How To Pray Through Fasting
Fasting is a voluntary abstinence from something good, usually food. Its a familiar spiritual practice for most of us, but its also a practice we tend to take up only during Lent or only when the Church tells us we have to. Thats unfortunate because fasting is, in the words of St. Basil the Great, a powerful weapon of protection against demons. Similarly, Christ tells his disciples that certain kinds of demons can only be cast out by prayer and fasting . With this in mind, we should want to be well-practiced at fasting and have this form of prayer in our spiritual arsenal at all times.
Your Personal Reasons For Pursuing A Fast
If youre on the cusp of a major life change, are grieving the loss of a certain individual or period in your life, or are seeking answers from God for an upcoming decision, the reasons you choose to fast are unique to you. Consulting with others about their experiences can be instructive, but your choice to fast and the reasons for your fast are unique to your situation.
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.
Recommended Reading: What Type Of Intermittent Fasting Is Best For Me
When We Add Scripture To Our Prayers They Become Strategic And Powerful
Ive pulled over 100 verses that you can use to Pray for Support, Unity and Financial Blessings. Download them below!
As you prepare your heart for Fasting, taking a Spiritual inventory of sorts to be real talk with God. Be open to what He wants to do in your life. It may be different than you Expect at first but Yall, we can Trust Him!
Choose Something That Is Meaningful
When choosing something to fast, it’s important that it is meaningful to you. Many people “cheat” by choosing something that wouldn’t ordinarily be missed. But choosing what to fast is an important decision that shapes your experience and connection with Jesus. You should miss its presence in your life, and the lack of it should remind you of your purpose and connection to God.
If something on this list doesn’t fit for you, then do some searching to find something you can give up that is challenging to you. It can be anything that is important to you, such as watching a favorite sport, reading or any other hobby you enjoy. It should be something that is a part of your regular life and that you enjoy.
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Eat Very Little Before Your Fast
Before fasting, try to eat very little for the previous week so that your body adjusts to not eating a lot. You dont want to eat nonstop and then one day randomly stop eating or drinking anything for your fasts. There are many different symptoms that could be caused if you do not properly prepare yourself before fasting.
Here are just a few of the many symptoms that could happen if you do not properly prepare your body before fasting:
- Low energy levels
- Constant Hunger
Fasting Has Never Been This Fun: Tips For Our 21 Day Fast
Posted On January 3, 2013 By Peter In Life
If youve come to Substance in the last few years, youll know that we start out every new year with a season of fasting. And if youve never heard of the spiritual discipline of fasting before, allow me to give you a quick definition: Fasting is a process of abstaining from something for the purpose of worship, prayer, and self-discipline.
And keep in mind: Fasting doesnt merely mean: abstaining from food. After all, you can fast almost anything. For example, my wife will often fast sweets, desserts and candy. Other people fast movies, t.v. shows, or even coffee. But trust me: Fasting is one of the most amazing spiritual disciplines that God gives us. Fasting is the best mirror to reveal the true state of our self discipline. And if that sounds scary, consider your alternatives: Crisis and moral failure.
So how do I participate? Well, quite simply, pray about what God would have you fast & simply join in, January 7th through the 27th! Spiritual disciplines like this can actually be quite fun when youre doing it alongside a big group of people. Or, come out and hang with us at our Tues.night Deeper services. Pastor Rob Champion will be sharing some messages on Fasting. Also, heres a link to many of our past messages on fasting. Weve taught over 8 messages on fasting in the past two years. They are sure to get you super excited about your fast.
. Give yourself extra margin and rest. When you fast, plan on going to bed early.
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Types Of Fasting For Spiritual Breakthrough Benefits To Fasting
Fasting will increase your spirituality. God wants to bring an increase in all areas of your physical and spiritual life. Increase in intimacy with Him. See video on benefits to fasting.
When looking at types of fast for spiritual breakthough, it is a time of reflection and dealing with sin issues through repentance.
Developing a better hearing ear for God
God increases, doors begin to open for the physical increase as well. Increase in health and healing, strategies to improve finances, pathways to increase your joy, and so much more. God desires to grow you in both the physical and the spiritual realms of your life.
It also increases clarity and sensitivity to the spirit world.
Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To lose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Lose the bands of the yoke, a figure taken from the yoke which was borne by oxen, and which seems to have been attached to the neck by cords or bands
The yoke, in the Scripture, is usually regarded as an emblem of oppression, or compulsory toil, and is undoubtedly so used here. The same word used to denote burden , which in the subsequent member is rendered yoke, and the word which is rendered undo , is elsewhere employed to denote emancipation from servitude.
Pray During Your Fast
When you are supposed to be eating a meal, meditate on scripture and prayer. Food and drink will be a temptation, but persevere through this hard time and distract yourself with the Holy Word and your communication with the Lord. Your connection to Christ will feed you at a deeper level than youve ever imagined. Youll find yourself more dependent upon and more connected to Him.
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Drink Plenty Of Water
This fast is from food only you still want to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. For some, this may take some getting used to since most people dont drink nearly as much water on a daily basis as they should.
It is important to keep in mind that though you may not usually consume much water in general, without getting water from food and other sources, drinking water is crucial.
Though hydration is extremely important, dont stress out about trying to find out exactly how much water your body needs. An easy way to stay hydrated is just to drink a large glass of water every time you would typically have a meal or whenever you feel hungry.
The best part about water intake is it is actually fairly hard to drink too much, so just go off of how your body feels and you shouldnt have any issues.
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.
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What’s A Bigger Sacrifice Than Food
But just because you cannot give up food does not mean you can’t participate in the fasting experience. It is not necessarily what item you give up, but more about what that item means to you and how it reminds you to stay focused on the Lord. For example, it might be a bigger sacrifice for you to give up a favorite video game or television show, rather than food.
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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Why You Might Pray Through Fasting
There are many reasons to fast some reasons are good and some are bad. Some bad reasons to fast would be to lose weight, to feel more worthy of Gods love or to compare yourself to another person. Fasting should always be done out of love.
Its also worth noting that fasting from sin doesnt really count as fasting. Yes, we should eliminate sinful habits and whatever else keeps us from God, but just because we’re giving something up , it doesnt mean were actually fasting. Were just doing what were supposed to be doing!
What are some good reasons to fast? Fasting helps us to prepare for liturgical feasts like Easter, to master our instincts, to develop good spiritual habits, to grow in humility and dependence on God, to offer a sacrifice on behalf of an intention and to be more united with Christ. If any of these good reasons resonate with you, consider taking up a fast.
The Act Of Worshipping
Fasting is not a replacement for faith in Jesus. It is a servant of faith in Jesus. Fasting is a way of saying with their stomachs and their whole bodies need, want, and trust Jesus. It is a way of saying that Christians are not going to be enslaved by food as the source of their satisfaction. This is one form of worshipping.
Food is a gift from God, and believers glorify God with it in two ways, not just one way. They feast on it with gratitude for Gods goodness, and they also forfeit food out of hunger for God himself. When feasting, Christians gladly taste the emblem of their heavenly food: the Bread of Life, Jesus Himself. Both feasting and fasting are worship for Christians. They both magnify Christ. Of course, both have their peculiar dangers. The danger of feasting is that we fall in love with the gift, and the danger of fasting is that we belittle the gift and boast in our willpower, our discipline.
At its best, Christian fasting is simply a heartfelt, body-felt exclamation point at the end of the sentence I love you, God. I need you more than I need food and drink, more than I need my life.
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Do These Tasks As Usual
Besides those persons who must know that you are fasting, nobody should by observation detect that you are doing a Christian fast .
Do your personal hygiene routines as per unusual. Do your shower, grooming, and pay close attention to oral care.
Brush, floss, and gargle, lotion, and spray your usual body fragrance as usual, etc.
Dont allow your personal hygiene and appearance to change or deteriorate during fasting.
Look your usual self!
I sometimes observe people on public transportation like taxis, buses, and trains doing devotions!
Dont emulate them.
If reading your Bible and praying is so important to you, to the extent that you MUST do them, then why dont you wake early enough to complete them at home?
While doing your Christian fasting or otherwise, please read and pray in secret .
We are fasting to God not to man!
There are no biblical pre-written prayers to say while fasting.
Things To Expect In A Time Of Fasting With God
What are the things youve been praying about for a long time without answer? The salvation of a sibling and spouse, a direction in life, being able to have babies, Unity in your Church and a spirit of Support Those are things from my list. Fasting is a way to Pray harder to draw near to the heart of God in humility seeking Him for help. If you are taking on that Challenge with me, there are some things you can Expect in a Time of Fasting with God.
Psalm 69:10 When I wept in my soul with fasting, It became my reproach.
Be sure to go back to the beginning of the series and see:
Today we will look at What to Expect Before, During and After a Time of Fasting with God
In the midst of those dry seasons where youve been asking but not hearing from God Its easy to give into Anxiety. Ive struggled with Anxiety for years and these are 40 of my Favorite Scriptures to Read and Journal Through. Id love to give them to you today!
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Politely Decline Dining Offers
What makes fasting extremely difficult in our culture is that everything revolves around food. We are a food-worshipping, food-obsessed culture, even in the church, and somehow were proud of it. As much as you live food, God is not your stomach. When youre inevitably invited to lunch or dinner with someone, or have unwanted food placed in front of you, simply use these words with a polite smile: No thanks, Im not hungry. By using that simple phrase, you excuse yourself from the social obligation to eat and also keep your fast a secret.
The Duration Of The Fast
Fasting can be done on a daily, weekly, or annual basis. Many people who choose to fast do so intermittently, such as during a portion of their workday, to focus on seeking God for an hour or two, and then they go back to a regular eating schedule. Others find benefits in fasting during a certain time of the month or year to pursue guidance and direction from God. Again, the duration and length of your fast are personal decisions only you can make.
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Why Should I Pray
This is good to know because right from the beginning, we understand that prayer to God is not to wow man. We pray in order to enter into communion with the Father to speak to him, and to hear from him. What are some of the other benefits of prayer? According to this Christianity.com devotional, here are just a few:
1. A habit of prayer brings great encouragement to the one who prays. In the Bible, we see that prayer moved God to raise the dead, heal the sick, save souls, draw water from a rock and send bread from heaven. Prayer even made the sun stand still!
2.A habit of prayer creates holy men and women. The more we seek God out in prayer, the more our hearts are aligned with what God desires for us and we become holier men and women in the process.
3. If we do not pray, we run the risk of backsliding in our faith. To be clear, Ryle doesn’t mean we should fear losing our salvation. However, without prayer you run the risk of becoming stagnant in your faith, of falling back into sinful habits and temptations that you had once overcome through prayer. Relationships turn sour, often because of poor communication. So too with us and God.
4. A habit of prayer brings peace and contentment. We live in a sin-filled world. Sorrows and troubles abound. So how do we combat sadness, disappointments, fears, slanders, and hurt? When we cry out to our Father, He offers us peace that transcends our understanding. This is one of the richest blessings of our faith.
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