30 Days of Fasting & Prayer: Reflections from Jono

BY 30 HOUR FAMINE TEAM

Leading up to the February National Famine date, we asked groups across the country to join us in 30 Days of Fasting and Praying. Each day, we fasted from something different-shoes, showers, reading, etc.  Jono, a youth leader from Georgia, participated with his group and was convicted by what God taught him. As we launch the next 30 days of fasting &praying on  Thursday, March 29th, Jono shares how this fasting & praying shaped him and his students as they prepared for their Famine event & reminded them that fasting is more a spiritual mindset than a physical act. Below you will find a PDF  filled with the 30 Days content, complete with incredible pictures, for you to share with your students.

Most of the time when I hear the word ‘fasting,’ I think of denying myself food, feeling hungry and stomach grumblings. However, by participating in 30 Days of Fasting and Prayer provided by World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine, I was able to experience a true fast, focusing on actions other than simply giving up food. I fasted from things that were easy for me, like being in a rush. For instance, at work, rather than passing my colleagues by with a meager ‘hi,’, I stopped, asked them how they were, and listened for a while. Then, I fasted from things that were a little more difficult, like shoes. The day I fasted from shoes might have been the coldest day of Winter here in Georgia.

It was these experiences that led me to do more than just go without something just to prove that I could do it. These fasts, like all fasts, are designed to move a person into action. On the day I fasted from shoes, I bought a pair of TOMS because I knew that they would give a pair of shoes away to a child who didn’t have any. On the day I fasted from speech (yup, that meant no talking all day) I thought about what it was like for lonely people who never get to share their story because no one is around to listen. The next day, after participating in an open mic spoken word poetry night, a homeless man asked me for some food, and an hour later, I walked out of the diner with a new friend.

I don’t write these things to try to impress you. I write them because sometimes I feel like Paul when he wrote in Romans 7:24, “what a wretched man I am.” Yet the grace of God has provided me with knowledge and access to do something. The main inspiration that kept me fasting though, was my students. A few of them participated in the 30 Days of Fasting with me. The reflections and the discussion we had, started from a place of simply being more thankful for our blessings., to actively pursuing a solution to poverty in our world. When it came time for our 30 Hour Famine, my students and myself discussed the previous 30 days and how excited they were for the next 30 hours. Not for the challenge of not eating, but to try and fulfill Isaiah’s bequest to “spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry, and satisfy the needs of the oppressed.” (Isaiah 58:10 NIV) Their minds were focused on loving people, not impressing them.

There may be physical aspects of fasting, but the major work of scriptural fasting is spiritual. Fasting is important because it helps to fulfill the mission statement of Jesus as he unrolled the scroll in Nazareth to proclaim good news to the poor and release to the captives. Fasting and sacrificing reminds us of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice. It reminds us to put our priorities in the right order, that we aren’t sustained in life by cell phones or our own words, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

To download the PDFs:

30 Days of Fasting & Prayer Week One (March 29th – April 4th)

30 Days of Fasting & Prayer Week Two (April 5th – April 11th)

30 Days of Fasting & Prayer Week Three (April 12th – 18th)

30 Days of Fasting & Prayer Week Four  (April 19th – April 25th)

30 Days of Fasting & Prayer Week Five(2-days) (April 26th & 27th)

 

Jono Moehlig is 26 years old. He graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary with a Master’s Degree in Youth Ministry in 2011 and has been working as the Middle School Pastor at Providence United Methodist Church in Fayetteville, GA. He has a passion for missions and youth so the 30 Hour Famine is an amazing combination of the two. Jono has been married for almost two years to his absolute best friend and loves how God surprises him everyday.