PRAYER & FASTING
But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. --- Matthew 6:17-18
WHAT IS FASTING?
One of the most powerful weapons of spiritual warfare that God has given to His children is fasting -- a way of crucifying the flesh or denying your flesh the basic sustenance of food. Although fasting will weaken you physically, it will highly enlighten you spiritually. It is important to note that fasting should be combined with prayer for utmost effectiveness.
Fasting is a form of spiritual discipline that informs God that you are serious about repentance. Fasting is a significant part of your Christian walk just as praying and reading the Bible is significant. Fasting is for everyone who desires to draw closer to God.
When you fast, you do not have to give up just food; it can be anything of importance to you that is a sacrifice to give up. Whenever you fast, you need to pray and seek the Lord, otherwise you are just depriving your body of food and not getting in touch with what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you.
Although fasting is not commanded in the Bible, it is expected of all believers in their Christian walk, for Matthew 6:17-18 says "when you fast." Jesus did not say, "if you fast" but rather "when you fast'; therefore Jesus reveals through scripture that fasting is expected of us; however, it is not commanded (for example, you are not committing sin by not fasting).
TYPES OF FASTS
The prophet Isaiah writes: "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?"
Thus, there are 7 reasons for fasting according to Isaiah 58:6-7, and they are as follows:
To bring justice
To undo heavy burdens and break the yoke of bondage
To free the oppressed and loose the bands of wickedness
To share food
To provide shelter for the poor
To clothe the naked
To provide for one's family
However, there are several other reasons for fasting:
To mourn and repent
To receive God's instructions
To die to the flesh
For humility and deliverance from bondage
To resist the devil's temptations
Due to lack of food
For health and healing
For spiritual power to cast out demons
To Mourn and Repent
The first thing you need to do before you fast is set a definite time period for your fast. Will your fast be 1 meal, 3 days, 7 days, 21 days, 40 days?
The second thing you need to do is decide which type of fast you will undertake. Will it be a normal fast, a Daniel fast, or perhaps a television and entertainment fast?
There are several types of fasting. The one you choose is between you and God. He will honor your best sacrifice.
Drink only liquids (you establish the number of days).
The Daniel Fast
Eat no meat, no sweets and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables.
This fast can be a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food.
A partial fast is from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm or from sun up to sundown. You can select from three types of fasting —a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food.
If you are going on a prolonged fast, please don't begin your fast immediately but rather gradually cut your food intake back and then begin your fast. Also cease drinking caffeine products a few days before you start a prolonged fast so you can get over the withdrawl headaches before you start.
Drink warm water instead of cold and do not drink too much water at one time. Do not drink milk, coffee, or other beverages during the fast for this will be considered dieting and not fasting. (Follow these procedures on all types of fasts except the absolute fast.)
Do not take excessively hot baths during a prolonged fast; for this may cause dizziness. However, take a bath regularly during your fast because fasting causes many impurities to be secreted through the pores of your skin thus causing an odor.
Do not engage in excessive work or exercise.
Walk, read, pray, and worship during mealtimes to overcome temptations.
Some Symptoms You May Experience
If you have any of these symptoms do not take medication for them.
Three phases of a prolonged fast:
Feeling weak and faint for 2-3 days or even longer.
Growing stronger and no longer having concern about food.
BREAKING THE FAST
Breaking the fast is the most difficult period after the fast; it requires discipline and self-control. If you fast for 40 days, then you should allow your body an adequate period of time to recover so you will be able to resume your regular diet.
Start with some vegetable and fruit juices a little at a time and maybe a cup of watered-down soup. The following day, start to drink juices and increase the thickness of the soup. Continue to do this until you gradually begin to build yourself back up.
Through fasting and prayer, the Holy Spirit can transform your life.
(speak with your doctor first if you have certain medical conditions or are pregnant)
Moses (40 days) - Deutronomy 9:9
Elijah (40 days) - 1 Kings 19:8
Jesus (40 days) - Matthew 4:1,2
Matthew 9:14 - habit of John's disciples and the pharisees
Anna - Luke 2:37
Cornelius - Acts 10:30
Paul - 2 Corinthians 6:5; 11:27
I Samuel 31:13 - the whole nation after Saul's death
Judges 20:26 - as part of weeping over sin
2 Samual 3:35 - after the death of Abner
2 Samual 12:16-22 - part of prayer for David's sick child
1 Samuel 7:6 - part of repentence before moving the ark
Psalms 35:13 - as part of intercession for a friend
Psalms 69:10 - part of prayer and repentence
Psalms 109:24 - part of prayer and repentence
1 Kings 21:27 - Ahab after Elijah predicts his death
2 Chronicles 20:3 - Jehoshaphat from fear of his enemies
Ezra 10:6 - Ezra upset over the sins of the people
Nehemiah 1:4 - praying over the destruction of Jerusalem
Jeremiah 36:9 - time of fasting proclaimed
Daniel 6:18 - The king fasted while Daniel was in the lion's den
Daniel 9:3 - while praying for the deliverance of the people
Psalms 35:3 - when prayers are unanswered
Esther 4:16 - in times of danger
Acts 13:3 , Acts 14:23 - before ordaining miniters
1 Samuel 7:6 - when confessing sin
Deutronomy 9:18 - sign of humility
Daniel 10:1-3 - while seeking wisdom/knowledge ffrom God
Jonah 3:5-10 - Ninevites after Jonah preaches
Acts 9:9 - Paul after his coversion and before healed
FASTING MAKES IT POSSIBLE
"Fasting: Opening the Door to a Deeper, More Intimate, More Powerful Relationship With God" by Jentezen Franklin.
When I feel myself growing dry spiritually, when I don’t sense that cutting-edge anointing, or when I need a fresh encounter with God,
October 9, 2017
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
Have you ever felt as if there must be something more? One thing I learned young in my faith is that food is not the proof of appetite, but appetite is the proof of food.
Thirst is the proof that there is water to satiate it!
Stir up your appetite for more influence, more success, more provision, more capacity, more wisdom, more glory—more heaven on earth.
I’ve also learned that just because there is nutritious food, it doesn’t mean people will have an appetite for it.
Sometimes you have to acquire an appetite—or a taste—for something better.
Are you hungry for a more excellent way?
Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness?
I encourage you today to check your appetites.
If you have a certain appetite but don’t see the thing you hunger for, it is there somewhere.
By virtue of the fact you feel like there is something more, there is something more!
These are the promptings you must be especially mindful of.
Because these longings are not generated by your spirit, but by the Spirit of God when He tries to tell you it’s time to go to the next level.
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.”
This is very important because the Holy Spirit is revealing to you who you are. You are sons and daughters of the King of kings. You deserve to be treated with respect and honor.
You deserve to live in the best places and have the best things. This is why you have the tastes that you have—and yes the appetites.
But you’ve learned to compromise your tastes.
You’ve been told you can’t have certain things…that you don’t deserve these things or they’re too expensive.
You’ve compromised the desires God has placed in you.
However, you have extravagant taste for a reason. It’s because it’s part of your inheritance.
What you crave is your inheritance.
You have extravagant tastes that are going to be restored so that your inheritance can be revealed to you.
I decree and declare that you are going to work in the best positions in your industry…
I decree and declare that your gifts are going to be magnified and glorified—you’re going to be aglow with God’s glory and His reputation is going to be aglow in you!
Expand your capacity to see what’s possible for you.
Get a vision for who you are, what you’re capable of, and all that you’ve inherited in Christ.
“Be strengthened with all his glorious power…He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.”
Colossians 1:11-12 NLT
You have an inheritance based on the level of your revelation.
This is why it’s so important to put yourself in places where you can receive prophetic downloads and the impartations that come with being in anointed atmospheres—environments that expand and strengthen your capacity to pull on heaven.
What are you demanding based on your appetite? Your appetite primes the pump so you can make the withdrawals you need to create the increase you long for—and that God longs for you. (See Psalm 115:14.)
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us.”
Put yourself in places where things are being revealed!
This is a season not just for greater information, but for deeper revelation. God wants to reveal principles hidden in His Word. He wants to reveal His plan to you and then reveal you to you as well.
We have yet so much potential sitting on the inside of us hidden in the obscurity of ignorance—and so I say, “Let there be light!”
Ignorance is the absence of light.
Whenever you have light you have insight and wisdom.
God is able to reveal things that are there, but you must be able to see it or perceive it.
I decree and declare that the eyes of your understanding are being enlightened right now…
I decree and declare that God is going to enlarge your territory and give you capacity to receive revelation! “Deep calls to deep.”
Psalm 42:7 NIV
In this season, take note of what you’re hungering for.
Are you longing for the deeper things of God? Do you have an appetite for greater revelation and influence on behalf of the Kingdom?
Are you thirsty for more righteousness—for more moves of the Spirit—for more revival?
Then stir up your appetite!
“Awake, O sleeper…
and Christ will give you light.”
Ephesians 5:14 NLT
Learn to crave the things that will strengthen you.
Crave the things that will equip you to create the changes you long to see in your life and in the world around you.
Crave light, wisdom, and revelation.