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Home Teaching on Fasting Teaching on Isaiah 58 Fasting Latest Update Donations


teaching on fasting photo   Teaching on Fasting

INTRODUCTION
FASTING IS FORGETTING SOME OF THE NECESSARY THINGS OF LIFE
FASTING IS FOR REVIVAL
WILL HELP YOUR HEART AND FLESH AND SOUL CRY OUT TO GOD
FASTING IS A NATURAL REACTION OF THE BODY AND SOUL
FASTING SATISFIES THE DEEP LONGINGS OF THE SOUL
FASTING IS TRIBULATION
FASTING REQUIRES PATIENCE AND IT CREATES PATIENCE
FASTING WITH AGREEMENT IS VERY POWERFUL
FASTING IS FOR EMERGENCIES
FASTING GETS THINGS ACCOMPLISHED
FASTING IS FOR TODAY, FOR NOW>
FASTING IS FOR NEW BEGINNINGS>
FASTING IS “QUALITY TIME” SPENT WITH GOD
FASTING IS PREPARATION FOR MINISTRY
FASTING IS FOR ASSURANCE OF KNOWING GOD’S WILL
FASTING IS FOR REDEDICATION
FASTING IS FOR THINKING THROUGH OR WORKING THROUGH DIFFICULT SITUATIONS
GOD’S CHOSEN FAST
FASTING FOR BACKSLIDERS IS STRATEGIC
FASTING IS FOR SETTING THE OPPRESSED FREE, AND FOR UNDOING THE HEAVY BURDENS
FASTING IS TAKING HOLD OF THE HORNS OF THE ALTAR
FASTING IS A TIME OF DESPERATION
FASTING IS A TIME OF KEEPING AN URGENT MATTER BEFORE GOD
FASTING IS A TIME OF PRAYING FOR THE SICK
FASTING IS FOR CHANGING THE MIND OF GOD
FASTING IS HEARD ON HIGH
FASTING AND WEEPING GO TOGETHER
FASTING IS FOR THE TIME OF DANGER
FASTING IS FOR LIFE THREATENING SITUATIONS,  IT IS NATURAL TO FAST AT SUCH TIMES
CORPORATE OR GROUP FASTING IS ESPECIALLY BLESSED OF GOD
A THREE-FOLD CORD IS NOT QUICKLY BROKEN: PRAYER, FASTING AND AGREEMENT
FASTING IS FOR A TIME OF SPIRITUAL UNFAITHFULNESS>
FASTING IS HOLY
FASTING CAN STOP JUDGMENT
FASTING HUMBLES THE SOUL
FASTING WEAKENS THE BODY BUT STRENGTHENS THE SOUL
FASTING IS PRAYING IN WEAKNESS
FASTING IS A TIME OF PRAISE
FASTING IS FOR THE FEARFUL
FASTING IS ASKING HELP OF GOD
FASTING IS SEEKING THE LORD
FASTING RELEASES THE POWER OF GOD
FASTING IS FOR AFFLICTION
FASTING IS FOR KEEPING YOUR POSSESSIONS
FASTING IS FOR THE WEAK
FASTING HELPS YOU KEEP YOUR EYES ON GOD
FASTING IS PUTTING GOD FIRST
FASTING IS STANDING BEFORE GOD
FASTING IS VICTORY
FASTING IS STANDING STILL
FASTING IS A TIME OF WORSHIP
FASTING IS A TIME OF PRAISE!  AND ATIME OF SINGING
FASTING IS A TIME OF TAKING THE SPOILS
FASTING IS A TIME OF BLESSING THE LORD
FASTING IS A TIME OF JOY
FASTING HELPS IN THE SPIRITUAL
BATTLE AGAINST THE DEVIL AND HIS DEMONS
FASTING ALSO HELPS IN THE BATTLE AGAINST THE WORLD AND THE FLESH
FASTING IS BRINGING THE BODY UNDER SUBJECTION
FASTING CAN BE REGULAR
FASTING IS FOR CONFESSION
FASTING IS FOR READING THE BIBLE
FASTING IS FOR UNDERSTANDING  DIFFICULT PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE>
FASTING IS FOR MOURNING FOR SIN
FASTING IS FOR REPENTANCE
FASTING IS FOR BREAKING UP THE FALLOW GROUND
FASTING IS FOR FINANCIAL NEEDS
FASTING IS FOR GUIDANCE
FASTING IS FOR TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY
FASTING IS FOR THE TIME OF DESOLATION
FASTING IS FOR SOLEMN ASSEMBLIES>
FASTING IS SERVING GOD
FASTING IS FOR INTERCESSORS
FASTING IS TO GOD
FASTING SHOWS SINCERITY
FASTING IS FOR MISSIONS
FASTING IS FOR CHURCH MINISTRY
FASTING IS FOR AGRESSIVE EVANGELISTIC MINISTRY
FASTING IS FOR SPIRITUAL BATTLE
FASTING IS FOR SPIRITUAL POWER
FASTING IS FOR DELIVERANCE
FASTING IS FOR ENCOURAGEMENT
FASTING IS AN EXPRESSION OF LOVE
FASTING IS BIBLICAL
FASTING INCREASES FAITH
FASTING INCREASES THE POWER OF PRAYER
FASTING IS GOOD FOR THE HEALTH
FASTING IS FOR POWER AND RESULTS
FASTING SAVES TIME

 

INTRODUCTION

All verses are from the KJV of the Bible.  Other versions are noted.

Ps 102:4 My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread.
 

FASTING IS FORGETTING SOME OF THE NECESSARY THINGS OF LIFE.

     When one is overtaken by a situation, he can forget to eat.  This is one of the basic elements of fasting.  Fasting occurs when a person has a heavy burden, a great desire.  A desire that is greater than necessary things.  It is an overwhelming concern as Ezra had over the faithlessness of the exiles. Ezra 9 & 10, (9:3, 10:6)

"Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the chamber of Johanan the son of Eliashib: and when he came thither, he did eat no bread, nor drink water: for he mourned because of the transgression of them that had been carried away." (Ezra 10:6)
 

FASTING IS FOR REVIVAL.

Job said “I  have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.”  (Job 23:12) 
     The word food is not in the original but the Hebrew word has that sense.  His words become more important than all our necessities.  Fasting occurs when a believer has a strong desire to call upon God for some particular reason.  The yearning believer is willing to give up his necessary food in order to present himself and his petition before The Living, Listening Christ.  The same Hebrew word is used by Delitsch in the Hebrew translation of the NT of Matt 6:11, in the Lord’s Prayer, “our daily bread”.  The word bread is in Matt.  The Hebrew of Matt 6:11 could be translated “necessary bread.”
 

FASTING WILL HELP YOUR HEART AND FLESH AND SOUL CRY OUT TO GOD.
“My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.”  (Ps 84:2) 

“And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”  Fasting brings the flesh, (the body) the soul and the mind (the spirit or the heart) into the prayer.  In fasting the body, soul and spirit have a greater possibility to be in unison. (Ecclesiastes 4:12) 

     I am often led to fast because of an intense desire to be alone with Christ.  When such a feeling comes upon me, I begin checking my schedule to see when I can block off 2 months of time for a 30 or a 40-day fast.  In this writing a day fast is a 24 hour period.  As I recall there was at least one and a half years once until I could fulfill that desire.  There were times when I had to wait a year.  I recall being in Czech in about 1995 in a church meeting and the desire to be alone with Christ was so intense, that I had to find time to schedule a long fast.  That was in Ceskytesin with Oto Zabystrzan.  But it seems the soul was satisfied once it knew that time had been set aside for me to be alone with Christ in fasting. 

When there are such needs,
FASTING IS A NATURAL REACTION OF THE BODY AND SOUL. 
FASTING SATISFIES THE DEEP LONGINGS OF THE SOUL.

“And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”  (Deut 8:3)   

     Fasting helps the believer to understand that he does not live by food alone.  Our bodies need spiritual nourishment.  Believers need to read and study God’s Word.  Fasting contributes to the spiritual life of the believer.  There are other sources of strength and life than food.  In a very difficult fast of 35 days & nights in Sept.-Oct. 2003 this verse came more real to me.  I was so weak and hungry that I could only turn to God’s Word for strength and encouragement.  The whole chapter Dt 8 helped me understand the trail I was in during the fast.  I found Neh 8:10 also helpful in this fast.  “…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Let us remember “For my strength is made perfect in weakness…For when I am weak, then am I strong.”  11 Cor 12:8-10  In a 30 day & night fast Sept-Oct 2005 I experienced extreme hunger and had to often turn to God.  I sensed I was able to continue because of: the prayers of many believers, reading of the Word of God, prayer, crying out to God often in tears for grace to continue, singing and reading songs, listening to Christian songs, and to messages on tape, the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, and the joy of the Lord became my strength (Neh 8:10).  I was in great need of patience. 

FASTING IS TRIBULATION  "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience." (Romans 5:3) 

 

FASTING REQUIRES PATIENCE AND IT CREATES PATIENCE
     I have been fasting at least since 1963.  I recall my pastor Bob Gray of Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL in 1963 or 1964 asking me to join him in a fast for a day because of a particular burden he had.  I assume he asked me to join him because of Jesus speaking “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing  that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt 18:19)  Often in Israel’s history, when there was a national emergency, a fast was called for the whole nation.
     God brought me through the Sept-Oct fast of 2005.  My physical and mental resources were exhausted.  Once the time of the fast is decided, then one is committed to that decision.  I thought several times during the 40-day fast of 2000 to break the fast.  In the beginning I broke several fasts.  On one day fasts, I sometimes get headaches.  I know if I eat, the headache will go away.  A few times in the beginning, I did eat.  In my first three 30-day and three 40-day fasts between 1988 and 2000, and in the 37-day fast of 2001, and in the 35-day fast of 2003, I do not recall having a headache.  In the 21 day fast of 2004, I had a headache for the first day and a half.  Perhaps because I had not fasted in several weeks.  In the 30 day fast of 2005 I had no headache.

      After breaking the fast, great care, patience and discipline is required.  One can not return immediately to normal eating habits.   I break the fast with diluted juice.  For a fast of 7 days or more, I drink juice for two days.  Only on the third day so I eat something like oatmeal and fruit.  It is advised to return to normal eating only after as many days as was the fast.  Avoid eating meat the first week after a fast of one week or more, especially fried meat.  I find it extremely difficult to control my eating after a long fast.  When I eat too much, I then get diarrhea.   After diarrhea you have to start all over again, to train the digestive system to handle food.  It is easy for the digestive system to stop working, but not easy for it to start up after not working for some time.  A helpful rule would be to not eat too much at one time during the first week of breaking the fast.

FASTING ITSELF IS POWERFUL. FASTING WITH AGREEING PRAYER IS VERY POWERFUL.

     Fasting and praying together is greater than praying without fasting.  (All things being equal.)

FASTING IS FOR EMERGENCIES.

      While attending the wedding of an Israeli believer, Samuel, in France in March 1999, I made a statement about fasting which I had never made before.  I said this to Mark a young French pastor.   Many things which I accomplished for Christ were done only because I fasted.

FASTING GETS THINGS ACCOMPLISHED.

Now is the time to fast

"Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?  And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bride chamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast". (Matt 9:14-15)

Also found in Mk 2:18-20, Lk 5:33-35.  The same teaching was important enough to be mentioned 3 times.
 

FASTING IS FOR TODAY, FOR NOW. 
The Bridegroom has been taken from us, so now is the time to fast. 

     Matt 6:16-18  "Jesus said When ye fast, and when thou fastest".  In v. 2 He said "when thou doest alms", and v. 5 "when thou prayest".  As Jesus expects His followers to give alms, and to pray, He expects them to fast.


Some examples from the OT of fasting

  1. The disciples of John the Baptist and the Pharisees fasted.  They knew fasting from the OT example.  Mk 2:18

  2. Moses receiving the Law

“And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.” (Exod 34:28)

This was at the beginning of a new dispensation.  It was important that everything be understood.  The time Moses was to pass with God was to be very intense.  There were many details to receive.  The Law of God was received.  He felt it necessary to fast.  

FASTING IS FOR NEW BEGINNINGS.

     Moses fasted a second time 40 days and nights.  Deut 9:18 25.  This must have been by supernatural intervention.  The sins of Israel drove him again to fast.  The first 40 days & nights were for The Word, the second for the People.

 Often Christian workers are very busy and are not able to spend much time with their families.  So the time they do spend with them they try to make it a special time.  In the USA some call it “quality time” with their family. 

FASTING IS “QUALITY TIME” SPENT WITH GOD.

     Fasting without water is found: Ex 34:28, Esther 4:16, Ezr 10:6, Jonah 3:7.  Jesus did the same before beginning His public ministry.  It is not recorded whether He drank water or not. "The Prophet that was to come was to come from among the Jewish people was to be like Moses." (Deut 18:15)

"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.  And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered." (Matt 4:1-2)

     This is also recorded in Lk 4:1-2.  Moses received the Law.  Jesus was about to begin the public work God has for Him to do.  Are we better prepared for our work than they?  I think not.  These two men felt it necessary to fast 40 days and nights at crucial times in their ministries.  Our work is also important. 

FASTING IS PREPARATION FOR MINISTRY. 

     Upon being expelled from Israel on May 1. 1988, I went to Crete and had a 30-day & night fast before entering Turkey and Eastern Europe.  I have several times preceded my missionary trips with a long fast.  In Jan. 1990 and Nov. 1991 I fasted 40 days & nights.  In 1990 I made a trip into Eastern Europe.  At the end of 1991, just after the 40-day fast, I began a trip to Egypt, Jordan and then continuing into 1992 to Eastern Europe, including Russia.  By Jan 1993, I was in Massy, FR to study French.  In 1992, I was arrested 9 times for giving out tracts.  Eight times were in Kosovo, Serbia and they all happened in 5 days!  The 9th was in Egypt were I was taken to court.  In 1996 I tried to return to Egypt, but I was not permitted to enter.  A week before, I tried to get in Israel but was refused.  After being refused in both countries, I went to Cyprus for a 7 day fast.
 

FASTING IS FOR ASSURANCE OF KNOWING GOD’S WILL
 

Judges 20:26 - Fasting occurred when Israel had been beaten by Benjamin for the second time.  Benjamin was being judged for their wickedness against a Levite and his concubine.  40,000 of Judah had been killed in this civil war.  In 20:18 God had said Judah was to go against Benjamin.  The men of Israel wept and fasted until evening.  Since so many of their soldiers had been killed they wanted to be sure of the next move.  Vs 27-28  They offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings.  God spoke again, saying that they should go again against their brothers for He would give them victory this time.  There was a great slaughter in Benjamin that next day.  Judah killed 25,000 Benjamites.  Only 600 men were left alive.  The children of Israel fasted because they did not understand what God was doing.  They were told to go against Benjamin, but they were smitten down two times.  They were seriously searching God’s will and they wanted to be sure they were doing the right thing.  They got the assurance.  Fasting helped to clarify what God wanted and what He would do. They fasted until the evening. 

For four years I distributed Bibles to Kibbutzim in Israel.  I would go out the day after my weekly fast day, so for a time I broke the fast in the evening to be ready to go out early in the morning.  My normal practice is to fast the 3 meals of the day.  I fast from midnight to breakfast (= break the fast) about 33 hours later.  The word for breakfast in French is dejeuner, having the same meaning as break-fast.

"During the time of Samuel’s ministry the people of Israel were serving Baalim & Ashtaroth.  They wanted to come back to God.  They turned from the idols to God.  In the mean time the Philistines were threatening Israel.  Samuel gathered Israel to Mizpeh for confirming their commitment.  The people fasted and confessed their sins". (I Sam 7:6Then the Philistines were ready to attack as they heard that Israel was in Mizpeh.  God honored the repentance of Israel and God thundered with a great thunder on the Philistines and they were discomfited. (I Sam 7:10

FASTING IS A TIME OF REDEDICATION.

11 Sam 1:12, 3:35

1 Ki 21  Fasting here occurs 3 times.  Jezebel’s proclaimed fast was a false fast. 
     I have gained some incite into fasting from Is 58, which also presents the false fast.  Naboth the Jezreelite refused to give King Ahab his vineyard in Jezreel hard by the palace of Ahab King of Samaria.  Ahab was also King of Israel.  Jezebel was his wife.  Jezreel is not in Samaria, but this was an additional palace King Ahab had.  Ahab was so set on having the vineyard, that when Naboth refused, “Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased…And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.”  In 20:43 the same two words were used to describe his sentiments when a son of the prophets told him that he would die in Ben-hadad’s place, and his people in place of the Syrians.  These two disappointments were too much for Ahab.  Ahab was wrong in letting Ben-hadad escape and in wanting to take Naboth’s inheritance of his fathers.  In Lev 25:23 God said the land (of Israel) is mine and it is not to be sold forever. Num 36:7 says the land can not move from tribe to tribe.  Each man was to stay in his tribe’s territory.  Ahab had reason to fast.  But instead of seeking God’s face in these matters, he let his wife Jezebel handle the matter.  She told the nobles of Jezreel to proclaim a fast and set Naboth on high among the people. V 9  Jezebel had the people to fast.  Fasting is for serious matters.  It also changes ones normal thinking.  You become more concentrated on matters.  A proper fast helps the believer to focus in on the matters needing prayer.  Her plan worked and the people listened to the two men who gave a false report about Naboth.  Jezebel used two Biblical principles: fasting and establishing a matter with two witnesses.  Naboth was killed.  This is an example of using fasting “to smite with the fist”, Is 58:4.  As Ahab arrived to take Naboth’s vineyard, Elijah was there to announce to him the death of Ahab’s posterity and Jezebel’s death.  Now in v 27 we see Ahab responding in the right manner.  He humbled himself and fasted.  God acknowledged his humility and delayed the judgment until after his death.  The word for humbleth himself has the sense of bending the knee, and being concurred.  Fasting is natural under such circumstances.

 
Is 58 V. 1 commands the believers to cry aloud to the Jews showing them their sins.  One of the sins of those who professed faith was hypocrisy.  V. 2 tells what Israel pretends to be.  I took note of these pretensions in the 30-day fast of May 1988.  They are good qualities if actually done.  Seek God daily.  The word day is repeated twice for emphasis.  Delight to know His ways.  This delight is the same word used in Ps 40:8 to describe the Messiah’s delight to do His father’s will.  Do righteousness.  Forsake not the ordinances of God.  May we strive to keep the principles of the Scriptures.  Ask of God the ordinances of justice.  Let us do right, be just.  Take delight in approaching to God.  Fasting will help you to approach God.  V. 3  They even fasted and afflicted their souls.  Proper fasting afflicts the soul.  God did not acknowledge their efforts.  God criticized them for finding pleasure in fasting.  The same thought is expressed in v. 13 where they were doing their pleasure on the Sabbath.  Fasting is a spiritual exercise that has great value.  It is appreciated by those who know fasting.  The results are amazing.  Fasting is a difficult physical experience.  As I write these thoughts about Is 58 I have been fasting for 22 and a half hours.  I have hunger pains.  That is not pleasure.  The believer is wiling to go through the pain of fasting because he is convinced of its spiritual values.  One does not fast to get out of something or some responsibility.  One fasts to deal with problems and to present needs to Christ.  These two thoughts at the end of v.3 are difficult for me to understand.  The two questions asked in v. 3 are good questions.  The fasting Jews asked why God did not see their fasting.  God answers in v.4.  V. 4 goes further into misuse of the fast.  They were fasting to inflict others.  An example of this is when Jezebel called a fast to bring about the death of Naboth.  1 Kgs 21:12  Another example is when the more than 40 Jews bound themselves to not eat or drink until they had killed Paul.  Acts 23:12-15  The goals and attitudes the fasters had in Is 58 were not acceptable to God.  The disciples James and John once wanted to call down fire on some Samaritans who did not receive Jesus.  Jesus said in Lk 9:56  ‘For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.’  When a Christian fasts he is seeking God’s will and His intervention.  A proper fast will make your voice to be heard on high.  V.5

Jesus deals with the false fast in Matt 6:16-18..

My Personal History

  1.  While a student in Tennessee temple Schools from 1963-1966 I began fasting for longer periods.  I kept adding a day.  A day of fasting for me is a 24 hour period.  As I recall, I tried the new number of days several times before pushing on to the next level.  I soon reached 15 days, and then did 21.  In 1966 I did 28 days.  I was a student, and had a job.  At one stage I was fasting without water.  I then read that if Jesus did not drink water in His 40 day fast, the NT would have said afterward He was thirsty and not an hungered.  Thirst is a greater discomfort than hunger.  Once I fasted 7 days and nights without water.  My lips were cracked.  On the 7th day I taught Sunday School.  I was able to talk about 20 minutes when my throat went dry and I could not talk.  I left the long fasts for over 10 years.  (1969-1980)

  2.  I fasted one day a week during those years.  I recall the day fasts in Israel when I prayed for believers in Israel.  That custom of praying for believers in Israel during my one day weekly fast is still being carried on.  (2005)  I do not always fast one day a week while traveling.  I recall a fast of at least 3 days in 1969 in Israel.  I think it was in1984 I had a 15 day fast in Israel.  I started in the Judean Hills just west of Jerusalem where I slept on the ground, went to Mt. Carmel above Haifa, then Mt. Gilboa where again I slept on the ground.  Mt. Gilboa is above the Jezreel Valley on its south east side.  Saul & Jonathan died there.  1 Sam 31:1-6  I then finished on the north eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee.  I recall finishing more than one fast on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  It became my favorite place to finish fasts. Many of my fasts in Israel were done at the Beraca Bible Presbyterian center south of Bethlehem.  Howie & Laverne Hurdle remember my long fasts at Beracah.  Olwen Jones was there as well.

  3.  Upon being kicked out of Israel in 1988, I went straight to the island of Crete for a 30-day fast. I was 46 years old.  I had worked 15 years in Israel.  During that fast I worked through the difficulty of giving up Israel.  I had committed myself to remain in Israel until my death.  I needed that 30-day & night fast to begin letting Israel go.  It took several more years to let go of Israel.  I imagine David had the same experience as he fasted 7 days lying on the ground while his boy was dying.  The boy died because of David’s sin, and that was not easy to bear.  11 Sam 12:1-23  After the death of the boy, he was ready to eat and return to his life.  Probably during the 7 days and nights of fasting David gave up his boy. 

FASTING IS FOR THINKING THROUGH OR WORKING THROUGH DIFFICULT SITUATIONS. 
I imagine David got the thoughts of Ps 51 during those 7 days & nights.  In v.20 it is seen that after the fast was over, David washed himself, then went to the Tempe to worship, and only then did he go to eat.  In my early years at TTS I needed money for the school bill.  If I  did not pay, I would loose the whole semester.  One week before the start of the exams I told God I would not eat or drink until He gave me the money.  Seven days and nights later I got the money.  My first desire was not to drink.  It was to go get alone and praise God for what He had done for me.  Afterwards I returned to my dorm room and there was an orange waiting for me!  Fasting can be suggested for believers who go through a divorce or for those in mourning after the loss of a loved one.  The fast can be a time of confession and forgiveness and inner healing and release.  In the Bible we see Jews fasting after the death of a respected one: 11 Sam 1:12 for Saul & Jonathan, 11 Sam 3:35 for Abner.

  4.  My third 40-day fast was in 2000 on Crete.  I drink water when I fast.  I drink no juice nor do I take vitamins.  I normally take high blood pressure medicine.  I do not take it during the fast.  In Oct-Nov 2001 I fasted 37 days.  This was to be a 40-day fast, but for the first time I had physical complications so terminated the fast before its intended end.  Four times I fasted 30-days: 1988, 1995, 1998 and 2005.  That is as of 2005.  My first 40-day & night fast was in Lakeland, FL.  All the rest of the 30 and 40-day & night fasts, including the 37-day were on the Island of Crete.  There was a 35-day & night fast in Sept.-Oct., 2003 and a 21 day & night fast in Sept.-Oct., 2004, both were on Crete.

  5.  I have presented the subject of fasting two times to the Baptist church in Roshiori de Vede, RO.  On Feb. 25, 99 I passed a 10-day fast there to encourage them in fasting.  There was a call for a fast among French speaking churches of 3 days beginning on Feb. 25, 99.  It was a fast for suffering Christians worldwide.  That 3-day fast was called an Esther fast, for it was at the time of Purim.  Esther had a 3-day fast.  Esther 4:15-16.  Because of this fast by some French speaking believers I chose to start my fast on the same day.  In Rosiori the unemployment rate was about 85-90%.  We had good turn outs to the prayer sessions.  We began at 6:30AM to give the high schoolers a chance to pray.  I stayed in the church until about 2 PM.  During the 40-day fast of 2000, the church in Rosiori de Vede had someone fasting each day of my 40-day fast.  They were praying for me.  I needed those prayers.  In 2001 they were not praying for me as they did in 2000, and I did not make the 40 days.

   a.  In Sept. 2002 I did a 10-day fast at Calvary Bible Church in Ellerslie, MD.  Church members came in to pray with me, mainly in the morning.  I started at 8 AM.  Pastor Korns came to begin the prayer time with me.  Br. Ralph Frantz was there almost each day as well.  Eleven different members came to pray with me.  Forty-five members submitted prayer requests for me to prayer over.  One sister who had been recently saved was blessed in trying to fast.  She had a serious problem with eating too much before her salvation.  She noted an improvement after her salvation.  She was surprised she could go 17 hours without eating on the first day of the fast.  Towards the end of the 10-days, she was so happy to report that she had been 30 hours without food.  She may have gone beyond that.  A 15 day fast is planned for 2006 in this same church.

   b. In July 2003 in Iasi, RO I was encouraged by a church’s interest in fasting.  They wanted to know what led me to fast and why did I fast.  When this church was meeting in a home, they asked me how they could raise the money to build a building.  I told them about fasting.  They liked the idea.  They now have a nice building!  A similar opportunity was given in Brasov, RO at the Craiter Church in July, 2005.

Some examples from the last 500 years.

  1.  Reformers as Leuther (1530), Calvin (1509-1564) and Knox of Scotland fasted.  Jonathan Edwards an American preached his sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God while he was weak from fasting.  David Brainerd missionary to the American Indians fasted.

  2.  Charles Finney, about 1860 fasted.  He had a keen sense of the Holy Spirit’s fullness.  When he lost that fullness, he stopped eating until it came back. 
  3.  John Wesley said when he felt his power waning and a coldness coming over his heart, he fasted & prayed a few days and God heard and answered.

  4.   J. Harold Smith an American who died in 2001 practiced fasting.  After leaving the pastorate he entered evangelism.  He soon found that he did not have the power to win the lost in his meetings.  He understood that he would have to fast 40-days and nights to get that power.  He drank only water, eating no food for those 40-days and received the power to win the lost.  He wrote a booklet on fasting.  He said his best evangelistic meetings were those in which he fasted from the time he got on the air plane to go to the meeting, to the time he got back on the plane to return home.  Br. Smith in his book gives suggested food to eat when breaking a long fast.

  5.  Lester Roloff encouraged fasting.  He encouraged the students at Tenn. Temple Schools in the 1960’s to fast one day a week.  I have followed that practice.  Br. Roloff wrote a booklet on fasting.  It is titled Food, Fasting & Faith.  He spoke of the value of a juice fast.  In a fast with no food, he encouraged drinking much water.  A complete fast is going without any sort of food or liquid.  I understand Bill Bright suggests a juice fast as well.  Bill Bright wrote a book on fasting.  Christian Literature Crusade in Fort Washington, PA 19034, sells at least 2 books on fasting.  One is GOD’S CHOSEN FAST by Arthur Wallis

 

FASTING IS FOR SETTING THE OPPRESSED FREE, AND FOR UNDOING THE HEAVY BURDENS. 
In anguish of soul.  Hannah yearning for a child stopped eating, 1 Sam 1:6-8.  I can think of 3 women I know who are grieved because they have no child.  Note Hannah’s fasting was accompanied by tears.
     Do you have a heavy burden?  Is a member of your family lost?  Is a friend bound by evil spirits and or evil actions?  Is a member of your family an alcoholic? a drug addict?   Are you faced by danger?  Are you bound by a sin?  Do you have friends who are seriously sick?  Your fasting prayers can help in such situations.  Perhaps the lesbian or the homosexual’s last chance is the fasting prayer.  The fasting prayer can bring a backslider back into the church and the Christian life. 

 

FASTING FOR BACKSLIDERS IS STRATEGIC.

“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” (Isa 58:6) This is the key verse about fasting.  Is 58 deals with fasting, especially the fast rejected by God.  Attitude is important in fasting.  Jesus dealt with this problem in Matt 6:16-18.  But after dealing with the false fast God gives a clear statement as to what proper fasting can accomplish.  That is found in verse 6 just quoted.
 

Saul at death’s door fasted.  1 Sam 28:7-25  Saul had not eaten all the day and all the night (20).  Saul was distressed (15) because the Philistines made war against him and God had departed from him.  The medium brought up Samuel who reminded Saul of his sins and that God had departed from him.  Samuel told Saul he and his sons would be with Samuel tomorrow.  Saul was desperate and distressed.  It was a natural time to fast.  The witch and Saul’s men had to force Saul to eat (23-25).


David grieved for his dying son.  The son was dying because David had conceived him in adultery.  2 Sam 12:13-23

These 7 days of fasting (v 18) were for David a time of seeking God.  It was a time of returning to God.  I believe also a time of inner mental healing for David.  It was also a time of intercession for the life of the child. 
  

FASTING IS FOR TIMES OF DESPERATION. 
David was desperate.

FASTING IS A TIME OF KEEPING AN URGENT MATTER BEFORE GOD. 
I am reminded of Jesus’ parable of the unjust judge and the widow who insisted her case be heard.  Luke 18:1-6.  Jesus taught this parable to instruct believers to always pray and not to faint. 

 

FASTING IS TAKING HOLD OF THE HORNS OF THE ALTAR.

     There were two altars related to the Tabernacle.  The larger was outside the tent.  It was the altar of burnt offering.  The smaller one was inside the tent in the Holy Place next to the veil which led to the Holy of Holiest.  It appears to me both are mentioned in Lev 4:17-18.  The first one is near the vail in the tabernacle and the second one is the altar of burnt offering where all the blood of the sin offering was poured.  In Lev 4:25 blood of the sin offering is put on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and then the rest is poured out at the bottom of the altar.
     The altar of incense was smaller than the altar of burnt offering.  Ex 27:1 gives the dimensions of the altar of the burnt offering.  It is also called the brazen altar.  It was 5 cubits long and 5 broad.  It was 3 cubits high.  One cubit = 1 foot 5.48 inches, or 45 cm, though some put it at 55 cm.  Which means the altar of burnt offering was four and a half feet high.  Ex 30:2 gives the dimensions of the altar of incense.  It was 1 cubit long and broad.  It was 2 cubits high, which is 3 feet (1 meter).  Zacharias was on the right side of the altar of incense when the angel of the Lord appeared to him to announce that Elizabeth would have a son.  Lk 1:10-13  From Lev 4:17-18 it appears blood was also sprinkled on the altar of incense.

     The horn was from an ox or a ram.  It was a symbol of strength, might and power.  It is an image taken from bulls and other animals which push with their horns.  The ram’s horn was used for the shofar, to make a noise.  In Amos 3:14 God’s judgment is to fall on Beth-el.  To mark this judgment, the horns of the altar shall be cut off and fall to the ground.

     Adonijah tried to take the Kingdom when David was dying.  While Adonijah had his feast to celebrate him as king, Solomon was proclaimed king!  Adonijah feared Solomon and headed for the horns of the altar!  1 Kings 1:50-53  Says of Adonijah “they brought him down from the altar.”  To bring him down from the altar would seem more likely to be the brazen altar.  With the fire burning it would be a hot place to hold on to.

     Soon after Adonijah was holding onto the horns of the altar, Joab was as well.  Joab had sided with Adonijah to make him king.  1 Kings 2:28-34  Joab caught hold of the horns of the altar.  Verse 29 says he “was fled unto the tabernacle” and that “he is by the altar”.  Joab refused to “come forth” so Benaiah went in and got him.

    Holding on to the horns of the altar was a place of pleading for grace, for ones life and for pardon.  Those who went there were desperate.  Fasting is for the same.  It is for life threatening situations.
 

FASTING IS A TIME OF PRAYING FOR THE SICK
Adding fasting in our prayers for the sick is helpful.
 

Fasting is important in freeing those bound by demons.  "The boy was a lunatic and sore vexed.  The disciples could not cast out the devil so they asked Jesus why they could not.    And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." (Matt 17:14-21)
 

Horatio Guy who was a fellow seminary student had dealt with demons in the Philippines.  He said it is necessary to fast when dealing with demons.  He said a backslider should not be present when casting out demons.


FASTING IS FOR CHANGING THE MIND OF GOD
See also Jonah 3:7-10.  David was not able to change the mind of God, but the Ninevites did change God’s mind.

In the Acts 27:33 of the NT,  276 men despaired of their lives.  For 14 days while they still had life, they ate nothing.  God delivered them all. 

FASTING IS HEARD ON HIGH.  See Is 58:4.


FASTING AND WEEPING GO TOGETHER.

    1. We saw how Hannah wept and fasted. 1 Sam 1:8

    2. David fasted and wept for his dying child.  11 Sam 12:21-23

    3. Ps 69:10 A Psalm of David “When I wept and chastened my soul with fasting.”

    4. Ester 4:3  When the Jews learned of their death penalty issued by Haman and King Ahasuerus (3:8), they fasted, wept and wailed.  Jews all over the kingdom of Ahasuerus fasted. 

    
      Group fasting was practiced in the OT and in the NT. Note what Ester did when she learned of the fate of her people.  4:16-17  She was willing at the risk of her life to go before the King to try to save her people.  But in the face of death, in a desire to escape death, and to gain her people’s lives, she proclaimed a 3 day fast, with no drinking.  She did not want to go before the King without fasting.  She also did not want to fast alone. 

FASTING IS FOR THE TIME OF DANGER. 
FASTING IS FOR LIFE THREATENING SITUATIONS,  IT IS NATURAL TO FAST AT SUCH TIMES. 
CORPORATE OR GROUP FASTING IS ESPECIALLY BLESSED OF GOD.
A THREE-FOLD CORD IS NOT QUICKLY BROKEN: PRAYER,
FASTING AND AGREEMENT
.  Ecls 4:12

Joel called the priests to an all night fast because there were no meat and drink offerings being given."Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD." (Joel 1:14)

FASTING IS FOR A TIME OF SPIRITUAL UNFAITHFULNESS.
 

FASTING IS HOLY.

     Then God called the Jews to be ready for the judgment of God. 

"Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:

And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.  Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?  Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly." (Joel 2:12-15 )
There were no meal or drink offerings. Therefore a fast was sanctified. (Joel 1:13-14)

FASTING CAN STOP JUDGEMENT.

     This can be seen clearly in the judgment pronounced on Nineveh by Jonah.


David practiced fasting.

   1. 11 Sam 1:12

   2. 11 Sam 3:35

   3. 11 Sam 12:

   4. Ps 35:13 David humbled his soul with fasting.  FASTING HUMBLES THE SOUL.

   5. Ps 69:10

   6. Ps 109:24  David’s knees were weak through fasting, and he had no fat at that time.   I have seen times when my knees buckle (give in) because of fasting.  I assume from David’s statement in v 24 that he practiced long fasts.  It also takes some days before one notices that he is losing fat.  I am overweight so it takes me longer to notice it than people of a proper weight. I loose about 20 kgs when I fast 40 days.   In 10-day fast of 2002 I lost about 15 pounds in 10 days. 

FASTING WEAKENS THE BODY BUT STRENGTHENS THE SOUL. 
FASTING IS PRAYING IN WEAKNESS.

God recognizes your earnestness when He sees that you are fasting.  There are times when God comes down to see what is going on.  Gnu 18:20-21  As in the case of Sodom.


FASTING IS A TIME OF PRAISE.  (2 Chron 20)

 

FASTING IS FOR THE FEARFUL.

2 Chron 20 - A fast was proclaimed (v 3), because 3 armies were approaching Jerusalem.  Jehoshaphat feared and therefore fasted.

FASTING IS ASKING HELP OF GOD (v 4) "They asked help of God".  

 

FASTING IS SEEKING THE LORD.  "They sought the Lord".   

 

FASTING RELEASES THE POWER OF GOD In v 6-12 is recorded Jehoshaphat’s prayer.  This was a fasting prayer.

 

FASTING IS FOR AFFLICTION. (v 9)  "They called out unto God in their affliction". 

 

FASTING IS FOR KEEPING YOUR POSSESSIONS. (v 11)

 

FASTING IS FOR THE WEAK (v 12) “no might”.

 

FASTING HELPS YOU KEEP YOUR EYES ON GOD. “But our eyes are upon thee.”    

 

FASTING IS PUTTING GOD FIRST.  (v) 13  
Praise puts God first.  God and what He wants is more important than anything else.

 

FASTING IS STANDING BEFORE GOD (v 13) All their “little ones” were there.

At the meetings in Rosiori de Vede in Feb. 99 a boy of about 11 asked me if fasting is for children.  I said yes with the parents’ permission.  I think this boy comes to the meetings without his parents.  Pastor Ion Toni thought of the fast of Nineveh.  Jonah 3:7-10  Neither man nor beast was permitted to eat or to drink.  This may have included the children. 

FASTING IS VICTORY(vs 14-16) God answered and said He would fight the battle. . 

 

FASTING IS STANDING STILL.   Ps 46:10 

 

FASTING IS A TIME OF WORSHIP.  (v 17) Jehoshaphat worshipped. (v 18) Then the praise began. (vs 19-22) They sang and praised The Lord as they marched to the battle. 

 

FASTING IS A TIME OF PRAISE!  AND A TIME OF SINGING.  

 

FASTING IS A TIME OF TAKING THE SPOILS.  (v 25)

 

FASTING IS A TIME OF BLESSING THE LORD.  (v 26)

 

FASTING IS A TIME OF JOY.  (v 27)

     I started in the early 90’s giving the next to the last day of a long fast to only praise.  I did not offer any prayer requests on that day.  I sang songs, read scripture, and let the scriptures guide me in my praise.  I walked worshipping Our Risen Glorious Christ.  I walked and offered thanksgiving.  In 1995 I sensed the fast of 1996 would be a fast of praise.  It was a 15 day fast.  I took the 7 days of rejoicing of the Feast of Tabernacles as my guide.  Lev 23:40b.  I tried to rejoice before God for 7 days, 7 hours each day.  Most of the time I walked and praised God and the Lamb.  In the 30 day fast of 1998 the Feast of Tabernacles fell during the fast so I took those 7 days of the feast to praise the Lord for 7 hours each day.  God the Father and God the Son await our praises.  In the 40-day fast of 2000 again during the Feast of Tabernacles, I praised God and His Lamb for the 7 days of the feast for 7 hours per day.
 

     What happens when we are filled with the Spirit?  Eph 5:18-20.  Psalms, hymns, songs, singing are what the Spirit leads the worshipper into. 

FASTING HELPS IN THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE AGAINST THE DEVIL AND HIS DEMONS.
FASTING ALSO HELPS IN THE BATTLE AGAINST THE WORLD AND THE FLESH.
FASTING IS BRINGING THE BODY UNDER SUBJECTION
.

     1 Cor 9:24-27  Paul wanted to “keep under my body, and bring it into subjection.” 

FASTING CAN BE REGULAR

A one day fast each month  Zech 8:19

       a. These times (moadim) were of joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts.

       b.  Many Christians have greatly benefited from a one day fast each week.
 

FASTING IS FOR CONFESSION.

      Nehm 9:1-3 The Jews fasted, stood and confessed.  It is helpful to begin the fast with confession.  It was a natural way to get close to God for the fast.

FASTING IS FOR READING THE BIBLEThen they read the Word of God. (Nehm 9:1-3) 

 

FASTING IS FOR UNDERSTANDING  DIFFICULT PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE
Dan 9:1-23  Daniel understood from Jeremiah that Israel had 70 years in the desolations of Israel (v 2).  He sought understanding of these years and therefore fasted.  He naturally started with confession. (vs 2-3). 

 

 FASTING IS FOR MOURNING FOR SIN.   (Ezra 10:6)

         Yom HaKippurim, Day of Atonement, Lev 16.  In v. 29 the Jews were to afflict their souls.  The Jews understand this to mean fasting.  Ezra 8:21 ¶ Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.   


FASTING IS FOR REPENTANCE.  Yom HaKippurim, Day of Atonement is a Day of confession and repentance.

 

FASTING IS FOR BREAKING UP THE FALLOW GROUND
Jrm 4:3  Hos 10:12  It brings the heart out of hardness into openness to God ‘s word, and His will. 

Far too many times I have experienced that I was only able to accept God’s will in a particular matter while fasting.  A striking example was in Feb-May 2005.  I was pressed.  Time was too short for all I had on my heart.  June 1, I would leave again for the 8 month trip.  I sensed I needed to go to Israel for 2 weeks.  I said no.  I fought it.  While fasting on my one day a week, I gained grace and surrendered to the will of God.  I decided I would go to Israel.  I needed to clear out all my things from Beit el Beraka, which had been sitting there for too many years.  It took 6 days to clear them out.  I had been already working on them on previous visits, especially the books.
 

FASTING IS FOR FINANCIAL NEEDS.  Here is the missionary’s resource.

     In March and April 1999, I needed extra gifts of money, beyond that which I normally receive.  Since my yearly summer trips to East Europe beginning in 1990, I made for the first time a winter trip in 1999.  With my credit card I drew on April’s funds in March.  I began praying and during my fast days I brought my financial needs before our Heavenly Father.  On May 25, a French sister who has never given to me before, sent me about $1666!  Endless praises unto Our All sufficient Faithful God and Our Able Savoir Jesus Christ!

     Two or three days before a 30 day fast in 1998, I was with a Greek missionary couple in Athens.  They are George & Aleca Dragotas.  Their car was no longer dependable.  In 1989 they were already having trouble and a brother said he would help them to get another car.  Nothing was again said about this.  Aleca asked me to pray for another car during my fast.  After the fast I came to stay in their home.  While I was there they received a call from the brother who had said he would help them.  He said he would put $20,000 in their account!  They got a 1997 Subaru 4 wheel drive!

     The 30 day fast of 2005 was characterized by deep callings out unto Christ for finances.  I was given extra finances for Sept.  One gift was $2000.  By the time I left BG on Sept 2, most of it was gone.

     A missionary can not normally work for money.  I suggest he try to get the money he needs by fasting for it.  I encourage this method rather than depending on asking God’s people for it.  I do share financial needs of some with whom I am working.  We are encouraged to trust God for our finances.  If we give, God will give to us “according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philip 4:19)  That was a promise to the Philippian church which had supported Paul financially.  God would re-supply them for they had given to Paul.  God will supply through the body of Christ, but we want God to do it, not just the body of Christ.  As God supplies I feel free to share it as a testimony of His faithfulness.

FASTING IS FOR GUIDANCE.

     Ezra 8:21-23 - Ezra fasted with Israel to seek from God a right way.  Also see Is 58:11. 

FASTING IS FOR TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY.

     Is 58:11 - After fasting in the proper manner God promised to guide continually.

FASTING IS FOR THE TIME OF DESOLATION.    

     Joel 1:13-14 - There were no meal or drink offerings. Therefore a fast was sanctified.

FASTING IS FOR SOLEMN ASSEMBLIES.

     For the transition from the OT to the NT, let us observe Anna who saw the baby Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem. (Luke 2:36-38). She had been a widow for 84 years.  She served God with fasting and prayers night and day.  The Jewish fast was night and day.  The Muslims fast is only during the day. 

FASTING IS SERVING GOD

      I see in Anna a mighty ministry for sisters.  Especially for widows or sisters who never married.  (Lk 2:37)  And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fasting and prayers night and day.

FASTING IS FOR INTERCESSORS.

     Mat 6:16-18  Jesus teaching on fasting.

     a. v 16 “When you fast.”  He expected His disciples to fast.

     b. v 18 Appear not unto men to fast, but fast unto God.  We fast not to be seen of men, but to be heard by God.  When men see our fasting, it can be a testimony to them.  Moses recorded his fast.  Jesus’ fast is given to us.  Paul spoke of his fasting.  It is recorded in the book of Acts that the early church practiced prayer with fasting. Acts 13:2-3, 14:23
 

FASTING IS TO GOD 

     Acts 10:30 Cornelius fasted, and he prayed and his prayers were heard.  Peter was in prayer and became hungry.  Perhaps he was fasting.  But before he could eat he fell asleep and God spoke to him.  He was told to go to the Gentile Cornelius.  In 10:22 it is clear that Cornelius was in close contact with the Jewish people.  He was acting on the light which he had received from the Jews.  And God gave him further revelation.  

FASTING SHOWS SINCERITY Cornelius’ earnestness was clearly seen in his fasting and he was wonderfully rewarded. 

 

FASTING IS FOR MISSIONS.
Acts 13:2-3 The first missionaries were chosen during fasting and praying by leaders and others of the church in Antioch.  Here is the beginning of the missionary movement.  May this movement continue to use fasting.  And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed. (Acts 14:23)
 

The first missionaries used fasting and praying to strengthen the elders and the churches they founded.  The missionaries' ministry began with fasting and prayer and they continued fasting and praying in their labors for Christ and His Church. 

FASTING IS FOR CHURCH MINISTRY.

     (1 Cor 7:5)  Paul expected the believers to fast.  He said that when husband and wife fast they should not have sex.  Fasting creates a unique bond between the believer and God.  The believer has deep concerns which have driven him to fast.  The faster is to keep Christ before him in his fast.

     Paul fasted often.  (2 Cor 11:27-28)  In spite of the fact that he was often hungry, he still had fasts. 

FASTING IS FOR AGRESSIVE EVANGELISTIC MINISTRY. 
The fasts were necessary in his aggressive evangelistic ministry.   Paul was willing to add to his sufferings, fasting.  He was so convinced of its effectiveness. 
He needed power.  (Eph 6:12) 

 

FASTING IS FOR SPIRITUAL BATTLE. The believer’s spiritual battle is against Satanic forces and wickedness.  

FASTING IS FOR SPIRITUAL POWER.  (Mark 3:22-27)  Satan is the strong man and must be bound before we go in and take possession of that which is bound.  

All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?   (Ps 35:10)

FASTING IS FOR DELIVERANCE. 
Those who are bound have great difficulty delivering themselves.  They need help.  The believers’ fasting prayers are what they need.  Paul wanted God to go before him, preparing the way and the work.

 

FASTING IS FOR ENCOURAGEMENT.  Paul needed encouragement. 


FASTING IS AN EXPRESSION OF LOVE.  We have noted several men who fasted.  They proved their love to God and to men by their fasting.


FASTING IS BIBLICAL.  We have seen fasting in the OT and the NT.


My Observations
 

FASTING INCREASES FAITH  The combination of the fasting body and the believing prayer increases faith.  This has to do with the nature of our human body. 

FASTING INCREASES THE POWER OF PRAYER.


FASTING IS GOOD FOR THE HEALTH.
      I can not speak with the knowledge of a doctor.  I am convinced fasting is good for the health.  That is if one is able to fast.  There are physical problems in the body, which make it unwise for that person to fast.  Fasting eliminates toxic poisons from the body.  I knew a man who sprayed oranges, and after spraying he would fast for 3 days to get the chemicals out of his body.  Fasting gives the digestive organs a rest.  Fasting cleanses the body.  Drinking water helps to cleanse the body.  The breath will smell, and the cleansing process may create a back ache, or head ache especially in the first day or two.  It usually takes my body 6 to 7 days to clean itself.  I sense the change as I receive more strength as the body has stopped working to clean itself.   
 

FASTING IS FOR POWER AND RESULTS
For power and results, the longer the fast the better.  I sense the blessing and power is accumulative.  The more time of the fast consecrated to prayer the Word and praise the better.  In Is 58:3 the faster is warned not to “find pleasure” during the fast.  In v. 13 the same expression is used for the Sabbath.  I put a limit to the fast: 40 days.  Beyond that it is dangerous for the body.  I believe the human body was designed for a 40 day fast. 
 

FASTING SAVES TIME. 
There is no preparing of food, neither cooking, eating nor cleaning up.  I have tried when fasting and continuing my regular schedule, to stop for meal time to read the Word and to pray.


Conclusion

Fasting is taught in the Bible, OT and NT.  Christians have used fasting through the centuries.  As we approach the last days of the age of grace, Satan is working hard to gain people and ground.  He is mightily opposing the work of the church.

"Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time".  (Rev 12:12)
 

We need the power and the help of God.  Fasting will help the church to have God’s power and His help. We need our prayers answered. Jesus said that when the bridegroom is gone then we should fast.  Now is the time of fasting, just before His return.

This message as originally written I preached and it was translated into Romanian by Rodica Hortupanu in Feb. 1999.  She died in the summer of 99.  I dedicate this message to her memory.  She was in full time youth work.


I highly suggest to the Church of Jesus Christ
fasting: for individuals and for church groups.

Michael David Bentley  Feb. 15, 1999, Updated from time to time.

Fasting is weakness.

CMC P.O. BOX 12964
Houston, TX
77217-2964 USA