What Is The Meaning Fasting In The Bible
Now we as believer dont fast to loose weight or to detoxify our body but we do it to separate ourselves for God. Religious fasting does not go without prayer and that is what distinguishes our fasting from the other types of fasting. We pray and fast.
Biblical fasting is simply refraining or abstaining from food for a set period of time, not because the food is not available but for the purpose of seeking Gods face with prayer for spiritual growth, breakthrough, or for a revelation etc.
What Should You Not Do While Fasting
While it is important to focus on God while fasting, there are a few things that people should avoid doing. First, people should not fast to impress others or show off.
Additionally, people should not use fasting as a way to punish themselves or as a way to control their eating habits. Finally, people should not fast in a way that is unsafe or unhealthy.
Biblical Purposes For Fasting
Throughout the Bible we most often find Gods people turn to fasting as the natural, inevitable response to a grievous sacred moment in life, such as death, sin and tragedy. But other times a fast is not a spontaneous reaction and we have time to prepare to respond both physically and spiritually.
Fasting is not an end unto itself, but a means of focusing our minds and bodies for a spiritual reason. Whenever you fast, do so for a reason that is mentioned or modeled in the Bible. Here are ten primary purposes for fasting mentioned in Scripture:¹
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Prayer And Fasting Quotes
Prayer is reaching out after the unseen fasting is letting go of all that is seen and temporal. Fasting helps express, deepen, confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God. ~ Andy Murray
Our prayers and fastings are of less avail, unless they are aided by almsgiving. ~ Cyprian
We must continue in prayer if we are to get an outpouring of the Spirit. Christ says there are some things we shall not get, unless we pray and fast, yes, prayer and fasting. We must control the flesh and abstain from whatever hinders direct fellowship with God. ~ Bonar Law
Bear up the hands that hang down, by faith and prayer support the tottering knees. Have you any days of fasting and prayer? Storm the throne of grace and persevere therein, and mercy will come down. ~ John Wesley
Man shall not live by bread alone. ~ Matthew McConaughey
I desired as many as could to join together in fasting and prayer, that God would restore the spirit of love and of a sound mind to the poor deluded rebels in America. ~ John Wesley
Will You Learn How To Fast And Pray Today
Do you feel that deep need for breakthrough and spiritual food?
Do you need God to answer or act quickly in your life?
Join me on this journey to draw nearer to our Savior. Learning how to fast and pray is more simple than most Christians realize. There is power in this lost spiritual discipline.
To harness that power, you need only decide to begin.
- Choose what you will give up while in your fast.
- Pick a day to begin.
- Select a topic or verse to meditate in prayer over.
- Dont get discouraged if the first fast isnt perfect.
- Keep practicing until you find the right rhythm and God moves.
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Examples Of Fasting In The Bible
Moses in the Book of Exodus
Daniel in the Book of Daniel
I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks. ~ Daniel 10:3 ESV
David in the Book of 2 Samuel
And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son and for the people of the LORD and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. ~ 2 Samuel 1:12 ESV
John the Baptist in the Book of Matthew
Now John wore a garment of camels hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.Matthew 3:4 ESV
Jesus Christ in the Book of Luke
And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread. And Jesus answered him, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone. ~ Luke 4:1-4 ESV
The Early Church in the Book of Acts
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Why Should You Fast
According to Dr. Bill Bright, who produced a guide to fasting for cru.org, there are a number of reasons why the practice of fasting can be spiritually beneficial.
- Fasting is biblical. We see examples of biblical fasting in the lives of figures like Moses, Jesus, and King David.
- Fasting and prayer can restore or strengthen your intimacy with God. Many longtime Christians find that fasting helps them rediscover their first love for God again.
- Fasting is a way to humble yourself in the sight of God . King David said, I humbled my soul with fasting . You may find yourself relying on God more fully for strength when you fast.
- Fasting and prayer can help us hear God more clearly. To listen to God as you fast, consider combining a time of fasting with a practice of listening prayer. Together, fasting and prayer can transform your prayer life into a richer and more personal experience of God.
- Fasting enables the Holy Spirit to reveal your true spiritual condition. When you see your own brokenness more clearly, youre able to move toward repentance.
- When you experience revival in your own life through fasting, the grace and love of God can shine through you into the lives of others.
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Preparing For The Fast
The normal fast involves abstaining from all forms of food, but not from water, and commonly lasts 24 hours, from sunrise to sunrise. If you are fasting for the first time, you might begin by missing a meal or two. Over time, you can build up to a full day or more.
Begin by refraining from solid food, but drink liquids. Water is the best, since soft drinks are not good for the digestive system, and coffee and tea stimulate the nervous system. Before beginning a fast, it is best to eat lightly and cut back on caffeinated drinks. During the first few days of a multi-day fast, it is common to experience headaches as the body withdraws from caffeine.
If you are planning for an extended fast , you should prepare mentally and physically by cutting down on food intake one week before the actual fast, taking on a vegetarian diet to control cravings for food. Reduce your intake of beverages like coffee, tea and soft drinks as well.
Drink plenty of water.
Bible Verses On Fasting And Prayer
by I Need A Word | Nov 13 |
Fasting and prayer are powerful weapons a believer should always use in this Christian journey. Both the Old and New Testaments have several instructions and examples of people who fasted and got results. Fasting is a way of putting into subjection our appetites and desires. It is a way of denying ourselves of comfort in other to seek God in prayers.
The following Bible verses on fasting and prayer are loaded. Please take your time to carefully read and ponder over these Bible verses on prayer and fasting. They will strengthen you spiritually and give you inner strength.
All you need to do now is to plan a day of fasting and ruminate over these Bible verses on fasting and prayer over and again.
Where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread. Jesus answered, It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone.
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.
Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
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.
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What You Need To Know About Fasting From Food And Drink
a progression should be observed in your fasting, especially if this discipline is new to you and you are unfamiliar with its physical effects. Dont start out with a weeklong water fast! Begin by skipping one meal each day for two to three days and setting aside the money it would have cost to give to the poor. Spend the time praying that you would have used for eating.”
“If youve never fasted before, be aware that in the early stages you may get dizzy and have headaches. This is part of the bodys cleansing process and will pass with time. Be sure that you break the fast gradually with fresh fruit and vegetables. Do not overeat after the fast. Chili and pizza may sound good after several days of not eating, but please, exercise a little restraint and say no! What Christians Need to Know about Fasting by Sam Storms
When starting your fast, consider possible dietary restrictions. Pastor Brian Croft writes, Be mindful of any health issues that could make a fast unwise. For example, if you are a diabetic or have any other physical condition that requires a strict diet, be especially mindful not to put yourself in a compromised position as a result of a fast.”
For more Practical Guidelines for Fasting, click here.
Who Was Esther In The Bible
Esthers birth name was Hadassah. She was of the tribe of Benjamin and lived during the time Israel was exiled, and eventually became queen who saved her entire people. Esther reminds us that nothing is impossible with God.
- Danielle BernockCrosswalk.com Contributing Writer
Although some contend the Book of Esther ought not to be in the Bible because it never mentions God by name, his presence is clear through the unlikely heroine, Esther.
The Book of Esther is one of only two books in the Bible named after a woman.
Who is this woman and why does she have an entire book named after her? In short, she prevented the first holocaust.
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What If You Fail At Fasting
Bill Bright put it this way: It takes time to build your spiritual fasting muscles. If you fail to make it through your first fast, do not be discouraged. You may have tried to fast too long the first time, or you may need to strengthen your understanding and resolve. Keep trying until you do succeed. God will honor you for your faithfulness.
Fast And Pray For Spiritual Breakthough
Weve seen 27 fasting and prayer scriptures today. Have you felt a stirring to try your hand at a time of fasting and prayer? Are there hard things in your life that need an extra dose of spiritual power to break through the chains that are keeping you down?
Maybe you felt the stir but you are still unsure of the specific how tos of fasting. No worries. Ive written a short book to help guide you through the process of fasting.
In the meantime, Id love to pray over you. Let me know how I can be praying in the comments.
in HIM, Tiffany
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What Does Fasting Do Spiritually
Before we finish together I want to point out something in most of these fasting and prayer scriptures. Look at the examples in Daniel and Esther specifically?
Those people were in a desperate spiritual state as well as a desperate physical state. Their lives were in danger. Life was hard in a way we will never understand in the 21st Century Western Church.
When they needed to draw near to God, when they needed answers, when they needed spiritual breakthrough they took prayer to the next level and fasted.
Those are some amazing fasting scriptures for breakthrough! If God showed up for them He can show up for you. Write those verses out, pray over them, remind God of His promises, and be strengthened in your faith today!
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
What fasting does spiritually is draw your heart in humility nearer to the heart of God.
And when you are humble and near the Father, you can hear His voice answer prayers. You can feel his breath move, you can see the future He has for you in hope and joy.
The reward of fasting in the Bible is always a closer walk with God, healing either spiritually or physically and peace even when life is hard.
Fasting and Prayer can change both your heart and a nations heart
Fasting does so much for us spiritually but a look at this example of fasting in Nehemiah shows us that it is also powerful enough to heal and unite a nations heart to God.
How To Do A Biblical Fast
There are two types of fasts commonly practiced by Christians today:
1. A partial fast. This is described in the book of Daniel. For three weeks, Daniel, who was a prophet during a time when Israel lived in exile, abstained only from delicacies like meat and wine .
2. A complete fast. A complete fast means drinking only water or sometimes juice when fasting for an extended period. Juice fasts will provide you with more energy than water-only fasts and still lead you into the humbling experience of denying your desire for solid, chewable food.
If you are new to fasting, start slow. Progressive steps help your body become accustomed to the drop in food intake. You can start by fasting for one meal a day, one day a week or one week a month.
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What Does The Bible Say About Fasting And Prayer
There is no such thing as a fast without prayer. A fast without prayer is just going hungry and youre accomplishing nothing at all. While fasting is not necessary for salvation it is essential on your Christian walk of faith and highly recommended. In fact, Jesus expects us to fast.
Fasting will help you have a more intimate relationship with Christ. It will help you to overcome sin, bad habits, and help open your eyes to things that are displeasing to God in your life. Fasting and prayer is a time to separate yourself from your regular patterns and from things of the world and come closer to the Lord.
There are so many benefits and reasons for fasting and so many ways to do it. Find out the best way for you. Find out the reason for your fasting and how long you plan on doing it for.
I challenge you today to fast. Dont do it to try to brag and appear spiritual. Make sure your motives are right and do it for the glory of God. Humble yourself before the Lord and commit to Him.
A Fasting Prayer For Mercy:
Scripture describes times where God was moved by fasting. So much so, instead of sending judgment, He granted mercy. One such account involved King Ahab.
Yet, when the Prophet Elijah delivered a message from God to Ahab, of His anger and the calamity to come, Ahab tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted .
When he did, God noticed how he had humbled himself before Him, and because Ahab humbled himself, God did not send the disaster upon him .
Even the most wretched of sinners can move the heart of God to receive mercy, by humbling themselves through fasting.
Another remarkable story is found in Jonah 1:1-2, where God asked Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach against it because of its wickedness before God. Unlike his previous experience where he ran away and ended up inside a whale, this time he obeyed. Jonah preached of the coming judgment to the city of Nineveh , to which they responded from the greatest to the least, by believing God, fasting, and putting on sackcloth .
As the story goes, When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, He relented and did not bring on them the destruction He had threatened .
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Prayer And Fasting Actually Works
From a purely practical standpoint, the combination of prayer and fasting can lead to staggering results. Lets break down the examples given above to see how God worked through each of those instances:
God welcomed Israel back into His arms .
King Xerxes not only spared Esther when he had every right to kill her for approaching the throne uninvited but also listened to her and helped her rescue Israel from Haman .
David doesnt materially gain from praying and fasting for his enemies quite the opposite, actually but he reveals to the world that he truly is a man after Gods own heart .
God hears Daniels pleas and sends an angel to prophesy to him .
Anna gets to meet her Savior in person .
Paul and Barnabas found the men God wanted them to appoint as elders .
We should be praying and fasting whether or not we get the results we want the hardships David faced in his life werent enough to stop him, so why are our hardships enough to stop us?
Seeing that those results are possible should be more than enough to encourage us to make prayer and fasting part of our lives the same way the heroes of the Bible did.