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Fasting and Prayer

As we have said good bye to 2014, we are excited about what God has in store for 2015.  Each new year brings with it new hopes and dreams; sometimes, a starting point to eradicate the failures, disappointments, and even the unfortunates losses we may have endured.
 
Jesus said in Mark 9:29, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting,” and we invite you to join us in prayer and fasting over the next several days.
 

FASTING and PRAYER

Matthew 17:21…
 
“Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”

This kind

means this kind of devils-this species of possession. Where they have had long possession where they produce such painful, fixed, and alarming effects, they can be expelled only in connection with prayer and fasting.
Goeth not out but by prayer and fasting
That is, in order to work miracles of this kind to cast out devils in cases so obstinate and dreadful as this, faith of the highest kind is necessary. That faith is produced and kept vigorous only by much prayer, and by such abstinence from food as fits the mind for the highest exercises of religion, and leaves it free to hold communion with God.
 
Many today feel that fasting is not necessary; that is, all that is needed is “faith”.  While it does take faith to receive from God the things we are in need of or desire, it takes fasting (along with prayer) to reach the level of faith that will move mountains.  And, we must pray (communication with God) in order to speak the things that will occur as a result of our faith in Him.
 
There are several approaches to fasting one can take.  Remember, the purpose for fasting is not starvation, drawing attention to ones self, or have the pretense of being pitiful, but it is to draw closer to God and to build ones faith.
 
 
Daniel’s Fast
In the book of Daniel, some of the Hebrews (not Jews at that particular time) captured and taken in exile by the Babylonians were chosen to serve in particular functions in the king’s administration.  The stewards wanted to make certain that the very best of the Hebrews, including Daniel and three Hebrew Boys, were presented before the king and ordered them to partake of certain foods and beverages (meats, wine, and so on).
“But Daniel Purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies nor with the wine which he drank…” (
Daniel 1:8, NKJV).  It is from this particular passage which we have what is now known as, Daniel’s Fast – ten days of eating vegetables and drinking water.
 
During the Daniel’s Fast, you may eat
fruit, vegetables, whole grains, seeds/nuts, tofu, and legumes (beans). 
Avoid added salt and sugar (sea salt, small amounts of honey, etc. are acceptable.)  For liquids you may drink water (distilled, plain, carbonated), unsweetened soy milk, herbal (caffeine free) teas, 100% fruit/vegetable juice (no sugar added).
 
 
Consecration Fast
This may be defined differently by some but in essence, you are fasting for a particular time period each day and for a specified length.  Some may fast each day from bed-time the night before through 4, 5 or 6 pm.  This may be done for 5, 7, 10 days even and up to as many as 40 days.
 
 
Full or Complete Fast
A full fast is fasting for a specific number of days straight with eating no food whatsoever and drinking no liquids except water.
 
 
Supernatural Fast
Moses, Elijah, and Jesus are recorded as having eaten no food for 40 days straight.  The Bible does not say whether or not they drank water.  The number 40 symbolizes chastisement, punishment, drudgery, humiliation, harsh, etc.
 

Guidelines for Fasting & Prayers

Purpose

 Corporate.

  To consecrate (literally, to set apart) ourselves to the Lord and to give our attention to the Holy Spirit’s voice and direction for the spiritual life, empowering, growth, health, and prosperity of the local church and its ministry through prayer and fasting.

Personal.  As I attend to the Holy Spirit’s direction and purpose for my life and I am consecrating my life to the Lord so that He may . . . [insert your personal spiritual goals here]

.”

Special note:

  God has appointed this time of consecration for us to seek Him and call upon Him, to hear Him, and to answer our prayers.
  1. Remember Biblical fasting is not a diet or starvation. The purpose of fasting is to help bring you into close relationship with God.
  2. If for some reason you break your fast, establish a new beginning time and press on and don’t give up. Victory comes through perseverance.
  3. Have a room in your home for prayer and meditation; inform your family and friends of your prayer times. Remember to be considerate of your family.  Everyone in the house may not be fasting with you.
  4. Be an intercessor. Pray for someone else.  Make a prayer list of people and personal prayer request to focus on each day.  Keep it in your Bible, or book you may be reading.  I personally write my list on a 3 x 5 index card to carry around with me.
  5. Use your telephone as little as possible.
  6. Find a prayer partner. Make certain he or she shares with you spiritually and will pray with you, someone who will help you stay focus on your prayer goals.
  7. Pray the Psalms. When you feel you don’t know what to pray for or about, pray the Psalms.  Read them aloud (not loudly) as you pray and meditate on the Word.
  8. Set spiritual goals, not resolutions. Remember your purpose is to develop an intimate relationship with God; to be able to hear His voice; to grow close to Him; to receive direction for your life; to receive healing, deliverance, and salvation.
(“Guideline for fasting and prayers” excerpts from Memorial Tabernacle CHSC (www.mtchurch.org, Pastor Stephen King)