Spiritual Reasons To Fast
Spiritually speaking, fasting is extremely beneficial. How can fasting affect your spiritual life? Well, it brings you closer to Gods presence. When you are able to press into the Lord, without food, you will become more sensitive to His Spirit without the distractions of your desires. Also, in Scripture, we see that God brings us spiritual freedom through fasting. This is yet another reason to fast.
Likewise, when we know that we cannot dwell on our physical needs, it will push us to worship God. Worship is a devotion of our hearts unto the Lord, and we will explain how fasting will help you in the spiritual act of worship. Then, there is the spiritual disciplinary side of fasting, which strengthens the ability to deny our flesh.
Let us delve deeper into the spiritual topics that are enhanced and grown in fasting.
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.
What Does Fasting Do To Demons And Evil Spirits
Now for the spooky stuff! Personally Im not spooked out, but the public norms program us to discount spiritual entities.
When we read the scriptures more closely we see bible verses about prayer and fasting having power over demons. We also see sickness that can be caused by demonic entities.
14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
18 And Jesus rebuked the devil and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place and it shall remove and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
Here a man that has a son who is mentally ill . He is heeled by the Messiah, who tells the disciples why they were unable to heel him.
He tells them that that kind of devil goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
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Not All Fasts Are Religious
Fasting is the act of refraining from food or certain types of food for a period of time. If fasting is done together with some kind of devotion to God, then the fast is religious or spiritual in nature. If there is no devotion to God, then the fast is not spiritual, just dietary. This is not the type of fast I am addressing in this article. I am discussing spiritual fasts i.e fasting and prayer.
There are many examples of fasting in the bible where there was no spiritual significance to the fasts. For example, people say that Paul fasted for 3 days after he met Jesus on the road to Damascus . However, there is no record of him praying and seeking God during this time. More likely, Paul had just lost his appetite and did not feel like eating for 3 days. He just had an encounter with God which turned his entire worldview upside down, and he became blind. I would lose my appetite if that happened.
Another example is when Elijah fasted for 40 days . This was not a time of prayer and consecration for Elijah. He was going on a long journey in which there would be no food. God had given him a supernatural type meal which sustained him for the entire journey. But this was not really a religious fast.
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 âfastâ or âa fastingâ is tsom in the Hebrew and nesteia in the Greek language. It means the voluntary abstinence from food. The literal Hebrew translation would be ânot to eat.â The literal Greek means âno food.â
I know people who say they go without television or movies, and they call these âfastingâ times. Iâm 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, âIâm giving up chocolateâ 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.
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A Short Practical Guide For Prayer And Fasting
These are tumultuous times that call for prayer and fasting. Deadly disease runs rampant the worlds economies are unstable peace and safety are threatened at every turn. Now, we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose . No matter what trials we face, all of Christs followers are more than conquerors through him who loved us . Still, many of us struggle during these times as never before with hopelessness, loneliness, financial ruin, fear of violence, illness and death. The Scriptures teach that when followers of Christ face difficulties like these, we are to seek Gods help through prayer and fasting. Jesus himself explained that once he left his disciples and ascended into heaven, then they will fast .
Sadly, modern evangelicals have largely lost sight of Gods gracious provision of fasting. We labor under the burden of thinking that the faithful will be satisfied, even delighted with whatever terrible circumstances may come their way. As a result, we deny ourselves the opportunity to express our deep sorrow over sin, our desperate need for Christ, our longing for the renewal of the church and our intense desire to see Christs merciful and just Kingdom spread throughout the world. Yet, as our difficult days bring us to a stark awareness of how much we need Gods mercy, we must once again humble ourselves before the Lord through prayer and fasting.
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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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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Reasons Why Fasting And Prayer Is Important
- To get answers to our prayers
- We also pray and fast to get strength from God to fight the devil and every evil arrows that might be thrown at us by the evil ones . Just as we saw in Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places, we need the power of Jesus to fight and overcome. Also through the help of the Holy spirit we can overcome.
- When we pray and fast chains are broken, the captives are free , those who mourn begin to smile and be comforted, for instance we see that when Paul and Silas were in prison they fasted and prayed and they were freed and released.
In one of Jesus preaching on fasting and prayer He said in the book of Matthew 6:16
Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
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How Fasting Is Carried Out According To The Bible
When I attended the church fasting was definitely one of the most challenging things for a christian to do.
The different fasts I encountered in church were the dry fast. Which meant eating no food at all until the end of the fast.
The water fast which meant you were only allowed to drink water during the fast.
You may or may not be able to relate to these fasts? If not, it just further proves that in church there is no universal way to fast.
The length of the fast was often from 6 oclock in the morning until 6 pm or 12 am in the evening.
It was never for the whole day, which you will find out is contrary to scriptures.
In order to understand the length of a fast in the bible we have to read scripture, where a fast takes place.
We find this when we look at an appointed day called
Day of Atonement, this gives us the blueprint of what the Most High considers a one day fast.
We can see from the above scriptures that the day of atonement last one biblical day.
It begins on the 9th day in the evening and finishes the following day on the 10th day in the evening.
So with that we know have a definitive answer about how long a one day fast actually last.
The terminology used here for not eating is to inflict your soul.
You now have a biblical, definitive fasting time.
Bible Verses About Fasting And Prayer
Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist.You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high.
Yet even now, declares the Lord,Return to Me with all your heart,And with fasting, weeping and mourning
And all the inhabitants of the landTo the house of the Lord your God,And cry out to the Lord.
My knees are weak from fasting,And my flesh has grown lean, without fatness.
Then he said to me, Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words.
Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law and if I perish, I perish.
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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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Purpose Of Fasting And Prayer Afflicting Ourselves Before God
In many of the examples in the bible, it does not really teach us how fasting works. It merely says that people repented with fasting or something like that. It did not say how fasting enabled repentance or how it worked. However, Daniel 10:12 does give us a clue. The angel said that Daniel chastened himself before the Lord . Other versions say that he humbled himself. Ezra 8:21 called a fast so that Israel might afflict themselves before God.
Fasting is a means of afflicting yourself. Not afflicting as in cutting or hurting yourself, but in denying yourself something. This demonstrates how serious you are about what you are praying for, and thus makes your prayers more effective. In other words, the effects of fasting are indirect. It enhances our prayers.
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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 .
Can We Kiss During Fasting
Yes, you can hug and kiss your partner during Ramadan. … Since Muslims are normally allowed to hug, kiss, and have sex, they can continue doing so when the fast is over for the day. Islam doesn’t approve of extra-marital sexual relationships, but if you normally do that anyway you are expected to abstain during Ramadan.
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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.