Archives For Fasting

Overwhelming Breakthrough!

January 29, 2010 — 1 Comment

“Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.”

Isaiah 58:9

Once more, read through the entire chapter of Isaiah 58.  The promises here are overwhelming.  This one comes in the middle of fasting, giving and prayer together in synergy.  Verse 7 is giving – sharing your bread with the hungry, the poor, covering the naked. The whole chapter is dealing with fasting for the right reasons.  The power of answered prayer comes in at verse 9 – “Then you shall call and the Lord will answer; you shall cry and He will say, Here I am.”

There is nothing like the spiritual strength that comes from this kind of fast.  Fast and pray this week and expect to hear from the Lord!

Fasting God’s Way

January 25, 2010 — Leave a comment

“Is not this the fast that I choose. . .”

Isaiah 58:6

Read the whole 58th chapter of Isaiah to get what’s being said regarding the power of fasting for the right reasons.  Verse 6 says it can loose bondages, bring deliverance, set people free and bring breakthrough.  As we move toward the finish of this 28-day journey, I hope that you personally attempted the amazing spiritual discipline of fasting.  Our church is fasting corporately this week.  Choose your level of intensity – whether it’s one meal per day, all day, several days.  If a medical condition won’t allow you to fast food, then fast something else – the television, the internet.  Consider eating lighter.  Pray!  Expect God to show up!

“Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself?  Is it to bow down his head like a reed and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?

Isaiah 58:5

Nothing seems to humble our hearts like deliberately leaving our bellies empty.  We all know the hollow feeling when we haven’t eaten all day.  The physical cravings are obvious.  When we intentionally abstain from food in order to focus our hearts in prayer, those physical cravings seem to intensify the longing of our hearts.  If we fast with the right motive – to draw closer to God, then we pray more earnestly and with a sense of brokenness.  Humility gets God’s attention.  1 Peter 5:5c says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  Prepare yourself to fast for a few meals.

“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Acts 13:2 (ESV)

When you see fasting in scripture, you see breakthrough that comes from a Word from the Lord.  We don’t do without food to get God to speak up.  We do fast to focus our hearts and tune our spiritual ears to hear.  Proverbs 20:12 says, “ears that hear and eyes that see – the Lord has made them both.”  Jesus’ most repeated phrase was, “he who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  Everybody in earshot had “ears” on the sides of their heads.  He wasn’t talking about physical ability, but spiritual perception.  Life has a way of dulling our spiritual senses.  Fast something today to be spiritually sharper.

“ In those days, I Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth. . . nor did I anoint myself at all for the full three weeks.”

Daniel 10:2-3 (ESV)

There are several different kinds of fasts in scripture.  Moses, Elijah and Jesus all fasted food for 40 days.  A total fast includes both food and water and shouldn’t be done for longer than 1-2 days.  The covenant nation of Israel (which included the livestock and the children) was called to that kind of one-day fast numerous times in their history.  This “Daniel fast” is a partial fast – fruits and vegetables only.  He didn’t eat anything heavy so that he could focus on prayer and spiritual things.  Try a Daniel fast for 2-3 days. Then fast one whole day without food drinking only water.  Take it in steps.

“As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.”

Nehemiah 1:4 (ESV)

Nehemiah held a powerful position for a great king when he came to realize the state of affairs back at his hometown.  Because of the burden that he felt, he knew he was going to have to take action.  Before his first step, he prepared his heart by fasting and praying.  Remember, fasting focuses and intensifies our prayers.  He did a spiritual house cleaning and repented of his sins and the sins of his people.  The rest is history.  He succeeded in his amazing project to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem because he took time to prepare.  What great project is before you?  Have you fasted and prayed yet?

“Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly.  Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord.”  Joel 1:14 (ESV)

Fasting is the practice of abstaining from something (typically food, but it can be anything else) for the purpose of specifically focusing on seeking the Lord.  It is always coupled with intense prayer and worship as well as additional time in the Word.  Fasting is done both individually and corporately. It has the ability to intensify one’s prayers toward breakthrough in much the same way light can merely illuminate a room or can be focused intensely and become a laser that can cut through steel.  Fast something today and use that time to call out to the Lord.