Fasting is the most powerful spiritual discipline of all the Christian disciplines. Through fasting and prayer, the Holy Spirit can transform your life. The goal of fasting is to draw nearer to God. Biblical fasting always has to do with eliminating distractions for a spiritual purpose; it hits the reset button of our soul and renews us from the inside out. It also enables us to celebrate the goodness and mercy of God and prepares our hearts for all the good things God desires to bring into our lives. Remember, your personal fast should present a level of challenge, but it is very 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.
TYPES OF FASTS:
This fast calls for drinking only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.
This type of fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, or bread from your diet and consume water and juice for fluids and fruits and vegetables for food.
This fast is sometimes called the Jewish Fast and involves abstaining from eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to specific times of the day, such as 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sunup to sundown.
This fast is common for those who do not have much experience fasting food, who have health issues that prevent them from fasting food, or who wish to refocus certain areas of their life that are out of balance. For instance, someone might select to abstain from using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast, and then choose to carefully bring that element back into their life in an orderly fashion at the conclusion of the fast.
Fasting In The Old Testament
- The “Day of Atonement” was the only fast that was commanded by the Law (Leviticus16:29-31; 23:26-32; Numbers 29:7).
- Fasted in times of war or threat of war (Judges 20:26; 1 Samuel 7:6).
- Fasted when loved ones were sick (2 Samuel 12:16-23).
- Fasted when loved ones died (1 Samuel 31:13; 1 Chronicles 10:12).
- Fasted when seeking God’s pardon (Deut. 9:15-18; 1 Kings 21:17-29; Jonah 9:4- 10).
- Fasted when facing danger (Ezra 8:21; Esther 4:3, 4:16).
- Fasted to commemorate certain calamities (Jeremiah 52:12-13; 2 Kings 25:2325; Jeremiah 41; 2 Kings 25:1, 3-4). Fasting
Fasting In The New Testament
- Jesus fasted forty days (Matthew 4:1-9; Luke 4:1-2).
- Jesus taught about fasting in his sermon on the mount (Matthew 6:16-18).
- Jesus was questioned about it by John’s disciples (Matthew 9:14-17).
- Jesus taught of a combined power of prayer and fasting (Mt. 17:14-21).
- The church at Antioch fasted (Acts 13:1-3).
- The churches of Galatia fasted (Acts 14:21-23).
- The apostles fasted (1 Corinthians 6:1-10).
- Paul often fasted (2 Corinthians 11:23-27).
- It was noted that married couples might find a need to fast (1 Corinthians 7:5).
TIMING OF A FAST
At Cooper City Church of God, we encourage fasting for 21 days each year in the month of January. This is part of a season of focused prayer as a church family. You may also choose to fast at other times during the year for your own spiritual development. It’s very typical to fast a single meal, a whole day, or three days or more. The timing of your fast is not as important as the strength of your focus on Him as you fast.