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Fasting That Pleases God.

Biblical Definition of Fasting is in Isaiah 58:  Well Explained.

58 “Cry aloud, [a]spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins. 2 Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and did not forsake the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; They take delight in approaching God. 3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’ “In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and [b]exploit all your laborers. 4 Indeed you fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, to make your voice heard on high. 5 Is it a fast that I have chosen, A Day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the Lord? 6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To lose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the [c]heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are [d]cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’“If you take away the yoke from your midst, The [e]pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, 10 If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your [f]darkness shall be as the noonday. 11 The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. 12 Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of [g]Streets to Dwell In13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the Lord honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words, 14 Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:15-16

And he said unto them, this kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29).

2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’” Luke 4:2-4, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Luke 2:37 ,I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ Luke 18:12,So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. 4 The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. Acts 13:3-4.,23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. Acts 14:23, 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. Daniel 10:3.,16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. Esther 4:16.,28 Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. Exodus 34:28 , First of all, then, I urge those supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 1 Timothy 2:1-15.

Jesus’ Fast for 40 Days and 40 Nights: Before Jesus started His public ministry, He fasted for 40 days and was tempted by the devil himself for all 40 days of the fast (Luke 4:1-13, Matthew 4:1-11). Matthew 4:1 tells us that He was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness, which indicates that the purpose of Him going into the wilderness was for the temptation to come. Jesus’ own example of fasting can be instrumental in preparing us to overcome future temptations and tribulations.

Nehemiah Fasted in Grief: Jerusalem’s walls had been broken down. The exile survivors who were left there in the province were in bad shape, and the conditions were appalling. Nehemiah responded with mourning, fasting, and prayer when he heard of this (1:1-4).

Paul Fasts Often: In 2 Corinthians 11:27, Paul states that he fasted often in his list of ways that he had suffered for the gospel. Paul fasted often because he constantly felt the need for God’s help in his sufferings and many trials, and he used to fast as a tool to help strengthen him spiritually.

Nineveh Fasts in an Act of Repentance: throughout Nineveh of a fast of no water and no food so that they would be brought to repentance from their evil lives and violent ways. They were to “cry mightily to God” (Jonah 3:8)

The Daniel Fast: In Daniel 10:1-3, Daniel fasted for an answer to prayer and an understanding a vision, which was what would become of the people of God in the future. Verses 2 and 3 tell us that the fast was for 3 weeks, and he ate only plain and simple food with no meat or wine. He also didn’t bathe or shave until the three weeks were up. This along with Daniel’s other fast (Daniel 1:12, 15-16)

Moses’ Fast 10 commandments: Moses fasted 40 days and 40 nights. In Exodus chapter 34, Moses is up on Mount Horeb. He stays there 40 days and 40 nights, fasting from food and drink. Here is the key verse: Exodus 34:28. He was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread, nor drank water. He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

David’s Fast: David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. 2 Samuel 12:16

Ezra and the Israelites Fast for a Safe Journey: In Ezra 8:21-23, Ezra proclaimed a fast at the river of Ahava for 220 temple servants that they might humble themselves before God and ask Him for wise guidance and a safe journey for them, the children, and all of their possession.

The Prophetess Anna: Luke 2:36-40 tells us of a prophetess named Anna who was old in age and was married for 7 years and a widow for 84.

Esther Fast: Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:15-16

Elijah Fast While Escaping Jezebel – 1 Kings 19:4-8.

Darius Fast for the Safety of Daniel – Daniel 6:18-23

Church Elders in Antioch Fast Before Sending out Missionaries – Acts 13:1-3.

Motivations for Fasting.

– For God’s intervention.

– For humility.

– For repentance.

– To break demonic bondage.

– To deepen spiritual hunger for God.

– For clarity on a decision you have to make.

– To test and see what desires control us.

 

How To Embark on Fasting or Implementing it

  1. Decide the type of fast.

If you’ve been desiring to embark on a spiritual fast but haven’t known when it is appropriate or where to start, the first thing you want to do is decide the type of fast you want to do and for how long. You can approach a spiritual fast several different ways: A fast doesn’t have to be long. It can be One day or part of a day (Judges 20:26; 1 Samuel 7:6; Nehemiah 9:1) Keep a journal throughout the fast and record what you learn and what the Lord is saying daily basis.

  • A one-night fast (Daniel 6:18-24)
  • A three-day fast (Esther 4:16; Acts 9:9)
  • A seven-day fasts (1 Samuel 31:13; 2 Samuel 12:16-13)
  • A fourteen-day fast (Acts 27:33-34)
  • A twenty-one day fast (Daniel 10:3-13)
  • A forty-day fast (Deuteronomy 9:9; 1 Kings 19:8; Matthew 4:2)
  • Fasts of unspecified lengths (Matthew 9:14; Acts 14:23)

Keep it to yourself and don’t show off (Matthew 6:16-18). Ask someone else to join your fast so you can be accountable and support one another. Prepare your body and start slowly, especially for beginners. Don’t overeat. You may participate in a corporate fast or an individual fast. A regular fast involves abstaining from all food and only drinking water. A juice fast includes abstaining from all food but allows for drinking fruit juices and herbal tea. A partial fast involves fasting particular items, such as coffee and desserts, or restricting you’re eating to vegetables only, for example. *People who are pregnant or have health problems should consult their doctors before fasting from food. Reference, see Dr. Don Colbert’s advice on how to stay healthy while fasting.

Some people are concerned about the discomfort of going without food. Certainly, this is part of learning to subdue your flesh, resist temptation and hear God more clearly. But keep in mind, the more often you fast, the easier it will become. It is meant to be a lifestyle—something that is done regularly, and when you follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, God will give you the grace to overcome the flesh.

  1. Decide the purpose of the fast.

No matter what you are seeking from the Lord, decide the purpose of the fast before you begin. Find God’s promises that cover your situation, and believe you receive before the fast begins. If you are seeking revelation, expect to receive it. If you need deliverance, determine to receive it during your time of fasting.

  1. Proclaim your fast before the Lord.

To proclaim your fast before the Lord, simply open your fast in prayer—dedicating this time to Him and expressing a desire to fellowship with Him. Whether proclaimed or personal, it must be declared before God. Otherwise, you will be tempted to break it. This must be a decision of quality. Say, “Father, with You as my Helper, in the Name of Jesus, I have settled this today, and until this time tomorrow food will not pass my lips.” Once you have made that firm commitment, you will stick by it.

  1. Believe you receive the reward of the fast.

The reward will probably be related to the first step. The purpose of the fast will have a great deal to do with the rewards involved. If you are fasting for revelation knowledge, the reward would be receiving the knowledge you desire. The key is to believe you receive the reward!

  1. Minister to the Lord during your fast.

A biblical fast is a precious time for a believer to minister to the Lord. How? “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16, KJV).One of the best things you can do to learn how to minister to the Lord during your fast is to read and pray from the Psalms because the Psalms speak of God’s mighty works.

When you begin to praise and minister to Him, He will get involved with you! You need to fellowship with Him. He needs to hear praise and thanksgiving—and so does your spirit!

  1. Minister to others after the fast.

Acts 13:2 says, “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said….” Notice the order: they ministered to the Lord and fasted. How do you minister to the Lord? It’s in worship, prayer, praise and thanksgiving. The focus was on ministering to the Lord, and because of this, they fasted. Then the Lord spoke to them after they had prayed.

You may be tempted to think after your fast, well, I’m never going to fast again. I didn’t receive a thing from God during the whole time I was on that fast. Yes, you did. Now, minister to other people, and you will find out that you did receive from God. As you minister, you will see that the power of God is great upon you!

7.How to End

Don’t overeat when the time comes to end your fast. Begin eating solid food gradually; eat small portions or snacks.

Sometimes as Christians, we miss God’s order of things. God is a God of order, and order gives meaning to things. For example, all around the world, people tend to confuse the order and say, “fasting and prayer,” instead of “prayer and fasting.” Prayer comes before fasting in the Scriptures.

Not understanding the right order may account for the reason many people fast without praying, which is largely a waste of time and effort. The emphasis should be on praying. It’s a call to prayer, and because you’re praying, you’re consciously staying away from eating. The fast is on, because you’re praying, not because you’re not eating.

FASTING THE RIGHT WAY! MAKING IT EFFECTIVE….

It is important to note that Fasting is not an effort to change God. When we fast, we are the ones that change, and we are the beneficiaries of the Fast. Our Fasting does not change God for the scriptures say on May 3:6 “…. I am the Lord, I change not…” So, with this in focus, here are steps that can make us.

Fasting More Effective.

  • Have a clear objective in focus – what are your expectations from this Fast?
  • The period of Fasting must include regular intervals of prayer, study and meditation on the Word.
  • Having a clear focus and expectation will help guide your prayer, study and meditation time.
  • Minimize unnecessary activity or distractions during the Fasting period.
  • Though solitude may not always be achievable, strive to be ‘alone’ with the Spirit as much as possible. And while there is no single prescription for the length of a Fast, it should be sufficiently long to be effective.
  • It ought to be long enough to span several normal eating periods.
  • And you should be hungry at some point during the Fast. But this is not a reason to break it but rather to endure and continue!
  • Remember, part of the training of the Fast is to curb the craving of the flesh and maintain focus on the spirit.
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