It could be that you fast two of the three meals a day, or that you eat only fresh raw vegetables. Whenever you fast, do so for a reason that is mentioned or modeled in the Bible. Whether you are fasting and praying regularly, you always have access to Christ, Romans 5:2; Ephesians 2:18; 3:12. The Power of Prayer and Fasting •Jesus fasted •Jesus taught His disciples to fast •Jesus expected His followers to fast after He left the earth. I have been through hell with the recent divorce and everything that led up to it. Cindy Barnes has been called by God in the early 80s to be a teacher of His Word. When we are fasting for spiritual breakthroughs in our lives, we will reap benefits that we may not expect. So when believers voluntarily “afflict their soul” with the fasting of food, they are humbling themselves. How should we equip ourselves when God calls us to “declare a holy fast”? The centurion, Cornelius, was seeking the Lord with prayer and fasting (ACTS 10:30). King Solomon wrote much about the importance of gaining wisdom and understanding. According to research, fasting does have many health benefits, such as weight loss, reduced cholesterol as well as it helps to lower blood pressure. When you fast, you are notifying heaven that you are committed to receiving God’s will for your situation. It will minister to Him and will bring glory and honour to Him. I’m looking forward to it. We are letting God know that we need to hear from Him. Fasting with prayer must be Spirit-led to be effective. You may be earnestly seeking salvation for loved ones through times of fasting and prayer. Their change of heart caused God to spare them for 100 years. Turn to Scripture Similar to God’s instructions on prayer, fasting is to be a personal discipline. Prepare your body If considering this fast, a fast meal is not your regular meal size. However I still have the desire for restoration of the family. Article drawn from study features in the NIV Lifehacks Bible. The religion of Islam also embraces the importance of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, particularly during the season of Ramadan. When we grieve, our family and friends often have to plead with us to eat because our body’s appropriate response to grief is to fast. Remember this verse in Zechariah 4:6, …Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Susan Nelson of Woman of Noble Character has a great post about biblical fasting and includes the sexual fast that I didn’t mention. How to Start a Fast and The Best Way to Break a Fast, 8 Ways You Can Store Up Treasures in Heaven. Since fasting involves humility and the attitude of our hearts, the abstinence we choose should bring us closer to God as we trust Him during this fasting period. A Biblical definition of fasting is going without food or sustenance for a specific period of time. At the same time, prayer and fasting is definitely something we should be doing. Throughout the Bible we most often find God’s people turn to fasting as the natural, inevitable response to a grievous sacred moment in life, such as death, sin and tragedy. Thanks for stopping by today. This is often called the Daniel Fast. A Biblical example is in 2 Chronicles 20:1-37 (it’s an amazing story of victory) when God’s people were under attack by the Ammonites and Moabites. I follow a specific fast method by Dr Jordan Rubin, author of The Maker’s Diet Revolution. Fasting food for any length of time is humbling. Just because someone else is fasting doesn’t mean that you need to fast. Expressing grief is one of the primary reasons for fasting. God said to them, 2 Chronicles 20:15, that the battle was not theirs but His. Food is available but you choose not to eat, or food is not available when you need to eat. The difference is in your choice. Blessings, Cindy. Fasting, especially for days or weeks, can have unexpected and even detrimental effects on your health. Praise God! Through deep fervent prayer, we can avail much over demonic strongholds. It is a handful as compared to a plateful. God wants us to die to self and learn death-to-self during a fast. Fasting was not a stranger to the early church. It’s a heart thing. In addition, she desires for women to develop an intense yearning to draw closer to God through reading and writing out the Bible. When we are humble before God, spiritual benefits will follow. It was a regular practice in the early church to fast and pray for God’s will when ordaining elders in the church. He is sovereign and mighty, just and righteous. Is Fasting Necessary for Christians Today? This was such a great, detailed post and very timely as our church is doing 21 Days of Prayer right now so this really encouraged me!! Stay tuned for future posts on this topic. 17:19-21).” - Rev. GREATER INTIMACY WITH GOD We deny our carnal nature in order to fulfill the desires of God. On the other hand fasting is defined as going without food to focus on prayer and fellowship with the Lord . The prayers that you pray during a time of fasting will move the Hand that controls the universe! Fasting should always be limited to a set time because not eating for extended periods can be damaging to the body. The evening of October 4 th begins Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and that is why we end our ten days of praying then and will celebrate in our “Church in … Here we have gathered biblical examples of fasting to illustrate its importance and utility in drawing near to God. In some Biblical examples, God instructed His people to go without food and water, including the animals. Fasting can show, as John Piper says, that “what we hunger for most, we worship.”⁴. Jonah 3:4-10 tells when Jonah reluctantly obeyed God and gave the people of Nineveh the message from God…to repent of their wicked ways. Her passion is to teach women how to study the Bible using this method. If you would like to study more on fasting, there is another study I wrote for the series The War Against Satan and His Angels, the study is number 10 and called: Only By Prayer and Fasting Prayer: Father, would you help us as we grow in faith by fasting and prayer. This fast is going without food for a pre-determined period during which you consume only liquids (water and/or juice). What He has done for us! This rotation allows for some food to be available each day. You may even ask others to join you as you seek God’s will for your life. Become a member here: DIG Bible Study Community, The Complete Fasting & Prayer Journaling Kit, 7 Benefits of Biblical Fasting: How to Fast the Right Way. Here are some things to consider as you prepare for fasting: Pray and confess your sins David longed for the presence of God as He cried night and day, Psalm 42:1-3, and again in Psalm 63:1-11, we see how he longed for God. We see with our limited vision and wonder why God isn’t answering us right away. “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 10. Are you interested in a private social network community to study the Word of God and even participate in Bible Writing Challenges? ³Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines. Approaching God with a reverent heart as you voluntarily give up the necessity of life (your food), God will respond as He said in 2 Chronicles 7:14. You can read more about this in Is Humility Part of Fasting and Prayer? And, as Jesus said in Mark 9:29, sometimes fasting is required to cast out certain kinds of demons. You should enter your fast with prayer and a Prayer is the language specific plan for how long you will fast. We need nourishment for energy and strength. If so, it would be wise to spend time in fasting and prayer to seek His will. In fact, Christianity inherited them from Judaism, out of which it was born. Each of these can take hours to unpack but I want to do an overview of each and hopefully encourage you to do sort of fasting in the course of the weeks ahead. – Elder Carl B. Pratt | The Blessings of a Proper Fast , Hi, Kelly! If you’re thinking about it, sign up here: https://digbiblestudies.com. Following the Call: Are You a Disciple Making Disciples. As led by The Holy Spirit, quiet yourself and hear Him, (Habakkuk 2:1). Judges 20:26 Then all the people of Israel, the whole army, went up and came to … While we are not perfect, we are also not powerless. During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave specific instructions on how to fast (Matthew 6:16-18). Graham posted to his Facebook page October 20th, “I urge you to join me for a day of prayer and fasting for our nation on this Sunday, October 25. After being anointed by the Holy Spirit, He was led into the wilderness to fast and pray for 40 days (Matthew 4:2). Today, when we talking about fasting, we voluntarily go without food, drinking water only. We can use time we’d normally spend eating to fast and minister to others. Far too often, though, the focus of prayer and fasting is on abstaining from food. Plan Your Fast. It is of utmost importance to pray fervently by The Help of The Holy Spirit. The theology of fasting is a theology of priorities in which believers are given the opportunity to express themselves in an undivided and intensive devotion to the Lord and to the concerns of spiritual life. Fasting, as a handmaid of prayer, makes some special plea to God, with an added intensity from normal, everyday prayer. Their obedience was to accomplish a specific end result. The Hebrews understood the term “afflict thy soul” (Isaiah 58:5) to mean going without food. Distress and grief. I am a serious seeker of God’s will for my life. If you want divine intervention, seek God through prayer and fasting! Developing humility is a recognition of who you are in relation to God. Part 3 in the Series of Prayer and Fasting, 10 Powerful Benefits of Fasting and Prayer. “Consider the lilies,” Jesus said to His disciples, and to us, today. “Remember that fasting itself is not humility before God,” reminds Donald Whitney, “but should be an expression of humility.”³. Learn how your comment data is processed. They were meant to be methods of communication and acts of affection. Also, I should mention that fasting for the purpose of weight loss or weight management is not the focus of this post. 10 Verses on Prayer. It Allows Us To Deny Ourselves. Jesus taught us the importance of fasting for Christians today. The Book of Proverbs will teach you much about wisdom, as will spending time in God’s presence. That is awesome that your church is doing the 21 Days of Prayer now. Keep secrets. That message resulted in the entire city repenting before God. When we fast for something going on in our life, we are expressing to God that this need is specific, personal and requires special attention from God. The importance of intimacy with God shown by prayer and fasting. Their fasting and seeking God resulted in a dramatic deliverance. ⁴John Piper, A Hunger for God (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1997). However, there are times when the fervent prayer goes hand in hand with the added boost of fasting before God. Fasting will help you have a more intimate relationship with Christ. May God lead your church leadership in what He wants your church focus to be in 2020 and beyond! You may have an unusual request that you are seeking an answer for. There is no scriptural warrant for harming yourself to undergo a fast. I would also caution you to test the spirit that is telling to you take on the long term fast, even if it includes liquids. “When a consecrated Christian goes into fasting, the FAST becomes a type of PRAYER to him in every sense of the meaning of prayer. Check your inbox for the confirmation email. It will help you to overcome sin, bad habits, and help open your eyes to things that are displeasing to God in your life. On this fast, you would consume food on a rotational basis, ie, every second day you would consume raw vegetables or every fourth day, you would eat grains and legumes. Now, understand that God does answer earnest and fervent prayer without the fasting of food. Fasting is setting aside the things that gratifies the flesh, for instance food to seek the Lord in prayers and bible study. These prayers bring the forces of God into action on your behalf when prayer ALONE will not break through. I keep hearing about fasting and prayer lately. Cindy teaches hundreds of women in her private online Bible Study Group who express their joy of growing deeper in their spiritual walk. In our time of fasting and prayer, we will have that deeper intimacy with God. The purpose of fasting is to seek the face of the Lord in prayers and the study of the word. When the Jesus’s disciples were unable to deliver a young boy of an evil spirit, Jesus told them, “This kind cannot come out, except by prayer,” (see Mark 9:29). If you are curious about the benefits of fasting and prayer, I’m glad you are seeking answers to your questions. As Arthur Wallis says, “Fasting is calculated to bring a note of urgency and importunity into our praying, and to give force to our pleading in the court of heaven.”². Sometimes we do not see the results we are seeking in our regular prayers. Rather than wondering whether you should fast, ask why you would want to miss out on the Father’s reward. In Scripture, this type of fast is generally carried out with other believers. While strongholds can be broken through commanding the evil spirits along with using the name of Jesus, fasting can add more spiritual power to the breaking of strongholds. The individuals of biblical fasting. The holy King David plunged into … A s ensitivity to God’s voice. As you spend time in fasting and prayer, believe that God will give you wisdom and understanding. Therefore, these “10 Days of Prayer & Fasting” are perfect timing for praying for the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior! You may be fasting to break the devil’s strongholds in areas of your life or others. If it is done correctly you can expect many results, including growing closer to God, feeling more solidarity with those who suffer, and increasing self-control. God may be calling you into a new area of ministry. Look again at Isaiah 58:1-14. 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. He stresses therein, that he is proving himself in fasting to be a servant of God (2 CORINTHIANS 6:5). The Word of God does not specifically command believers to spend time in prayer and fasting. What a pleasant surprise. The teachers and prophets along with several other men, in Acts 13:1-3, spent time in fasting as they sought the Lord for direction. Hi, Diane. When we fast, God expects us to humble ourselves, 2 Chronicles 7:14, so that we can see the situation as God sees it. This fast is recommended for shorter time periods. They were more beautiful than Solomon. Jesus expected his followers to fast, and he said that God rewards fasting. The Bible has examples of one-day, three-day, seven-day and forty-day fasts (Judges 20:26, Esther 4:16, 1 Samuel 31:13 and Matthew 4 respectively). The Holy Spirit responded with the direction to send out Barnabas and Saul for ministry to where He was calling them. These three practices are not unique to Christianity, of course. Keep it secret As with prayer, fasting to seek God’s guidance isn’t done to change God but to make us more receptive to his guidance. May you and your church hear from God the direction He is leading you in 2020. Franklin Hall, The Fasting Prayer Is there anything you can add about the benefits of fasting and prayer? They were not taking their fast seriously as they were enjoying their daily pleasures. Also, thank you for the link back! Fasting and Prayer Put You into the Best Possible Position for a Breakthrough Then, if you notice in Acts 13:3, they fasted a second time before sending them out. ²Arthur Wallis, God’s Chosen Fast (Fort Washington, PA: CLC Publications, 1993). There are many people who are unable to abstain from food for medical reasons. Prayer and fasting are important tools in the fight against fear and worry. Acts 14:23 says they did this in every church which indicates that fasting was a regular practice for them. Hopefully, we’ll see you there soon! Glad you were able to visit today, and I’m glad this post was beneficial for your spiritual growth! Through deep prayer we can combat spiritual opposition and satanic strongholds. Fasting and prayer are a necessity for Christians, to enable them to seek the face of God wholly. Our time spent in fasting and prayer before God will be rewarded as we see the glory of the LORD, Isaiah 58:8. The importance of fasting: Many important figures in the bible participated in fasting and prayer … In the New Testament, fasting is recommended as a way to grow closer to God, much like we do in prayer. My church is starting a one week fast this Sunday. Normal life is steady-state prayer and enjoying the Giver through his gifts of food and drink. 1. The importance of biblical fasting. Not only in the thing you are praying for but also for every area of your life. These two things go hand in hand. Set Your Objective. I am asking for prayer from you and from others who may read this. The second force in the deliverance of the child was what I call intimacy with God. Prayer and fasting were never meant to be religious exercises. Because the truth of God tells us we are not to worry. There is no doubt about it, fasting declares war on our sinful nature. We are targeted by the enemy and need God’s divine help in winning the victory. “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone will come after Me, let … James 4:1-10 reminds us that our bodies want what it wants but we have the Spirit of God living in us to help us overcome the temptations we face. As we spend time seeking God in fasting and prayer, we will begin to see two things: ourselves the way He sees us and the situation we’re praying for as He sees it. Fasting is unbiblical and even spiritually harmful when we do it to show off our spirituality (see Matthew 6:16 – 18) or when we focus more on our own fasting than on the clear needs of others (see Isaiah 58:1 – 11). This type of fasting helps us to express grief over our sins and shows our seriousness about returning to the path of godly obedience. Fasting can help us focus when we are struggling with particular temptations. If God has not called you to it, then do not do it. Isaiah 58:1-14 tells of the kind of fast that God has chosen. Day of Fasting and Prayer By Pastor Rick Warren WHAT IS FASTING? King Jehoshaphat and his people fasted before they went into battle. They choose to deny themselves something else of value to them such as fasting television or fasting social media. With my fervent prayer face of God and gave the people fasting but their hearts were in the church. To Him and will bring glory and honour to Him and will bring and! 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