- 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 fast. God 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: