Fasting is the one of the most powerful spiritual disciplines of all the Christian disciplines. It is God’s prescribed method of dealing with urgent needs. How badly do you want an answer? How much do you want a breakthrough and deliverance from the destructive habit? How bad do you need God’s intervention in that situation - marriage, health, ministry, career, purpose/destiny? Do you want it enough to give up food or some other gratification? If the answer is yes, then come to God in Prayer and Praise coupled with fasting.
The mystery of fasting is a major principle throughout the bible. It is essential to accessing the infinite possibilities of the Kingdom life.
Definition: Voluntarily going without food in order to focus on prayer and fellowship with GOD. Drinking of water is recommended; especially, with prolonged days of fasting. According to medicine, one can live without food for one week, but only three days without water.
Forms of Fasting:
1.) Absolute Fast: Completely abstaining from eating & drinking. Employed by Ezra as he mourned over the faithlessness of the people of Israel in Exile- Ezra 10:6
2.) Regular Fast: Abstaining from all food. Illustrated by Jesus following His baptism- Matthew 4:2
3.) Partial Fast: Abstaining from certain foods as illustrated by Daniel-Dan. 10:3; 1:12
Length of Fasting: Varies in length as the Spirit of God lays in your heart. However, below are some time frames recorded in the bible: 1.) One day - Judges 20:26, I Samuel 14:24, 2Corinthians 11:27; 2.) Three days - Esther 4:16-17, Acts 9:9; 3.) Seven days - I Sam. 31: 11-13; 2Sam. 12:16-18; 4.) Twenty-one days - Daniel 9; 5.) Forty days Exodus 34:28; I Kings19:18; Matt. 4:8.
By the leading & direction of the Holy Spirit, we are engaging in a five day fast as we kickoff the year 2022.
1. Purity: Fasting starves the flesh so that the Spirit can be nourished. It facilitates the breaking of the bondage of sin in our lives- Isaiah 58:6;I Cor. 9:27; Matt. 16:24
2. Revival: Fasting brings an awakening of our spirit-man. It gives you a renewed and constant awareness of God’s presence- Isaiah 58:9,Daniel 9:1-3, Jonah 3:5-10
3. Guidance/spritiual sensitivity: Fasting facilitates fellowship and intimacy with God; which in turn quickens your spiritual senses to hear/see/smell/taste/sense/experience God for guidance- Is. 58:8,10-12; Is. 40:29:-31
4. Humility/Brokenness: Fasting brings you to a place of brokenness. A place where you see yourself as worthy of nothing; a place where you absolutely need God in your life- Is. 58:5
5. Power: During fasting, you experience fresh power to overcome unseen forces militating against you- Is. 58:6, Luke 4:14a, Matthew17:14-21, 2Chron. 20:1-30
6. Healing: According to Paavo Ariola (Health expert), “ Fasting is the oldest therapeutic method known to man, even before the advent of the medicine man and in the healing arts, man instinctively stopped eating when feeling ill and abstains from food until his health was restored.” Fasting is the body’s most natural way of getting rid of harmful toxins and causes the mind to think clearly.- Is. 58: 11b&c
1. Set Your Objective: Identify your aim/objective for fasting- E.g for power vs healing vs grace to handle a difficult situation vs revivial.
2. Make a commitment: Pray that God will help you a.) Limit/restrict certain physical and social activities b.) Identify how much time you will devote to prayer and Word of GOD.
3. Prepare yourself spiritually: The primary foundation of fasting is repentance. Unconfessed sin will hinder your prayers.
4. Prepare yourself physically: Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Consult your physician first; especially, if you are on prescribed medication or dealing with chronic ailment. Few pointers include:
a.) Do not rush into your fast.
b.) Prepare your body. Eat smaller meals before starting a fast. Avoid high-fat or high-sugar foods.
c.) Eat raw vegetable and fruits for two days before engaging in a long fast.
d.) Limit your physical & mental activity.
e.) Avoid medications, even natural herbal medication and homeopathic remedies. Please consult your physician if your’re on prescribed medication.
f.) Exercise moderately and rest your body as much as you can.
g.) Prepare yourself for the body’s natural reaction to the new restrictions/conditions- e.g. crankiness, irritability, hunger pains, dizziness and even headaches, which may be the result of sugar and caffeine withdrawal.
h.) GROOM YOURSELF WELL & SMELL FRESH. Only God should know that you’re fasting.
5. Put yourself on a schedule and be disciplined enough to follow the schedule( Avoid Television & Social Media or other distractions that will dampen your spiritual focus): Set aside ample time with God during your fast. The more you spend time alone with Him, the more you will hear Him speak and reveal things to you.
• Begin your day in Praise & Worship
• Read and meditate on God’s Word
• Invite the Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to you during the fast
• Invite the Holy Spirit to possess you completely
• Get back to GOD in prayer and God’s Word
• Take a short prayer walk
• Spend some unhurried alone time in the presence of the Lord just seeking His face
• If others are fasting with you, meet together for prayers.
• Log on the Zoom Platform at 7PM each day for a corporate prayer of faith.
• Expect results!