Starting today, I’ve set aside the next twenty one days as a season of prayer and fasting. I’m doing this largely to stand with my friend, Naghmeh Abedini. Naghmeh is asking friends and family to intercede with her for the release of her husband Saeed from two years of captivity in an Iranian prison.
Like Naghmeh, I’m following the example of Daniel in the Bible (Daniel 10:1-14), who set aside three weeks during which he sought God fervently through prayer. The book of Daniel has been a source of strength for Naghmeh during the over two years that Saeed has been in prison. You can check out the complete version of her Facebook post about the 21 Day Fast by clicking here.
Naghmeh writes to friends and family: I would like to ask you to join me in prayer and fasting for three weeks. January 6th through January 27th (the day that Saeed was convicted to 8 years in the Iranian prison because of his Christian faith). I plan to abstain from coffee and chocolate. You are free to abstain from food, social media, TV or skip a meal or two…the point is to spend that time in prayer.
For a Daniel fast, there are lots of books and websites that go into more detail. But Daniel makes it pretty simple: No “choice” food. Naghmeh is giving up coffee and chocolate. I plan to go gluten-free. The text says that Daniel “ate no choice food, no meat or wine…and used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over (Daniel 10:3).”
Point being: Ask the Lord what this time of fasting and prayer should look like for you. Perhaps you will give up a meal each day, or maybe you feel the need to fast from something besides food. Be creative and keep it simple so it will be sustainable.
This is also a good time to fast for areas in your own life that may feel stuck. I’m not sure why fasting adds power to prayer…it just does. And the Bible is full examples of fasting and prayer as a way to get “unstuck.”
Prayer: Lord, I commit the next 21 days to you for a season of prayer and fasting. I pray for a breakthrough for Pastor Saeed, Naghmeh and their children. I also lift up _________, someone I love who also needs a breakthrough. I watch expectantly to see what You will do and I praise You in advance. Amen.