What is Fasting?
Fasting includes restraints of our natural legitimate pleasures and/or strengths with the purpose of positioning ourselves to receive freely from the Holy Spirit.
• Fasting does not earn God’s favor; it positions our heart to receive.
• Fasting is always voluntary.
• Fasting is a lost discipline in the western church, but was practiced regularly in the early church.
• God gives grace to fast. If we ask for grace to fast we will receive it (2 Pet. 1:2; 3:18).
• Fasting often makes you physically and emotionally weak.
• Fasting should always be done in conjunction with increased time in prayer.
• Expect to hear God’s voice in the Word, dreams, visions and revelations.
• Breakthroughs often come after a fast, not during it. Do not listen to the lie that nothing is happening. It is our conviction that every fast done in faith will be rewarded.
• Satan tempted Jesus on the fast, and we must expect the same. Discouragement may come in like a flood, but recognize the source and take your stand on the victory of Christ.
7 biblical reasons to fast:
• We fast to experience the power of God in personal ministry
• We fast for prophetic revelation of the end times
• We fast for the fulfillment of God’s promises to our city or nation
• We fast to stop a crisis (Individual or national)
• We fast for protection
• We fast for direction
• We fast to grow in intimacy with Jesus
Five different types of food fasts:
1.The regular fast is going without food and drinking only water or that which has no calories.
2. The liquid fast is going without solid food and drinking only light liquids (like fruit juices).
3. The partial fast, or Daniel fast, abstains from tasty foods and eats only vegetables or nuts, etc.
4. The Benedict Fast established by Saint Benedict (525 AD), consists of only one meal a day.
5. The absolute fast or Esther fast, abstains from food and water (Esth. 4:16). Exercise caution!
• Don’t boast about your fast. Let people know you won’t be eating only if necessary (Mt. 6:16–18)
• Don’t fast alone. Find one other person or a group to fast with.
• Check your motives. Any impure motive will grow along with good motives. For example: if you pretend to fast to draw closer to God, but are secretly fasting to lose weight you will likely become more vain and prideful.
• Sometimes impure motives will be revealed during your fast; these is normal, simply repent and turn your focus back on Jesus.
• If you fail in your fast, don’t give up. Press reset, receive mercy, and start over.
• Have a clear target as your prayer focus. "Without a vision (a clear, prophetic prayer goal), the people run wild"(prov 28:18) Write down your vision, so you can run with it (Hab. 2:2)
• Feel free to rest a lot and continue to exercise with supervision
• Take time to pray and read the Word. This may seem obvious, but busyness and distractions can keep you from devotions.
Additional fasting resources:
www.billbright.com/howtofast/ ; www.freedomyou.com ; www.mikebickle.org;
Go to parklandfoursquare.org or Parkland Foursquare church Facebook page for resources and posts to help you in this season of prayer and fasting.
Fasting should always be done in conjunction with intensified time in prayer and the Word. This January we are contending for deeper intimacy with Jesus personally and as a community as well as for the Holy Spirit to breakthrough with power on Parkland and the campus of PLU.
We will also enjoy a time of corporate fasting and prayer as a congregation in intercession and intimacy for God. Please see the details below to attend our corporate gatherings.
When: Tuesdays, 6 to 7am Weekly Prayer; Tuesday Jan 24th, 6:30pm
Where: Parkland Foursquare Church (612 113th St. S, in Parkland, WA)
As a congregation, we will continue to study the life of David, and especially, in this season of prayer and fasting, we will be examining the fruit of David's prayer life.