Categories Of Fasts Yawn
In most books on fasting, the writers tend to categorize fasts. Typical categories include
There is nothing wrong with these categories. In fact, categories help us to better remember and understand things. However, although the categories are derived from biblical examples, they tend to be arbitrary.
For example, why does the partial fast have to be from sunrise to sunset? Others say that in a total fast, you may drink water and juice, but not coffee or tea. Why? Who made up that rule? When Daniel fasted, do you think Daniel said to himself, Hmm, I think I will do a Daniel fast? I wonder if we are missing the main point.
Grow In Spiritual Strength
After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
Jesus fasted for forty days.
Its hard for me to fathom what His body would have felt like during that time.
Im imagining His human form felt quite weak.
Yet, He stood strong against the relentless temptation Satan kept shoving in His face.
He wasnt relying on a protein-filled breakfast or a good night of sleep for his mental sharpness to stand up to the devil.
He relied completely on Gods strength during His fast.
Fasting can strengthen us spiritually when we choose to stand on Gods Word in our own human frailty.
How Do You Begin Fasting
There are so many fasting and prayer scriptures but 5 main examples that you can use as a fasting and prayer guide are below.
Please be advised: It is wise to discuss the practical side of your plans to fast and pray with your doctor. If you have a medical condition you will want to choose A Non-Food Fast
- A 40 day Complete fast :
- Examples are Jesus and Moses who took things to the extreme. No Food or Water for 40 Days. .
To begin fasting, simply choose a fast and begin.
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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.
Examples Of Fasting In The Bible
Fasting is mentioned over 70 times throughout Scripture. In the Old Testament, there were two types of fasting: public and private. According to the Harpercollins Bible Dictionary, public fasts were accompanied by prayer, supplication, and sackcloth, while private fasts were seen of acts of penance. Below are some examples of fasting in the Bible, and there are many more examples to be found.
Moses Fasted before Receiving the Ten Commandments
So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments. Exodus 34:28
Moses fasted for 40 days and forty nights, without food and water Scripture says. Its not possible for humans to survive that long without food or water. Here, we witness a supernatural fast in the pages of Scripture. Only God could sustain Moses for that long without substance. At the end of the fast, God gave Moses the Ten Commandments.
Daniel Fasted and Prayed to Understand a Vision
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 Fasted in Mourning the Loss of His Son and Best Friend
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 Fasted by Sticking to a Strict Diet throughout his Life
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Fast And Pray For Spiritual Breakthough
We’ve 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 to’s of fasting. No worries. I’ve written a short book to help guide you through the process of fasting.
In the meantime, I’d love to pray over you. Let me know how I can be praying in the comments.
in HIM, Tiffany
What Does The Bible Say About Fasting And Prayer
Peace and many blessings. This is a short Bible study on Fasting and what the meaning and necessity of it is. Many cultures know about fasting and utilize it for either health purposes or for spirituality. The Bible speaks greatly on it, and this lesson should shed some understanding on it.
- Fasting is needed to get closer to God
- Fasting is avoiding food and drink, pleasures or what you agree with God to fast from
- Fasting gives you more spiritual awareness, thus making one have the power tap into the Power of God
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What Does Fasting Do For Prayer
Biblical fasting means say no to yourself and say yes to God. Fasting means to deny the flesh in order to find a more powerful connection with the Holy Spirit.
And in the same way that a regular fast is supposed to boost your metabolism, fasting is a way to super-charge the power of your prayer life!
Why are Fasting and Prayer So Important
I don’t know about you, but when I look at the world around me I feel scared. Life is hard and getting harder every year. The lost world keeps getting crazier and more sure they are right. The Christians around me are more intolerant. Very rarely do I see a glimpse of the power or abundant life Jesus said His disciples would have.
That scares me. Does it scare you?
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Jesus, when talking to the disciples talks about the life of a believer being powerful and abundant. How do you get to that place of living a powerful, abundant life? I don’t see much evidence of it around me and I desperately want it, don’t you?
After many years in the faith, I realized there are parts of the scripture that we the Church ignore. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that the original believers would have practiced and seen great value in. But fasting setting aside what we seek for satisfaction in order to seek God for satisfaction is not regularly taught in 21st Century churches. Why not?
How To Fast And Pray In A Way That Pleases God
What comes to mind when you think of fasting and prayer? Really, lets do a gut check here My first thoughts are No Way, I cant go all day without eating. Can I be more honest? When I felt God prompting me to dig into How to fast and pray, I sort of freaked out.
I imagined fasting would be hard and that the Bible would be filled with rules and regulations I could never follow. So imagine my shock when I began to search scripture for all the rules about how to fast -and found grace.
Today we will see how easy it is to begin fasting in a way that will please God, feeds your soul and leads to spiritual breakthrough!
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The Principles Of Biblical Fasting
There are two main overriding principles related to prayer and fasting in the Bible.
First, biblical fasting is going without food. The noun translated “fast” or “a fasting” is tsom in the Hebrew and nesteia in the Greek language. It means the voluntary abstinence from food. The literal Hebrew translation would be “not to eat.” The literal Greek means “no food.”
I know people who say they go without television or movies, and they call these “fasting” times. I’m not opposed to that definition of fasting-fasting does imply that we are giving up one thing in order to replace it with something else, and in the Bible sense, specifically to replace it with prayer. But in the main, I believe fasting has to do with our abstaining from food. Second, biblical fasting is linked with serious seasons of prayer. The more seriously we approach prayer and fasting, the more serious the results we will experience.
I sometimes hear people say, “I’m giving up chocolate” and they regard this as a type of fasting. I think this is a rather frivolous approach. The first and foremost purpose of a biblical or spiritual fast is to get a breakthrough on a particular matter that one lifts up to the Lord in prayer. A spiritual fast involves our hearts and the way in which we relate to and trust God. It relates to discerning and receiving strength to follow through on what God might reveal to us about circumstances in our lives or a direction we are to take.
Reasons Christians Should Fast
If youre reading this, then you are probably wondering why Christians fast, or why you should fast personally. This blog will answer both questions. Christians fast for a number of reasons and it is important for you to know that the reasons for fasting vary from person to person.
What are the Christian reasons for fasting? While there is a number of reasons for Christian fasting, the three primary categories fall under Biblical mandates, spiritual disciplines, and health benefits. Reasons for Christian fasting include nearness to God, spiritual freedom, guidance, waiting for Jesus return and of course, a healthy body.
Let us explore in-depth the real reasons why Christian fast.
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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.
Definition Of Fasting In The Bible
The quick answer- fasting is an abstinence from food/drink for a set period. We see fasting in both the Old Testament and the New. Fasting is not a diet method, a way to get Gods attention, or a way to receive what we desire.Jesus was clear that fasting is not to be used to appear more spiritual than others. Fasting is used to produce a change in us- heart and mind.
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How To Fast And Pray In Todays Culture
A fast that pleases God Gods desire places the heart before the rules. As you plan a time to explore the power of prayer and fasting, write down the purpose of your fast.
- Do you need to fast and pray for a breakthrough? Write it down. If you need help, check out these 5 of the Reasons to Fast
- Next, you determine which type of spiritual fasting will work for you.
- Finally, Pick a day to begin your fast and stick to it.
What The Bible Says About Fasting & Praying
The notions of fasting Christians are given make it appear as if they are powerless against external forces, except they fast and pray.
But lets see what the scriptures says about praying and fasting in the bible.
The bible will give us the biblical benefits of fasting and praying.
The Most High knows about our misdirected fasting and he address it in the scriptures:
4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
6 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?
7 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?
8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.
In verse 4 here we see that a fast aimed at defeating our enemies is condemned, as not being a genuine reason to fast. That rules out fasting to defeat our enemies.
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Fasting In The Torah: Returning To The Sustaining Presence Of God
The Torah does not regulate or enjoin fasting per se on the people of the covenant.30 But several key points emerge that contribute to and set the foundation for the rest of the biblical theology of fasting. Of the greatest significance are the nature of the food prohibition in the Garden of Eden, the supernatural fasting of Moses on Sinai, the injunction of personal affliction on the Day of Atonement, and the various dietary restrictions of the law. As seen in the following section, together these metathemes associate fasting with living in or returning to the sustaining presence of God.
The Prohibition in the Garden: Abstinence as a Condition of Life with God
Then the Lord God commanded the man, You may freely eat fruit from every tree of the orchard, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will surely die.
Gen 2:16-17, NET Bible
The first sin in the Bible was a violation of a dietary restriction. Even in the Garden of Eden, a restriction on dietary behavior was imposed. As Nahum Sarna comments, Unrestricted freedom does not exist. Man is called upon by God to exercise restraint and self-discipline in the gratification of his appetite. This prohibition is the paradigm for the future Torah legislation relating to the dietary laws.31
Food as a Tool of Divine Discipline
Hope for Deliverance
The Body as Material
All of this sets up the tension inherent in theological anthropology. Von Rad writes:
Does Isaiah 58 Contradict What I Am Saying
3 Why have we fasted, they say, and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice? In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, And exploit all your laborers.4 Indeed you fast for strife and debate, And to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, To make your voice heard on high.5 Is it a fast that I have chosen, A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, And to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the Lord?
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