The Power of Prayer and Fasting •“However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:21) Overcoming Unbelief And, as Jesus said in Mark 9:29, sometimes fasting is required to cast out certain kinds of demons. This fast omits certain foods or can be on a schedule that includes limited eating. Fasting, according to the Bible, means to voluntarily reduce or eliminate your intake of food for a … – Elder Carl B. Pratt | The Blessings of a Proper Fast Other religions also stress the value of these practices. ²Arthur Wallis, God’s Chosen Fast (Fort Washington, PA: CLC Publications, 1993). They were meant to be methods of communication and acts of affection. ¹Donald Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2014). If considering this fast, a fast meal is not your regular meal size. Food is necessary for life. When we fast and pray, another benefit is receiving God’s intervention in our circumstances. When we grieve, our family and friends often have to plead with us to eat because our body’s appropriate response to grief is to fast. Meditate on The LORD: Who He is. Fasting is a kind of special measure in the life of faith. Franklin Hall, The Fasting Prayer 10 Benefits of Fasting and Prayer 1 – Deeper Intimacy with God. The prayers that you pray during a time of fasting will move the Hand that controls the universe! In Scripture, this type of fast is generally carried out with other believers. 10 Verses on Prayer. 1. He is sovereign and mighty, just and righteous. I keep hearing about fasting and prayer lately. You may even ask others to join you as you seek God’s will for your life. If you would like to study more on fasting, there is another study I wrote for the series The War Against Satan and His Angels, the study is number 10 and called: Only By Prayer and Fasting Prayer: Father, would you help us as we grow in faith by fasting and prayer. Fasting and prayer will deepen our relationship with God and when we willingly give up food to spend time with Him, we will develop a deeper intimacy with Him. Praying while fasting positions us victoriously. Fasting is an appropriate bodily reaction to the grievous state of our soul. The difference is in your choice. Some things only come through prayer and fasting. How should we equip ourselves when God calls us to “declare a holy fast”? Praise God! You may also want to read 7 Benefits of Biblical Fasting: How to Fast the Right Way by Kelly R Baker who gives fasting tips to help you get started. But fasting combined with prayer brings increased spiritual power. Hello, Asheesh! Jonah 3:4-10 tells when Jonah reluctantly obeyed God and gave the people of Nineveh the message from God…to repent of their wicked ways. Susan Nelson of Woman of Noble Character has a great post about biblical fasting and includes the sexual fast that I didn’t mention. We need nourishment for energy and strength. Whenever you fast, do so for a reason that is mentioned or modeled in the Bible. Glad you were able to visit today, and I’m glad this post was beneficial for your spiritual growth! It Allows Us To Deny Ourselves. I am asking for prayer from you and from others who may read this. God sees that you are committed to the “yes” answer so keep on praying until you receive it! Are you interested in a private social network community to study the Word of God and even participate in Bible Writing Challenges? Not only in the thing you are praying for but also for every area of your life. King Solomon wrote much about the importance of gaining wisdom and understanding. You are showing God that you will not let go of Him until you receive your answer. They were not taking their fast seriously as they were enjoying their daily pleasures. The outcome will be His perfect will in your circumstances. That is awesome that your church is doing the 21 Days of Prayer now. The religion of Islam also embraces the importance of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, particularly during the season of Ramadan. Approaching God with a reverent heart as you voluntarily give up the necessity of life (your food), God will respond as He said in 2 Chronicles 7:14. It could be that you fast two of the three meals a day, or that you eat only fresh raw vegetables. We can use time we’d normally spend eating to fast and minister to others. And, yes, fasting and prayer has been on my heart and mind a lot lately too. When weight loss is the goal of fasting, your thoughts will be focused on the lack of food and your daily weight rather than focused on God through prayer. Don’t boast about your fast; tell people you won’t be eating only if necessary. Fasting without prayer is just going hungry for 24 hours. Fasting, along with your prayer and As with Nehemiah, fasting can be a tangible sign of our concern over a particular work God is doing. I am a serious seeker of God’s will for my life. The evening of October 4 th begins Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and that is why we end our ten days of praying then and will celebrate in our “Church in … The Bible has a great deal to say about both fasting and praying, including... 2. This is often called the Daniel Fast. They were more beautiful than Solomon. Neither is it the Biblical definition of fasting. I follow a specific fast method by Dr Jordan Rubin, author of The Maker’s Diet Revolution. A s ensitivity to God’s voice. Fasting is n… Fasting should always be limited to a set time because not eating for extended periods can be damaging to the body. You may be praying for self-control or self-discipline in a certain area of your life and soon after your time of fasting, you may begin to notice the victory in that area. In some Biblical examples, God instructed His people to go without food and water, including the animals. On the other hand fasting is defined as going without food to focus on prayer and fellowship with the Lord . Become a member here: DIG Bible Study Community, The Complete Fasting & Prayer Journaling Kit, 7 Benefits of Biblical Fasting: How to Fast the Right Way. Fasting should not be done when imposed for false motives (see 1 Samuel 14:24-30). While strongholds can be broken through commanding the evil spirits along with using the name of Jesus, fasting can add more spiritual power to the breaking of strongholds. She is a serious student of the Word, focusing on the Inductive Bible Study Method since 2007. Yet, He is merciful and gracious, kind and loving. The Power of Prayer and Fasting •Jesus fasted •Jesus taught His disciples to fast •Jesus expected His followers to fast after He left the earth. Avoid distractions. There are many people who are unable to abstain from food for medical reasons. Throughout the Bible we most often find God’s people turn to fasting as the natural, inevitable response to a grievous sacred moment in life, such as death, sin and tragedy. Here are ten primary purposes for fasting mentioned in Scripture:¹, Numerous incidents in the Old Testament connect fasting to prayer, especially intercessory prayer. God wants us to die to self and learn death-to-self during a fast. It is of utmost importance to pray fervently by The Help of The Holy Spirit. Our spirit and soul experience joy because of fasting. IMPORTANCE OF FASTING AND PRAYERS. But other times a fast is not a spontaneous reaction and we have time to prepare to respond both physically and spiritually. Plan Your Fast. The purpose of fasting is to seek the face of the Lord in prayers and the study of the word. Do you fast periodically or regularly? We will continue this series on Prayer and Fasting. If God has not called you to it, then do not do it. We are targeted by the enemy and need God’s divine help in winning the victory. Sometimes we do not see the results we are seeking in our regular prayers. Fasting is not a death sentence. You may be earnestly seeking salvation for loved ones through times of fasting and prayer. The second force in the deliverance of the child was what I call intimacy with God. Look again at Isaiah 58:1-14. In fact, Christianity inherited them from Judaism, out of which it was born. Also, I should mention that fasting for the purpose of weight loss or weight management is not the focus of this post. To seek God’s guidance (e.g., see Judges 20:26) As with prayer, fasting to seek God’s guidance isn’t … Following the Call: Are You a Disciple Making Disciples. Another of the many benefits of fasting and prayer is receiving personal victories in your own life. Spend additional time meditating on God’s Word, before and during the fast. Is there anything you can add about the benefits of fasting and prayer? God may be calling you into a new area of ministry. I have been through hell with the recent divorce and everything that led up to it. In the New Testament, fasting is recommended as a way to grow closer to God, much like we do in prayer. The intricacies of biblical fasting. Going without food can be. Normal life is not fasting. The Scriptures Teach Us to Fast and Pray Fasting, as a handmaid of prayer, makes some special plea to God, with an added intensity from normal, everyday prayer. The theology of fasting is a theology of priorities in which believers are given the opportunity to express themselves in an undivided and intensive devotion to the Lord and to the concerns of spiritual life. Ever notice that when you’re moved to tears by grief you lose the urge to eat? However I still have the desire for restoration of the family. You now know at least 10 benefits of fasting along with the four kinds of fasts that one could practice. There is no doubt about it, fasting declares war on our sinful nature. A Biblical example is in 2 Chronicles 20:1-37 (it’s an amazing story of victory) when God’s people were under attack by the Ammonites and Moabites. Blessings, Cindy. It will help you to overcome sin, bad habits, and help open your eyes to things that are displeasing to God in your life. What He has done for us! You can stay in touch with Cindy on Facebook through 215 Ministry. 1. At the same time, prayer and fasting is definitely something we should be doing. Distress and grief. The impact of biblical fasting. If you desire community, please consider my DIG Bible Study Community where we write out the Word, study, and pray together. The result may be immediate, soon after or even weeks or months later but God will answer. How He is. I often practice this normal fast for shorter time periods. Here are some tips for fasting… 1. While we are not perfect, we are also not powerless. Their obedience was to accomplish a specific end result. The fasting prayer is the what the Lord Jesus Christ told us would produce the faith to remove the mountains (Matt. “Consider the lilies,” Jesus said to His disciples, and to us, today. My church is starting a one week fast this Sunday. Fasting and Prayer helps us to focus on and enhance our relationship with our God. David longed for the presence of God as He cried night and day, Psalm 42:1-3, and again in Psalm 63:1-11, we see how he longed for God. The importance of fasting: Be sure to consult a doctor before starting any fasting regimen to make sure you can fast in a healthy manner. Prayer is a ready weapon in the spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:18), and fasting helps to focus prayer and give it resolve. This type of fasting helps us to express grief over our sins and shows our seriousness about returning to the path of godly obedience. During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave specific instructions on how to fast (Matthew 6:16-18). The New Testament prophetess Anna is praised in the book of Luke for … Prepare your body Esther (Esther 4:16) and Ezra (Ezra 8:21-23) also fasted for God’s intervention and protection. Oh, God is BIG! We see with our limited vision and wonder why God isn’t answering us right away. This fast is going without food for a pre-determined period during which you consume only liquids (water and/or juice). That message resulted in the entire city repenting before God. 1. There is no scriptural warrant for harming yourself to undergo a fast. A Biblical definition of fasting is going without food or sustenance for a specific period of time. Far too often, though, the focus of prayer and fasting is on abstaining from food. Whether you are fasting and praying regularly, you always have access to Christ, Romans 5:2; Ephesians 2:18; 3:12. Day of Fasting and Prayer By Pastor Rick Warren WHAT IS FASTING? Article drawn from study features in the NIV Lifehacks Bible. Our time spent in fasting and prayer before God will be rewarded as we see the glory of the LORD, Isaiah 58:8. Fasting is setting aside the things that gratifies the flesh, for instance food to seek the Lord in prayers and bible study. As with prayer, fasting to seek God’s guidance isn’t done to change God but to make us more receptive to his guidance. Fasting with prayer must be Spirit-led to be effective. Daniel 10:12; 14 tells us that God heard Daniel’s heart and saw his humility in fasting and sent the angel to help him understand. Hi Cindy my name is Janice. James 4:1-10 reminds us that our bodies want what it wants but we have the Spirit of God living in us to help us overcome the temptations we face. Fasting food for any length of time is humbling. Fasting can show, as John Piper says, that “what we hunger for most, we worship.”⁴. The Holy Spirit responded with the direction to send out Barnabas and Saul for ministry to where He was calling them. Developing a habit of regular fasting will increase our awareness of our personal weaknesses and allow us to pray for victory in those areas. Fasting was not a stranger to the early church. Learn how your comment data is processed. Through deep prayer we can combat spiritual opposition and satanic strongholds. As we spend time seeking God in fasting and prayer, we will begin to see two things: ourselves the way He sees us and the situation we’re praying for as He sees it. Humble yourself. Blessings, Cindy. In addition, she desires for women to develop an intense yearning to draw closer to God through reading and writing out the Bible. May you and your church hear from God the direction He is leading you in 2020. When we fast, God expects us to humble ourselves, 2 Chronicles 7:14, so that we can see the situation as God sees it. As led by The Holy Spirit, quiet yourself and hear Him, (Habakkuk 2:1). This fast is recommended for shorter time periods. Either way, fasting and prayer will equip you in breaking the bonds of wickedness, Isaiah 58:6. You should enter your fast with prayer and a Prayer is the language specific plan for how long you will fast. He desires that all be saved unto eternal life (John 3:16) so such a prayer is in accordance with God’s will. When the Jesus’s disciples were unable to deliver a young boy of an evil spirit, Jesus told them, “This kind cannot come out, except by prayer,” (see Mark 9:29). The eyes are the mirror to the soul. These two things go hand in hand. You can read more about this in Is Humility Part of Fasting and Prayer? Prayer and fasting were never meant to be religious exercises. You may be fasting to break the devil’s strongholds in areas of your life or others. , Hi, Kelly! This was such a great, detailed post and very timely as our church is doing 21 Days of Prayer right now so this really encouraged me!! The partial fast is the other one that I do at least twice a year for 10 days each. The centurion, Cornelius, was seeking the Lord with prayer and fasting (ACTS 10:30). God is speaking to His people to fast and pray and draw near to Him. We’d love to meet you and support you in prayer in our Prayer and Praise Report group. Fasting will help you have a more intimate relationship with Christ. Food is available but you choose not to eat, or food is not available when you need to eat. Melissa Davisson of Cups to Crowns shares some great info about Types and Lengths of Fasting. “The Father knows what you need before you ask Him” – Matthew 6:8 3. Fasting is unbiblical and even spiritually harmful when we do it to show off our spirituality (see Matthew 6:16 – 18) or when we focus more on our own fasting than on the clear needs of others (see Isaiah 58:1 – 11). The Bible has examples of one-day, three-day, seven-day and forty-day fasts (Judges 20:26, Esther 4:16, 1 Samuel 31:13 and Matthew 4 respectively). Each of these can take hours to unpack but I want to do an overview of each and hopefully encourage you to do sort of fasting in the course of the weeks ahead. This powerful bible verses about fasting will help your spiritual understanding about the subject of fasting. They choose to deny themselves something else of value to them such as fasting television or fasting social media. The holy King David plunged into … Turn to Scripture Judges 20:26 Then all the people of Israel, the whole army, went up and came to … Control those wandering eyes. Is it for spiritual renewal, for guidance, for healing, for the … When you are called to pray and fast for a specific purpose, you are stating to the supernatural realm that you are earnest and sincere in desiring God’s will in your situation. While we cannot control or manipulate God to answering our prayers the way we want, God will see your heart and respond according to His plan. I do, however, encourage every believer to fast and pray for two very important reasons: 1. 17:19-21).” - Rev. We are letting God know that we need to hear from Him. From God’s perspective, He saw the outward appearance of the people fasting but their hearts were in the wrong place. Why are you fasting? Rather than wondering whether you should fast, ask why you would want to miss out on the Father’s reward. Also, thank you for the link back! You go without food too long, you can get sick and die. How to Start a Fast and The Best Way to Break a Fast, 8 Ways You Can Store Up Treasures in Heaven. Graham posted to his Facebook page October 20th, “I urge you to join me for a day of prayer and fasting for our nation on this Sunday, October 25. Stay tuned for future posts on this topic. When we fast, we add a spiritual weapon to our prayers that will break the bonds of wickedness and break the heavy yoke, Isaiah 58:6. (This is not an affiliate link.). What a pleasant surprise. “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone will come after Me, let … There you go. It will minister to Him and will bring glory and honour to Him. Their fasting and seeking God resulted in a dramatic deliverance. Paul exhorts us to have times of abstinence in marriage, "that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer" (1 CORINTHIANS 7:5). Their change of heart caused God to spare them for 100 years. “Remember that fasting itself is not humility before God,” reminds Donald Whitney, “but should be an expression of humility.”³. If you are considering the longer fasts (1 month or 40 days or longer), it is advisable to seek medical advice. The importance of intimacy with God shown by prayer and fasting. Cindy teaches hundreds of women in her private online Bible Study Group who express their joy of growing deeper in their spiritual walk. The duration could be 1 day, 3 days, 1 week, 1 month or 40 days. I am considering fasting along with my fervent prayer. Fasting and prayer will deepen our relationship with God and when we willingly give up... 2 – Answers to Fervent Prayer. Jesus taught us the importance of fasting for Christians today. Esther 9:3--Fasting is mentioned as having had a role in the victory Psalm 35:13,14--Fasting in prayer and mourning Psalm 69: 10,11--Fasting in prayer and mourning Isaiah 58:6-8--The fast which pleases God Jeremiah 36:9--Israel fasted for mercy Joel 1:14; 2:12,15--God commanded fasting and repentance Because the truth of God tells us we are not to worry. What do you like/love about it? “On all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” – Ephesians 6:18 2. When you fast, you are notifying heaven that you are committed to receiving God’s will for your situation. Check your inbox for the confirmation email. When Daniel sought the LORD for help, he fasted for 21 days to gain understanding and wisdom for his situation. This rotation allows for some food to be available each day. very powerful and helpful for my spiritual life. Similar to God’s instructions on prayer, fasting is to be a personal discipline. Keep it secret God said to them, 2 Chronicles 20:15, that the battle was not theirs but His. Her passion is to teach women how to study the Bible using this method. Fasting and prayer are a necessity for Christians, to enable them to seek the face of God wholly. As you spend time in fasting and prayer, believe that God will give you wisdom and understanding. If you’re thinking about it, sign up here: https://digbiblestudies.com. Instead, the purpose of Christian fasting should be to take our eyes off the things of this world and focus our thoughts on God. Fasting and prayer is a time to separate yourself from your regular patterns and from things of the world and come closer to the Lord. He would be with them and He would deliver them, 2 Chronicles 20:17. Through deep fervent prayer, we can avail much over demonic strongholds. Practical Points In this passage, we are told to submit to God, resist the devil, draw close to God, humble yourself in God’s sight and He will lift you up. Therefore, these “10 Days of Prayer & Fasting” are perfect timing for praying for the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior! Hello, Rejoice! Developing humility is a recognition of who you are in relation to God. ⁴John Piper, A Hunger for God (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1997). Fasting is a spiritual discipline that is taught in the Bible. He will give you a clear mind and better understanding. The importance of biblical fasting. Fasting does not change whether God hears our prayers, but it can change our praying. We need food to survive. Thanks for asking, this blog is for everyone, not just women, though in my posts I often refer to women as I speak from this viewpoint. Another common reason for fasting in the Old Testament was to seek deliverance from enemies or circumstances. It was a regular practice in the early church to fast and pray for God’s will when ordaining elders in the church. When we are fasting for spiritual breakthroughs in our lives, we will reap benefits that we may not expect. These three practices are not unique to Christianity, of course. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. When we are humble before God, spiritual benefits will follow. Here we have gathered biblical examples of fasting to illustrate its importance and utility in drawing near to God. A necessary step before fasting is to humble yourself before God (see Psalm 35:13) and confess your sins (see 1 Samuel 7:6). Remember this verse in Zechariah 4:6, …Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Fasting is not an end unto itself, but a means of focusing our minds and bodies for a spiritual reason. Prayer and Fasting Breaks Satanic Strongholds. Some strongholds are stronger than others, meaning that they may have been nagging the believer much longer than others, or, they are stronger simply because the evil spirits are stronger. Fasting can help us focus when we are struggling with particular temptations. It is a handful as compared to a plateful. Jesus expected his followers to fast, and he said that God rewards fasting. May God lead your church leadership in what He wants your church focus to be in 2020 and beyond! Here are some things to consider as you prepare for fasting: Pray and confess your sins After being anointed by the Holy Spirit, He was led into the wilderness to fast and pray for 40 days (Matthew 4:2). GREATER INTIMACY WITH GOD We deny our carnal nature in order to fulfill the desires of God. Just because someone else is fasting doesn’t mean that you need to fast. “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 10. One more thing to remember, the goal of fasting is not simply to receive the benefits, it is primarily to draw closer to God as you petition Him with your request(s). Fasting played an important role in the life and ministry of Jesus. He sees the big picture and has a specific time for everything to be accomplished. When we fast for something going on in our life, we are expressing to God that this need is specific, personal and requires special attention from God. Fasting, must be combined with prayer, otherwise fasting will become a health-conscious activity to reduce weight loss etc. We have also learned that Jesus expects His followers to fast as necessary in Part 2. He stresses therein, that he is proving himself in fasting to be a servant of God (2 CORINTHIANS 6:5). As Arthur Wallis says, “Fasting is calculated to bring a note of urgency and importunity into our praying, and to give force to our pleading in the court of heaven.”². ¹Donald Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2014). Set Your Objective. It’s a heart thing. An absolute fast is when you do not consume any food or water or liquids of any kind. The Book of Proverbs will teach you much about wisdom, as will spending time in God’s presence. According to research, fasting does have many health benefits, such as weight loss, reduced cholesterol as well as it helps to lower blood pressure. If so, it would be wise to spend time in fasting and prayer to seek His will. I’m looking forward to it. Prayer and fasting are important tools in the fight against fear and worry. If it is done correctly you can expect many results, including growing closer to God, feeling more solidarity with those who suffer, and increasing self-control. These prayers bring the forces of God into action on your behalf when prayer ALONE will not break through. On this fast, you would consume food on a rotational basis, ie, every second day you would consume raw vegetables or every fourth day, you would eat grains and legumes. The individuals of biblical fasting. Cindy Barnes has been called by God in the early 80s to be a teacher of His Word. Hi, Diane. Thanks for stopping by today. Since fasting involves humility and the attitude of our hearts, the abstinence we choose should bring us closer to God as we trust Him during this fasting period. Prayer is the open communication between us and God. Hopefully, we’ll see you there soon! The Word of God does not specifically command believers to spend time in prayer and fasting. We have learned what humility is and its importance while fasting in Part 1 of this series. Nearly a month after calling Christians to the nation’s capital for a prayer march, Franklin Graham is calling on them again, this time to join him for a day of prayer and fasting. In our time of fasting and prayer, we will have that deeper intimacy with God. Sometimes we do not see the results we are seeking in our regular prayers. Fasting, especially for days or weeks, can have unexpected and even detrimental effects on your health. 9. You may have an unusual request that you are seeking an answer for. Normal life is steady-state prayer and enjoying the Giver through his gifts of food and drink. If you are curious about the benefits of fasting and prayer, I’m glad you are seeking answers to your questions. Of utmost importance to pray for two very important reasons: 1 focus when we are seeking to. Give up... 2 – Answers to fervent prayer goes hand in hand the... 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