When praying for anything, fasting displays the depth of your desire. It demonstrates that you are committed to your prayer request enough to pay a personal sacrifice for it. God values sincere desire and faith-filled prayer.
Before You Continue...
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What is the purpose of spiritual fasting?
Spiritual fasting allows you to concentrate on your faith. Spiritual fasting isn't about depriving yourself of the things you require. Instead, it's about balancing your needs so that you may focus on something bigger than yourself. The purpose is to concentrate on your spiritual well-being and faith. Hunger is a simple problem to solve.
What does the Bible say about spiritual fasting?
Fasting is a way of humbling oneself before God (Psalm 35:13; Ezra 8:21). “I humbled my soul through fasting,” King David remarked (Psalm 69:10). When you fast, you may find yourself relying more heavily on God for strength. Fasting and prayer can assist us in better hearing God.
How long should you fast for spiritual?
Fasting duration is also determined by personal inclination and ability. Fasting for long periods of time is not possible for certain people due to health issues. Others may fast for several days at a time. Remember, the purpose of fasting is to strengthen your relationship with God. It is not a question of how many days or how long one can fast. Fasting is a very personal experience with the Lord. As a result, there's no need to compare how long you've been fasting to how long others have been fasting.
Before you start fasting, I urge that you pray and ask the Lord how long you should fast for. If you're new to fasting, I recommend beginning with one meal or one day. You can continue for extended lengths of time after you are more conscious of and familiar with the topic. You may decide after the first day that you want to continue for a longer period of time. Keep track of how your body feels if this is the case. You may feel lightheaded and weak if your body isn't used to fasting. Once your body has become accustomed to fasting, you will be able to fast for extended periods of time without experiencing these symptoms.
The length of your fast is also determined by what you're fasting from. You should not fast for longer than two or three days if you are fasting both food and drink. Furthermore, if you are only fasting from food, you can fast for extended periods of time. Some people will abstain from eating and drinking, but will sip juice to stay energized.
Types of Fasting
Abstaining from social media, entertainment, sex, sweet meals, or a variety of other things is another type of fasting. You can fast for substantially longer lengths of time if you choose to fast from the following items. This is due to the fact that these fasts have no negative impact on your health. In fact, they may help you live a healthier life. Fasting from these foods for prolonged lengths of time is something I suggest.
If you're married, make sure you have an agreement on sex abstinence with your partner. “Do not deprive each other except by mutual permission and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer,” Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7:5. Then get back together so Satan can't tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
What happens to your spirit when you fast?
Fasting humiliates our natural inclination to rely on nature and compels us to live from the spiritual. God's voice becomes more audible as a result. Fasting is an excellent technique to obtain insight before making a major decision.
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When I read Scripture during a fast, the Word has a lot more power, urgency, and clarity to it. It's as if a veil has been lifted, allowing me to view the intricacies of Scripture with greater clarity than before. As I mentioned in part two of this series, I am constantly learning new things “feed” on the Scriptures (Matthew 4:4) and receive true nourishment from it. I learn to prefer the Living Food to the world's dead food (have you ever noticed that everything you eat is a dead carcass?). (How macabre!).
Fasting makes it simpler to see where and how God is at work. When we practice a spiritual lifestyle, it becomes more natural to live, move, and perceive in the spiritual sphere. Our fleshly nature has been tamed and is no longer a force to be reckoned with “Our spiritual sense is “clouded.”
I've probably only fasted for about 10% of my life, yet I've probably received over 80% of my visions and direct communications from God during or as a result of a fast. I don't want to instill excessive expectations of supernatural occurrences, but there's no denying that fasting increases spiritual sensitivity and obedience. Anyone who has fasted for a long period of time for the Lord will tell you the same thing.
What are three biblical reasons to fast?
If you're reading this, you're probably curious about why Christians fast, or why you should fast yourself. Both of these questions will be addressed in this blog. Christians fast for a variety of reasons, and it's crucial to note that these reasons differ from one individual to the next.
What are the biblical justifications for fasting? While there are many reasons for Christians to fast, the three most common are Biblical requirements, spiritual disciplines, and health benefits. Nearness to God, spiritual freedom, guidance, waiting for Jesus' return, and, of course, a healthy physique are all reasons for Christian fasting.
How do you fast for God?
So, now that you know what fasting is and why it's important, where do you start? Twenty various recommendations are provided here to assist you get started fasting and stay motivated.
Identify The Purpose
The first step in fasting for any Christian is to figure out why you're fasting. Do you want to empty your stomach through fasting? Do you want to improve your connection with God? Are you fasting to show your support for the poor? It's crucial to understand why you're fasting. It establishes a context for your experience.
Commit to a Time Period
The second stage in fasting is deciding on a certain time period and committing to it. When you're a newbie, it's not a good idea to go for a long period of time without eating or drinking anything.
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Try to work out what is realistic, and keep your commitment fresh in your mind.
Find Your Weaknesses
Try to predict your weaknesses, or the times when you will feel the worst or most tempted to eat, before the fast begins. Pray for God to provide you with the strength you require when you require it, and He will.
Tell only a Few People
According to Acts 16, when a believer in Christ fasts in secret, he or she will be blessed. You should just tell two or three people that you're fasting. It doesn't matter if it's a spouse, a sibling, or a friend. They may also serve as a partner in terms of accountability.
What Jesus said about fasting?
THIS KIND requires a combination of prayer and fasting. It is the need that motivates us to be afflicted by our bodies and to be determined to hear from God.
Matthew 17:16-21, Matthew 17:16-21, Matthew 17:16-21, Matthew “I carried him to thy disciples, but they were unable to heal him.” Then Jesus replied, “How long shall I be with you, O faithless and perverse generation?” How much longer will I put up with you? Please bring him here to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil, and he left him; and the child was healed at that same moment. The disciples then approached Jesus separately and said, “Why couldn't we cast him out?” Because of your unbelief: for truly I say unto you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible for you. However, this kind is not extinguished except by prayer and fasting.”
What is fasting, the next question that needs to be answered? Fasting is about letting go of the apparent in order to connect with the unseen. We may deprive ourselves of food, sleep, or any other aspect of life. Fasting is a self-inflicted and expected part of a Christian's life from time to time.
6:16-18, Matthew 6:16-18, Matthew 6:18, Matthew 6: “Moreover, when ye fast, do not be of a sad countenance, as the hypocrites are, for they disfigure their faces in order to appear to mankind to fast.” They have had their reward, I assure you. But anoint thy head and wash thy face when thou fastst, that thou appear not to mankind to fast, but to thy Father who seeth in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”
It's important to note that it's when you fast, not if you fast. We're also encouraged not to make a big deal out of our fasting; it's a private matter between us and God.
When should we fast, and why should we fast? Let's look at some examples from the Bible.
“Sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the people of the land into the temple of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord,” Joel 1:14 says. We are to call for a fast to express our dedication or to show God we mean business. 2:12, Joel “Therefore now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, fasting, weeping, and mourning:”
“And they said unto me, The remnant of the captivity who are left in the province are in great sorrow and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem is also torn down, and its gates are burned with fire,” Nehemiah 1:3-4. When I heard these words, I sat down and grieved, and mourned for certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven.”
“So the people of Ninevah believed God, and declared a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them,” Jonah 3:5 says.
Their lives were spared as a result of their fasting. By fasting, King David hoped to release God's mercy for his baby. Despite the fact that it was not to be, David understood the principle of fasting.
“David then besought God for the infant; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth,” says II Samuel 12:16.
We should fast when we need direction and are determined to hear from God. When things are going well, though, we should fast as part of our ministry and commitment to God.
“As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the task whereunto I have called them,” according to Acts 13:2. It's a requirement of our service till the Bridegroom arrives. “And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, who did not leave the temple, but worshiped God with fastings and prayers night and day,” Luke 2:37 says.
How do you pray when fasting?
Fasting is a long-standing tradition. Consider Israel's Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), David's fast after his kid died, or Nineveh's repentance fast (see Leviticus 23; 2 Samuel 12; and Jonah 3). Fasting and prayer are also common in the New Testament. Both Anna the Prophetess and John the Baptist fasted in anticipation for Christ's arrival (see Luke 2; Mark 2). Jesus went on a fast as well. Consider Jesus' forty-day fasting in the desert at the commencement of his public ministry, as well as his command to his disciples to pray, fast, and give alms (Matthew 4, 6). Fasting was also a practice in the early Church, as we know (Acts 13 and 14).
“Fasting purifies the soul, lifts the mind, subordinates one's flesh to the spirit, humbles the heart, scatters the clouds of concupiscence, quenches the fire of lust, and kindles the real light of chastity.” – Augustine of Hippo
Why you might pray through fasting
Fasting can be done for a variety of reasons, some of which are beneficial and others which are detrimental. Fasting for weight loss, feeling more worthy of God's love, or comparing oneself to others are all terrible reasons to fast. Fasting should be done for the love of God. (In fact, every action in the Christian life can be said to be the same.) Love of God and love of neighbor should always be our motivation.)
It's also worth mentioning that abstaining from sin does not constitute fasting. Yes, we should break our bad habits and everything else that prevents us from God, but just because we're giving up something (in this example, sin) doesn't mean we're fasting. We're only carrying out our responsibilities!
What are some of the benefits of fasting? Fasting assists us in preparing for liturgical feasts like as Easter, mastering our inclinations, developing healthy spiritual habits, growing in humility and dependence on God, offering a sacrifice for an aim, and becoming more linked with Christ. Consider fasting if any of these good reasons resonate with you.
How to pick your fast
It's crucial to figure out how you're going to fast (from what, for how long, for what reason, etc.) before you start. Here are a few things to think about:
Start simple, such as foregoing snacks between meals on Fridays or skipping your afternoon coffee once a week, if you haven't fasted in a long time. Starting small is a good idea since it keeps our pride in our work in check “Fasting allows you to achieve “big accomplishments,” and it helps you develop a habit and momentum. Fasting can be compared to running. You might be able to keep up for a while if you suddenly chose to start jogging a great distance every day, but without a previous foundation of running, you would quickly burn out. Similarly, we can certainly stick to a substantial and unexpected fast for a few days, but our determination fades soon. It's preferable to start a small fast that we'll stick to than to start a big one that we'll quickly quit.
Fasting does not have to be complicated. That is why food is such a natural choice for so many individuals. We can be assured that we will crave food at specific times of the day, that giving it up would be a sacrifice, and that skipping an occasional meal (for most individuals in good physical health) will have no serious detrimental consequences. Still, we can fast from a variety of other things: alcohol, conveniences, media, hobbies, pastimes, the Internet, and so forth.
Use your best judgment. Your fast should be a valid sacrifice, but it should not become a punishment for you or a financial burden for your family. Fasting from driving to work would be a true sacrifice, but it's probably not a good idea if it makes your kids late for school and gets you unhappy when you arrive home from work. Keep in mind that you've chosen to fast out of love.
If you get an idea for a fast and instantly rationalize why you shouldn't do it, it can be a good sign that you should consider fasting from it. The majority of rationalizations are merely surface-level explanations that mask a deeper, real motivation. Rationalizations sound like, in the case of fasting “That would be an excellent fast, but
That's how I unwind every day.” Alternatively, “Yes, indeed. That's something I could do, but it's the only thing I get to do for myself.” Justifications, on the other hand, are truth-based arguments that correlate to rationalizations.
genuine motives They seem to be saying, “Yes, indeed. However, my doctor advises that I consume three complete meals per day.” Alternatively, “Yes, indeed. But giving it up makes me irritable and makes it difficult for me to sleep.”
We have biblical justifications for secret fasting (see Matthew 6). Simultaneously, if someone notices our fast and inquires about it, there's no harm in discussing it. Similarly, involving our spouse, close friends, or spiritual director in our fasting decisions might be beneficial. They can assist us in keeping our heads clear and our plans on track. Remember that fasting is a tremendous weapon against evil, and the adversary will do everything he can to confuse and discourage us when we are fasting. Friendship is valuable and beneficial, and their support or direction does not negate our sacrifice.
Having a start date, an end date, and a general plan for a fast will help you make a more informed decision and boost your chances of sticking to it. Setting two alarms in the morning, for example, almost always means snoozing the first and relying on the second. Similarly, if you plan to decide on your fast on the spur of the moment, you'll be more likely to back out of your commitment. You'll be more likely to complete your fast if you set a precise time and duration for it. Consider the following scenario: “For the next three weeks, I will not watch television Monday through Thursday.”
How to pray your fast
You're ready to begin your fast once you've decided on the specifics of your fast while keeping the aforementioned in mind.
Fasting is an excellent way to make a sacrifice in support of a goal. Consider offering your fast in exchange for something specific. This will provide you with extra incentive and help you stick to your goals.
Invite God to be with you as you begin your fast. Then, for your chosen aim, present your fast, pray for the grace to finish it, and tell God that you welcome anything he chooses to bring out of it as a gift. If your fast occurs at a set time during the day, you can say a prayer like this every time the occasion comes. If not, you can do it during your customary prayer time each day of the fast.
Fasting isn't a test, and it doesn't necessitate a perfect score. This is prayer, and God is calling us to constancy, not perfection, in our prayers. Don't give up or become frustrated if you break a fast or forget to complete it. Simply recommit to your fast, request God to join you in it as described above, and keep going as best you can.