Why fast

Your goal in fasting is to develop a closer relationship with God by voluntarily denying your flesh. Fasting is a time of consecration from the things of the world to the things of God.

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about fasting

Prayer and Study

Your goal in fasting is to develop a closer relationship with God by voluntarily denying your flesh. Fasting is a time of consecration from the things of the world to the things of God. First, fasting allows you to improve your communication with God through prayer and as your communication improves your relationship with God is strengthened. Thus, to effectively communicate with God you must have a strong prayer life. It is critical to increase your prayer time during a fast.

A second and powerful way to develop a closer relationship with God is to study the scriptures. The scripture is the very Word of God. To know God, you have to know HIS Word. In addition to prayer, during a fast, you should increase your time of studying His Word. When the fast is over, you should be spiritually renewed and strengthened because you have controlled your flesh and intensified your commitment to God through prayer and study.

Biblical Model

In the book of Daniel, chapters 2 and 10, Daniel describes two examples of his personal fasting and the dramatic results it produced. Daniel was found to be equally as fit and strong as those who ate regularly during the time he fasted. Isaiah described God's chosen fast in Isaiah 58. Jesus fasted in the wilderness (Matthew 4, etc.) and spoke of the necessity of fasting for believers. It was a normal part of early church life. Fasting is one way we respond to the admonition throughout the Scriptures to die to our self-will and not to accommodate the desires of the flesh.

Most Common Biblical Reasons for Fasting

1. To strengthen our ability to turn our attention to the Lord.
Daniel 9:1-3 provides an example of how to engage God through prayer and supplication.

2. When facing a great challenge or obstacle.
Simply stated, when you don’t know what to do, seek God. (In 2 Chronicles 20:1:4; similarly in Ezra 8:21-23).

3. To be receptive to direction and wisdom from God.
Consider your role in listening for God’s direction. When you want Him to reveal something in your life - big or small - you must first place yourself in a posture to hear from Him.

4. To bring our flesh under submission and to combat temptation and spiritual opposition.
Christians are constantly under attack. We are only able to withstand these temptations and entanglements by prayer and fasting. (Mark 9:29, Matthew 4:1-3).

Types of Fast

THE DISCIPLES’ FAST
Fasting to break addictions.
Matthew 17:20, 21

THE EZRA FAST
Fasting to solve problems and to seek protection.
Ezra 8:21-23

THE SAMUEL FAST
Fasting to win people to Christ and to get God to pour Himself out on mankind.
1 Samuel 7:1-8

THE ELIJAH FAST
Fasting to break every yoke.
1 Kings 19:2-18

THE WIDOW’S FAST
Fasting so that the needs of others will be met.
1 Kings 17:12

THE SAINT PAUL FAST
Fasting for wisdom and insight from God.
Acts 9:9-19

THE DANIEL FAST
Fasting for good health and for obedience toward God.
Daniel 1:12-20

THE JOHN THE BAPTIST FAST
Fasting for a stronger testimony and influence.
Matthew 3:4, Luke 1:15

THE ESTHER FAST
Fasting for protection from the evil one.
Esther 4:16

 

Accountability

Accountability is a powerful tool for success. You will probably be most successful with this fast if you make yourself accountable to at least one other person during this fast. Encourage one another. If someone falls and eats the wrong foods, do not condemn them. Help them start again. Walk in love and mercy. During this period, as you continually place your flesh under submission to your spirit, you will find increasing opportunities to reflect the character of God in your daily walk.
Restricting television and entertainment. It will be difficult for you to consecrate yourself if you feed yourself on television and movies during this time.

Overview of the Fast

A fast drastically restricts normal food intake by cutting away many of the foods you commonly eat to satisfy your appetite. During the fast, there will be a sense of hunger much of the time and a sense of sacrifice even when we eat. We recommend that you spend time preparing your meals in advance to avoid temptation.

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