I started off the New Year with a short three-day fast. It was a liquid fast and I consumed water, juice, herbal tea and soup. By the end of the three days, my stomach had shrunk enough that when I began eating again, I could only intake tiny portions of about a cup of food before feeling full.
This fast was a group fast where members of my tiny congregation joined together. We were specifically praying that God would move mountains from our lives. I do realize that only when the mountains are ready to be moved that God will move them. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.
While there are many different ways to fast, you can do total fasts or partial fasts from all food or specific foods, you can fast from television, Internet, entertainment, etc. You can fast from anything you think is getting in between you are your relationship from God. You can even fast from people. The greatest benefits, however, come when we fast from food. With any type of food fast, in place of eating food, we feast on God’s word and prayer, particularly during mealtime.
I really do feel more connected to the Lord when I am fasting and praying. Typically, I don’t like to stop, even though fasting is not easy. Many young believers in our body presented a lot of questions on fasting. I thought it would be a good idea to share my knowledge and experience on this topic with you, in case you are curious about biblical fasting, too.
In the Book of Matthew we see Jesus address this subject. Look at chapter six. This chapter, which follows the beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount, deals first with the Lord’s Prayer. Immediately following that prayer, Jesus speaks about fasting. He tells His apostles not to be like the religious leaders in their fasting. He says in verses 17 and 18, “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
Here is our mandate to pray. We learn two practices on how to fast here. 1) Do not deliberately look weak and hungered to draw attention to yourself. 2) Do not broadcast to your neighbors you are fasting. Those are the “rules” or “guidelines” on a spiritual level for fasting we find in the New Testament.
The Jews also practiced fasting in the days before Christ appeared on earth. To get the best look at fasting in the Old Testament, we can look at Daniel. “In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.” Daniel 10:2, 3.
Before this, Daniel had been supplicating for his people and the nation of Israel. He had received the 70-week prophecy. He was mourning for the sinful condition of Israel, so much so that he was driven to fast and pray. After this appointed time, Daniel was visited by Michael the archangel and writes a detailed description of what he saw.
This passage gives us an incredible glimpse at what happens on the spiritual level when we fast. Something in the spiritual realm is ignited and empowered. In fact, this insight lets us perceive something so wonderful, why don’t Christians fast more?
If you want to bang on Heaven’s door and be ushered directly to the Throne of Grace, fast! God will know how serious you are on any given matter through fasting! Your fervent prayers will reach His ears.
Watch this space for Part 2
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…