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Whether you are considering your very first fast, or you desire to take your fasting experience to a deeper level, God's Word is full of practical insights to help you make your fasting journey successful.
What is Fasting?
Biblical fasting is giving up specific foods and drink for a specified number of days for a specific purpose. The type and length of the fast you choose is between you and God, and should not be determined by what anyone else is doing.
Fasting, prayer and reading God’s Word go hand in hand in hand!
When you fast, also pray for God's purpose and plan for your life to be revealed. Fast and pray about every major decision in your life.
Simply put, fasting is a way to conquer the physical and open the door to the supernatural in your life. When you deny your body, you feed your spirit and grow closer to the Lord.
In Matthew 6, Jesus gave us specific direction on how to live as a child of God. That pattern addressed three specific duties of a Christian: Giving, Praying and Fasting. Jesus said, “When you give”. . .“when you pray” . . . “when you fast.” He made it clear that fasting, like giving and praying, was a normal part of Christian life.
Types of Fasts
On this type of fast you eat or drink nothing except water. Juices are simply liquid forms of various fruits/foods, so abstain from drinking them. A good rule is, “If it has calories in it...its food.” So drink only water. People all throughout the Bible and great men and women through all of Church history did it...you can too! Establish the number of days for your fast in your prayer time and then discipline yourself.
Daniel Fast: The most frequently used example of a partial fast is found in Daniel chapter 10. The Daniel Fast is a fast from meats, sweets, breads and any drink, except water, for a specific time period (Daniel 10:2-3). The easiest way to think of this fast is eating only vegetables and fruits, and drinking only water.
The following are examples of other types of partial fasts.
Drink only juices and water instead of solid food.
Give up one meal a day for a specific amount of time, one meal a week, etc.
Fast for a specific number of days . . . one day, three days, so on. Choose to fast from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. or from sun-up to sundown. When doing this type of fast, consider your work and sleep schedule. The hours that you sleep should not be considered part of your fasting period, so the timeframe for this type of fast may vary.
Corporate Fasts & Private Fasts
A Corporate fast is a joint fast for a specific purpose that can yield powerful results. Though this fast involves others, it is also very much a “private and personal experience.” Esther called all her people to fast for protection against danger (Esther 4:16). Samuel declared a fast for national revival (1 Samuel 7).
Consult your doctor before beginning any fast, especially if you have any type of medical condition.
7 Facts about Fasting
1. Fasting = going without food.
Tsom (hebrew)/nesteia (greek) = the voluntary abstinence from food.
Greek literally means “no food”
2. Fasting is for EVERYONE!
1 day, 3, 5, 7, 10, 14, 21, 40 - one meal a day – day a week – couple days a week
Ageless (adults, seniors, youth, kids) - all can fast in some way.
3. Fasting is not starving.
Human body can go up to 40 days w/out food before starvation sets in.
Most Doctors say that some form of fasting is actually good for you!
4. Fasting FROM Something is called “Self-Discipline” not Fasting.
“I’m going to fast from TV...FB...soda...chocolate…” is good...but it's not fasting.
5. Fasting is a spiritual discipline all by itself
6. Fasting and prayer go REALLY well together.
Like peas and carrots.
7. Fasting doesn’t earn you favor with God
“I don't fast to pay a price. The price has been paid. I fast to refine my focus so that I might more fully apprehend all that has been purchased." - Bill Johnson
Grace is opposed to earning...it is not opposed to effort
Other Common Fasting Questions
What if I have a medical condition? Consult your doctor before starting any fast. Decide together what is possible. If your health condition prohibits you from fasting food, try fasting something else and concentrate on prayer and Bible study. God knows your heart.
I forgot and ate something that wasn’t on my fast; do I need to start again? No, think of fasting as a marathon, rather than a sprint. Don’t give up! If you fall down, get up and keep trying. Conquering “king stomach” is difficult, but you’ll make it.
Do I continue to exercise while fasting? For most people moderate exercise is OK. But it is best to always consult a doctor about fasting & exercise. When/if you feel faint, rest for a few moments and it should pass.
Helpful Fasting Websites
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