PRAYER IS MORE EFFECTIVE WHEN WE FAST
What is Fasting? To fast simply means to voluntarily abstain from eating and/or drinking for an extended period of time. Biblical fasting is a discipline of voluntarily denying one’s self of the basics of eating in order to be available for prayer and communion with the Lord. Since it is an ultimate act of self-denial, you are simply entering into an intense training in righteousness.
Why Fast? Listed below are some of the reasons why people in the Bible fasted:
- Chosen by God Isaiah 58
- Repentance: Jonah 3:5 and Daniel 6:18
- Ultimate denial of the flesh: Matthew 4:2
- Spiritual power: Mark 9:29
- Wisdom: Acts 14:23
- Set aside self for holiness: 1 Corinthians 7:5
- Answered prayer: Acts 10:30-31
Preparing For Your Fast. Take time to confess your sins, before and during your fast, knowing that He is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you of all unrighteousness (1John 1:9). Remember, fasting is a time for cleansing. The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Preparation of Your Physical Body. It is important to prepare your physical body for your fast. You will begin by decreasing the size of your food intake as you prepare to abstain from food.
Examine Yourself. Your motives for conducting a fast will play a large role in the goals you establish.
Selfish or Blessing? Using this same logic, ask yourself this question: “Why do you pray, read your Bible or go to church?” It’s to be obedient to what God calls us to do and to be blessed! The Lord has been graciously dealing with you since your sinful beginning. The only reason “you love Him is because He first loved you” (1 John 4:10). Your fasting will not and cannot make Him love you any more than He already does. But it will cause you to love and obey Him more. You are not going to trick or force Him into blessing you against His will.
Social Tensions. “Should you tell people that you are fasting?” Since fasting is a discipline of self-denial and consecration unto the Lord, constant discussion about it will be a distraction. For maximum benefit, it would be best for you not to tell anyone about your fast. Jesus was against the religious leaders drawing attention to themselves by giving people the impression they were suffering for the Lord (Matthew 6:16-18).
After Your Fast. Ending your fast properly is just as important as beginning your fast properly. Just as you prepared yourself to begin a fast, you must prepare yourself to stop or break your fast.
Questions you should ask yourself as you end your fast:
- What are the key lessons learned?
- What new habits or disciplines do you want to keep?
- What dreams and visions have you seen pertaining to your personal walk with the Lord or your ministry?