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So, what's the deal with fasting? 🧐
Someone recently told me-
Prayer connects us to God.
Fasting disconnects us from the world.
Prayer is powerful. 💪
Prayer is war. 🥷
Prayer is essential. 🌱
Prayer is like eating. 🍔
You can go without it for a little while, but I wouldn’t advise going without it for very long. The longer you go the weaker you get.
Fasting is like supercharging your prayer life because it removes things that distract you.
So here are some quick details to get you started. Let's do it in🥉...
3 Reasons Fasting is Effective. 👏
1- Fasting quiets the wrong voices.
Our lives are filled with many voices such as people, appointments, deadlines, appetites, and addictions. Fasting is a time when we disconnect from as many of them as possible, especially the loudest voices. Many of the loudest voices are our appetites for certain foods and forms of entertainment. Pretty much anything that drowns out our ability to sit still and hear the voice of the Lord.
2- Fasting amplifies the right voice.
Quietening the voices all around us gives us space to be more attentive to the voice of the Lord in our life. Have you noticed when you buy a car you notice that the same car is everywhere? You didn’t think you had ever noticed that car before. Now they are everywhere. The truth is everyone didn’t buy the same car on the same day as you. You are more aware of them now. That is the same with God’s leading in your life. When you are looking for Him, He is constantly leading and guiding.
3- Fasting joins us with others.
One of the great aspects of fasting is when you do it with others. This is not for show but for accountability and to share in the experience together. It can be a great way to join your heart with someone else and multiply your prayer efforts. It is also good when times get difficult because someone else understands.
3 Considerations Before Fasting. 🤔
1- Are there medical considerations?
There are many different types of fasting but most of them revolve around food. Before embarking on any fast, you should always consult with a medical professional if you have any illness. The bottom line is to use common sense.
2- What type of fasting should you do?
There are many different types of fasts. The most important component is why you do it. If it doesn’t “cost” you something, it will likely not be effective. The goal of fasting is to deny yourself in one area so you can say a better “yes” to God in another. Here are the major types of fasting:
- A full fast. This is a type of fasting that cuts out all food for various ranges of time. During this time, most people drink lots of fluids such as juice, smoothies, and a whole lot of water.
- A partial fast. This is the type of fasting where you will eat certain foods and not eat other foods. The most popular form of this kind is what many call a Daniel Fast. This is where someone will eat no meat, no sweets, and no bread. They focus mainly on vegetables and fruits.
- A Jewish fast. This type of fasting was made popular in orthodox Jewish communities. It begins at sunrise and ends at sundown.
- A soul fast. This time of fasting is less about food and more about media and entertainment. In this fast, you remove any unnecessary forms of technology and ‘screen time.’ The goal is to give your soul a rest from the constant influx of visuals and noises accompanied by the fast-paced life so many of us are used to.
3- Is the timing right?
Fasting is a great way to get closer to the Lord. However, it is also often inconvenient for the hectic lives many of us lead. That is kind of the point. If you decide to fast but have no extra time to spend with the Lord, you’ll find yourself frustrated and may end your time prematurely. Therefore, it is important to make sure the season you are in will work with your goal.
3 Reasons You SHOULD Fast. 👍
1- If you are hungry for a deeper walk with God?
If you are in a relationship and want to get closer, you spend more time together. This is the same with our relationship with the Lord. We don’t get closer to the Lord by spending less time with Him. We spend more. While fasting, it is important to plan to spend extra time in prayer, reading God’s Word, or simply going for a walk while reflecting on God’s goodness.
2- If you need to hear God’s voice more clearly?
As stated above, fasting tunes our ears to hear the voice of the Lord more clearly. When you fast, you are tuning in to the frequency of Heaven. The result will be an increased awareness of the voice of the Holy Spirit. He is already there and already speaking. Fasting is a way of softening the static of the world so you can hear His still, small voice.
3- If have an urgent need.
I don’t understand it. I just know it works. When you have an urgent need, prayer works. Prayer with fasting works even better. Give it a try.
3 Reasons You Should NOT Fast. 🤷
1- To lose weight.
Fasting to lose weight works. But it will have a little spiritual effect other than to make you feel guilty. Therefore, be sure to check your motives before starting the fast. There is nothing wrong with losing a little weight while you fast. However, sustained weight loss is a product of lifestyle changes and not seasonal fasting. Most of the time, the little weight we lose during fasting comes back when we are done.
2- To get God to like you.
God already loves you… like a lot. Fasting will not make God love you more or like you more. Fasting is to help you. He’s good.
3- Because other people are doing it.
Fasting should never be done as a way to compete or because you have heard other people do it. If you feel pressured to fast or if you are only fasting because a friend group is doing it, don’t give in. Fasting is about you getting closer to the Lord. Fasting to please others is close to a weird form of idolatry. Stick with Jesus. He’s awesome.
Below are some additional resources to get you started. I would love to hear in the comments about any experiences you have had in fasting. Let me know.
Great small group booklet: https://assets.speakcdn.com/assets/1927/prayer_fasting5.pdf