The Essential Steps to Establishing Your Cocoon
Progressions of Fasting – Part 2
In the previous installment, I mentioned the fact that you can relate fasting to what is called metamorphosis. Using the example of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly, this is known as The Lifecycle of a Caterpillar. Before I get into the details of this phenomenon, stage one, preparing your cocoon, I need to back up just a little bit and tell you why this is so important.
I wished years ago when I started on my faith journey, that this information was available. What I am not saying is that it doesn’t exist anywhere else. I’m saying if it does it’s hard to find and 2) more than likely it does not because no one in my faith realm, faith space, my faith world has never shared this concept with me before. With that said, think of this as a process that one can use to pair fasting and prayer. This method provides a way that is methodical, logical, practical and gives you an example of how to take your time of prayer paired with fasting to the next level.
The exercise of prayer paired with fasting is not an ordinary act. This action is uncommon. If it were not, many people would do it. Because it’s practiced by a few, there are only a few people you can ask how it is done. In fact, this is a next level concept. So go ahead and get that straight in your mind. When you do this in any way, it means you’ve already stepped out of ordinary, average, and common into extraordinary.
In order to help us see how it works, we will use the entire history of Noah as an example throughout each of these progressions For progression 1, imagine what it is like going into the cocoon. We’ll begin with preparing the ark.
Noah, who was a righteous man, was not normal. He was not like everyone else. Therefore, he wasn’t an average person. Let’s go ahead and be clear about that. It’s easy to minimize the efforts of another when we think of them as normal. He was selected because he was not normal. The description we have of him is that he was found to be “blameless.”  As a result, He found favor with God and to protect him from being washed away by the flood, he was given an assignment to build his cocoon otherwise known as the ark.
Everyone does not fast and pray. So let’s get that point out there. This is not a common act. Noah wasn’t a common person so everyone didn’t build a boat either. With this in mind, let’s talk about the steps or actions we can take in this first progression of prayer paired with fasting. We call this “Preparing Your Cocoon.”
- Prepare for your cocoon, the environment you will inhabit over a set number of days.
Prepare for the environment you will inhabit over these days for this exercise. Pamela and I have a set time each year where we go into a 21 day exercise of prayer paired with fasting. Set your time whether it’s a number of days, hours, or whatever you designate. To prepare for your cocoon, set a plan for this exercise. The Bible says that Noah was given instructions to build a large boat.  In fact he had specific instructions on how to set the environment for this. In terms of fasting, he was preparing his isolated place so he prepared a boat. What I like about Noah is he got his directions and instructions on what needed to be done from God. When you’re preparing your environment, ask God what type of environment do you need to set or set up for this period of time? What does your next 21 days need to look like? Build your worship playlist if necessary. If you’re going to pair fasting with prayer that means you’re going to be praying at some point. You probably want to set an environment for prayer so that you can get the most of it. Create the environment where you want to connect with God. Get the most out of this opportunity and create the best environment you possibly can. Prepare for your cocoon.
- Enter your cocoon.
Now that you’ve gotten the environment prepared, build your cocoon. Noah began building the boat. As he built the boat he’d enter it although it was not 100% complete. Your cocoon might not be quite finished yet, but you have enough of it complete to begin working on the inside. Ask God what you need to bring with you and what you need to leave behind. There are two questions you must ask when you are entering your cocoon.
1). What do I need while I’m in my cocoon? What things do I need while I’m in this period of fasting?
2). What things do I need to leave behind? That’s probably the most important question. What won’t fit on my boat? What can’t make it into the cocoon? What things can I scratch off the list? What baggage needs to be left behind so that this time of fasting can be the best and most enjoyable activity that I have?
Noah began to work on what was needed inside for his family and all those animals who would be in the boat with him.  Enter your cocoon with what you need and leave what you don’t behind for this period of prayer paired with fasting.
- Begin the process.
At some point you have got to pull the trigger. When the environment is ready, let’s begin the process. Don’t wait. Don’t put it all. Let’s go ahead and climb in. Don’t do all the prep-work and not get in. When everything is ready, go into your cocoon. When everything was ready Noah went into the boat. When everything was ready “the Lord said to Noah get into the boat.”  I like that. Sometimes you just need to get God’s permission. Say Okay, God, I’ve got all of this ready. I have enough. Say to God I’ve prepared my boat, my cocoon and have everything I need. So that He can say “all right, now you’re ready. Get into the cocoon.”
- Take an account.
Now, this is important. The Bible says Noah was 600 years old when the flood covered the earth.   When we hear that and it gives us some extra information, we don’t realize how pertinent that is to the whole experience. You need to recall where you were before you went into your cocoon. In fact you need to remind yourself as a caterpillar. “I went in one way.” Take an account, so that you will have a record when you come out to remind you of what you were and what you are no longer. It gives you a testimony.
Maybe you need to take note of your weight. If you’re praying and fasting because you need to get weight off, take an account. The Bible says that Jesus said in order to get this demon out, it requires prayer and fasting. Maybe it is a demon of overeating or over indulging that you need to just make a note of it. Maybe you need to take note of how much you need. Maybe you need to take account of the names of the people who you’re praying to receive Jesus. Maybe you need to take an account of the details of when your child was waived. Take note so that when God does what He does you have a record of all he did so that you can remember it. I want to say that twice. Take note of when and even what so that when God does what He does you have a record of all he did so that you will never forget.
- Seal the cocoon.
Lastly, it’s time for us to close the door. Close the cocoon. The boat was sealed is what happened to Noah. The cocoon must be sealed so that the walls, your walls cannot be breached. So that you won’t have to worry about the distractions. We will talk about this more in progression 2, but it’s important to seal the cocoon so that you don’t know what is going on outside. In fact, Noah’s boat had one opening and that opening was strategically placed so that he couldn’t see what was going on outside the boat. We are going to close the door.
It’s said of Noah that he went into the boat just as God had commanded, then the Lord closed the door behind him.  It’s time for us to close the door to what is behind us. I don’t know what problem you may be facing. I don’t know if you are experiencing marital issues, but it’s time to close the door behind you. Maybe it is a financial crisis, it’s time to close the door behind you. Maybe your career is in jeopardy, close the door behind you. Maybe you are trying to get an education and it’s not going quite like you had expected, it’s time to close the door behind you. Maybe spiritually you’ve been lost, downtrodden, or strongholds holding you back, it’s time to close the door behind you. Seal your cocoon.
I like these steps because they give you some practical things you can do. This is how it works for our three week fast. We break the three weeks down into these progressions. For progression 1, we take these steps. We prepare our cocoon. Then we get into it. We will begin the process and give up what we’ve decided to give up. We take that into account. Then we let God seal the cocoon. Now we are in it so that when we get to week two, the next seven days and the next progression, then we’re ready to be as successful as we can be. This is how we take, not only prayer and fasting to the next level, but this is next level prayer.
Question: What are your thoughts on these five actions to the progression 1 of prayer paired with fasting?
 Genesis 6:9 NLT, Bible.com, accessed June 30, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/GEN.6.9.NLT
 Genesis 6:14 NLT, Bible.com, accessed June 30, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/GEN.6.14.NLT
 Genesis 6:18-22 NLT, Bible.com, accessed June 30, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/GEN.6.18-22.NLT
 Genesis 7:1 NLT, Bible.com, accessed June 30, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/GEN.7.1.NLT
 Genesis 7:6 NLT, Bible.com, accessed June 30, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/GEN.7.6.NLT
 Genesis 7:11 NLT, Bible.com, accessed June 30, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/GEN.7.11.NLT
 Genesis 7:16 NLT, Bible.com, accessed June 30, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/GEN.7.16.NLT
All Scripture references used by permission, see our Scripture copyrights.