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“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” -Matthew 6:16-18

Are you believing God for:

  • A lost loved one to be saved?
  • Financial crisis to turn around?
  • Deliverance from an addiction or stronghold?
  • Intimacy with the Father?

Fasting is your secret (often overlooked) source of power.

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1. Before Moses received the 10 commandments from God, he fasted and prayed.

Exodus 34:28

Moses was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water.  And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant – the Ten Commandments.

2. David, a man after God’s heart and Israel’s greatest king, fasted

Ps. 69:10

When I weep and fast, I must endure scorn;

3. Daniel, seeking God’s timetable for the return of God’s people from captivity, fasted.

Dan. 9:3

So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.

Daniel also purposed in his heart to abstain from eating the king’s meat or his wine.

4. Esther Fasted 3 days before risking her life to save the kingdom.

Es. 4:16

Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me.  Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day.  I and my maids will fast as you do.  When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law.  And if I perish, I perish.

5. Nehemiah stood alone in prayer and fasting before rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.

6. Hannah fasted and prayed, asking God for a son.

7. Jehosophat called a national fast when threatened by Edom. (2 Chron. 20)

8. Ezra called on the nation to fast before returning to the land (Ez. 8:21)

9. Joel called a national fast regarding a plague of locusts (Joel 1:14)

10. Jesus, before beginning his earthly ministry fasted 40 days and 40 nights. (Luke 4:1-3)

Israel as an entire nation fasted on the Day of Atonement

11. The N.T. church fasted and prayed.

12. John the Baptist fasted frequently and called on his disciples to do likewise 

13. Paul fasted following his conversion on the Damascus Road

14. Paul and Barnabas before being sent out fasted

Jesus didn’t say, “if you fast,” but “when you fast.”

15. Critics found fault with the disciples because they did not fast enough (Matt. 9, Mk. 2, Lu. 5)

  • Jonathan Edwards fasted prior to preaching sinners in the hands of an angry God.
  • Finney would stop a revival meeting when it seemed hearts were cold and call them to prayer’s fasting.
  • The pilgrims fasted before disembarking from the Mayflower.
  • Founding Fathers called the colonies to fast when they faced times of crisis.
  • Abraham Lincoln on March 30, 1863 in the midst of the terrible war between the states called for a day of fasting and prayer.

What is fasting? Not dieting.  

Biblical fasting is refraining from food for a spiritual purpose. (Hebrew word “tsom”) refers to practice of self-denial, (Greek word “nesteia”) there are many references to “afflicting one’s soul or body.”

From the beginning, fasting was normal part of a relationship with God. It is mentioned over 70x’s in the Bible and has always been considered a standard practice for Christians. 

Fasting doesn’t move God… it moves you, by crucifying flesh to be closer to God.

Biblical fasting is choosing not to eat, which is an act of self-denial; but our motive is to free ourselves to seek God with all our heart and soul.

Joel 2:12, “Now therefore, says The Lord; ‘Turn to Me with all your heart, with FASTING, with weeping, and with mourning.”

Fasting is an expression of wholehearted seeking of God – this is the secret to the power of fasting.

Derek Prince says; “Fasting is a tremendous lesson in establishing who is the master and who is the servant.  Remember, your body is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master”

When you eliminate food, your spirit becomes uncluttered. You become “tuned in” to the things of God. Fasting with the right motives puts us in a place of humility – which puts us in a place where God gives grace.

David said “I humbled myself with fasting” -Psalm 35:13.

Jesus continually taught “Kingdom Principles.” In Matthew 6 (Beatitudes), He provided a pattern for us to live by. He addressed three specific duties of the Christian…

When you:

  • Give
  • Pray
  • Fast

It was made clear fasting as much as giving, and praying. Ecclesiastes 4:12, “A threefold cord is not easily broken…” Jesus went on to reveal in Matthew 6 – with these three things: “Nothing shall be impossible.”

There are four (4) basic kinds of fasts in Word of God.

    1. Normal Fast – Going without food for a definite period, in which you ingest liquids (water or juice) only.
    1. Absolute Fast – No food, no water at all.  Body can only do this three (3) days without supernatural intervention.  (Moses 40 days)
    1. Partial Fast – Omits certain foods or on a schedule that included limited eating.  May consist of omitting one meal a day; eating only vegetables, etc.
      1. Elijah, at least two times 
      2. Daniel
      3. John the Baptist
    1. Rational Fast – Eating or omitting certain families of foods for designated periods.  (E.g., grains every fourth day)

Paula White Ministries

Author Paula White Ministries

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • Frances jane Fontleroy says:

    Pastor Paula i need to crucifying flesh,less carbs,seek God with all my heart. ability to drink water instead of coffee,tea. during this fast. Thank you for tips.

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