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Get on the Fast track!

   - The following can be found on my ministry's website. Please note that medical issues should always be discussed with a physician before starting any fast involving food. 

Seeking God through Prayer & Fasting  

-- Practical Helps --  

1) Why fasting and prayer?  Fasting and prayer can break bondages and restore fervent commitment to the Lord.  It is a means of intensifying prayer.  It is a personal sacrifice with a goal in mind.  Prayer changes things.  Prayer with fasting is highly powerful.  It can change your world.  When you sense that you desire to bless God and to be effective in serving Him is greater than your desire to live  a normal life, it could be a time for a season of fasting and prayer.  

2) Specific goals.  It is important to have specific purposes in mind for a season of fasting and prayer.     

   A.  Personal Goals - We all may have a different way of going about this, but a place to begin would be to select two things in your life that you would really like to see changed and target them during your fast.  I encourage everyone to have as one of their specific goals the passionate pursuit of Jesus and an increase of His Presence in their lives.     

   B. For Your Church - Pray for an increase of His Presence.  Pray for the release of miracles and an increase in healings.  Pray for finances - for the people in your church to prosper and for the strengthening of marriages and families.     

   C. For Your County - Pray for a continued outpouring of the Holy Spirit to bring revival among all the churches in your region that honor the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the authority of His Word.  Pray for visible and practical unity among His people, especially among leaders and congregations across the region.  Pray for greater conviction of sin among the ungodly.  Pray for a tremendous harvest of souls.     

   D. Beyond Your State - Pray for our country's leadership for wisdom and protection.  Pray for revival and protection for our troops stationed in Iraq and other countries.  Pray for the release of God's Kingdom in all nations.  Pray for Israel - physical protection and spiritual revelation.  

3) How do I fast and pray? The common thread through all types of spiritual fasting is sacrifice.  The sacrifice of things we normally enjoy constitutes the spiritual fast.  While there are many health benefits to fasting for fasting's sake, the spiritual fast is unto God with spiritual goals.  With sacrifice as a guideline, there are many kinds of spiritual effective fasts.  Some of them are:

  • Absolute Fast - No food or water.  MAXIMUM duration is three days.  In Scripture, this was used for spiritual emergencies.
  • Water Only Fast - No food, just water. Maximum duration is around forty days.  For long periods, you should learn some of the physical effects and precautions.
  • Daniel-Type Fast - You can do this for a long time.  It means giving up rich foods and living on a simple diet.  Classically, it means cutting out meats, fish, poultry, dairy products and desserts.  It could also describe any other partial fast.
  • Juice Fast - You can live for quite a while on juices.  Individuals who have *diabetes or other blood glucose-related concerns should be extremely careful and most certainly should check with their physician.
  • Sundown Fast - This is a fast where you can cut down to one meal a day often eaten after sundown.  Although it's harder than it sounds, one can go a long time on this fast.  The key is sacrifice and moderation.  In other words, you should never overeat by stuffing yourself like a Thanksgiving turkey each night.  Rather, use this season as a time of prayer and seeking God.  The focus is God not food.
  • "Idols" Fast - Some people may not be able to do a dietary fast, but can give up unnecessary pleasures or distractions for a season.  Fasting from watching television or using the Internet, newspapers, magazines, sports, hobbies, etc. are all candidates to be sacrificed for this type of fast.

The key is to ask God how you should fast.  The real issue is between you and Him and that you are sincerely sacrificing something that to you is important.  If what you are giving up is not meaningful, it really doesn't demonstrate the heart and intent of fasting.

4) Can I have any fun? Some people teach that you have to give up all pleasures.  This can lead to bondage.  The kind and degree of fast us between you and God.  Go for the fast the Lord has chosen.

5) For Married Couples - Sexual abstinence is often part of fasting, but it is not a "legal requirement." 1 Corinthians 7:5 says that married couples are NOT to deprive each other sexually "except with consent for a time that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer."  This means that sexual abstention is permitted for a season of fasting and prayer if it is mutually agreeable.  To force a non-fasting partner to agree to your standard violates the spirit of the Lord's chosen fastGod is looking for humble servants, not religious extremists.  See the last phrase of Isaiah 58:7 for further thought.

I fast alternating between the Daniel-Type fast and the Sunrise fast.  My intention is sacrifice to God in order to draw near to Him and commune with Him intimately.  Each day brings life issues and sometimes challenges along with the need for direction and discernment.   Through fasting and prayer one can abide in God's Presence to hear His voice clearly and to walk according to His will.  I have made this my way of life.

GBY!  Barbara :) 


- This biog is an extension of HOPE Ministry and "The Secret Place" -- if it has sown a blessing into your life please consider sowing back into the ministry at the website link below:

www.hope2007.org

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Comment balloon 18 commentsBARBARA RIES • June 04 2008 07:29PM

Comments

Thank you for the post.  Fasting always reminds me of my shortcoming and gets me in the right focus with God.  Your article has encouraged me to fast.  My minister spoke about this on Sunday.  Maybe God is seeking to give me a message that I need to hear.

Posted by Maria Holland, Realtor, ABR, GRI, CDPE, SFR (RE/Max Elite, ABR,GRI, CDPE, SFR) over 10 years ago

I fasted a "no solid foods" fast for 4 days before I went on that Mens Retreat......

I am SURE I was used the way I during that retreat was because of that fast......

I have fasted other times for other things.....

It works, sis....

GBY!!

Posted by Alexander Harb, Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing (Knights Investing) over 10 years ago

Barbara, what a time for a God Wink.  I had just shared the idea of prayer and fasting with another of our sisters here in the Rain and what does God put in front of me to be able to pass on to her than the ministry you share.  Isn't God the absolute best at answering specific needs.  You explained it so much better than I ever could have because God already had you working toward that goal in His timing.  Fasting is such a blessing when you do it to persue our Father's will.  Thank you for following His leadership.

Posted by L. Wayne Denton, I have a handle on your market!!! (Denton Properties, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Great information.  I was not aware of all those options for fasting.  Thanks!

Posted by Chuck Carstensen, Minnesota Real Estate Expert (RE/MAX Results) over 10 years ago

I have never tried fasting. Well not fasting for the right reasons as a Christian. It seems a bit scary. I have recently given up meat, chicken, fish and eggs, soooo.... this is something to consider. I have a lot to learn....

Posted by Sharon Young (Ivy League Mortgage Philadelphia, Pa) over 10 years ago

Thanks, Sister Barbara for the information; very impressive and a keeper!  God bless you...

Posted by Terry Rasner-Yacenda, "Dreams Realty" (Broker,Owner - Dreams Realty) over 10 years ago

Hi Maria: Thank you for the post and your thoughts on fasting. Please visit often. Barbara :)

Posted by BARBARA RIES, Your Cool Agent in the Coolest Small Town, Lititz! (Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Homesale Realty) over 10 years ago

Hi Alex:  Absolutely! You rock brother!!  Barbara :)

Posted by BARBARA RIES, Your Cool Agent in the Coolest Small Town, Lititz! (Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Homesale Realty) over 10 years ago

Hi L. Wayne:  Very cool! ... and YES!, He is the absolute best in all things Hallelujah!  Thanks a bunch for your post!  Barbara :)

Posted by BARBARA RIES, Your Cool Agent in the Coolest Small Town, Lititz! (Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Homesale Realty) over 10 years ago

Hi Chuck:  Thanks for the post.  Whichever way one chooses to fast the focus should be on it being a sacrifice unto Him for the purpose of drawing near to God. Blessings! Barbara :)

Posted by BARBARA RIES, Your Cool Agent in the Coolest Small Town, Lititz! (Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Homesale Realty) over 10 years ago

Hi Sharon: Once a believer adopts fasting in to their lifestyle it becomes second nature -- one begins to hear clearer from God plus there are aslo many other benefits. Glad to have given you this to consider and thank you for your post.  Barbara :)

Posted by BARBARA RIES, Your Cool Agent in the Coolest Small Town, Lititz! (Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Homesale Realty) over 10 years ago

Hi Terry! You bet! ... and thank you for the post. Barbara :)

Posted by BARBARA RIES, Your Cool Agent in the Coolest Small Town, Lititz! (Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Homesale Realty) over 10 years ago

Thank you.   The information about types of fasts opens my eyes and lets me know this is something I can accomplish to free up my mind to listen and actually hear the direction God is taking me.   I am inspired to try fasting, perhaps a combination of several you describe - and then watch the good things unfold as I draw closer to what God needs me to be doing in my life and in my real estate career.

Phyllis Bailey - learning and growin in VA

Posted by phyllis bailey (weichert realtors) over 10 years ago

Hi Phyllis:  Thank you for the post.  I appreciate your thoughts as well. God bless you -- He is faithful and loves when we draw near to Him.  Barbara :)

Posted by BARBARA RIES, Your Cool Agent in the Coolest Small Town, Lititz! (Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Homesale Realty) over 10 years ago

I have read what you have written several times and keep coming back, wondering where to begin.

Each time I think I'm going to start, something quiet but firm inside of me indicates, "not yet" or "don't do it." These thoughts have been pretty consistent, which makes me wonder what I am waiting for and why I hesitate to write what I know must be written. I want to respond, almost need to respond, yet can't figure out why I feel so serious. I haven't fasted in a long time and was surprised to discover that something in my heart is just not ready. It's like knowing the unknown... knowing without knowing, making me want to run away from the truth. I'm fighting anticipation, all the time wondering why it feels like butterflies fluttering in my stomach. They shouldn't be there, but they are and I know what they indicate:

I am nervous because I know I have to write this and am under the impression that I not supposed to hide. I don't know what that means, do not believe it is a sign I seek, or even an answer to a question. I am waiting to fast for something at a particular moment in time which has not been determined and have no idea what to ask my Heavenly Father for. I have lots of problems, but I don't think I should be fasting for me, I am under the impression I should be fasting for someone else. I don't know why that scares me, but it does. There. I said it. 

Now I sit and stare at the screen while wondering when that moment will be and how I will know I am on the threshold to beginning something I could never imagine.

It's intangible, I know, but I can't shake this feeling...

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Hi Carol: Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate every word. The main thread in fasting is sacrifice and having a specific goal.   If you sense you are to fast on behalf of someone or something which the Holy Spirit keeps urging you to do, then simply obey.  If you have no specific goal then your personal goal can be for the purpose of drawing near to God. 

When breakthrough is about to happen in one's life, the "birthing" process can bring these feelings you describe.  For example, right now I am at the end of a purification process the Lord asked me to walk through months ago.  I know in my spirit that something is coming and it's going to be big but I can't identify what it is.  As part of a prophetic women's prayer group many of us feel this "sense of somethiing big" right now.  If you are a prophetic woman of God this may be an indication why you are feeling as you do. 

Before I walked in complete obedience, the Lord would direct me to do something.  I'd try to dismiss His voice and focus on other things simply because I was operating in my own understanding.  As a result I'd miss the blessing behind His urging.  Now, I just obey.  When He says do this or do that I respond.  

We don't need to have the answers when He speaks to us -- walking and abiding in love means to walk in faith, love and obedience [holiness] toward the Father at all times.

Be encouraged that what you are feeling is absolutely normal to me -- I hear you loud and clear and I understand.  Please call anytime you wish to share and always test what people speak out to you, including myself, making sure God is in it the mix. 

My phone number is just an email away.  GBU sister and keep pushing through -- something is coming and it's going to be BIG! 

Barbara :)

Posted by BARBARA RIES, Your Cool Agent in the Coolest Small Town, Lititz! (Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Homesale Realty) over 10 years ago

Thank you Barbara, I'm looking forward to chatting with you. We will definitely talk later. Regards, C.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Call anytime Carol.  Barbara

Posted by BARBARA RIES, Your Cool Agent in the Coolest Small Town, Lititz! (Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Homesale Realty) over 10 years ago

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