WHAT IS FASTING?
DEFINITION OF BIBLICAL FASTING: The voluntary sacrifice or abstinence of food, drink, or both for the purpose of surrendering our natural needs to God and becoming dependent upon His sustaining life.
When we look through the scriptures prayer & fasting are two spiritual disciplines that are often paired together. (Matthew 17:21 is a wonderful example). Prayer and fasting are a part of our partnership with God in ministering to the world around us and are used as spiritual weapons in actively resisting Satan (Ephesians 6:12-18, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
THIS PARTNERSHIP INVOLVES 3 THINGS:
First, God initiates what He wants by declaring it in His Word and stirring our hearts to believe for it.
Second, we respond in obedience with prayer and fasting.
Third, God answers our response by releasing that for which we have prayed for.
7 REASONS FOR BIBLICAL FASTING
In obedience to God’s Word (Matthew 9:14-15)
To become dependent upon God
To experience God’s power in personal ministry (Matthew 17:21)
For the fulfillment of God’s promises (Luke 2:36-38 tells the story of a woman named Anna who fasted and prayed for the promise of the coming Messiah.)
When seeking God’s direction and wisdom (Acts 14:23)
For God’s protection (Daniel 6:16-23, Esther 4:16)
For biblical understanding and clarity
TYPES OF FASTS
COMPLETE FAST: Abstaining from all food and drink
WATER ONLY FAST: Abstaining from all food and drink except for water
PARTIAL FAST: Abstaining from certain foods and drinks
Abstain from sugar
Abstain from caffeine
Daniel Fast is fruit, nuts, vegetables and water only (Daniel 1:8, 10:2-3)
DISCIPLINE FAST: Examples
Abstain from engaging social media
Abstain from watching TV
CORPORATE FAST: A fast that is calls a church body to collectively seek God together
INDIVIDUAL FAST: A fast that is decided on between an individual and God
LENGTHS OF FASTS: Examples of various fasting times that can be used to seek God
1 meal per day
HOW TO START
Pick your fast
Type and length of fast
Set goals and write them down
When will you pray?
What will you do during your fasted meals or time?
How long will your fast last?
Read the Word of God during your fasting time
Pick a book of the Bible
Pick a subject of the Bible to study
Open your life before God
Expect God to move