In yesterday’s meditation, we talked about fasting and prayer as it relates to increasing the presence and power of God upon us for ministry. We also need to fast for personal and national revival, so today I would like to share you some practical advice on fasting and a personal testimony on the topic.
1) Don't plan to fast for more than a day if you have never done it before. Building on success is wise. Start by fasting breakfast and lunch and plan to eat in the evening. Lengthen the amount of time as God leads you.
2) I would encourage you to drink only water during fasting. Water helps in the cleansing of toxins from our bodies during fasting. If you usually drink tea or coffee, plan to kick the caffeine a day early so that the first day of a fast you are not dealing with a headache as well as no food in your stomach. There are one or two places where a person fasted having no water, but it is dangerous to go longer than three days without water. Moses was on a supernatural fast when he was with the Lord and fasting food and water. A person can die by going longer than three days without water.
3) Keep a record of what you are experiencing and the kinds of prayers you are bringing before God. Later on, when you look back over your time of fasting, you will be much encouraged at the way God has answered prayer during your fast.
4) If you are on medicine, check with your doctor and let him know what you are doing.
5) Get hold of some books on fasting to encourage you. One of the best books I have read on fasting is God’s Chosen Fast by Arthur Wallis. I can also recommend Mahesh Chavda’s book, The Hidden Power of Prayer and Fasting, as well as Derek Prince’s book called, Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting.
6) Set aside normal meal times by going to your room and praying. Being around when food is cooking is challenging to overcome, especially in the first three days of a fast.
7) Beware of the TV. One becomes aware of how many commercials on food there is on TV.
8) In the first three or four days of a fast, the body burns up many of the toxins that are in our bodies due to the kinds of foods we consume in most western countries. You will feel weakness by the end of the first day until around the fourth day. This burning of the toxins is very healthy for you. During this time your urine becomes yellow, your breath smells horrible, and if it is winter, your body can get cold quickly. If you are on a fast of over four days, your strength will return once the toxins are burnt up. Fasting becomes easier at that point.
9) You will experience greater clarity of mind during fasting. Read the Scriptures often and draw near to God in the midst of your fast.
10) Fasting is not damaging to your health—fasting is normal to the animal kingdom. The hunger pangs that one experiences toward the end of the first day is just the body’s way of telling you that it is time for food. The cravings will die down.
11) Read chapter 58 of the Book of Isaiah, the section on fasting, and be watchful over your motives.
12) Fasting breaks bondages of sin and loosens the hold of bad habits and their ruler ship over your life.
13) Pray for God to release the gifts of the Spirit in your life. Fasting opens one's life to new spiritual gifts from God because our spirit is humbled and sensitive to the Spirit of God's leading.
14) Fasting helps in the loss of weight. Be careful that you don't overeat when you return to eating. During the fast, your stomach will shrink, and overeating after a fast could be dangerous. Anytime longer than a six-day fast should be broken with broth or easily digested food.
15) There are different kinds of fasts. Daniel and his three friends went on a vegetable and water fast (Daniel 1:12). Later on, he fasted for three weeks on no choice food, with no meat or wine (Daniel 10:2-3). Decide for yourself how you are going to fast. Ask God to show you what kind of fast you are to undertake.
16) Try to avoid heavy exercising or taking long walks. It is easy to get so tired and want to break your fast early.
An average healthy person can fast up to 40 days. Around that time, a person's hunger pangs will return, and at that point, a person starts to starve. Beyond 40 days our bodies begin to consume living cells rather than fat. Jesus fasted for forty days, and at that point, the Bible tells us that He was hungry. When the hunger pangs return, it is time to break your fast. Satan’s temptation of Jesus began at the forty-day mark when the hunger pangs started, tempting Him with bread (Matthew 4:2-3). It seems likely that all three temptations came on one day, the last day of His fast.
My Personal Experience of Fasting
Several years ago, my wife and I felt an urgent need to fast and pray for a person close to us. We were led to fast for ten days on water. We felt this was an attack of the enemy to separate her, not only from us, but from her newfound faith in Christ. After ten days of prayer and fasting for this individual, she arrived at our door in tearful brokenness. We prayed and talked. Before this knock on the door by her, we had not made contact with her or asked her to come over; preferring to leave the whole situation in the Lord’s hand. It was totally the Lord who prompted her to come to our home in answer to prayer. Although this individual still had some difficult years ahead, she returned to her faith in Christ and now has her own stories of answered prayer.
Fasting will help to loosen bonds that the enemy has on a person's life, enabling them to respond freely to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Maybe you have a loved one who you have been praying for, and you desperately want to see a breakthrough. Is God asking you to fast and pray for them? There are stubborn situations in all our lives that refuse to change until we enter the wrestling arena with prayer and fasting. Fasting, along with fervent prayer, is a powerful combination. Keith Thomas
This study is taken from a more in-depth study on Spiritual Warfare, click here if you’d like to read it.