Fasting Resources

WHY FAST?

Fasting is the most powerful spiritual discipline of all the Christian disciplines. Through fasting and prayer, the Holy Spirit can transform your life. Fasting and prayer can also work on a much grander scale. According to Scripture, personal experience and observation, I am convinced that when God’s people fast with a proper Biblical motive-seeking God’s face not His hand-with a broken, repentant, and contrite spirit, God will hear from heaven and heal our lives, our churches, our communities, our nation and world. Fasting and prayer can bring about revival – a change in the direction of our nation, the nations of earth and the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

PRECAUTIONS

The fast you choose should present a level of challenge, but it’s important to know your body, your options, and most importantly, to seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do. Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Please consult your physician prior to beginning your fast, especially if you have any health concerns, you are taking any medication, have a chronic condition, or are pregnant or nursing.

FASTING FACTS

  • Fasting was an expected discipline in both the Old and New Testament eras. For example, Moses fasted at least two recorded forty-day periods. Jesus fasted 40 days and reminded His followers to fast, “when you fast,” not if you fast.
  • Fasting and prayer can restore the loss of the “first love” for your Lord and result in a more intimate relationship with Christ.
  • Fasting is a biblical way to truly humble yourself in the sight of God (Psalm 35:13; Ezra 8:21). King David said, “I humble myself through fasting.”
  • Fasting enables the Holy Spirit to reveal your true spiritual condition, resulting in brokenness, repentance, and a transformed life.
  • The Holy Spirit will quicken the Word of God in your heart and His truth will become more meaningful to you!
  • Fasting can transform your prayer life into a richer and more personal experience.
  • Fasting can result in a dynamic personal revival in your own life-and make you a channel of revival to others.
  • Fasting and prayer are the only disciplines that fulfill the requirements of II Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
  • Through your fast, and that of many other believers, God will heal our land.

TYPES OF FASTS

The Bible recounts primarily two types of fasts. A partial fast is described in the book of Daniel. Although the water fast seemed to be the custom of the prophet, there was a three-week period in which he only abstained from “delicacies,” meat, and wine (Daniel 10:3).

The two primary types mentioned in the Bible are the “absolute” and “supernatural absolute” fasts. These are total fasts-no food (solid or liquid) and no water. Paul went on an absolute fast for three days following his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:9). Moses and Elijah engaged in what must be considered a supernatural absolute fast of forty days (Deuteronomy 9:9; I Kings 19:8).

If God leads you to undertake an absolute fast, you should obey. If so, be certain, without doubt, that God is leading you.

Water-only fasts that last for more than several days need to be undertaken with complete rest and under medical supervision because of the extreme danger of overtoxification, breakdown of vital body tissues, and loss of electrolytes.

For this reasons, water and juice fasting is often recommended, especially if one is going to fast for an extended period of time. This type of fast will provide you with more energy than absolute or water-only fasts and still lead you into the humbling experience of denying your desire for solid food that you can chew.

When it comes to making your final decision about what type of fast is right for you, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. He will guide your heart and mind as to what is best for you. Remember, the most important consideration in fasting is your motive. Why are you fasting? To seek something personally from God’s hand or to seek His face in worship, praise and thanksgiving?

Information adapted from Bill Bright’s “Your Personal Guide to Fasting” booklet. Used with permission.