Food Fasting and Faith

We are in a 21 day period of fasting and prayer for with my church, 217church.  Fasting is when you deliberately deprive yourself of something in order to listen to God and understand His wisdom.  As we are studying the book of Daniel, we see fasting and prayer as a valuable regular spiritual practice for those who follow Jesus.  When you fast and pray it is difficult, but has great benefits.  Over the first week of fasting I have gained a few extremely valuable perspectives.

“I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks”  Daniel 10:3 

Three Things I Have Gained From Fasting

1 – Clarity – Wow!  Because I have deprived myself of food I am seeing with greater clarity my own dependance and desires. Some of them are good and some of them not so good.  I can also see with greater clarity steps I need to take and steps for our church as well.  When you are constantly reminded of something you are used to having but can’t, it gives you clarity on what is important.  Do you need clarity from God?  Try #fasting.

“Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.” Daniel 9:3

2 – Focus – As I am fasting, I am more focused in my work, my responsibilities, and my convictions. I am finding I know more what I am supposed to be doing and not doing.  If God can take care of the birds and provide their food, how much more is His provision guaranteed for His church, my family, and those around me?   Do you need focus in your life?  Try #fasting.

“Consider the ravens, they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouses nor barn yet God feeds them.”  Luke 12:24

3 – Courage –  As I sense my dependency shifting, it creates a perfect storm for boldness and courageous decision making, NOT people pleasing or settling for less than God has for us.  Who needs to rise to leadership?  God will call them out.  I am sensing God telling us to move forward and take courageous, bold steps and to believe.  NOT because we see, but precisely because we can’t see.  Let’s listen to the Holy Spirit and take courageous bold steps.  Fasting is increasing my faith in His plan for our future as a congregation.   Do you need courage in your life?  Try #fasting.

“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”  Acts 13:2

Will you join me in fasting and prayer for these next 14 days?



Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit for more information. or watch a weekend message here 

Hunger – Day 12 – Relaunch Video Journal

Hunger  – “When you are hungry for God you stop at nothing to see His vision.”

Scripture:  Nehemiah 9:1-4

217church Day of Fasting – Friday February 19, 2016

(Please note: If you are viewing video on a mobile phone you must scroll to bottom and enable “DESKTOP MODE”)

What Nehemiah does, before anyone knew the vision, comes to pass in the city among all the people of God.  All the people fasted.  This means they didn’t eat for a prescribed period of time.  It is incredible how the actions of one faithful leader, to deprive himself of food and seek the face of God, led to thousands desperately desiring a move of God in the city.  When we withdraw from our self-dependence, this is when we truly begin to surrender to the Holy Spirit and His promptings in our lives.  As I am writing this I am hungry.  My stomach is growling and I need food.  May we have this same hunger for God and His presence in our lives as we hunger for His Word.

Listen to our Sunday PODCAST on the Go HERE

Watch Week 2 of Relaunch:  “Depending On God’s Word” Here:

Our Journal Process:

  • S – Scripture – Follow Through the book of Nehemiah with our Relaunch Field Guide.  You can Download it here  Choose a specific scripture passage then write a phrase or verse that jumps out at you. has incredible resources and reading plans.
  • O – Observation –  Write your thoughts.  What do you think God is saying to you in this Scripture? What do you think it means?
  • A – Application – This is where you make personalized action steps to what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now.  Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life.
  • P – Prayer – This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this Scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Who comes to mind that you need to pray for?  Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say first.

For more on the Relaunch 40 Day spiritual growth emphasis:  READ THIS

To Download the Relaunch Field Guide with Journal and Small Group Curriculum:  CLICK HERE

What’s Next?

Anticipation is a fun thing and can also be scary.  It keeps me on my toes asking the question, what’s next?  It is a dangerous question to ask because it makes me question the status quo and gets me out of my comfort zone.  I am always looking forward to what God would do in my own own heart, in my family and in our church and as we go in to the fall I want us to get this next step right.  For this reason I am going on a FAST and I would love for you to join me.  Fasting is when we deprive ourselves of something meaningful, habitual and even necessary for life to hear the voice of God.


“As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days,
and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.”  Nehemiah 1:4


How should we fast together?

  • A Time for Seeking the Face of God – I want nothing more than to be in step with what God wants for us together.  I feel like the season we are in is one of preparation for what God is about to do and this fasting is a time for Jesus to speak to us.  On September 23 we will be breaking our fast and launching into Acts 9, our Momentum series, and announcing the biggest faith step we have ever taken.  I feel like we need a safe passage through this next season of our church. Ezra 8:21 Read what Ezra did…
  • A Time for Covenant Together – I want this fast to be something meaningful to you.  I am going to be fasting meat much like Daniel did in Daniel 1.  This isn’t a time for legalism but of realizing God’s great love for us and our dependance on him.  When Jesus was fasting he said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4.   This is our opportunity to reinforce our love for  HIS church and HIS plan with HIS good direction intended.
  •  A Time for Studying – That doesn’t sound very sexy does it?  Studying?  What?  Yes.  I would invite you with me to study through the book of Joshua.  I finally decided to do this fast when I read Joshua 1:3, “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses.”  I wouldn’t have gotten to that nugget if I wouldn’t have read the word that day!  What if that verse was our reality?  I will be reading one chapter a day and posting some of my thoughts here on my blog.  (Tomorrow I will post my thoughts on Joshua 1)

This is a really big deal for us together.  This will define the future direction of the church!  I want nothing more than to be in step with the Holy Spirit and his heart for this community. I love you guys and can’t wait to watch it unfold.

What’s Next?  I can’t be 100% sure but I am clear that the Holy Spirit will guide us.