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Christian Union
by whit hazelton

Taking a cue from the many men and women of Scripture and church history who practiced the spiritual discipline of fasting, Christian Union led a national 21-day fast that started on August 13, 2018. More than 2,000 Christians from across the United States signed up online to participate in the fast, which was organized by Christian Union’s online ministry, Christian Union Day and Night, and focused on the theme “Fasting for Cultural Revolution.”

Each participant received a daily encouragement e-mail during the fast, featuring a devotional written by a member of Christian Union’s faculty or staff. The devotionals gave direction to praying and fasting for God to transform seven important sectors of  society for His glory: arts and entertainment, business, education, family, government, media, and the Church. {tweetme}Through the devotionals, Christians were encouraged to bring their concerns about American society before God and to consider ways we, as the church, might play a role in bringing about cultural change.{tweetme}


Many shared that the experience of fasting helped them draw nearer to the Lord. One week into the fast, Laura K., a participant from Texas wrote:
I wanted to share the good news that an injury to my knee has been healed almost before my eyes since this time of prayer and fasting began. Hallelujah! Praise to Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord my healer.

Darren, a participant from New Jersey, shared how he is boldly sharing the Gospel: 
"[God] has done so much for me during this fast. I am always looking for an opportunity to share the Gospel."

Some participants shared that they were fasting for the very first time. While the early church and Christians from generations past understood the spiritual benefits of fasting, many Christians in America today may not even know what constitutes a fast. Biblically, fasting means abstaining from food for a period of time to seek God. Biblical fasting does not include denying oneself other things, such as TV, social media, or items besides food. While it can be good to practice self-denial in such ways, the fasting practiced by Moses, Nehemiah, Jesus, and the early church meant denying oneself of food.

Participants were given the flexibility to choose a fast that worked best for their individual situation, experience, and health requirements. Some fasted from all food for the entire 21 days, drinking only water, while others fasted only one or two meals per day, or drank broths and liquids.

The testimony shared by Linda from California summed up well the types of changes a Christian sees in his or her life when fasting:
During this fast, I have tried to focus on prayer, Scripture reading, and praying for our country … Today, church worship was more alive to me. I believe God is showing me my sin of selfishness and pride. He’s blessing me with a desire to serve without complaining, to love my husband even when he’s grumpy, to not worry about my family that is struggling with divorce and other sins, but to pray and leave it in His hands.
Christian Union Day and Night will organize a 10-day fast on January 7-16, 2019. All are invited to sign up during the first week of December at www.DayAndNight.org.