Step : Make Your Commitment
Pray about the kind of fast you should undertake. Jesus implied that all of His followers should fast For Him it was a matter of when believers would fast, not if they would do it. Before you fast, decide the following up front:
- How long you will fast one meal, one day, a week, several weeks, forty days
- The type of fast God wants you to undertake .
- What physical or social activities you will restrict.
- How much time each day you will devote to prayer and Gods Word.
Making these commitments ahead of time will help you sustain your fast when physical temptations and lifes pressures tempt you to abandon it.
Plan What Youll Do Instead Of Eating
Fasting isnt merely an act of self-deprivation, but a spiritual discipline for seeking more of Gods fullness. Which means we should have a plan for what positive pursuit to undertake in the time it normally takes to eat. We spend a good portion of our day with food in front of us. One significant part of fasting is the time it creates for prayer and meditation on Gods word or some act of love for others.
Before diving headlong into a fast, craft a simple plan. Connect it to your purpose for the fast. Each fast should have a specific spiritual purpose. Identify what that is and design a focus to replace the time you would have spent eating. Without a purpose and plan, its not Christian fasting its just going hungry.
Which Of The Different Types Of Biblical Fasting
Weve looked at several different types of Biblical fasting today. Id love to know if youve tried fasting. What types of things drive you to prayer while fasting?
It took years to hone in on the Spiritual discipline of fasting, but I can honestly say it was the answer to overcoming that dryness. It has been years since Ive walked through that spiritual desert because now I know how to draw nearer to God for a time of refreshing.
The Bible repeatedly tells us to draw near to God, to seek God with all your heart, to humble yourself before God. Fasting is a way to draw near, seek and humble yourself before God to receive the breakthrough you are longing for.
Maybe you felt the stir but you are still unsure of the specific how-tos of fasting. No worries. Ive written a short book to help guide you through the process of fasting.
A Beginners Guide to Fast and Pray: Taking Spiritual Warfare to the Next Level. Get your copy and start your journey to spiritual breakthrough today!
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Why You Might Pray Through Fasting
There are many reasons to fast some reasons are good and some are bad. Some bad reasons to fast would be to lose weight, to feel more worthy of Gods love or to compare yourself to another person. Fasting should always be done out of love.
Its also worth noting that fasting from sin doesnt really count as fasting. Yes, we should eliminate sinful habits and whatever else keeps us from God, but just because we’re giving something up , it doesnt mean were actually fasting. Were just doing what were supposed to be doing!
What are some good reasons to fast? Fasting helps us to prepare for liturgical feasts like Easter, to master our instincts, to develop good spiritual habits, to grow in humility and dependence on God, to offer a sacrifice on behalf of an intention and to be more united with Christ. If any of these good reasons resonate with you, consider taking up a fast.
Praying In Tongues Is Unlimited Unhindered Perfect Praise And Prayer To God
with all prayer and requests, praying at all times in the Spirit, and being watchful to this end in all perseverance and requests for all the saints: Thats because when I pray in tongues, my mind is at rest.He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water. But he said this about the Spirit, which those believing in him were to receive. For the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus wasnt yet glorified. For if I pray in another language, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also. I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Otherwise if you bless with the spirit, how will he who fills the place of the unlearned say the Amen at your giving of thanks, seeing he doesnt know what you say? For you most certainly give thanks well, but the other person is not built up. I thank my God, I speak with other languages more than you all. However in the assembly I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I might instruct others also, than ten thousand words in another language. Use it wherever and whenever. He came to the disciples, and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, What, couldnt you watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray, that you dont enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
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Things To Avoid While Fasting And Praying
Fasting is not about weight loss or causing health complications or marriage issues. Anytime a fast is being seriously considered, look at the calendar to ensure you wont be doing anything to jeopardize your fast. Its not a good idea to fast while taking the family to Disney World. Its not a good idea of fast from sex unless you have the support of your partner. While you fast:
– Avoid drugs, even natural herbal drugs, and homeopathic remedies.
– Medication should be withdrawn only with your doctors supervision.
– Limit your activity. Exercise moderately.
If you sincerely humble yourself before the Lord, repent and seek Gods face, you will experience breakthrough and his presence. Fasting and prayer are difficult, and it takes time to build spiritual muscles. Consider starting small. If you fail to make it through your first fast, do not be discouraged. You may have tried to fast too long the first time out. Fasting changes us for the better.
This article is part of our larger resource library of Christian practices and disciplines important to the Christian faith. From speaking in tongues to tithing & baptism, we want to provide easy to read and understand articles that answer your questions about Christian living.
Fast For Protection From Evil
Other times we are faced with situations that are purely evil. When there is something oppressive that you cant shake, a time of fasting can bring peace and healing.
- The disciples were upset that they could not cast out a demon Jesus answered that This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting Matthew 17:21
- Again we see a fast with a prayer for protection in Ezra 8:21-23.
- Not only can we fast for personal protection, but we can also intercede for others as in Ester 4:16.
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What Is A Partial Fast
A partial fast is also known as a three-day spiritual fast. We see examples of Daniel and his friends eating veggies, fruit, and drinking water for ten days. They used this fast to honor God while in captivity. Others fasted using different lengths of time and how. This fast could last from part of a day to an entire day to several days or weeks .
What Does The Bible Say About Fasting
I have food to eat that you do not know about.
Most Biblical fasting does refer to food.
When you think about it, food gives us nourishment, energy to get through the day and can reach a place of satisfaction for most of us.
In Biblical times, they would have spent a great deal of time preparing food. We dont so much with our modern lifestyles. We can microwave a meal in 5 minutes that would have taken hours for them to make.
Biblical fasting was focused on giving that time back to God in prayer and worship. That would have been a lot of time for all of their meal prep and eating. They also would have allowed the hunger pangs to remind them of their dependency on God and drive them deeper in prayer. If you lived then and were learning how to fast and pray you would have given up food for a period of time.
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What Does The Bible Say About Fasting And Prayer
There is no such thing as a fast without prayer. A fast without prayer is just going hungry and youre accomplishing nothing at all. While fasting is not necessary for salvation it is essential on your Christian walk of faith and highly recommended. In fact, Jesus expects us to fast.
Fasting will help you have a more intimate relationship with Christ. It will help you to overcome sin, bad habits, and help open your eyes to things that are displeasing to God in your life. Fasting and prayer is a time to separate yourself from your regular patterns and from things of the world and come closer to the Lord.
There are so many benefits and reasons for fasting and so many ways to do it. Find out the best way for you. Find out the reason for your fasting and how long you plan on doing it for.
I challenge you today to fast. Dont do it to try to brag and appear spiritual. Make sure your motives are right and do it for the glory of God. Humble yourself before the Lord and commit to Him.
Step : Expect Results
If you sincerely humble yourself before the Lord, repent, pray, and seek Gods face if you consistently meditate on His Word, you will experience a heightened awareness of His presence . The Lord will give you fresh, new spiritual insights. Your confidence and faith in God will be strengthened. You will feel mentally, spiritually, and physically refreshed. You will see answers to your prayers.
A single fast, however, is not a spiritual cure-all. Just as we need fresh in-fillings of the Holy Spirit daily, we also need new times of fasting before God. A 24-hour fast each week has been greatly rewarding to many Christians.
It takes time to build your spiritual fasting muscles. If you fail to make it through your first fast, do not be discouraged. You may have tried to fast too long the first time out, or your may need to strengthen your understanding and resolve. As soon as possible, undertake another fast until you do succeed. God will honour you for your faithfulness.
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Biblical Purposes For Fasting
Throughout the Bible we most often find Gods people turn to fasting as the natural, inevitable response to a grievous sacred moment in life, such as death, sin and tragedy. But other times a fast is not a spontaneous reaction and we have time to prepare to respond both physically and spiritually.
Fasting is not an end unto itself, but a means of focusing our minds and bodies for a spiritual reason. Whenever you fast, do so for a reason that is mentioned or modeled in the Bible. Here are ten primary purposes for fasting mentioned in Scripture:¹
How To Do A Biblical Fast
There are two types of fasts commonly practiced by Christians today:
1. A partial fast. This is described in the book of Daniel. For three weeks, Daniel, who was a prophet during a time when Israel lived in exile, abstained only from delicacies like meat and wine .
2. A complete fast. A complete fast means drinking only water or sometimes juice when fasting for an extended period. Juice fasts will provide you with more energy than water-only fasts and still lead you into the humbling experience of denying your desire for solid, chewable food.
If you are new to fasting, start slow. Progressive steps help your body become accustomed to the drop in food intake. You can start by fasting for one meal a day, one day a week or one week a month.
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Some Fasts Recorded In The Bible
- Exodus 34:27-28 Moses received the Ten Commandments during a 40 day fast
- Esther 4:16 The Jews were spared from Hamans plot to kill them because Esther called for a 3 day fast
- 1 Samuel 1:7 Hannah wept and did not eat, God heard her plea and Samuel was born
- 2 Chronicles 20:3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judea.
- Ezra 8:23 So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.
- Jonah 3:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.
- Nehemiah 1:4 So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
- Daniel 6:18 Now the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting
- Acts 9:9 Paul fasted after his conversion. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
- Acts 13:1-3 The church elders in Antioch fasted and prayed before sending out missionaries
How To Fast According To The Bible
Fasting can be a fundamental part of the Christian lifestyle.
Chances are you are among the massive majority of Christians who rarely or never fast. Its not because you havent read your Bible, or heard about the power of fasting, or that you don’t genuinely want to do it. It’s more likely that you simply don’t know how to, or if it even should be done.
It may come to surprise you that the New Testament nowhere commands followers of Jesus Christ to fast. In fact, even in the Old Testament, the Jews were only commanded to fast on one day out of the year, the Day of Atonement . Any religious leader who commands a fast or restricts certain foods is doing so without biblical warrant. However, Jesus sometimes fasted , and He assumed that His followers would also fast on occasion . So, if fasting is something that Christians do, what is the proper way to fast? What does the Bible say about how to fast?
Fasting should always have a clear purpose. People in the Bible fasted and prayed because they wanted something specific to happen. They either wanted God to change them, to change their circumstances, or to reveal something to them. Ultimately, fasting is far more about focus than food. Fasting is taking your focus off of the things of this world in order to focus more on the things of God. Fasting can thus be a means of growing closer to God.
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How Long Should I Fast
“How long you fast is entirely up to you and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The Bible gives examples of fasts that lasted:
-A fourteen-day fast
-A twenty-one day fast
-Fasts of unspecified lengths .” –What Christians Need to Know about Fasting by Sam Storms
Occasional Short FastsWhether denying yourself food or some other pleasure, an occasional fast that lasts six, twelve, or twenty-four hours is the most manageable… You are not necessarily making a commitment to do this type of fast again, as it is a one-time fast for a specific purpose.
Intermittent FastsThis is normally a regular act of abstinence, for example one day a week. You may abstain from food, or make some other sacrifice. This type of fast is a way of integrating the spiritual discipline of fasting into your life on an ongoing basis.
Longer FastsLonger fasts likewise can take the form of abstinence from food or some other sacrifice. Some good options for a non-food fast would be abstaining from watching TV from Monday to Friday, reading a biography of a great man or woman of God each week, or dedicating every evening for a week to praying with friends…A longer water-only fast might last from one to three days. If you are fasting from something other than food, your longer fast might last a week. Some use Lent as a time for a longer fast.
To read more about these kinds of fasts in the original article by Dr. Peter Holmes, click here.
Prayer For Healthy Holy Fasting
Father, your Word is full of wisdom and knowledge. I pray that we, as children of God, trust you Lord and humble ourselves before you… seeking you God like never before. I pray for everyone fasting and beginning to fast.
I pray that they are led by you, Father, and not the world. I pray the distractions and temptations will not overcome them during this time. Thank you, Father, for loving us enough to send your Son to die for us. We will be forever grateful. In Jesus name, Amen
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How To Fast And Pray For A Breakthrough Gods Way
We started this series by looking at 5 of the reasons to fast and how there is hope in it. Next, we saw that God has a lot to say about how not to fast. Honestly, I started there because God started there.
What I expected was a list of acceptable practices on how to fast and pray maybe in Leviticus to study and try out. In fact, most of the internet is obsessed with the logistics of fasting while God is more concerned with our heart during a fast.
The only hard and fast rule for fasting came from Jesus. Jesus told us how our behavior should be during a fast humble and indiscrete . But He doesnt say fast from meat or all food or from doing such and such