So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and he heard our prayer.
Fasting is the spiritual discipline of giving something up to help us focus on God. There is a growing number of church congregations that are observing a 21-day fast beginning in January. Our church will be doing so and we have decided to include our kids.
Fasting isn’t a spiritual discipline that is taught much in children’s ministry. Mostly due to the fact that we limit the act of fasting to giving up food alone when kids can give other things up such as video games, television, sweets, etc. We can teach our children that we give up these foods and activities to show God our love for Him. We can’t stop the discussion at what they will be giving up during this time, but also need to address what will replace those activities. Otherwise it becomes more about doing without instead of an opportunity to draw closer to God. This would be a fantastic time to teach more about the spiritual disciplines of reading their Bibles and spending time in prayer which would replace those times when they would be doing other things like playing games or watching tv. This is also an opportune time to encourage them in giving to others. They could save the money they would normally spend on snacks and give that money to a charity at the end of the fast.
While there is a wealth of information and resouces available on fasting for adults, there is very little out there for kids. While searching, I came across these FREE resources from Awakening: http://source.celebration.org/resource_detail.php?id=35 and wanted to share them. Included are a lesson plans, activity sheets, Bible reading devotions, and a fasting calendar.
Is your church planning on fasting in January? Will you be including the kids in your children’s ministry?