“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry… Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.” Luke 4:1–2, 14
“When you fast, do not look somber 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
“When exercised with a pure heart, and a right motive, fasting may provide us with a key to unlock doors where other keys have failed.” Arthur Wallis
“The discipline of fasting can focus our prayers in the way that a magnifying glass can focus sunlight to start a fire.” Pete Greig
“Fasting is an opportunity to lay down an appetite – an appetite for food, for media, for shopping. This act of self-denial may not seem huge – it’s just a meal or a trip to the mall – but it brings us face to face with the hunger at the core of our being. Fasting exposes how we try to keep empty hunger at bay and gain a sense of well-being by devouring creature comforts. Through self-denial we begin to recognise what controls us. Our small denials of the self show us just how little taste we actually have for sacrifice or time with God. This truth is not meant to discourage us. It’s simply the first step in realising that we have to lay down our life in order to find it again in God.” Adele Calhoun
You might want to ask each other some of the following questions:
- Where have you seen God at work in your life in the past week/month?
- How did you experience God’s presence through your rhythms?
- How have you been shaped by the rhythms?
- What differences did the rhythms make to those around you?
- What is the Spirit stirring and wanting to grow in you in this season?
- What unhealthy rhythms or habits have you adopted and what practices will help you refocus on Jesus?
- What is one thing you like about the Rhythm of Fasting and why?
- What has been an obstacle to Fasting?
- How can Fasting free you and from what?
- What is one thing you learned about Fasting this week? After listening to the rhythm podcast what was new to you or what changed your view?
- How do you think practicing Fasting will help you follow Jesus?
- What is a small way this week you can incorporate this rhythm in your life?
- What way can the group help you practice this rhythm?