How To Begin Your Fast
How you begin and conduct your fast will largely determine your success. By following these seven basic steps to fasting, you will make your time with the Lord more meaningful and spiritually rewarding.
STEP 1: Set Your Objective
Why are you fasting? Is it for spiritual renewal, for guidance, for healing, for the resolution of problems, for special grace to handle a difficult situation? Ask the Holy Spirit to clarify His leading and objectives for your prayer fast. This will enable you to pray more specifically and strategically.
Through fasting and prayer we humble ourselves before God so the Holy Spirit will stir our souls, awaken our churches, and heal our land according to 2 Chronicles 7:14. Make this a priority in your fasting.
STEP 2: Make Your Commitment
Pray about the kind of fast you should undertake. Jesus implied that all of His followers should fast For Him it was a matter of when believers would fast, not if they would do it. Before you fast, decide the following up front:
- How long you will fastone meal, one day, a week, several weeks, forty days
- The type of fast God wants you to undertake
- What physical or social activities you will restrict
- How much time each day you will devote to prayer and Gods Word
Making these commitments ahead of time will help you sustain your fast when physical temptations and lifes pressures tempt you to abandon it.
STEP 3: Prepare Yourself Spiritually
STEP 4: Prepare Yourself Physically
A Prayer For God’s Provision In Time Of Need
Dear God, We thank you that no situation is too far out of your control to provide. For you are Jehovah-Jireh, the God who provides. We thank you that you own it all, and hold everything in your hands. We thank you that you know our needs before we even ask, before we even come to you. Youre aware of all that concerns us, and you have a plan. You hold the provision, you have the solution. You alone can move mountains to make a way for your children. We ask for your answer, in your timing, in your plan, to be given for every need that weighs our hearts down.
Forgive us for doubting you, for worrying, and for trying so hard to work everything out on our own. Help us to trust you more, help us in our unbelief. We choose to recognize and to believe that you are able to accomplish far more, to do far greater, than we even thought possible. We thank you in advance for your miracles, for paving out pathways, for your provision for those who love you. Thank you for the abundance of blessing and goodness you have already stored up. We trust you this day, and every day, and are so grateful for your Power and joy that fills our lives. Thank you for teaching us to be content in all circumstances, we love you Lord, were leaning on you, in Jesus name, amen
Humbling Ourselves Before God
When we decide to fast, we are humbling ourselves before the Presence of God. It is interesting that most times the Bible mentions fasting, it says those who fasted dressed in sackcloth and sprinkled dust on their heads. Remember that man was made from the dust of the earth. When we fast, we are returning to that fragile state, telling the Lord, It is impossible in our own strength, but we return to You who formed us, we recognise that we are dust and ashes, and that only You have the power to transform our situation.
Nehemiah 9:1-3, On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads.Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners.They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors.They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God.
Does Swearing Break Your Fast
Cursing, shouting, lying, telling tales, falsely testifying, listening to music. They do not break the fast, but engaging in such behaviours deprives the person of rewards and Gods forgiveness. Fasting is not only about refraining from eating and drinking. It goes against the basic ethics and morals of fasting.
Blessing Not Cursing Prayers
The Apostle Paul was badly persecuted throughout his gospel ministry. He had people who would follow him around to try to stir up dissension, harm him, and try to shut him down from preaching about Jesus.
So it might shock you that it was Paul who told us, Bless those who persecute you bless and do not curse.
This can super-charge your prayer life: forgive those whove sinned against you, and pray Gods blessings and mercy on those whove persecuted you! Not only will Gods presence cover you as you do this, but these kinds of prayers honor God greatly.
Even your greatest enemy, or someone who has hurt you deeply forgive as often as needed, and pray Gods blessing and mercy. Im sure Paul didnt try to spend time with those who wanted to harm him, but he still, with Gods strength, forgave and prayed blessings on them. Do this, and God will move on your behalf.
Our ability to let things go, and bless others will keep unforgiveness from hindering our prayer life. Even how we treat our spouse and family affects our prayers.
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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.
Inspiring Bible Verses For Fasting
by Brooke Obie
There are many spiritual benefits to fasting and many ways to do so. In the Bible, the prophet Daniel fasted for 21 days, eating only fruits and vegetables and drinking only water. Jesus fasted for 40 days in a period we call Lent. If you’re considering a fast, check with your doctor before beginning to make sure it’s medically safe for you to do so. Perhaps you are considering a different kind of fast. Some people choose to give up technology or a social media platform for a period of time. Whether you’re fasting as a personal spiritual exercise or as a community, and whether you’re limiting your food or your time on Facebook, the Bible offers many words of wisdom on fasting. Here are ten of our favorite Bible verses to motivate and inspire you to keep the faith during fasting.
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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?
What Does The Bible Say About Fasting
I have food to eat that you do not know about.
Most Biblical fasting does refer to food.
When you think about it, food gives us nourishment, energy to get through the day and can reach a place of satisfaction for most of us.
In Biblical times, they would have spent a great deal of time preparing food. We dont so much with our modern lifestyles. We can microwave a meal in 5 minutes that would have taken hours for them to make.
Biblical fasting was focused on giving that time back to God in prayer and worship. That would have been a lot of time for all of their meal prep and eating. They also would have allowed the hunger pangs to remind them of their dependency on God and drive them deeper in prayer. If you lived then and were learning how to fast and pray you would have given up food for a period of time.
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Let Him Know Youre Here With Your Heart Wide Open
This is one powerful prayer to say, especially when starting your fasting. You need to let him know how remorseful you are, how youre here at his feet with all your heart wide open for him, and how you are waiting and hoping for his powerful hands upon your life. You could say
Oh, Lord! I enter into this sanctuary or fasting with a broken heart. Here I am, at the foot of your cross.
I know you love me, as I could feel the love of your heartbeat. Thank you for the grace to breathe. Thank you for my life. Here are my hands, Lord guide, and lead me. Im waiting, hoping, watching, and listening for your powerful hands in my life, Oh Lord! Im here with all my heart wide open.
For Wisdom And Guidance
Dear Lord, Please give me Your wisdom and Your guidance as I lay my request before You. Show me the direction that I need to go in and the courage to take the steps in faith. Help me not to be led by selfish desires but only by your Holy Spirit in me. Help me to discern Your will so that I may pray with all boldness. In Jesus name Amen
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Christian Prayers Before A Fast
Fasting is an important ritual of the Christian faith that brings you closer in relationship with God. It is a time to focus on God through meditation and prayer during the times that would have otherwise been spent preparing food or eating. Jesus instructed his disciples about the importance of fasting in Matthew 4:4 where he quotes the book of Deuteronomy , saying, It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” He also instructed the disciples how to fast with joy and not with a feeling of sorrow, as the religious leaders at that time did. He says in Matthew 6:16-18, “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 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.”
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Prayer For Aid In Fasting
Lord, Hanging as a vine upon the Wood,O Christ our Savior,You have made the ends of the earthto drink from the wine of resolve.Therefore do I cry aloud:I am darkened always by the vicious drunkenness of sin Give me to drink from the sweet wine of true faith,and grant me now the strength, O Savior,to fast from sensual pleasures,for Your are good and love mankind. Amen.
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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 nation’s 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 nation’s heart to God.
Fasting And Prayer Catholic Prayer And Fasting
In the catholic church we usually fast during lent, which begins on ash Wednesday and ends on good Friday. During this period, we give up something we enjoy eating and proceed to give what we saved from not indulging in our habits.
During this period we fast to pause and hit reset on our spiritual life. We deny the flesh to strengthen the spirit. Excluding the Eucharist fast , the catholic church has two forms of penitential practices
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Temporary Sacrifice For Greater Peace
Dear Lord, help me to see how the temporary sting of sacrifice will be worth the peace I will find in You. Today I chose to forego simple pleasures to focus on knowing you better and prioritizing my relationship with You. Please help me to have the courage to say no to things that distract me mentally, spiritually, and physically. I long to be empowered with Your strength and Your peace today. I admit I need You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Day 13 Pray The Scripture
One of the most powerful things you can do while praying and fasting is to pray the scriptures. Daniels prayer in the 51st Psalm is a great example of how to do that. Just apply a Psalm, or another example of a prayer in the Bible, to your own life, even inserting your own name or just pray in the first person. It is powerful! God will bring things to your mind as you pray the prayer of another and catapult you into deep prayer and praise.
Oh God, Everlasting Father, I ask You today to create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit in me. Cast me not away from Your presence and take not Your holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation hold me up with Your free spirit. O Lord, open my lips and my mouth will give You praise!
You have searched me and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise you perceive my thoughts from far away. You hem me inbehind and before You have laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain! Search me O God, and know my heart test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Amen.
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