As the United States grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, one prominent pastor has called on Americans to join him for 21 days of fasting and prayer.
“I believe the Lord spoke to me and said to make the month of August a season of … crying out and praying and fasting and turning back to God like never before,” said Jentezen Franklin, senior pastor of Free Chapel Church in Gainesville, Georgia, and host of the weekly television program “Kingdom Connection." “It’s time to fast and pray and break the back of COVID. We must see a divine reversal. We must see a turnaround.”
The period of fasting and prayer began on Aug. 1. Rather than issuing specific guidelines, Franklin decided to leave the details of the fast up to participants. “It’s better to do what you can do and not break it, rather than shoot for the sky and shoot for the moon and … end up breaking the whole fast,” he explained.
As Franklin lays out on his website, there are several different ways to fast. A full fast involves only drinking liquid. Those engaging in a Daniel Fast refrain from eating meats, sweets, and bread and only consume water, fruit, juice, and vegetables. A partial fast involves fasting between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. or from sunrise to sunset.
While the pastor leads his congregation and viewers in fasting and prayer at the beginning of every calendar year, he urges them to “commit to fasting, prayer and giving throughout the year.”
“When you combine the number of people worldwide through our television ministry with the number of people at our campuses and our online audience, there are well over one million people that participate in our 21-day fast each January,” Franklin said in a statement to The Christian Post. “Every year, we receive literally thousands upon thousands of testimonies from people of all walks of life that demonstrate miracle after miracle.”
The pastor noted that he had “never called two fasts in one year.”
“Adding this additional fast is different in that we are fasting for God’s intervention in a time of great upheaval and division,” he told CP. “It is a fast to refocus on the Gospel of Jesus Christ while also being a light in the darkness for these troubled times.”
When asked how many people are participating in this additional fast, Franklin said that it was “too early to know.” “It has gone out to the same audience that it goes out to every January and we are seeing tremendous traffic on our social media platforms,” he added.
Franklin, who has written multiple books on the topic of fasting, has put together a “Fasting 2020 Kit,” which includes his New York Times best-selling book titled Fasting, another book titled Fasting: 101 Most Asked Questions, and a 21-day fasting devotional titled Open My Eyes.
Franklin is not the only person issuing a call to fasting and prayer with the hope of stopping the coronavirus. Last month, Gov. John Bel Edwards, D-La., called on the people of his state to engage in three days of fasting and prayer for those affected by coronavirus. He had previously called on Louisianans to join him in prayer and fasting for three days back in April, when the coronavirus pandemic first began to run rampant in the United States.
The Georgia pastor maintained that “it’s never too late to jump in and fast with us.” “We need to see the Lord heal our land and we believe this process begins with His people, on their knees, in prayer and fasting for breakthroughs, cures, protection, and peace.”