FASTING AND PRAYER
FASTING AND PRAYER
Methods and Meaning
Doing a water fast means to not drink anything but water for the duration of the fast. This type of fast is seen throughout the Bible (2 Samuel 12, Ezra 10, Esther 4, Matthew 4, Acts 13, and many more) and is the most prevalent fast mentioned in the Bible. Priests did it, King David did it, groups of believers did it, even Jesus did it! Completing a water fast can be challenging and spiritually rewarding. When completing this type of fast, it is important to check with your physician in order to determine risks associated with any medications, your physical health, or your mental health. When the fast is over, be sure to reintroduce foods slowly. Eat small, light, healthy meals first. You must "break the fast" gradually. This type of fasting is intense but can be a time of great spiritual growth.
Completing a juice fast is similar to a water fast, but instead of only drinking water you only drink juices. You may want to make homemade juices with a juicer or purchase higher-quality juices from a store. Fruits and vegetables should be considered for juices. This type of fast can be a little easier to stick to than a water fast because you are getting some nutrition. Be sure to check your physician before beginning a juice fast. When breaking the fast, it is important to take it slowly with the foods you eat. Start with small meals and work your way back to your normal diet.
This type of fast is described in the book of Daniel in the Bible. Daniel found himself being taken from his homeland and sent into political exile with the rest of the Israelites. He refused to eat the rich "royal food" given to him in the Babylonian palace and instead asked to only be given "vegetables to eat and water to drink" (Daniel 1:12). After 10 days of the restricted diet and prayer, Daniel and his friends appeared to be healthier than anyone who had been eating the King's food. To complete a "Daniel Fast" you would eat only things that come from the ground (vegetables) and drink only water (no soda, etc.). Sodas, desserts, candy, and any sort of "delicacy" should be avoided just like Daniel and his friends did when offered the finest foods in Babylon. This type of fasting allows you to continue to get nutrient-rich food but is still a form of denying oneself during a time of fasting. Not everyone does a Daniel Fast the same way, so you should determine how you want to complete it and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you.
A partial-day fast includes skipping a meal in order to devote that time to prayer. You could determine to use your normal breakfast time for prayer before work or use your lunch break to spend time with God instead. You could determine not to eat between certain hours, sort of like intermittent fasting. You would still eat how you normally would the rest of the day, but during the hours or meals you choose to devote to God you would restrict your food intake. This type of fasting can be helpful if you have a medical condition that does not allow for water or juice-only fasting but want to still give up food.
THE MEANING OF FASTING
Fasting is seen throughout the Bible. The Assemblies of God has affirmed fasting as spiritual discipline for years. We believe fasting is an opportunity to seek God in a stronger way, to be driven to the Word and prayer with the prompting of physical hunger, and to believe for breakthrough. For more information about fasting, see the links below.
GET IN TOUCH!
Send us an email! A member of our pastoral team will get back with you via email as soon as possible!