Scriptures on fasting: God created the human body as a finely tuned physical engine of enormous power, but it requires fuel to keep operating. That fuel is known as food.
God created within us an appetite for food, known as hunger, to ensure that the body receives fuel. Food satisfies our appetite and provides us with energy as part of nature’s balance to keep life going.
Why would anyone choose to go hungry?
In modern times, we are conditioned to eat three times per day. We are constantly reminded that a good breakfast is the foundation of the day. Eat so you will be strong.
We were taught in school to eat three square meals a day and exercise to be strong, so why go without eating?
The world calls not eating dieting, and usually does it to lose weight or for health reasons, but some go without eating for spiritual reasons. This referred to in the scripture as fasting.
A fast is typically held for a set period of time in order to achieve a spiritual goal. Consider the following Old Testament example.
Once a year, the Jewish believers were required to fast, Leviticus 16:29. And this shall be a statue forever unto you, that in the seventh month on the 10th day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls and do not work at all, whether it be one of your own country or a stranger that sojourneth among you.
Because this fast was observed on the day of atonement, it is known as the Yom Kippur fast. The phrase means day of atonement.
God require his people to fast once a year on the day of atonement. Everyone went without eating. Why everyone?
Because God desire that everyone recall the solemn experience of his salvation. On the day of atonement, the high priest entered the Holy of Holies and offered the blood of an animal in exchange for everyone’s sins.
Leviticus 16:24, ” And he shall wash his flesh with water in the holy place and put on his garments and come forth, and offer his burnt offering, and the burnt offering of the people, and make an atonement for himself and for the people.”
Because the day of atonement dealt with the sins of the nation, everyone fasted to identify with the high priest, who sacrificed a lamb for the forgiveness of their sin.
Jesus Christ said to his disciples, when you fast, Matthew 6:6-18, “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 receive their reward in full,”
17, “But when you fast, put oil on you head and wash your face,” 18, “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, will reward you.”
When you give up food, both enjoyable and necessary, you draw God’s attention. Even back then, Jesus warned us not to flaunt our fasting.
Jesus warn his disciples not to fast for public acclaim. The fact that he says, “Whenever you fast,” indicates that he regards fasting as a legitimate spiritual discipline.
To fast is to temporarily abstain from a bodily craving, usually food, for the sake of a spiritual need. Instead of eating, you devote yourself to secret prayer, seeking God’s intervention in the kingdom.
However, if your goal in avoiding food is for others compliment you on how spiritual you appear, then their approval will be reward.
If you have never fasted before, the thought of going food for any length of time is probably frightening. People are concerned about variety of issues because we are programmed to eat three times a day.
Many people wonder if they will go hungry and if the hunger will be painful. Others have different concerns such as “Can i hold out?”
They don’t want to embark on a journey they won’t be able to complete. What if you see a television commercial that suggest a candy bar will help you get through the afternoon slump?
Others are concerned about how their friends will perceive them if they fast. “Will my friends think i am weird if they find out i am fasting?”
The answer is simple. You don’t fast to impress your friends, and you usually don’t even tell them. As stated above, Jesus Christ said, “When you fast anoint your head and wash your face so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father, who is in the secret place, and your Father who sees in secret, will reward you openly,” Matthe6:18.
Jesus was reminding us not to make an outward show of our religious dedication to God. Fasting, on the other hand, is a private commitment between you and God.
You can fast privately and not tell anyone. Other times you will participate in a public fast, such as with your church or another individual.
To solve a problem, Ezra fasted with 4000 people, and Esther asked all Jewish believers to fast for divine intervention.
Every year in May, Christians are invited to participate in the national day of prayer and fasting.
WHAT IS FASTING?
Fasting is a biblical discipline that can help anyone improve their spiritual fitness and become a prayer warrior for God.
Fasting is not the same thing as dieting, and fasting is not the same thing as eliminating food for health. There are many kinds of fasting, for a spiritual reason.
Some believe that Christians do not require discipline. However, we build our strength through spiritual exercises.
We must remember that we are Christ’s soldiers. A good soldier is well-versed in a variety of disciplines. Fasting is just one of a Christian’s many disciplines.
Expect opposition when fasting. If you pray for others, whether for your church or for people’s salvation, Satan will oppose you.
Fasting, like climbing a mountain, is both spiritually and physically demanding. Set out on this adventure with a clear understanding of what you are doing and the knowledge that the road ahead may be difficult, but the benefits will be well worth it.
Start small if this is your first fast. God will honor your first step of faith, which may appear small to others but be a giant one for you.
God is also concerned about your heart’s response during a fast. Your attitude is a very serious part of your fast, just like when a man proposes to a woman.
It is not the length of his proposal that gets a yes, but his heart. So when you start fasting, don’t worry about how long your fast should last.
Just make sure your relationship with God is in good working order. God is aware of everything, He understand and values the sincerity of your prayers over and above their length, so if you never fasted before, star with a one meal skip fast.
In the Old Testament, Jews were required to fast for one day on Yom Kippur every year. A day began at sundown and ended at sundown the following day, according to the Jewish calendar.
God taught the Jews how to count their days, so the evening and the morning were the first day, Genesis 1:5.
Plan to start your fast when the sun goes down, or perhaps a little before the sun goes down. This means you are going to do without the normal evening meal, then skip breakfast, and lunch the following day.
After the sun went down, most Jews broke their fast by eating a normal meal. Fasting with pal. Even though private prayer and fasting is the foundation of all intercession, if you have never walked this path before, you may want to start your fasting journey with someone else.
If you are fasting for a specific answer to a prayer, invite someone else to pray and fast with you. There is strength in numbers.
Jesus said in Matthew 18:18-19, “Truly i tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Again, truly i tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
This verses are not just about prayer, they are also about the commitment we make in agreement with someone else.
Consider it this way, when planning a vacation with someone else, it is more memorable if you plan, dream and share experiences together.
When you share your vacation with someone else, you probably get more out of it. The same is true for fasting, when you share the experience of fasting and praying together, your prayers are likely to be focused.
Fasting with another person, on the other hand, has additional advantages. You have someone with whom you can discuss your doubts, questions and fears.
If fasting sears you, the strength of another can help you get through it. You can always call each other for advice and ask each other, “How is it going?”
That phone call might give you the motive you need to keep going. Don’t forget about the celebration.
When you climb the mountain by yourself, you are doing so to prove something to yourself, and the victory is yours alone.
When you climb the mountain with others, however, you have many people to celebrate with when you reach the top.
You cheer, hug and then return to tell everyone about you victory. When you have finished fasting, you can rejoice together. Simply being together makes victory taste even sweeter.
Another advantage of fasting with a friend is that it establishes accountability. You will be less tempted to sneak a snack or break your trust if you know a friend is aware of your fast.
Perhaps you have previously jogged or walked for health with a friend. If so, you understand how having a partner can help you stay committed when things get tough.
If you are strong, you won’t need someone to help you with accountability, but if you are not collaborating with someone who is in the same boat as you may be beneficial.
Purposeful fasting. When you are ready to fast, look deep within your heart to find out why you are fasting.
There are numerous reasons to fast, which we will discuss. You might already have a reason to fast.
When young David went out to face Goliath, no other Israeli soldier would face the Colossus. They not only refused to fight Goliath, but each gave David a different reason to avoid the battle.
But David would not be deterred, he had a compelling reason to fight this particular giant and battle. It is not just a matter of praying and fasting.
We are fasting for a reason. Are you willing to fast and abandon pleasure?
Make a list of your cause, put it down on paper so you can see it with your own eyes. When you keep a cause wrapped up in your mind, it can become blurred or vague.
You may have a general idea about why you should fast right now, but take the time to write down your reasoning. It will sharpen your focus if you see it written down.
Plan Everything, don’t enter your fast casually or with a hit of miss attitude. Plan to succeed, if don’t, you will most likely fail.
Don’t participate in a fast just to see how far you can get. “I will try it until i get hungry,” some people have said of fasting, they then give up at the first sign of discomfort.
Make a firm commitment on fast for one day, regardless of the circumstances. You have progressed from thinking about fasting and wishing to be more spiritual to taking the next step and committing to seek God for your cause.
You are committing yourself to fast based on grace and God’s help.
What Kind Of Fast?
The absolute fast: This is a fat where you eliminate all food and water. Paul follow this type of fast for three days after he saw the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus and was struck blind.
And he, Paul, was three days without sight and neither ate nor drank, Act 9:9.
In your first fast, do not follow the absolute fast, this fast is intended for those who are deeply distressed or who are fasting to solve a severe problem, such as deliverance from an addiction or protection from spiritual adversary.
The Normal fast: During this fast, you avoid all solid foods and drink only liquids. Fasting is the most often used in the scripture to refer to people who do not eat solid food, the issue of drinking liquids is usually omitted.
In those days, He, Jesus, ate nothing and afterward when they had ended, he was hungry, Luke 4:2.
There is no mention of Jesus drinking liquids. When people fast, what do they drink?
Many people cut out enjoyable drink items like soda and various types of fruit drinks. This corresponds to the Old Testament description of them afflicting themselves and fasting. Isaiah 58:3.
Why have we fasted, they say, and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?
Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers.
The partial fast: In this fast, you eliminate certain liquids or certain solids, but not all liquids and solids. This is also called the Daniel fast, because he would not eat at the king’s table, but insisted.
Daniel 1:12, “Please test your servant for 10 days. Give us nothing but vegetable to eat and water to drink.”
Fast did not harm Daniel or his friends. At another time, Daniel reflected the spirit of the partial fast.
Daniel 10:3, “I ate no choice food. No meat or wine touched my lips, and i used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.”
This is a partial fast that specifies what Daniel avoided.
- Pleasant food, similar to our donuts or cakes, a dessert fast.
- Meat – This was non-meat diet.
- Wine, which is pleasurable to bring joy.
The John Wesley fast. As the founder and leader of the great Methodist movement, John Wesley called all of his parish preachers to Newchapel or London for a conference every two or three months. To prepare spiritually for the conference.
Wesley fasted for 10 days before each conference, eating only bread, natural whole grain, and drinking water. Wesley fasted and prayed for spiritual power to influence his ministries at these meetings.
Everyone agrees that those Methodist preachers left the conference with the intention of changing the world. Those preachers established the world’s largest protestant denomination, a reflection of God’s honoring of Wesley’s spiritual dedication of fasting and prayer.
The rotation fast: This fast is rarely used in Christian circles because it is used for medical purposes, primarily to determine a person’s reaction or allergy to specific food groups.
To cleanse his system, the patient usually has a one day normal or absolute fast. Then for 6 days, only one new food group is introduced, eaten each day, rotating through the six food groups.
This aids in determining what food is causing a person’s physical problem through elimination and exclusion.
HOW TO CHOOSE A FAST
When preparing to fast, there are several factors to consider. Consider your specific situation before deciding on the best approach for you. Here are the few ideas:
As mentioned above, if this is your first fast, i recommend starting with the one day Yom Kippur fast. If you want to fast for a longer period of time to address a serious or ongoing problem, perhaps fasting one day per week for three weeks is preferable to starting with a three day fast.
Remember that if this is your first fast you are embarking on an unknown journey. You should proceed with caution, because you are learning new skills and attitudes for both your body and soul.
Your first fast should be a normal fast in which you eat nothing but liquids for one day. This practice will assist in training your body to not react negatively if you later eliminate both food and liquid.
The matching factor:
You should try to match the reason for your fast with the type of fast. Choose a normal fast for a routine request.
Choose a fast with more stringent requirements for a more serious problem.
The comfort factor:
You should feel at peace with both the length and type of fat. Obviously, as you decided what you will eliminate when you pray, you should not guess yourself, nor should you feel guilty that you are doing the wrong thing.
Choose a type of fast that allows you to be comfortable with your decision.
The time factor:
Obviously a variety of factors influence your decision to fast, or the length of your fast. You must think about your weekly schedule.
What days of the week are not suitable for fasting?
What special event is coming up when fasting is not advised?
Thanksgiving, Christmas, weddings and so on. Never start a fat with a long fast, you have no idea what to expect from your body or how you will react emotionally.
A one day fast is very simple. Whatever fast you choose as your first, keep in mind that it is a leap of faith. God sees your heart and will reward you accordingly.
Have you learn from this article that is about fasting?
Do you have any question to ask or any contribution to make?
Kindly use the comment button below.
May the Lord God bless you with your effort to praise his name.
There are others scriptures that can help you spiritually check below.