A Corporate Call to Fasting

Every disciple is called to fast and pray. The Bible is clear about it. Now the Holy Spirit is calling us to fasting and prayer.

Unfortunately many churches are filled with believers but not many disciples.

What are you? A believer or a disciple?

Let us take the step to become more than a believer…

Today we will talk about fasting.

What is fasting?

Fasting is a spiritual discipline that is taught in the Bible. Jesus expected His followers to fast, and He said that God rewards fasting. Fasting, according to the Bible, means to voluntarily reduce or eliminate your intake of food for a specific time and purpose.

When you give up eating, don’t put on a sad face like the hypocrites. They make their faces look sad to show people they are giving up eating. I tell you the truth, those hypocrites already have their full reward. So when you give up eating, comb your hair and wash your face. Then people will not know that you are giving up eating, but your Father, whom you cannot see, will see you. Your Father sees what is done in secret, and he will reward you.” Matthew 6:16-18 (NCV)

Who should fast?Every disciple of Jesus.

Matt 6:16-17

16 When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,

Why do we fast?

  1. Fasting gives you more time for prayer. You can use the time you’d normally spend eating as time in prayer for what God wants to do among us during this Campaign. In the Bible, fasting is always connected with prayer.

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.’ So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.”

Acts 13:2-3 (NIV)

  1. Fasting demonstrates the depth of your desire when praying for something. It shows you that you are serious enough about your prayer request to pay a personal price. God honors deep desire and praying in faith.

Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord.” Joel 1:14 (NIV)

Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to Me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Joel 2:12 (NASB)

  1. Fasting releases God’s supernatural power. It is a tool we can use when there is opposition to God’s will. Satan would like nothing better than to cause division, discouragement, defeat, depression, and doubt among us. United prayer and fasting has always been used by God to deal a decisive blow to the enemy!

So we fasted and prayed about these concerns. And he listened.” Ezra 8:23 (Msg)

God says, “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” Isaiah 58:6 (NIV)

  1. 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.”

How should we fast?

  • Normal Fast – No food, water only.
  • Absolute Fast – Absolutely no food or water (Caution: Should not be undertaken over 3 days and only then if you have a clear directive from the Lord and are in good health).
  • Partial Fast – This could mean fasting certain meals of the day or abstaining from certain kinds of foods (i.e.: No meat or sweets, soup only, fruit and vegetables only, etc. In Daniel 10:3, Daniel ate no pleasant bread).
  • Juice Fast – Fruit and vegetable juices only.
  • Corporate Fast – A church or group of people who feel God has called them to fast together for a certain period of time.
  • Jewish Fasting Period – The Jewish fast began at 6:00 P.M. in the evening and ended the next day at 6:00 P.M. (Some people follow this time period to begin and end fasts.)
  • Fasting Plus Prayer — Remember, fasting should be combined with prayer. God called us to fast and pray. If you are fasting a certain meal of the day, use the time you would normally be eating to pray. The combination of prayer and fasting is a powerful way to focus on seeking God for breakthroughs and answers to prayer.
  • Fasting and Abstinence — Although the word “fast” is used as abstaining from food in the Bible and does not refer to giving up other things, during a fast one can practice abstinence from other pleasures as well, such as entertainment, TV, hobbies and sex, as spoken about in 1 Corinthians 7:1-5.

Scriptural examples for fasting and why?

1. The Disciples’ Fast (Matthew 17:21) –

For deliverance from unbelief.

2. The Ezra Fast (Ezra 8:21-23) –

For God’s help in solving problems and for protection from Satan. Ezra said that they prayed and fasted and God answered their request.

3. The Samuel Fast (1 Samuel 7:6) –

For revival. The people were bound by idol worship and needed deliverance. Samuel called them to seek God and to bring the Ark back to Jerusalem. If we fast and pray for revival, God will pour Himself out on His people.

4. The Elijah Fast (1 Kings 19:4-8) –

Mental freedom from emotional problems or habits. Through fasting, God will show us how to overcome emotional problems and destructive habits.

6. Paul Fast (Acts 9:9) –

For physical healing and to get direction from God. If we fast and submit our will to God, He will reveal His will to us.

7. The John the Baptist Fast (Luke 1:15) –

To enhance our walk with God and witness. If we fast for the influence of our testimonies to reach others for Christ, God will use us.

8. The Esther Fast (Esther 4:16, 5:2) –

For protection from the evil one. If we fast for protection, God will deliver us from evil.

9. The Jesus Fast (Matthew 4:1-2) –

For spiritual power and victory over temptation, the flesh and the devil.

10. The Daniel Fast (Daniel 1: 5-21; 10:3) –

Fasting for health and to seek God’s favor, purpose and vision for life.

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