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FASTING

"And now about prayer . . . And when you fast . . ."                                             Matthew 6:5, 16 Living

What is Fasting?

Fasting is a form of self denial for the sake of Jesus and His Kingdom. It is a deliberate withdrawal for a time, to devote oneself to more fellowship with God. It is a spiritual discipline that increases awareness of God and His purposes.

"Fasting helps to express to deepen, and to confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves, to attain what we seek for the Kingdom of God." Andrew Murray

Fasting is Not: It is not a diet. It doesn't always mean food, but usually involves some food.

There must be a spiritual purpose for Biblical fasting.

Diligently start each day with prayer.
1. Ask Father for the protective clothing: You are intentionally going into a war zone!
2. Tell Father you want to honor Him and glorify His name in your fast. Ask Him to keep alive the intentions to fast that you have created. Confess you can do this only with the strength and energy He supplies. (1 Peter 4:11) Suggestion: Pray the Lord's Prayer, paraphrasing it to fit the fast you are committed to.

Spend specific time daily in personal worship.

Increase the amount of time you spend in reading the Scripture.
Consider spending time in Romans, Isaiah, James, and I Peter.
As the Holy Spirit convicts you of your own sin, confess and repent.

Spend time studying Isaiah 58.
Look for conditions of fasting. Journal promises you find.

Journal
Keep a fasting journal. Record what the Holy Spirit has said to you from Scripture, what Father has said to you in prayer.

Be prepared for temptation
Remember, the tempter began with food, in a perfect place. (Genesis 3)
1. Speaking out loud to Father, tell Him "Lord, I am being tempted to eat . . . (fill in). I want to honor You. Fill my hunger with You."
2. Write verses that mention hunger, food, thirst, or eating. Rewrite into a prayer. Example: “Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink—even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk—it’s all free! Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food." Isaiah 55:1-2 NLT
The verses written as a prayer: "Lord, I am thirsty. I am thirsty for You, for Your presence in my life. Increase my hunger for You. I don't want to spend my time and money on food that doesn't give me strength. Turn my eyes away from food that does me no good. Thank You for that You are food for my soul. Thank You for being my Bread of Life." Psalm 63:1-8 is already written as a prayer, a wonderful "fasting" Scripture to read.


Planning Your Fast

Before fasting, ask God to reveal purpose, what to fast from, and length of time. Take some time to record your thinking process. Use the following questions to guide you.

List the reasons why you plan to fast. Put them in the order of importance.

What do you want to accomplish with this fast, that is, what is your cause?

My Commitment

What is my purpose in fasting?

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What is my Biblical basis?

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What fast will I choose? (What will I be fasting from?)

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What will I delete from my schedule in order to make more time to participate in this fast?

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God being my strength, and grace being my basis, I commit myself to the above fast.

                                                                                                _____________________________________________
                                                                                                                                  signed/Date

(Suggestions from this page are from The Beginner's Guide to Fasting by Elmer Towns.)


Recommended Books
A Hunger for God, by John Piper
Beginners Guide to Fasting, by Elmer Towns
The Daniel Fast for Spiritual Breakthrough, by Elmer Towns
Nutrition and Health in the Bible, by Kathleen O'Bannon, Larry Richards
(17 pages of food sources for various nutrients, 32 pages of great recipes, 57 pages covers the Mediterranean diet.)

Each time you purchase a resource from Christian Book Distributors, Heart of America Ministry Women will receive 10% of the discounted price. You must link to CBD from our website. www.HAMW.org

Highlights from
"A Hunger for God"
by John Piper


1. Christian fasting is a test to see what desires control us. (p. 19)
2. The danger of eating is that we fall in love with the gift. The danger of fasting is that we belittle the gift and glory in our willpower. (p. 21)
3. The aim of fasting is that we come to rely less on food and more on God. (p. 58)
4. We come to God out of weakness to express to Him our need and our great longing that He would manifest Himself more fully in our lives for the joy of our soul and the glory of His nature. (p. 77)
5. Fasting is a physical expression of heart-hunger for the coming of Jesus. (p. 83)
6. Hunger for God is spiritual. We are less sensitive to spiritual appetites when we are in the bondage of physical ones. (p. 90)
7. "We hunger for You, O God, to come in power." It's a cry with our body, not just our soul: "I really mean it, Lord! This much, I hunger for you. I want the manifestation of yourself more than I want food." (p. 110)
8. No worship, no preaching, no singing, no praying, no fasting, however intense or beautiful. . . that leaves us contentious with our spouses or self-indulgent in other areas of our lives, or angry enough to hit somebody, is true, God-pleasing worship. (p. 135)
9. The only authentic fasting is fasting that includes a spiritual attack against our own sin. (p. 135)
10. If there is an unresolved pocket of sin in our life. . . God is going to come to us and say "The fast I choose is for that sin to be starved to death." (p. 136)
11. When God tells people what to do, this is not a job description, but a doctor's prescription. He is not telling us to earn wages by laboring for a boss, but to get well by trusting our physician. Isaiah 58:6-12 (p. 140)
12. Fasting is meant to awaken us to the hunger of the world, not just our own hunger. (p. 143)
13. Prayer is not for the enhancement of our comforts but for the advancement of Christ's Kingdom. (p. 150)
14. The guidance of God is not meant for the bright paths of the garden of ease, but for the dark places of pain where we have few answers and paths have never been cut. (p. 151)
15. Ours is not to predict what the city or the church or the family or society might look like. Ours is to trust and obey. (p. 153)
16. It is our duty and delight to choose obedience hour by hour. (p. 177)
17. God promises water and wine and milk and life that money cannot buy precisely to those who have no money, but only thirst, if they will turn away from what money can buy and come to Him. (p. 178)
18. God rewards acts that confess human helplessness and that express hope in God, because these acts call attention to His glory. (p. 180)

Feel free to copy this information, giving credit to the source. Thank you.
Marjorie Truesdale         www.HAMW.org         (913) 642-2919