FASTING

Author: Pr. kalungi Denis February 18, 2021 1304 views 8 comments
Fig: A picture representing FASTING.

UNDERSTANDING FASTING BY PR. DENIS KALUNGI

KIREKA CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP

FASTING

FASTING

Fasting is essentially giving up food for a period of time to weaken our bodies while elevating our spirit in order to humble ourselves before God with a clear consciousness of earning God’s guidance and it's also a spiritual feast to our spirit. Reading the bible, praying, and worshiping are some of the things done while fasting. 

In the Old and New Testaments, fasting is associated with solemn prayer. Examples of fasting are usually associated with mourning, grieving, repentance, or when making critical decisions. At other times fasting takes place when the people needed God’s favor, Answer, provision, and protection in a time of trial. 

An example of this was the fasting of Nehemiah when he was made aware that the Jerusalem wall was broken, the gates were destroyed by fire, and the people were in great trouble and shame. {Nehemiah 1:4} says, “As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.”

For Christian fasting is not abstaining from food, but putting emphasis on Christian morals values appreciating, treating people the very standards of God’s love reaching out to God’s people that need help and injustice look through Isaiah 58:3-9

Fasting is not a hunger strike, fasting moves with prayers praising and thanksgiving because the bible tells us in Psalms 100:4 To go to his temple with praising, worshiping, and thanksgiving.

PURPOSE OF FASTING

As we read Isaiah 58.6 we see the following;

1, Fasting breaks every yoke

2, Fasting breaks the chains of emotional problems

3, Fasting helps one to seek control for his / her life and return control to God

Matthew 17:21

Their kind goes not out but by prayer and fasting

Matthew 4:1-2; 10-11

Fasting gives chance the angels to come and minister unto you. For spiritual power and victory over temptation

HOW LONG SHOULD ONE FAST?

How long you fast is entirely up to you and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The Bible gives examples of fasting that lasted: One day or part of a day (Judges 20:26; 1 Samuel 7:6; 2 Samuel 1:12; 3:35; Nehemiah 9:1; Jeremiah 36:6 and the Holy Spirit took Jesus in the desert to fast for 40 days Mathew 4:1-10

KINDS OF FASTING

We have various kinds of fasting:

1, Dry fasting for 40 days like Jesus did Matthew 4:1-11, Moses Deuteronomy 9:9 and 1 Kings 19:8

2, Dry fasting three days like for Esther 4:16 & Acts 9:9

3, Seven-day fasting 1 Samuel 31:13; 2 Samuel 12:16–23 

4, Fasts of unspecified lengths Matthew 9:14; Luke 2:37; Acts 13:2; 14:23

5, Two weeks fasting like for Daniel & Acts 27:33–34

6, A one-night fast Daniel 6:18–24

7, A twenty-one day fast Daniel 10:3–13

8, Ten days eating vegetables and drinking water fasting by Daniel 1:12-18

Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness

Fasted for forty days. Luke 4:1-11 gets more specific saying Jesus “ate nothing during those days

Moses Receives God’s Instructions

Moses also did 40-day fasting. God instructed him to chisel two stone tablets and go to the top of Mount Sinai. Exodus 34:28 says,  “Moses was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water.” It was during this time that God instructed Moses to record the Ten Commandments.

Esther’s Three-Day Fast on Behalf of Her People 

When Esther’s cousin Mordecai pleaded with her to go before her husband, the King, to save the Jewish people, she knew it was a dangerous task. She instructed Mordecai to: Go, gather 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 attendants will fast too. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:16

Daniel is tested 

Daniel turned to fast two times Daniel 1:12-18 when Daniel entered King Nebuchadnezzar’s court, Daniel asked a guard to, “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.” The guards were so impressed with how healthy Daniel and his friends looked after the ten days, that he changed the diet of the whole court. Later, after receiving a vision from God, Daniel was so overwhelmed that he embarked on three-week fasting.

Daniel 10:3 says, “I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips, and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.”

Ezra and the Israelites Fasts for Safety

When Ezra and the Israelites were on the journey to Jerusalem, they were at great risk of being robbed and ambushed along the way. Before setting out, Ezra “proclaimed a fasting Ezra 8:21-23, so that they humble themselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for them and their children, with all their possessions.” Their prayers were answered. Ezra 8:23 says, “We fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.”         

Paul spends three days without eating

We also see Paul Acts 9:9 spending three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink

REASONS WHY PEOPLE FAST

Fasting does not change whether God hears our prayers, but it changes our praying. ‘Wallis says, “Fasting is calculated to bring a note of urgency and importunity into our prayer, and to give force to our pleading in the court of heaven.

To seek deliverance or protection e.g., see 2 Chronicles 20:3 – 4

Another common reason for fasting in the Old Testament was to seek deliverance from enemies or circumstances. In the Scriptures, this type of fasting is generally carried out with other believers.

2. To express repentance and a return to God e.g., see 1 Samuel 7:6

This type of fasting helps us to express grief over our sins and shows our seriousness about returning to the path of Godly obedience.

3. To humble oneself before God e.g., see 1 Kings 21:27 – 29

“Remember that fasting itself is not humility before God,” reminds Donald Whitney, “but should be an expression of humility.

4. To express concern for the work of God e.g., see Nehemiah 1:3 – 4

As with Nehemiah, fasting can be a tangible sign of our concern over a particular work God is doing.

5. To overcome temptation and dedicate yourself to God Matthew 4:1 – 11

Fasting can help us focus when we are struggling with particular temptations.

6. To express our love and worship to God e.g., see Luke 2:37

Fasting can show, as John Piper says, that “what we hunger for most, we worship.”⁴

7. To prepare for ministry. Jesus spent forty days and nights in the wilderness fasting and praying before He began God’s work on this earth. He needed time alone to prepare for what His Father had called Him to do Matthew 4:1-17; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-14.

8. To seek God’s wisdom. Paul and Barnabas prayed and fasted for the elders of the churches before committing them to the Lord for His service (Acts 14:23) & ACTS 13:

9. To show grief. Nehemiah mourned, fasted, and prayed when he learned Jerusalem’s walls had been broken down, leaving the Israelites vulnerable and disgraced Nehemiah 1:1-4

10. To seek deliverance or protection. Ezra declared a corporate fast and prayed for a safe journey for the Israelites as they made the nine-hundred- mile trek to Jerusalem from Babylon Ezra 8:21-23.

11. To repent. After Jonah pronounced judgment against the city of Nineveh, the king covered himself with sackcloth and sat in the dust. He then ordered the people to fast and pray. Jonah 3:10 says, “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, He relented and did not bring on them the destruction He had said.”

12. To gain victory. After losing forty thousand men in battle in two days, the Israelites cried out to God for help. Judges 20:26 says all the people went up to Bethel and “sat weeping before the Lord.” They also “fasted that day until evening.” The next day the Lord gave them victory over the Benjamites.

13. To worship God. Luke 2 tells the story of an eighty-four-year-old prophetess named Anna. Verse 37 says, “She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.” Anna was devoted to God, and fasting was one expression of her love for Him.

How should we equip ourselves when God calls us to “declare a holy fast”? Here are some of the things considered as you prepare for fasting:

Pray and confess your sins

The first step before fasting is to humble yourself before God (see Psalm 35:13) and confess your sins see 1 Samuel 7:6. Prayer should be our sustenance throughout the fast, but it is imperative we begin the fast with a contrite heart.

Turn to Scripture
Spend additional time meditating on God’s Word, before and during the fast.

Keep it secret

Fasting is unbiblical and even spiritually harmful when we do it to show off our spirituality see Matthew 6:16 – 18 or when we focus more on our own fasting than on the clear needs of others see Isaiah 58:1 – 11. Don’t boast about your fast; tell people you won’t be eating only if necessary. Fasting should not be done when imposed for false motives see 1 Samuel 14:24-30

THERE ARE THREE MAIN FACTORS THAT CAUSE BELIEVERS TO BE HESITANT

Despite biblical examples throughout Scripture, many Christians are slow to fast. I believe there are three main factors that cause believers to be hesitant — fear, ignorance, or rebellion.

Fear. They’re. Afraid of being unknown. Afraid of feeling hunger cramps. Afraid of starting and failing to finish. Afraid of fasting alone. The Enemy convinced them they could never do it. Instead of looking to the Lord’s strength for help, they become consumed with their own weaknesses and paralyzed by fear.

Ignorance. Many Christians simply have not been taught about the importance of seeking God in this way. Churches often do not encourage fasting, and in many cases never even mention it from the pulpit. For example, I grew up in a Bible-believing church, but I don’t recall hearing a message on fasting until I grew up

Rebellion. A large segment of the Christian population is aware of the benefits of fasting, yet they’re unwilling to do it. Their hearts are hardened when it comes to the idea of fasting. When God invites them to draw near, they dig their heels into the ground and refuse to obey.

JESUS’S TEACHING ON FASTING

Jesus did not tell people to fast, in Matthew 6, He gave the disciples very specific instructions on how not to fast, “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

FASTING AS THE FOUNDATION OF THE CHURCH

The New Testament records several examples of fasting, one of the most prominent is when God chose Paul and Barnabas as missionaries. Acts 13:2–3 says, “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.” On their trip, Paul and Barnabas chose leaders for new churches and “with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord” Acts 14:23

WHY DO PEOPLE FAST AND SEE NOT?

ISAIAH 58:3-4

Have we fasted, and you have not seen? Why have we humbled ourselves, and see not?” “Behold, on the day of your fast, you do as you please,

1, You oppress your workers.

2, You fast and break your fasting from the boyfriend’s place.

3, You fast and spend your day slandering

4, You fast and break your fasting with adultery

5, You fast and end in quarrels

6, You fast and look gloomy/ 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 Mathew 6:16

7, You fast with contention and strife to strike cruelly.

8, You humble yourselves by going through the motions of self-punishment, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in sackcloth and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord? Isaiah 58:5

WHAT IS THE FASTING THAT GOD RECOMMENDED 

This is not the kind of fasting I choose Isaiah 58:7

1, To fast while sharing your food with the hungry

2, Providing the poor wandering shelter

3, Clothing the naked

4, Showing compassion to the sick

Confession: 

Isaiah 59:19 so shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. 

MARATHON PRAYERS 

Lord Jesus, show me my areas of sin, in the name of Jesus.

The grace of God makes me see the plans of the enemies against me, in Jesus' name.

Evil dreams shall not rule over my life and destiny, in the name of Jesus.

I break and cut off myself from the spirit of sluggishness and carelessness, in the name of Jesus.

Every witchcraft control over this house, break and scatter by fire, in the name of Jesus.

The anointing to finish well, come upon me now, in the name of Jesus.

Pray for other prayers as led by the spirit of God. Make sure you take them well.

         part one fasting

8 comments

Evelyn   -   

February 19, 2021
Should I have to drink water when fasting......but anyway great article

Henry   -   

February 19, 2021
NYC article

Shilla   -   

February 19, 2021
Amen

barasa robert    -   

February 27, 2021
@Evelyn it depends which type of fasting you are doing,but most fasting we dont normally take water when we are fasting 12hours .

Charles   -   

July 23, 2021
Can I fast for a stated time

Pr. Kalungi Denis   -   

July 23, 2021
@Charle Yes you can fast for a stated time, first of all fasting is in may forms, you can fast after being directed by God for a certain time or you can fast seeking Gods directions. This fasting calls for making an agreement with God leting him know what you want in the fasting, days your going to fast and the kind of fasting ie dry fasting or partial fasting.

Muzanganda Ivan   -   

July 28, 2021
It's a good and timely message.

Kakyo Moureen    -   

September 23, 2023
What Am I supposed to take when fasting dry of 3days

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