual.