Prayer and Fasting

Prayer and Fasting


Definition: It is to abstain from all or some kinds of food or drink, especially for prayer.

Fasting is essentially giving up food (or something else) for a period of time in order to focus your thoughts on God. While fasting, many people read the Bible, pray, or worship. Fasting is found throughout the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, over fifty times!

Biblical fasting is going without food. The noun translated "fast" or "a fasting" is tsom in the Hebrew and nesteia in the Greek language. It means the voluntary abstinence from food. The literal Hebrew translation would be "not to eat." The literal Greek means "no food."


Matthew 17:14-21 14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, 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. 16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. 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. 18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 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. 21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

The combination of fasting and praying is not a fad or a novelty approach to spiritual discipline. Fasting and praying are not part of a human-engineered method or plan. They are not the means to manipulate a situation or to create a circumstance. Fasting and praying are Bible-based disciplines that are appropriate for all believers of all ages throughout all centuries in all parts of the world.


The breakthrough that you may need in your life is a sense of God's direction -- not only for today and tomorrow, but for the broad scope of your life. If you long to know God's purpose for you on this earth, I strongly encourage you to seek God in prayer and fasting.


Abstaining from food is often God's way of showing that His desire for us is that we regain mastery over all things associated with our flesh in order to subdue our flesh and elevate our emphasis on spiritual matters. God's promise is to help us as we overcome the flesh and put all carnal temptations into subjection.


Prayer and fasting is defined as voluntarily going without food in order to focus on prayer and fellowship with God.


Prayer and fasting often go hand in hand, but this is not always the case. You can pray without fasting. It is when these two activities are combined and dedicated to God's glory that they reach their full effectiveness. Having a dedicated time of prayer and fasting is not a way of manipulating God into doing what you desire. Rather, it is simply forcing yourself to focus and rely on God for the strength, provision, and wisdom you need.


Fasting incorporated with prayer is NOT an option for Christians ... for those who are serious about their relationship with God ... for those who want to walk in any spiritual victory.

  1. Joel 2:12-13 “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity

  2. 1 Samuel 7:6 When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the LORD.” Now Samuel was serving as leader of Israel at Mizpah.

  3. Acts 14:23 23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the LORD, in whom the had put their trust.

  4. Acts 13:2 2While 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."

  5. Luke 2:37 37and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.

  6. Matthew 17:20-21 And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

  7. Ezra 8:23 So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and he heard our prayer.

  8. Matt 6v 16-18 “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. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others 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.

  9. 2 Chronicles 20:3-4 3 Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. 4 The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.

In conclusion we fast because Jesus also fasted.


Matt 4:2-3 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”


Matt 6:16-18 16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.


KEY REASONS TO FAST AND PRAY

  1. The Scriptures Teach Us to Fast and Pray

  2. Fasting Diverts Attention from many unnecessary things

  3. Fasting and Prayer Put You into the Best Possible Position for a Breakthrough

  4. When We Feel Estranged from God

  5. Fasting Signifies Humility

  6. Fasting Demonstrates Repentance

  7. Fasting Appeals to God For Forgiveness And Pardon

  8. When We Feel Weak and Vulnerable

  9. Fasting Appeals to God For Protection

  10. Fasting Appeals to God For Victory

  11. When We Feel Tension in Our Relationships

  12. We Should Fast When We Feel Oppressed By Others

  13. When We Desire to Draw Closer To God

  14. When We Desire Spiritual Blessing and Insight

  15. Fasting Intensifies the Worship Of God

  16. Fasting Brings Divine Rewards

  17. Fasting Brings Divine Revelation

  18. Fasting Empowers Us for Spiritual Warfare

  19. Fasting Enables Us in The Ministry Of Impartation


Reference Scriptures:

Isaiah 58:3-12 Luke 2:37; Mark 2:18; Matthew 4:2; Acts 13:2-3; Acts 14:23; Jonah 3:5-9


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