Would you like to make your spiritual life come alive? Develop a deeper passion for God? Be able to better discern God’s will for your life? See God move in a powerful way in your life, your family, your church, and your community? Have a deeper understanding of Scripture? Have more energy and feel better? Be happier and full of God’s joy and peace?
TRY FASTING AND PRAYER!
Don’t panic and please don’t stop reading. It’s really true. Fasting will change your life and the lives of those you pray for.
You don’t have to go without food to fast. You could do the following:
- Leave off desserts.
- Eat simple foods like fruits, vegetables, and bread.
- Skip lunch or supper (use the time to pray).
- Stop eating between meals.
- Do 1, 2, or 3 days of just fresh vegetable and fruit juice (be sure to check with your physician beforehand).
- Omit television, videos, computer, books, stereo, or radio (use time to pray).
Involve your children. Children take prayer requests seriously, and they believe God will answer. Some activities are:
- Eat simple foods or eliminate dessert.
- Get a map of your community and have the children join in praying over the streets.
- Obtain a world map or globe and involve the children in praying for specific areas of the world.
- Prayer walk the neighborhood.
- Pray together, pray one subject at a time, keep it short, go back and forth.
Why fast? Because God wants us to fast. The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.” Matthew 9:15, NIV
“Now and onward till the close of time the people of God should be more earnest, more wide-awake, not trusting in their own wisdom, but in the wisdom of their Leader. They should set aside days of fasting and prayer. Entire abstinence from food may not be required, but they should eat sparingly of the most simple food” (Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 188).
Fast only as God directs you. As you spend time with God, ask Him to give you a desire to fast and to show you when, how long, and what type of fast.
“For certain things, fasting and prayer are recommended and appropriate. In the hand of God they are a means of cleansing the heart and promoting a receptive frame of mind. We obtain answers to our prayers because we humble our souls before God” (Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 187).
- An attitude of the heart in which we interrupt our life to pray for a specific matter or cause.
- A tool that may be used to glorify God and realize answers to prayer.
- A means by which we can worship the Lord and submit ourselves in humility to Him.
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
See Isaiah 58
Counsels on Diet and Foods, chapter 10
For some fascinating biblical examples of the purpose of fasting:
The Disciple’s Fast: “To loose the bands of wickedness” from ourselves and others. Isa 58:6, Matt 17:21
The Ezra Fast: “Undo the heavy burdens.” Isa 58:6, Ezra 8:23
The Samuel Fast: “To let the oppressed (physically and spiritually) go free.” Isa 58:6, 1 Sam 7:6
The Elijah Fast: “To break every yoke” conquering mental and emotional problems. Isa 58:6, 1 Kings 19:4, 8
The Widow’s Fast: “To share our bread with the hungry” and to care for the poor. Isa 58:7, 1 Kings 17:16
The Paul Fast: To allow God’s “light to break forth like the morning,” bringing clearer perspective and insight as we make crucial decisions. Isa 58:8, Acts 9:9
The Daniel Fast: So “thine health shall spring forth.” Isa 58:8, Dan 1:8
The Esther Fast: That “the glory of the Lord” will protect us from the evil one. Isa 58:8, Esther 4:16, 5:2