The Everyday Christian's Guide to Fasting

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Why does a person fast? Fasting is described in the Bible as an important spiritual discipline which is necessary when a person wants to experience a personal spiritual breakthrough. It is the process of abstaining from specific pre-determined food, drinks or activities for a certain period of time. During this time of abstinence you will experience the feeling of longing and desire. These longings and desires are to be triggers for you to turn to God in prayer and ask Him to be the source and supply of your satisfaction. What should I expect to happen when I fast? All that you should expect is to get closer to God. When we get closer to God it increases our faith in His way of doing things. God’s way is always the best way. Fasting helps us to experience this reality. Why does God respond to Fasting? God rewards fasting because when done with the right heart it confesses that we are helpless without Him, and we require Him to give us the Hope we need to press on in the world He created. This brings Glory to God because the giver always gets the Glory.!

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The Everyday Christian’s Guide to Fasting

How do I fast? There are 3 decisions you need to make when you are going to fast 1. What is my Motivation for Fasting? It always helps when you have a reason or motivation for Fasting. This is something you are asking God to do for you or for someone else. Fasting & Praying for someone else is called “Intercession.” Some examples of Breakthroughs a person might ask of God during a fast include: • • • • • •

• • • • •

Financial Provision Physical Healing for yourself, a family member, or friend Victory over the sin of pride, legalism, or self righteousness The restoration of a relationship To quit a bad habit (like smoking) The overcoming of a drug or alcohol addiction for yourself, a family member, or friend The salvation of a family member or friend A promotion or new opportunity at work Wisdom or direction for a critical decision Deliverance from spiritual oppression Growth of a ministry with which you are involved.!

• • • • • • • •

To have victory over anxiety, fear, depression, or loneliness To have the courage to make a necessary decision Improved communication in your marriage A resurgence of your passion and love for the Lord To develop a devotional time with the Lord Spiritual awakening for your spouse or child To stop living a double life at church and at work To overcome sexual Issue like impure thoughts, lust, or pornography That people in your Life Group would become leaders

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The Everyday Christian’s Guide to Fasting

2. What are you going to fast? You have to decide what food, drink or activity you are going to abstain from during your fasting period. Some examples would include: • • • • • •

Don’t eat any solid food Only eat 2 meals each day Only eat 1 meal each day Don’t eat any solid food, only drink water Eat all meals, but only drink water Only eat nuts, grains, fruits and vegetables and drink water only (The Daniel Fast)

• • • • • • •

Don’t consume any caffeine Don’t consume any desserts, sweets, soft-drinks or chocolate Don’t play video games Don’t watch any television Don’t visit social networking sites like Facebook Don’t use the internet Don’t eat any meat

3. How long are you going to fast? You have to decide the timeframe in which you are going to fast. We will use a 12 day fasting period as our example. During the 12 days you might choose to fast: • •

• •

You could fast for 12 days straight You could fast 1 thing for 3 days and then something different for the next 9 days You could fast from Sunrise to Sunset You could fast every other day during the 12 day period!

• • • •

You could fast something different each day of the 12 days You could fast just on the weekends You could fast just on the weekdays Any combination of these variations

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The Everyday Christian’s Guide to Fasting

What should you expect during your fast? • • •

• • • •

It will be challenging and difficult. It will take discipline and focus on your part. Disciples are known by their discipline. You should see a great increase in your faith if you stick to your commitment to the Lord You may see answers to your requests during the period of fasting; however, there is no way for people to know exactly what God is going to do. We do know that during the time of fasting it is our responsibility to draw closer to the Lord. You will be more sensitive to God’s spirit in your life. Removing the necessities and distractions of life will add a new sense of clarity to the voice of God. You will have an increased fellowship with God and have a greater understanding of what it means to depend on Him to meet your needs. You should find yourself praying more small direct prayers throughout the day. You should expect an increase in spiritual tension and resistance from the Devil. The Bible doesn’t speak at all on the physical dangers of fasting, but on several occasions mentions the spiritual danger of fasting. Specifically, the pride and acknowledgement of being a devoted, zealous and admirable disciple are dangers we must watch for.

What should you watch out for? •

Beware of the “God will reward me for this” mentality. Fasting is not the “work” that earns blessings from the hand of God. The idea that fasting earns us rewards is a demonic lie from our consumer culture. Be aware of the pride and self-righteous attitude that can come with practicing spiritual disciplines. Fasting is not about you being the best disciple; it is about your hunger to draw closer to God. Be cautious of breaking your fast early because you feel you’ve done enough. Several times during the fast you may think to yourself “I can’t do this any longer”, and you will be tempted to break your fast because you are so proud that you’ve come so far. Don’t quit. Stick to the commitment that you’ve made.!

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