Each January, our church, Covenant Community Church in Suffolk, VA sets aside a period of 21 days to fast and seek the Lord regarding plans and spiritual development for the new year. We refer to this period as “consecration” which is to mean that it is a time that we invest, sacrifice and devote our time for sacred submission under the power of the Holy Spirit. In order to see our spirit strengthened, we starve our flesh of the so-called pleasantries of decadent sweets, meats, starches, and dairy. We only consume a plant-based diet similar to that described in the story of the prophet Daniel in the scriptures from the book of Daniel, chapters 1 and 10. Your fast may also include abstaining from distracting entertainment. This annual observance has been a part of our family for a very long time. We have been refining the practice over the years.
My husband of twelve years, Tyrone, and I met in church at Agape Outreach International Ministries while stationed overseas in Yokosuka, Japan. Only mere acquaintances then, we were reintroduced at the church in the U.S. We often share funny stories of learning the discipline of fasting as young adults at Agape. Tyrone was rather more experienced with fasting because his cultural upbringing in Jamaica involved periods of fasting. He learned from grandparents and his own parents how to pray and fast. He has testimonies of the results of his family’s prayers. We truly value the mentorship from those elders that taught us how to fast and pray. By the time we were in our late twenties, and I had accepted his proposal of marriage, we were well groomed in fasting. Our courtship was blessed by our learned discipline. We often set aside time to pray together when we were engaged to be married. After we married, we dedicated personal time to pray individually and as a growing family. There is a space in our home that is the designated prayer room. One of our proudest accomplishments is raising children who know how to pray. Our children, now eleven, eight and four years of age are not as familiar with the discipline of fasting but they are familiar with our family version of consecration.
We are always asked, do you make your children fast too? We do not.
But God has led me to develop ways that I can include my children in the 21 day period of consecration that they too can experience the spiritual revival and renewal that occurs as a result of our obedience to God’s commandment in Romans 12:1-2.
Over the next 21 days, I venture to share with you unique ways that my husband and I have involved our children and other family members in consecration. Young and old participate even at the tender age of 2 years old. No family member should be left out of the power ignition that comes from time set apart for the LORD. To consecrate simply means that we can expect God to perform miracles and divine work as a result of our separating ourselves for HIS GLORY.
The 5 ways we observe consecration include:
2). Faith Sight Words – A study of vocabulary that defines our faith
4). Corporate Prayer and Confessions of faith
5). Storytime – Sharing books on prayer, testimonies, and heroes in bible days and today.
My children have come to look forward to all of these different ways that we observe consecration together and I can’t wait to share those ideas and insights with the Heirs of this Family. God desires us to grow together. It is my pleasure to give his downloads to me through this blog during the month of January.
Stay Tuned. 21 days can change your life and it will when you are faithful to your consecration. To help you, I will provide you with a resource item from each of these FAMILY WAYS TO CONSECRATE FOR 21 DAYS. YES, that is five ways each of the 21 days!!! No excuses. We are going to do this and I am so excited to have you join us.
It is my prayer that as you embark on this time of fasting and prayer with Heirs of this Family that you will come to realize what Jentezen Franklin proclaims is the key to breakthrough.
“Fasting gets you in a position to receive personal blessing and guidance for your life, and also for God to use you to reach other with His power.” – Pastor Jentezen Franklin