January 30, 2018
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Fasting FAQs

 

What is a fast? 

Fast and pray in order to humble yourself and purify your worship. In fasting we are not trying to get something from God; we are seeking to realign our hearts’ affections with His. We do holy violence to the “pleasures which wage war against the soul,” opening the way for a greater submission the Holy Spirit. Fasting enables us to cleanse the sanctuary of our hearts.

 

Different types of fasts:

Yes, there are many different kinds of fasts. We encourage you to seek medical advice before committing to any of the fasts below.

  • A total fast – like Esther – is without water. This is extremely hard on the body. Do not go beyond three days.
  • A water-only fast  – like Jesus –  is very challenging but deeply spiritual experience. Many people can endure 40 days on water alone, though this is dependent on one’s weight and metabolism.
  • A fruit or vegetable juice fast allows you to enter into fasting but still gives enough energy to function. Most people can do a 40 day juice fast.
  •  A fruit or vegetable fast – like Daniel. Most can endure for longer periods of time beyond 40 days.

Other fasts to consider include not watching TV, movies or entertainment. Or only having one meal a day.

Any of these options are good. Be clear with your decision so when you are tested you will be able to carry out your resolve.

 

How to prepare:

Two days before you fast, limit your intake of food to fruit and vegetables. Fruit is a natural cleanser and easy to digest. Stop drinking coffee before the fast. Prepare yourself for mental discomforts such as impatience, crankiness and anxiety. Expect physical discomforts. You may experience dizziness, headaches, and different kinds of pains. The headaches are not necessarily a sign to stop fasting. Your body is working to cleanse itself of impurities.

 

How to break a fast:

Break the fast over several days with fruit juice ad light soups. On a light juice fast or a water fast, your digestive system shuts down. It can be dangerous if you eat too much too soon. Break such a fast gently with several days of diluted, non-acidic juice, than regular juice followed by fruit and vegetables.

 

How to engage in prayer during a fast:

Have a clear target for prayer focus. Without a vision (a clear prophetic prayer goal) the people perish. Have four or five prayer goals.

Take time to pray and read the Word. This may seem obvious but busyness and distractions can keep you from devotions. Reading books with testimonies of victories gained through fasting will encourage you.

Expect to hear God’s voice in the Word, dreams, visions, and revelations. Daniel prepared himself to receive revelation through fasting (Daniel 10:1-3). Scripture also speaks of a fasting reward (Matthew 6:18). Expect God to fellowship and communicate with you in special ways.

We encourage getting rid of influences like movies, televisions, questionable magazines, internet sites, video games and gossip for the length of your fast. 

Resources about fasting:

 

Scripture about fasting:

Genesis 24:33

2 Samuel 12:15-17

Leviticus 23:27

Judges 20

Esther 4:16

Daniel 9:3-5

Daniel 10:2-3

Joel 2:12-13

Jeremiah 36:6

Jonah 3:4-10

Nehemiah 1

Isaiah 58:3-8

Luke 4:2-4

Matthew 6:16-18

 

Corporate Fasting:

We look to Joel 2 as acatalyst Scripture for corporate fasts. Joel 2 is important for this hour because it speaks of a nation in which there was no hope, no remedy. The finances of the nation had completely collapsed. The judgments of the Lord rested on the land. Yet God said there’s still a prescription: When there’s no hope for a nation, when there’s no remedy, blow a trumpet in Zion, call a fast, gather the people in collective fasting, and let them cry out “Spare your people.” And the promise is, afterward, I will pour out my spirit on all flesh (See Joel 2).

In Derek Prince’s book Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting, he teaches that increasingly collective fasting—united fasting, where everyone drops their denominational barriers, their racial barriers, their gender barriers, and gather together to fast and pray— it’s there that God changes the tide of history. He did it with Esther’s fast. He did it in Nineveh. He did it in Joel.

And not just in the Old Testament, as we have discussed, but its also seen in the New Testament in Acts 13 in Antioch. The prophets and teachers were all together and were fasting corporately, together. 


We believe that congregations will receive the reward of fasting when they corporately fast. It seems inevitable that, whenever we have done corporate fasts, we begin to get corporate breakthroughs. Healings and deliverances take place. Fasting is God’s ordained means for breakthrough.

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