By Maria A. Lee
Of all the Christian disciplines, I believe fasting is the most powerful spiritual disciplines. The Holy Spirit can transform our life through fasting and prayer.
Jesus is our model for living a life of love, obedience and devotion to our Heavenly Father. John 14:21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
Matthew 17:20-21 “So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief;[a] for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”[
Purpose of fasting
1.In obedience to Jesus’ teaching. (Matt. 6:16-18)
2. To demonstrate our dependence upon God. (James 4:10, 1Cor 9:24-27)
3. Repentance from sin (and to intercede for others who need to repent). (Jonah 3:5-10, Daniel 9, Nehemiah 1)
4. To receive God’s wisdom and direction. (Acts 13:1-3, 14:21-23)
5. To receive a breakthrough. (2Chronicles 20).
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
In seeking God’s face and not His hand, with a broken, repentant, and contrite spirit, God will heal and change our lives, our churches, our communities, our nations. Fasting and prayer can bring about a revival that can change our world
The following reference is taken from Mahesh Chavda, “The Hidden Power of Prayer & Fasting”. God’s word gives us specific instruction why to fast and the benefits are listed in Isaiah 58:6-12.
“Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of the wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh; Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, “ Here I am.” If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness. If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall rise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
This passage covers 12 specific benefits of “the fast that God has chosen”.
- Revelation 2) Healing and wholeness 3) Righteousness 4)The presence of the shekinah glory of God 5) Answered prayers 6) Continual guidance 7) Contentment 8) Refreshing 9/)Strength 10) Work that endures (like an ever-flowing spring) 11) Raising up of future generations 12) Restoration.”
Fasting opens the way for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
There are different types of fasts and the most practiced are:
* A Regular Fast – Is refraining from eating all food. Most people still drink water or juice during a regular fast.
* A Partial Fast refers to omitting a specific meal from your diet or refraining from certain types of foods. Daniel 10:2-3 says, “At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.” In Daniel 1:12, they restricted their diet to vegetables and water: “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.”
During a time of fasting and prayer, the body’s appetite for food is suppressed so that our sensitivity to God and the leading of the Holy Spirit is heightened to receive clarity of direction, wisdom and instruction from God.
A fast should end with worship, praise and thanksgiving to God for the breakthrough expected to manifest.
Below is an outline by Bill Bright on how to end a fast and resume eating regularly.
By Bill Bright
When your designated time for fasting is finished, you will begin to eat again. But how.
Begin eating gradually. Do not eat solid foods immediately after your fast. Suddenly reintroducing solid food to your stomach and digestive tract will likely have negative, even dangerous, consequences. Try several smaller meals or snacks each day. If you end your fast gradually, the beneficial physical and spiritual effects will result in continued good health.
Here are some suggestions to help you end your fast properly:
- Break an extended water fast with fruit such as watermelon.
- While continuing to drink fruit or vegetable juices, add the following:
First day:Add a raw salad.
Second day: Add baked or boiled potato, no butter or seasoning.
Third day: Add a steamed vegetable.
Thereafter: Begin to reintroduce your normal diet.
- Gradually return to regular eating with several small snacks during the first few days. Start with a little soup and fresh fruit such as watermelon and cantaloupe. Advance to a few tablespoons of solid foods such as raw fruits and vegetables or a raw salad and baked potato.
Join our Fasting Team, every Monday. Click here to sign up: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1D3FHbaW34nC1pp1Qse2KCRJWt2WWhXgZahtp5Oe3zEE/viewform