Fast From Something Other Than Food
Fasting from food is not necessarily for everyone. Some health conditions keep even the most devout from the traditional course. However, fasting is not limited to abstaining from food. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, Fasting should really be made to include abstinence from anything which is legitimate in and of itself for the sake of some special spiritual purpose.
If the better part of wisdom for you, in your health condition, is not to go without food, consider fasting from television, computer, social media, or some other regular enjoyment that would bend your heart toward greater enjoyment of Jesus. Paul even talks about married couples fasting from sex for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer .
How To Fast And Pray For A Breakthrough Gods Way
We started this series by looking at 5 of the reasons to fast and how there is hope in it. Next, we saw that God has a lot to say about how not to fast. Honestly, I started there because God started there.
What I expected was a list of acceptable practices on how to fast and pray maybe in Leviticus to study and try out. In fact, most of the internet is obsessed with the logistics of fasting while God is more concerned with our heart during a fast.
The only hard and fast rule for fasting came from Jesus. Jesus told us how our behavior should be during a fast humble and indiscrete . But He doesnt say fast from meat or all food or from doing such and such
The Desire For Christ
Having the desire for Christ is craving to be in an intimate connection with Him. Believers fast because they have a sense of hunger to only focus on God and what miraculous blessings He has granted His followers.
One of the meanings of Christian fasting is that we are expressing our hunger for the Lord Jesus to come back and to take up his kingship in this world. What sets Christian fasting apart as unique is that Christ has already come. The King has already been here. Humanity has seen Him, knowing Him, and has been in His attendance. Believers love Him because they have tasted of his presence. We have already tasted the presence of the kingship of Jesus.
The King has come. He has died for our sins, rose from the dead, and has ascended into heaven. Christians already have the down payment in their hearts of His existence and His Spirit, but followers long and hunger for the consummation of the day of His return, His coming and reigning.
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How To Fast Safely
As you begin your fast, you may hear from concerned loved ones and friends who urge you to protect your health. And they are right. You should protect your health. But I assure you, if done properly, fasting will not only prove to be a spiritual blessing, but physical blessing as well.
When you are assured that you are in good health, you are ready to begin your fast. Follow the guidelines in the Physical Preparations and Maintaining Nutritional Balance and Health parts of this website.
In spite of the absolute safety and benefits of fasting, there are certain persons who should NEVER fast without professional supervision. For example:
- Persons who are physically too thin or emaciated.
- Persons who are prone to anorexia, bulimia, or other behavioral disorders.
- Those who suffer weakness or anemia.
- Persons who have tumors, bleeding ulcers, cancer, blood diseases, or who have heart disease.
- Those who suffer chronic problems with kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, or other important organs.
- Individuals who take insulin for diabetes, or suffer any other blood sugar problem such as hyperglycemia.
- Women who are pregnant or nursing.
S For Biblical Fasting
1. Set your heart before the Lord, coming to decide what to omit from your life and for what period of time.2. Be sensitive to the way of the Spirit for what you should give up, and for how long.3. Make preparations for the fast. If a food fast, set a game plan to be prepared and well hydrated for your fast.4. Dedicate time for prayer and quiet time during the fast to not just omit an action or food, but to get the fullness of being before and with God.5. Journal what you feel the Lord doing or saying to you during this time.6. List Bible verses to guard yourself from the Enemys attacks to pray over yourself during this time.7. Follow the fast faithfully in heart position most of all.8. End the fast when the Lord has given you peace for it to end.9. Be mindful to watch for the hand of the Lord in due time for answers, action, or a new perspective.
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Things To Avoid Before Or During Fasting And Prayers
Taken from the book of Galatians 5:19-21. The sin bears the followings:
It is very easy to avoid these sins in your life. It is a way of dealing with your flesh completely and allow the fruit of the Holy Spirit to take over your life.
There is another grace in Romans 3:23 says, For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The lesson of today is to avoid the attitude of sin when fasting and prayers. Fasting is one of the best ways of drawing the attention of God when done in a clean lifestyle. The Bible says, without holiness, no man shall see the Lord. Which means you cannot approach God with a garment of sin. Surrender your sins today. You know them from A Z. Do not cover anything from the eyes of God . What you think you are hidden, it is a wide open before God, so whats the point of hiding your sin from God and mostly His servants? Let your repentance be today. Do not prospone your day of salvation. If Jesus Christ meets and caught you with some of the above sins , do you think you are worthy of heaven? Think about it for some times and let your fasting be acceptable before God. You are not doing fasting to impress anybody, neither to impress your pastors, but you are doing it to challenge God in your life so that He can fulfilled whatever He has promised you in Jeremiah 29:11
How To Honor God With Fasting
When you take a look at our culture, fast food places on almost every corner and countless opportunities to eat whatever you wish, even a committed Christian may never consider Fasting. Yet, one of the classic, Christian aspects of growing deeper in the faith is Fasting. Our minds are cleared to seek Christ without distractions and interruptions. Even though believers may feel distractions with their stomach aching and growling, they can more easily pour themselves out to the Lord.
God informs that Fasting is important, but Jesus sternly warns of abusing it by using it for a show and tell the game to draw attention to oneself, thus missing the real purpose, that of drawing close to God, and seeking His Will for your life and church. This passage is in the context of pleasing God, where Jesus places Fasting in the ranks of prayer, spiritual commitment, and trusting Him, making it a vital, if not a paramount component of spirituality, of growing deeper in Christian formation/spiritual growth.
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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.
How To Make Your Spiritual Experience The Best It Can Be
Receiving Gods best blessing from a fast requires solid commitment. Arranging special time each day with God is absolutely crucial in attaining intimate communion with the Father. You must devote yourself to seeking Gods face, even during those times in which you feel weak, vulnerable, or irritable. Read His Word and pray during what were mealtimes. Meditate on Him when you awake in the night. Sing praises to Him whenever you please. Focus on your Heavenly Father and make every act one of praise and worship. God will enable you to experience His command to pray without ceasing as you seek His presence.
As you enter this time of heightened spiritual devotion, be aware that Satan will do everything he can to pull you away from your prayer and Bible reading time. When you feel the enemy trying to discourage you, immediately go to God in prayer and ask Him to strengthen your resolve in the face of difficulties and temptations.
The enemy makes you a target because he knows that fasting is the most powerful of all Christian disciplines and that God may have something very special to show you as you wait upon Him and seek His face. Satan does not want you to grow in your faith, and will do anything from making you hungry and grumpy to bringing up trouble in your family or at work to stop you. Make prayer your shield against such attacks.
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The Benefits Of Fasting
While the physical impact of fasting is real, the spiritual benefits of fasting are undeniable. Any fast undertaken must be done with spiritual wholeheartedness and wisdom when dealing with our physical body we must count the cost honestly and honor the temple of the Holy Spirit. Whether we are partaking or abstaining, everything should be for the glory of God.
Do Christians Need To Fast
Fasting might sound sensational today. But in Jesus culture, it was weird for a religious person not to fast.
The disciples of John the Baptist, an important prophet who prepared the way for Jesus ministry, often fasted. So did the Pharisees, a group of religious leaders who opposed Jesus teachings and conspired to kill Him!
During Jesus earthly ministry, His followers didnt fast. But Jesus assumed they would fast after he returned to the Father . In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives His followers instructions on how to fast, specifically telling them not to make a show of fasting like others in their culture .
Jesus may not have commanded his followers to fast, but He expected them to.
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Plan What Youll Do Instead Of Eating
Fasting isnt merely an act of self-deprivation, but a spiritual discipline for seeking more of Gods fullness. Which means we should have a plan for what positive pursuit to undertake in the time it normally takes to eat. We spend a good portion of our day with food in front of us. One significant part of fasting is the time it creates for prayer and meditation on Gods word or some act of love for others.
Before diving headlong into a fast, craft a simple plan. Connect it to your purpose for the fast. Each fast should have a specific spiritual purpose. Identify what that is and design a focus to replace the time you would have spent eating. Without a purpose and plan, its not Christian fasting its just going hungry.
What You Can Take Away From David
- Although fasting can get you an answer from God or have God move on your prayer request. If Gods answer is no, then no amount of fasting is going to change that.
- Just because you feel that God has said no or his answer is to wait, do not get discouraged. Like David, you can still fast and petition God for something. Remember fasting is like your flesh calling out to God asking God to listen to you.
- It is possible that Gods answer still may be no. But your fasting may change his mind to yes. I know in the above tip that I said if Gods answer is no then it is no. But you can never really know for sure if His answer is no unless you try as David did. And besides people have been able to change Gods mind before
For other benefits of fasting then be sure to check out my blog The Most Important Spiritual Benefits of Fasting as well. And dont forget to check out my video on how to get the spirit of David.
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How To Prepare For A Biblical Fast
Taking part in a fast is both exciting and scary. Especially, if youre new to fasting or are trying a different type of fast.
I found myself in this exact situation when my church decided to do a 40 day Daniel fast. Id done smaller fast before, but I was really stressed out about fasting for 40 days. Even though they told us a month in advance, I still didnt feel prepared or confident that I could fast for that long.
Maybe your church is preparing to do a fast or youre feeling led by God to fast and pray, but you dont feel prepared or confident that you can do it.
This post is just for you. Today Im going to share with you 12 simple tips that will help you mentally, physically, and spiritually prepare yourself to have a successful fast.
This Handout Is For Informational Purposes Only
The information in this handout reflects only the limited opinions, experience, and suggestions of IHOPKC and is not meant to substitute the advice provided by your doctor or other healthcare professional.
You should not use this information for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. Additionally, this information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. These tips have been found to be helpful and successful, but they are no guarantee that you will fast without experiencing any difficulties. You will need to do your own research, talk with health experts and those experienced in fasting, and continually ask the Lord for increased discernment and wisdom concerning fasting and healthy living.
Beware A Common Danger
Fasting and prayer are about heart posture not a diet.
The reason I chose to give up my phone in my list time to fast and pray instead of a meal is my habit of turning a fast into a diet that is not the right heart posture.
If your heart is in the right place and you truly are drawing near to God with a purpose, fasting in any form will quicken your soul for Him.
David Fasted Before His Child Died Take The Following Verse:
David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. 2 Samuel 12:16
David knew that God was going to take his child , but he fasted as a way to change Gods mind. David was petitioning God for something.
He was asking for his child to live and not die, even though God had told him that the child would die. In the end, Davids fasting did not work and the child dies.
Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions, and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request, they served him food, and he ate. His attendants asked him, Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat! He answered, While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live. But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me. 2 Samuel 12:20-23
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Avoid Television And Radio
Disconnecting from TV, radio, newspapers and the Internet can help you stay focused on your purpose for fasting. You will be less tempted by the constant bombardment of advertising as you become physically and emotionally challenged. Avoiding media will give you more time to focus on the Lord and His word.