How Should Christians Go About This Practice
Too much fasting is detrimental to health and extreme fasting over a long period of time can cause death. Fasting for a few days probably wont hurt most people who are healthy, provided they dont get dehydrated, but fasting for long periods of time is bad for your body. Fatigue, dizziness, constipation, dehydration, and temperature sensitivity may result from fasting. Diabetics and pregnant or breastfeeding women should not fast if they wish to remain healthy.
Without supernatural intervention from God, such as with Moses and Jesus, the body can function only for three days without water. A complete or absolute fast without food or liquid of any kind should be short. Seek medical advice before a fast longer than a day or two.
Fasting may have health benefits as well and could be considered a way to honor our bodies as temples of God. You may choose to fast from sugar or some other unhealthy element that is normally a regular, even daily, part of your diet. Perhaps you choose to eat only fruits and vegetables for the length of a fast, refraining from all meat. The nutrients in fruits and vegetables would benefit your body. Losing weight on a fast is also beneficial to your health, although fasting confuses your bodys metabolism and it is likely you will quickly gain back any weight you lost during a fast as soon as you begin to eat and drink again.
Dont Fast To Be Seen As Spiritual
17. Matthew 6:17-18 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others 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.
18. Luke 18:9-12 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: God, I thank you that I am not like other peoplerobbers, evildoers, adulterersor even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.
19. Luke 18:1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
20. Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
21. Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
22. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is Gods will for you in Christ Jesus.
A Prayer To Prepare Your Heart To Fast:
Scripture describes how individuals fasted in preparation for fulfilling Gods purpose and calling in their lives, such as Moses, who was called by God to deliver His people out of Egypt.
Exodus 34:28 describes how he fasted during one of the most significant times in his life. Moses was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tables the words of the covenant–the Ten Commandments.
Luke 4:1 describes how Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit when he entered the wilderness to be tempted. And Luke 4:14 describes the results of how He walked out of the wilderness after forty days of fasting in the power of the Spirit.
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A Fasting Prayer For Resisting Temptation:
All of us face temptation in life. Even Jesus was tempted in the wilderness and is our example of how to face it.
Matthew 4:1,2 describes, Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry.
Like Satan tempted Eve in the garden with food , he first tempted Jesus with food, too. The tempter came to Him and said, If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread. Jesus answered, It is written Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God .
Although Eve could eat from every tree in the garden except one in order to obey God, , she gave into temptation and ate from it .
Unlike Eve who had plenty to eat, Jesus was without food in the wilderness. Yet, through fasting and obeying Gods word, He resisted temptation and defeated the scheme of the evil one.
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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Is Scripture For Prayer And Fasting Necessary
Scriptures on prayer and fasting is necessary because whenever you fast, you are positioned in the realm where God can give you the direction to dissolve the mysteries of your life.
Fasting makes your light to break forth . Fasting has the capacity to open your eyes in the spirit to see the mysteries around your life.
Bible Verses About How To Fast And Pray For A Breakthrough
Fasting and prayer helped many of Gods people achieve breakthroughs. Here are some examples:
In the account of the Israelites war with the Benjamites in Judges 20:26-28, the Israelite army had been decimated twice by the Benjamites. This was after asking God whether or not they should attack and being told yes. Afterward, they fasted and asked God, and God delivered the Israelites from the Benjamites in battle! This shows the power available to us using both prayer and fasting!
In Jonah 3:7-10, the Ninevites were about to be destroyed by God for their wicked behavior. But because the people and animals fasted and prayed and turned from their evil ways, they were spared!
In 2 Chronicles 20:2-30, Jehosephat, one of the few godly kings of Israel in the days of Kings, was about to be attacked by his enemies. He proclaimed a fast over all of Judah while he inquired of the Lord. Long story short, the enemy did indeed attack, but God caused the enemy armies to annihilate each other while Jehosephat and his army sang Gods praises on the sidelines!
Wow! Talk about a breakthrough!
As you can hopefully see, the Bible has a lot to say about the power of prayer and fasting! It tells us how to fast and how not to fast . It tells us why we should fast .
Fasting Prayer For Wisdom And Guidance
Father Lord,Thank you for giving me sustenance through this fasting periodThank you for helping me fight my cravings to stay faithful through this fastI pray today for your wisdom and guidanceI pray that you show me the path you want me to takeNot what I think is the best
I trust your judgment for my life, Father LordMy judgment leads to destruction and mayhemI pray that you shine a light unto my feet so that I dont stumble in this journey of lifeHelp me listen and follow your wordLet my heart be quiet and listen to your word when you are speaking to meLet me be able to discern between your word and that of the world
Grant me Solomons wisdom to choose wisely in this lifeGive me the wisdom to bring up my children in your lightLead me not into temptation LordAnd set my foot on soft ground each timeLet not my enemies laugh at meBut grant me victory so that others will look at me and give glory to youAmen
Encouraging Psalms For Fasting
Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
Delight thyself also in the LORD and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
The benefits of fasting far outweigh the temporary physical discomfort. Fasting allows for great power in prayer!
Drawing nigh to Him,
LETS TALK ABOUT IT
What are your thoughts on fasting? Have you ever fasted and prayed for a situation? How did God answer?
MORE PRAYER RESOURCES
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Fasting To Hear God Speak
As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
If we would hear God speak to us and give us the guidance we are seeking, we must first get serious about seeking Him. Fasting helps us do that.
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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Prayer And Fasting In The Bible
Fasting is mentioned throughout the Bible, in both the Old Testament and the New Testament . However, when Christians discuss fasting, two key passages often come up: one from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah and one from Jesus himself. But neither of these passages gives us specifics on how to abstain from food. Rather, both focus on the heart of the person fasting.
In Isaiah 58, God sees the nation of Israel abstaining from food for a day in order to seek help from God: justice for Israel and judgment on those who have oppressed Israel. However, the help does not come, and the people complain.
God turns the tables on Israel, pointing out how the Israelites are oppressing their own people. Employers withhold pay from the workers, and the people act violently toward each other. Through Isaiah, God tells the people that He doesnt want them to go a day without food He wants them to abstain from the ways theyve oppressed one another.
If you do away with the yoke of oppression,with the pointing finger and malicious talk,and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungryand satisfy the needs of the oppressed,then your light will rise in the darkness,and your night will become like the noonday.
The Israelites were merely putting on a show of fasting for God without truly following Him.
Likewise, when Jesus instructs His followers on how to fast, he tells them not to do so for show.
The Bible is full of examples of people who have abstained from food to seek God:
Return To God With Repentance
Even now, declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.
Return to me.
What a powerful phrase coming from our Almighty God.
This was a call to repentance, for the people to return to Gods mercy and steadfast love.
And one of the ways to show their truly repentant heart was through fasting.
Even here in the Old Testament, God was not asking for the act of fasting alone. Fasting was a way to show that they desired to return to God with all of their heart.
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King Ahabs Life Spared
And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly.
Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his sons days will I bring the evil upon his house.
Biblical fasting is not just going without food, but involves humility and genuine repentance of sins. Fasting done Gods way will help us get our hearts right with God. Only then can God work to answer and bless us. Because Ahab humbled himself repenting of his sins, God chose to spare his life! Wow!
Fasting enhances our prayers and intensifies them, opening doors that might otherwise be closed to us. Some things only come by prayer and fasting.
For more help deepening your prayer life, youll want to be sureto check out all thesepowerfulPrayer Resources!
Fasting For Guidance And Direction
6. Acts 14:23 Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church. With prayer and fasting, they turned the elders over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
7. Acts 13:2-4 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. So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.
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Prayer To Align With God’s Heart
Lord, I want to get Your Word so deep into my heart that it becomes MY word! I want to see things the way You see them, hear things the way You hear them, and feel things the way You feel them. I want to get so aligned with You that our hearts beat in syncopation together. I thank You that once Your Word gets that deeply rooted in my heart, my spoken words will release rivers of power and authority against the works of the devil that he has designed for my destruction! I thank You that just as Your words created the universe, my spoken words of faith create a change in my atmosphere! I pray this in Jesus’ name!
New Testament Scriptures On Fasting
Fasting is not required on a regular basis for us New Testament believers, but is definitely something the Lord still honors and expects from us His children as evidenced by the below scriptures, and many others.
Im thankful to say that there have been several times when I felt the Holy Spirit impress upon me to add fasting to my prayers. And thankfully, with His help, I did. And God answered! To His praise and glory!
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Why Do Christians Fast What Does Biblical Fasting Accomplish
Biblical fasting is not a hunger strike between you and God. It can be easy to think of fasting as a way to add an extra oomph to your prayers. But biblical fasting isnt so much about how God responds to your prayers: its more about how you bring your prayers to Him.
God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble . Fasting is a means of humbling ourselves before God. In the Old Testament, fasting was often accompanied by other signs of humility and brokenness, such as weeping, mourning, and lamenting, as well as wearing sackcloth and sitting in ashes.
Bill Bright, Crus co-founder, made it his practice to fast and pray. He believed it played a vital role in what God did through him and through Cru as a ministry. He listed several benefits he gained from fasting:
- Fasting is a biblical way to truly humble yourself in the sight of God. King David said, I humbled myself with fasting .
- Fasting enables the Holy Spirit to reveal your true spiritual condition, resulting in brokenness, repentance and a transformed life.
- Your confidence and faith in God will be strengthened. You will feel mentally, spiritually and physically refreshed.
Its important to understand that fasting is not a way to get a better response to prayer. Rather, true fasting is a means of fostering a better approach to prayer.