Fasting is a powerful weapon in your spiritual arsenal. It takes understanding, planning, preparation, and determination. Commitment and dedication bring results.
May’s Awakening, Day 31
Your fast should always have a methodology—limited physical activity with a focus on heightened spiritual awareness, a definite set of objectives and plan with proper preparation both mentally and physically, keeping a journal record, and the gradual process and means of breaking the fast and a return to normal eating and activities. Obviously, the longer the fast the more important and detailed your methodology must be. Additionally, the longer the fast the more physical changes that your body will undergo. In extended fasts, the first three days are usually the most difficult as your body adjusts, with many disagreeable symptoms along with hunger, but then the body cycles into a more comfortable zone for a time and then cycles back into a zone of hunger and difficulty again. The more you know and are prepared with proper expectations, the more beneficial the fast will be. It is essential to consult proper and pertinent information on extended fasting before attempting to do so. Elmer Towns’ book, Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough, is a great resource.
From that same book, here are the nine biblical fasts described in the Bible:
The Biblical Fasting Model is found in Isaiah 58:3–9a NKJV
‘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 exploit all your laborers. 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. 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? “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? 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. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
1. The Disciple’s Fast: “To loose the bonds of wickedness.”—Fasting for freedom from addiction or a besetting sin.
So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Matthew 17:20–21 NKJV
2. The Ezra Fast: “To undo the heavy burdens.”—Fasting to solve debilitating problems.
Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.” So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer. Ezra 8:21–23 NKJV
3. The Samuel Fast: “To let the oppressed go free.”—Fasting for revival and soul-winning for Christ.
So it was that the ark remained in Kirjath Jearim a long time; it was there twenty years. And all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord. Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” And Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.” So they gathered together at Mizpah, drew water, and poured it out before the Lord. And they fasted that day, and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the children of Israel at Mizpah. 1 Samuel 7:2–3, 5–6 NKJV
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