There is renewed power through prayer and fasting , because we are reminded that ultimately we are dependent on God. This self-denial of our exaggerated physical appetite, for a period of time, allows us to wait in faith and to trust God’s mercy. Prayer and fasting is a sign of our desire and hunger to seek God.
Fasting and prayer will deepen our relationship with God and when we willingly give up food to spend time with Him, we will develop a deeper intimacy with Him. David longed for the presence of God as He cried night and day, Psalm 42:1-3, and again in Psalm 63:1-11, we see how he longed for God.
Spiritual fasting is to deny your body it’s physical needs (usually food) so that moves your focus from the physical to the spiritual (faith). It helps you to grow closer to God and is often a regular part of prayer life. All throughout history, there were seasons of feast and famine.
The purpose of fasting is not to suffer, but according to Sacred Tradition to guard against gluttony and impure thoughts, deeds and words. Fasting must always be accompanied by increased prayer and almsgiving (donating to a local charity, or directly to the poor, depending on circumstances).
So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer . Here, fasting was a means to humility. It was a way to humble themselves before the Lord as they sought Him in prayer for protection. They fasted humbly, prayed fiercely, and God answered.
WHEN WE SINCERELY FAST IT ENABLES GOD TO DO FOR US , PERSONALLY, SOMETHING THAT HE OTHERWISE CANNOT DO . THAT IT ENABLES GOD TO DO FOR THE LOCAL CHURCH OF WHICH WE ARE MEMBERS WHAT OTHERWISE HE CANNOT DO . THAT IT ENABLES GOD TO DO FOR THE COMMUNITY OF WHICH WE ARE PART, WHAT OTHERWISE HE CANNOT DO .
Fasting , reading the word of God , and praying will give us strength and help us grow closer to God . Some of the many benefits of fasting are that it: Enables you to concentrate more on the spiritual world when you consciously give up worldly pleasures. Leads to a greater intimacy with God by denying our carnal nature.
The physical emptiness of fasting clears the channels of communication so that spiritual intuitions can more readily be discerned. As Ryan puts it, fasting is “an action that renews contact with God, like removing the rust and corrosion from a car battery to enable the current to flow more freely.”
In the Bible , fasting occurs when there is a need for a spiritual breakthrough due to the burdens of life. Fasting is the way that the saints of God received a breakthrough to direct them and help them deal with a crisis in their lives.
In the case of the brain , cognitive function, learning, memory , and alertness are all increased by fasting. And in the body, we recently found that mice maintained on an alternate-day fasting diet during a month of treadmill training have better endurance than mice fed every day.
The length of the fast also depends on what you are fasting. If you are fasting both food and water, you shouldn’t fast for more than two or three days . Furthermore, if you are abstaining merely from food, you can fast for longer.
What’s more, if you look at the same story recounted in Mark’s gospel chapter 9, verse 29 confirms what Jesus said: “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting .” This time the NIV does include the verse, but drops the words “and fasting ”. I think the enemy will do anything to keep Christians from fasting !
According to two passages in the Bible , Daniel fasted twice. During the first fast, he ate only vegetables and water to set himself apart for God. For a second fast mentioned in a later chapter, Daniel stopped eating meat, wine and other rich foods.
The Widow’s Fast . Background: Elijah was sent by God to a poor, starving widow so she could provide food for Elijah. The Ezra Fast . The Esther Fast . The Elijah Fast . The Daniel Fast . The Disciple’s Fast . The John the Baptist Fast . The Jesus Fast .