Ially Fasting From Eating But Not Drinking
The prophet Daniel described when he fasted for three weeks because he was overtaken with sorrow. Rather than abstaining from all foods, he only fasted from certain ones.
Daniel 10:2-3 read, In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks .
Many scholars believe there were probably physical benefits to this fast, yet it also resulted in a vision that gave Daniel valuable insight into Gods activity and plans. The prophet didnt commit to a partial fast because his faith was weak. On the contrary, even a partial fast can be an act of devotion 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.
Is Fasting On Yom Kippur In The Torah
There is no explicit commandment in the Torah to fast on Yom Kippur, but the practice is implied in the commandment to afflict oneself on that day . In addition, the Talmud states that the custom of fasting on Yom Kippur was instituted by the elders of the Great Assembly.
There are several reasons why seniors observe Yom Kippur. It is a sacred and spiritual obligation for some, as well as a lifelong tradition for others. Others find this a way to express their repentance for their past sins as well as seek forgiveness. Others consider fasting on Yom Kippur to be a way to show their support for the Jewish people and to unite in mourning the death of the Messiah, Yshua. The fast is not required for healthy men or women who are at least 13 years old, nor is it required for healthy women or men who are at least 12 years old. Seniors, on the other hand, must obtain the necessary medical clearance in order to observe Yom Kippur without difficulty. Seniors who are not traditional in other ways continue to abstain from eating on this holiest day of the Jewish year, the Day of Atonement, in many cases. This year, Yom Kippur falls on September 20th. Many seniors, particularly those in their 90s and older, will most likely fast on this day of the year. As a result, in order for them to do so, they must first obtain necessary medical clearance. In the event that they are unable to fast, they should eat a light meal on this day.
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New Wine Into New Wineskins
Then Johns disciples came and asked him, How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?Jesus answered, How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them then they will fast.No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.
The entire purpose of the disciples and the Pharisees fasting was to show a longing for the day God would show up and show favor to Israel again.
But Jesus was right there with them! There was no need for fasting at that moment.
But immediately afterward, Jesus said, the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them then they will fast.
He wasnt putting an end to all fasting.
He specifically said the time to fast would be coming again!
But now, our fasting isnt filled with mourning as it was for the Pharisees. Instead, its filled with longing because we know Jesus came and will come again!
Spiritual Preparation For Fasting And Prayer
In preparation for this special time with God, cru.orgs guide to fasting urges that you examine your heart. Ask God to help you see your brokenness clearly so that you can confess your sins and repent. In Scripture, God frequently calls upon people to repent of their sins before listening to their prayers.
You can look to King Davids example in Psalm 66:16-20:
Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for me. I cried aloud to him, and he was extolled with my tongue.If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.But truly God has listened he has given heed to the words of my prayer.
Blessed be God,
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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.
Jesus Is Questioned About Fasting
33 Then they said to Him, Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?
34 And He said to them, Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while thebridegroom is with them?35 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them then they will fast in those days.
36 Then He spoke a parable to them: No oneputs a piece from a new garment on an old one otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old.37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined.38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins,and both are preserved.39 And no one, having drunk old wine,immediately desires new for he says, The old isbetter.
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Fasting From Eating And Drinking
The most extreme form of fasting is abstaining from eating and drinking. Since human bodies cant go more than a few days without water or else they die, people cant practice this type of fasting for long. The supernatural exception to this is when Moses fasted from eating and drinking for 40 days .
Paul fasted from eating and drinking for three days after his conversion. Acts 9:9 reads, And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank .
Ezra also abstained from food and drink for a short time: Then Ezra withdrew from before the house of God and went to the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib, where he spent the night, neither eating bread nor drinking water, for he was mourning over the faithlessness of the exiles .
Esther also abstained from food and drink to save her people: Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish .
What Are Some Improper Motives For Fasting
To impress others. Jesus taught that religious fasting should be a personal and private matter between an individual and God.Matthew 6:16-18.
To prove oneself righteous. Fasting does not make a person morally or spiritually superior.Luke 18:9-14.
To try to compensate for a deliberate practice of sin. God accepted only fasts that were accompanied by obedience and by heartfelt repentance for any sins committed.
To carry out a religious formality. In this respect, God is like a parent who is displeased when his children express love for him merely out of obligation, not from the heart.
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What Is Religious Fasting
While fasting helps to cleanse the body of the effects of food, repentance helps to cleanse the body of the consequences of sinful behavior.Fasting was observed by John and his followers in order to be prepared for the Lords return.Because this was a serious message, both John and his disciples fasted for forty days.Jesus, on the other hand, responded by saying that He was already present with his apostles .As a result, they had no justification for fasting at that time.When it comes to fasting, what did Jesus have to say?
Where Did Jesus Fast
Scholars believe that Jesus fasted in the Judean wilderness, which is near the Jordan River. They believe the high mountain, where the devil took him at one point, was called the Mountain of Temptation, an isolated and secluded locale that overlooks the city, but is steep and very difficult to climb.
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Ministered To By Angels
At this, Satan departs and Jesus is tended by angels. While both Mark and Matthew mention the angels, Luke does not, and Matthew seems once again here to be making parallels with Elijah, who was fed by ravens. The word ministered or served is often interpreted as the angels feeding Jesus, and traditionally artists have depicted the scene as Jesus being presented with a feast, a detailed description of it even appearing in Paradise Regained. This ending to the temptation narrative may be a common literary device of using a feast scene to emphasize a happy ending, or it may be proof that Jesus never lost his faith in God during the temptations.
Fasting And Medical Safety
According to The Foods and Nutrition Encyclopedia, For healthy individuals, no harm results from short-term fasting. The average healthy person can go without food between 21 and 40 or more days before the body begins to eliminate vital tissue . Consult your physician before beginning any fast lasting longer than three days.
If you have underlying health conditions such as pregnancy, anemia, behavioral disorders or other chronic health problems, you should never fast without consulting a physician first.
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‘fasting’ In The Bible
This shall be a permanent statute for you: in the seventh month on the tenth day of the month you shall humble yourselves and not do any work, whether the native-born or the stranger who lives temporarily among you
Is this really the kind of fasting I want? Do I want a day when people merely humble themselves, bowing their heads like a reed and stretching out on sackcloth and ashes? Is this really what you call a fast, a day that is pleasing to the Lord?
Therefore go thou, and read in the roll, which thou hast written from my mouth, the words of the LORD in the ears of the people in the LORD’S house upon the fasting day: and also thou shalt read them in the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities.
The Question About Fasting
14 Then the followers of John the Baptist came to Jesus, asking, Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples dont fast at all?
15 Jesus answered, Do you expect the guests at a wedding party to be sad as long as the bridegroom is with them? Of course not! But the day will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.
16 No one patches up an old coat with a piece of new cloth, for the new patch will shrink and make an even bigger hole in the coat. 17 Nor does anyone pour new wine into used wineskins, for the skins will burst, the wine will pour out, and the skins will be ruined. Instead, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins, and both will keep in good condition.
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.
Is Fasting Required For Christians
No. God required the Israelites to fast on Atonement Day, but he eliminated that observance after Jesus permanently atoned for the sins of repentant people. Christians are not under the Mosaic Law, of which Atonement Day was a part. Therefore, each Christian may decide for himself whether to fast.Romans 14:1-4.
Christians recognize that fasting is not the focus of their worship. The Bible never associates fasting with happiness. In contrast, true Christian worship is marked by joy, reflecting the personality of Jehovah, the happy God.1 Timothy 1:11 Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13 Galatians 5:22.
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Choosing A Type Of Fast
If a person has never fasted before, the partial fast mentioned in Daniel is a great place to start. However, a person can choose different foods that Daniel did that represent a sacrifice to them. Some may choose only to eat vegetables. Others may decide to go without meat or coffee. To be clear, the point of fasting isnt weight loss but expressing fervency to God.
One factor that may determine what kind of fast a person commits to is their health. For example, its probably unwise for most older adults and young children to fast. Furthermore, those with health issues directly impacted by eating and drinking, like diabetes, would be wise to consult a doctor before significantly changing their diet, even for a short time.
It may also be wise for a person who is considering fasting to talk to their pastor. Fasting is a physical activity , but its a spiritual expression of request. Pastors care about the faith and wellness of their congregation. They may be able to offer wise advice and spiritual support for those refraining from eating and drinking for a designated time.
Two Instructions From Jesus On Fasting
And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
The three great religious practices among the Jews were giving, praying, and fasting. Jesus own ministry began with an epic forty-day fast. Jesus begins, Whenever you fast, because he probably expected his followers would fast, though neither he nor any of the New Testament writers command it.
Jesus offers no technical instructions on when or how to fast, only that fasting should not be for outward show. Apparently, many who fasted made a point of wearing tattered clothing, scrubbing their head with ashes, and stumbling about as though carrying a great burden.
Jesus offers two instructions.
First, when fasting, look normaland cheerful! put oil on your head and wash your face
The oil and water treatment was the everyday norm in Jesus day. Thats just what people did before going out. In fact, since oil was synonymous with gladness , a person should look not only normal but cheerful!
Second, Jesus taught, when fasting, fast for God, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret.
I have food to eat that you know nothing about.
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