Are you curious about the benefits of prayer and fasting? If so, join the bandwagon. This article is going to dissect various aspects of prayer and fasting. Fasting for weight loss management isn’t the purpose of this piece. When weight loss is the only purpose of your fasting, your thoughts will solely focus on the lack of your daily food instead of God.
First, it must be noted that if God’s on your side, you’ll never thirst in anything, be it financially, spiritually, or academically. What are you supposed to do for God to be on your side? The answer is simple. As a Christian, you need to pray and fast.
Biblically, fasting is going without food, or both food and water for a specific time frame to accomplish a spiritual purpose. Isaiah 58:1-14 states the kind of fasting that God accepts. In fact, Isaiah 58:5 says, “Afflict thy soul,” which means going without food. Therefore, the other kinds of “fasting” such as avoiding a TV program, social media, and others aren’t biblical.
How to Start Your Fast
The following are a few things you should follow before you start your fast.
- Before you start to fast, spend some time preparing your spirit to meet God.
- Acknowledge and repent your sins. Start your fasting with a clean heart, 1 John 1:19.
- If you offended people, you should seek forgiveness before you start a fast, Luke 11:4; 17:3,4; Mark 11:25.
- Dedicate more time in reading the Bible and worshiping God.
- Start your fasting with an expectant heart that God will answer your prayers. It might not be today, tomorrow, or next week, but at the end of the day, you’ll see the hand of God. He’s faithful.
Types of Fasts
There are four kinds of fasts:
- Normal fasts – This is a type of fast where one goes without food for a certain period. During this period, the individual only consumes water. Its duration can be one day, three days, one month, or forty days. If you’re thinking of one month to forty-day fast, seek medical advice.
- Absolute fast – This type of fast implies that one neither takes food or water. It’s recommended for short periods.
- Partial fast – Mostly, this fast is called the Daniel fast. It means omitting certain foods. One can also be in a schedule that limits eating.
- Rotational fast – In this fast, food is consumed on a rotational basis. For instance, every second day or fourth day, you consume grains, raw vegetables, or legumes.
Benefits of Fasting
Food is one of the major components of human survival. Everyone needs food for energy and strength nourishment. If you go for an extended period without food, your chances of getting sick and dying are high. But then, fasting isn’t a death punishment, but a spiritual nourishment mechanism. If you fast for a spiritual breakthrough, you’ll reap the benefits. What are the benefits of fasting?
Strengthens a prayer (Ezra 8:23)
Fasting doesn’t change the way God responds to prayers, but it can strengthen a prayer. Various incidents in the Old Testament connect fasting to prayer, more especially the intercessory prayer. Fasting brings the urgency note and importunity in prayer. This gives your prayer a certain force in God’s eyes. He will answer the prayer.
Cleanses the soul
Fasting cleanses not only the digestive system, but also the spirit. It’s a faith move mechanism in which Christians expect God to fill them with the Holy Spirit. Christ told the disciples that “No one pours new wine into an old wineskin. The wine will burst the wineskin, and both the wine and wineskin will be destroyed. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.” This means by fasting, one meditates, cleanses the soul, hence making it new to receive the Holy Spirit.
A new desire for the Almighty
When you acknowledge that you need God more than food, your spiritual prowess develops. Fasting will ignite your desire to know more about God. At this juncture, you’ll understand what the psalmist meant by “Like a deer that pants for water, my soul longs for you.” Fasting will make you understand that God is the provider of life, and he wants absolutely nothing other than a closer connection with humankind.
A proper praise
Since the body doesn’t have digestion duties, it dedicates more of its energy to the other things. Here, through the Holy Spirit, you get more energy to praise God. You have enough time to reflect on what God has done and praise him accordingly. When you’re fully into it, you neither have time to be hungry nor count fasting hours. You’ll be celebrating fasting the whole duration.
A clear sensitivity to God’s voice
In the New Testament, in the book of Luke, Anna’s regarded as a devoted servant of God. Because she used to fast and pray regularly, she heard God’s voice clearly when baby Jesus was dedicated to the temple. Therefore, when a Christian detoxes the spirit and gets consumed with praising God, he becomes sensitive to God’s voice. Like Anna, fasting enables Christians to hear God’s voice even amid life chaos.
A new satisfaction
Once you’re done with your fasting, you’ll be re-energized. Actually, you’ll find that the lack of food is minor compared to what you’ve gained. Physical food never satisfies fully. In just a few hours, you’ve to eat again. However, if you’re fed with God, the satisfaction is on a new level. You’ll yearn for more. Visit never thirsty for more soul-feeding.
Now that the ball is in your court, would you treasure food more than God? Instead of wondering whether you should fast or not, you should ask yourself why you want to miss God’s intervention in your life. You need to show God that for His will, you can sacrifice anything.