Matthew 9:15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber 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.
This article is for saved people. If you are hellbound all the fasting in the world ain't going to help you. You need to see our article on how to get eternal life. If you have dietary constraints that prevent you from fasting, you can come up with other ways to deny yourself. For instance, if you have to eat with your medicine, eat plain bread instead of steak and lobster with extra butter. Instead of drinking a soda, drink water. The point is to deny yourself and pray.
I've been asked about fasting by several readers. What you will read here are some email comments that I've made. Fasting is very important in my life. It helps me to keep my spiritual edge--among many other things. Do not be surprised if the idea of fasting makes you mad, incredulous, or scared. It directly subjugates your flesh and gives the Spirit the preeminence. Remember that the flesh lusteth against the Spirit. Most people do not "feel" that they want to fast--that is the flesh talking. It's good to recognize who is doing the talking--I returned to weekly fasting around June 2000. Then a few months ago (today is 12-25-00), I said after a fast, "I'm not fasting next week." Not that I was out of sorts by my fast, I just allowed a thought from my flesh to take root in my mind. Well, I didn't go to church that next Sunday (I believe I was sick) and my husband came home with a message...there was a new sister in church that I only knew by name--she told my husband to ask me to fast for her son for two days that week! Of course, I had to do it--and as a result of King Jesus drawing my focus back, I haven't missed a week. The Lord knows how to communicate His will to those of us who will listen--even when we have our own ridiculous ideas.
My flesh was doing the talking in the above illustration--telling me not to fast. We need to be able to recognize WHO'S doing the talking...Why do Christians get mad when I say no Christian should watch hellivision? That is their flesh talking. It wants to keep on whoring with the devil. The Holy Ghost does not tell a Christian to watch soap operas, sitcoms, Disney sorcery, hellywood movies, tainted documentaries and news, game shows, etc. Who is telling them to watch and enjoy these things? The flesh. Know who is doing the talking. Fasting will help you to know almost immediately. Amen and praise the Lord.Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Get some victory by subduing the flesh. Fasting and prayer is an excellent way to do just that.
I regularly fast for a number of reasons--
- Jesus said His disciples would fast.
- To divest myself of worldly comforts so I can be filled with the Lord and His word.
- To keep under my body and bring it into subjection. I tell the flesh what to do, it does not tell me. This helps me to keep from sinning. When a temptation arises, I am so accustomed to denying myself that it is much easier for me to say, "no" to sin. I say "no" to my flesh all the time.
- To humble my soul--lest it be exalted. Psalms 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
- To chasten my soul--Psalms 69:10 When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.
- That Satan tempt me not--1 Corinthians 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
- For specific requests that I want an answer to. It could be for the interpretation of a scripture. One time I wanted to talk with someone I had led to the Lord and lost contact with. Within about two weeks she called me. The requests must be in accordance with the Lord and not to be consumed on our own lusts.
- Certain spiritual victories are only accomplished through fasting and prayer. For instance, certain devils can only come out if you are prepared through fasting. You can't wait until they come up on you and then start fasting. You have to already be prepared. More and more people are possessed. There were many in Jesus' day and I believe much more now. Hellivision, other media and education are infusing people with devils. Most Christians are desensitzed to this fact because of the abundance of garbage they are putting into their own brains on a daily basis--they half crazy their own self. There is a reason the wicked report/promote the MOST HORRIFYING and LUSTY activities on hellivision--to DESENSITIZE YOU. People are PAST FEELING and have no SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT...Back to how only prayer and fasting can cast our certain devils--Matthew 17:14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
17:15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
17:16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
17:18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
17:19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
17:20 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.
17:21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
How long is a fast? This varies for me. Sometimes sunrise to sunset. Sometimes 24 hours. Sometimes two days. Sometimes 5 days. I typically fast one 24-hour day a week, but this varies. I determine the parameters of my fast BEFOREHAND. Sometimes I just drink water (not my prefered drink so I oftentimes take in almost nothing) sometimes I drink whatever is in the refrigerator, but whatever the case I determine the parameters BEFORE I begin my fast.
I try to pray in the days preceeding a fast asking the Lord to honor my fast and hear my petitions. When I do this, I find that my mind does not play tricks on me. This can happen especially when you first start fasting. If you do not pray beforehand and give it to the Lord, you can't stop thinking about food.
Last week (week of 10-22-00), I was fasting for a couple of days. On the evening of the first day, I was in traffick. I had gone to get some food for a sick person. I started getting frustrated with the traffick and I started wanting some food and I was getting ridiculous mad. Then in my brains went one sentence, "Sit down somewhere and be quiet!" It was a command from the Spirit to the flesh. I was like, "Yeah, sit down somewhere. You ain't got no power! What you think you doing? SIT DOWN!" Like a little kid echoing a good idea. Do you know that I felt fantastic after that? The next morning I still wasn't hungry--and when I ended my fast I wasn't hungry. I am oftentimes not hungry when I come off of a fast. Translate this situation to those times when you are tempted to sin. The flesh says, "I want to do that!" And the Spirit says, "Sit down somewhere and be quiet! You aren't getting anything!" Because you are so accustomed to denying the flesh, it comes natural. Know who is doing the talking.
Fasting is not really about absence of food, it is about presenting to the Lord in leanness of soul. You are looking for spiritual food alone, not temporal. The results from my fasts are positive. I have more discipline. I sit the flesh down and remember the Lord. I receive my petitions. Early in my walk, I willingly broke a fast. Some time after this, I read these words of rebuke which I will never forget--Ecclesiastes 5:4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.
I don't care what, I do not willingly break a fast. So I don't care how long my fast is for--I don't break it. I ain't trying to be a fool and I don't want to bring a curse upon myself. God takes vows seriously. There have been a few, very few, times when I was not in a prayerful spirit and someone offered me a piece of candy like a mint and I popped it in my mouth without thinking, but this does not normally happen. When you stop having a prayerful spirit, you can sin. Fasting or not, we should be continuously praying. We are to pray without ceasing. You can even pray while you are talking to someone. If you maintain constant contact with the Lord, you will stay on track with your fast.
If you watch hellivision, do not watch it when you are fasting. Hellivision just about neutralizes and wars against everything you are trying to accomplish.1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which WAR against the soul;
Hellivision just about makes Christians reprobate. I say that of a truth. God calls every Christian out of this Satanic world, including one of it's most successful ploys, hellivision--2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
To walk in power and wisdom, you must crucify all Satanic ties.
Some excerpts from an older email response (10/99).
What effect does fasting have upon prayer that simple prayer without fasting does not have?
...certain spiritual victories cannot be accomplished without fasting...There is something cleansing about fasting. You've subdued your body. You've denied yourself and it makes it easy to deny yourself in other areas. So if a temptation comes and you are accustomed to denying yourself, it is no great shakes to say, "No, I am not going to do that." Also when I fast I depend on the Lord expecting to hear a word from Him. I am reminded that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
In this country, we Christians have things easy. We have lots of comforts and as a result we are oftentimes lazy and spoiled. When I get to feeling "full" I fast in order to bring my body back into subjection. The flesh doesn't always need to be comfortable. It wars against the Spirit so I deny it and focus on the Spirit...I talk to Jesus for about a week before I endeavor to fast. I ask Him to sustain me and remember the reasons I'm fasting. This solidifies it in my mind and prepares me.
The only place I saw anything on this subject thus far in the Scriptures is in regard to prayers of very weighty matters such as Daniel's in Chap 9, and in Mt. 17:21 and Mk. 9:29 regarding casting out devils, and in 1Co. 7:5 where it is recommended in order to have positive effects upon marriages.
Yea, and it has positive affects on other areas of life.
...This is why I am so interested in getting as much input on the matter from believers whom I know are knowledgeable in the Scriptures and really believe and obey them...
I can tell you from personal experience that in my own life, fasting has proved most profitable.
I did a search on "fasting" for the entire King James 1611 and here are the results for those who may want to look them up in their context--
Nehemiah 9:1 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them.
Esther 4:3 And in every province, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
9:31 To confirm these days of Purim in their times appointed, according as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had enjoined them, and as they had decreed for themselves and for their seed, the matters of the fastings and their cry.
Psalms 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
69:10 When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.
109:24 My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness.
Jeremiah 36:6 Therefore go thou, and read in the roll, which thou hast written from my mouth, the words of the LORD in the ears of the people in the LORD's house upon the fasting day: and also thou shalt read them in the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities.
Daniel 6:18 Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him.
9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
Joel 2:12 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
Matthew 15:32 Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.
17:21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
Mark 8:3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.
9:29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
Luke 2:37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
Acts 10:30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
14:23 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.
27:33 And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing.
1 Corinthians 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
2 Corinthians 6:5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
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