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When You Fast

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New Member

Thankies *blush* but I'm just a typist.

All I did was correlate what I could find in the Bible for what God had to say about food and fasting - credit for the actual Teachings found there belong to Him alone.
"Then they will fast" Mk 2:20

Jesus knew there would come a time when he would not be physically present any longer with his disciples/chuch. Perilous times would come when supernatural strength would be needed. "Then they will fast IN THOSE DAYS"

WE are living in such days today - the bridegroom is absent, and our needs for spiritual power are so very great. Jesus intends for us to seek after God with prayer and fasting.
New Member
"It is noteworthy that the Assyrians would not even allow their animals to eat or drink during this time of national repentance. We have yet to see the likes of this anywhere else in the world."

I don't know that this is true.

Aren't there sultans who've made animals fats during Ramadan?
Or is that just King of the Wind?

My family and I just fasted for Yom Kippur.

It was our first time and perhaps could have gone better.


The boys and I neither ate nor drank, however.

This is a required fast and a high holy day, so it should be observed...when the believer is ready, or trying to be ready.

Bless up!
New Member
Declare a Holy Fast - Joel 1:14

Happy New Year!!

The Awakening America Alliance is calling a 21 Day fast and prayer for our nation. This Holy Fast is from January 1 - 21, 2009. If you are serious about praying, fasting and our nation, consider joining this fast. You can contact them by doing a search for their address and sign up.

With a new president and administration coming January 20, this is a critical moment for our nation.

Joel 1:14Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders
and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God,
and cry out to the LORD.

New Member
Dear Coconut,

Thank you so much for this excellent post!

The Lord continues to let me know that I am on the right path.

One big hug to you, with a tear or two (because having God confirm to you/me, in different ways and through different people, that you/I are on the right track is so personal and special.)

Love in Christ,

I used to fast to honour God, but haven't done so in many years.
New Member
Wow... amazing information. Thank you Coconut and Janette. This information on fasting is impactful and has helped me tremendously!
New Member
Psa 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth, I afflicted my soul with fasting; and my prayer, may it return into mine own bosom.

Dan 9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.

1Co 7:5 Do not deprive one another, unless it is with consent for a time, so that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer. And come together again so that Satan does not tempt you for your incontinence.
New Member
:secret: I get too hungry and go into low blood sugar mode when I try to fast. Is there anything that I can do? I want to spiritually fast, but I get light headed and dizzy. There is really nothing wrong with me accept low blood sugar.
New Member
"But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that your fasting is not evident to others, but is evident to your Father who sees everything which is done secretly; and your Father, who sees what you do secretly, will reward you openly (Matthew 6:18)."

We have sensed a need for some clear teaching along the lines of prayer and fasting, and of the two, fasting seems to be the most misunderstood or the least talked about among Christians. Those in the Western world have very little experience with fasting, whereas those in the Eastern world are very experienced. Fasting is not limited to Christians only; most religious people in the East observe some kind of fasting, regardless of their faith.

That Jesus intends for His disciples to fast is made clear by the words, "When you fast..." If it were a matter of personal preference the Lord would have said, "IF you fast." The word WHEN implies that there will be times when a disciple of the Lord is called into a time of fasting. It seems to be a foregone conclusion. Fasting is as much a part of a disciple's life as prayer; hence the Lord couples, "When you pray" with "when you fast" in His teaching to the disciples.

We can account for the lack of specific direction in the Bible about HOW to fast by reiterating again that fasting was and is commonly practiced in the East, and people knew how to do it. Some practical advice along these lines may be helpful to those who are not as experienced but sense the Lord is quickening them to seek His face with prayer and with fasting.

First, let us establish the history of fasting in the Bible and its validity upon the Church today.


The most notable examples of fasting are found in the lives of the prophets. The prophetic ministry is inescapably linked to fasting. Moses fasted for forty days on two separate occasions (Deuteronomy 9:9,19). Elijah fasted for forty days in the wilderness (I Kings 19:8). Jesus also fasted for forty days (Luke 4:2). Daniel fasted on several occasions, and he gives us the most insight into different ways to fast (Daniel 1:8; 9:3; 10:2,3). Esther asked the Jews to fast for her by going without food or drink for three days (Esther 4:16). David frequently fasted as a way to show sorrow for his sins (II Samuel 12:16-20; 69:10; 109:24). Ezra and Nehemiah were both men of fasting and prayer (Ezra 8:21; Nehemiah 1:4). The Jews observed regular fasts as part of the Law of Moses, and fasting seemed to be the rallying cry for all Israel whenever a time of great crisis was at hand (Joel 1:13,14).

Even wicked king Ahab was granted some grace from God because he humbled himself with prayer and fasting (I Kings 21:25-29). So fasting is not limited to saints and holy people. Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, one of the first world powers, and a pagan society. Yet when Jonah preached that Nineveh would be destroyed in forty days, the response was uncharacteristic and surprising:

"...the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose form his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by saying, 'Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from His fierce anger, that we perish not?' And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that He had said that He would do unto them and He did it not (Jonah 3:5-10)."

It is noteworthy that the Assyrians would not even allow their animals to eat or drink during this time of national repentance. We have yet to see the likes of this anywhere else in the world.

Fasting is not limited to the Old Testament. Scripture tells us that Anna never departed the Temple, but ministered to the Lord with prayer and fasting day and night (Luke 2:37). John the Baptist and his disciples observed fasting, as did the Pharisees (Matthew 9:14). Jesus indicated that once He returned to heaven, His disciples would fast as well (Matthew 9:15).

And so they did. Because Cornelius fasted and prayed, the Gospel was first preached to the Gentiles in his home, establishing that Christ was not the Savior for Jews only, but for the whole world (Acts 10:30). Fasting and prayer launched the first missionary journey of Paul which would turn the whole world upside down (Acts 13:2,3). The apostles fasted and prayed each time they confirmed elders in the new churches they established (Acts 14:23). Paul recommended that husbands and wives occasionally abstain from sexual relations, by consent, for the purpose of fasting and prayer (I Corinthians 7:5). He fasted often himself (II Corinthians 6:5; 11:27).


If we will take the time to read through the Scriptures cited above we will find four primary reasons for fasting. It is time to fast when:

1. We want to minister to the Lord (Anna, the Antiochian believers);

2. We want to show personal contrition and sorrow for our sins (David, Nineveh, Ahab) or for the sins of others (Daniel, Nehemiah, Ezra);

3. We need revelation concerning the present and direction concerning the future (Daniel, Cornelius, the apostles);

4. We experience times of great spiritual crisis and conflict (Jesus, Moses, Elijah, Daniel, Esther, Paul).

Our study of the above examples also show four kinds of fasting. They include:

1. THE SUPERNATURAL FAST - going beyond the limits of human endurance by the direct hand of God, such as Moses' forty day fast in which he did not eat or drink. Humanly speaking, a man cannot survive without water for longer than three or four days. This was a supernatural fast, and is not likely to be repeated.

2. THE TOTAL FAST - going without food or water, such as Esther's fast and Nineveh's fast. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and the pending destruction of an entire nation or city would call for this kind of fast. It should never be attempted for longer than three days, and only if the Lord's direction is unmistakably clear.

3. THE NORMAL FAST - going without food, but drinking liquids. This is the traditional and most common form of fasting, and is the kind of fast Jesus observed in the wilderness. We know this because the Bible says He was hungry, but it does not say He was thirsty (Luke 4:2). A normal fast will be of varying length, anywhere from one meal, to one day, three days, seven days, or even twenty-one days, but it will never exceed forty days.

4. THE PARTIAL FAST - observing a special diet, but not necessarily abstaining from all food. Daniel was a master of this particular kind of fast, and it is preferable for those who cannot totally go without food for health or other reasons. Daniel observed this kind of fast when he refused meat and wine and asked for pulse (a kind of vegetable stew) and water. On another occasion he observed the same fast and also abstained from "pleasant bread", which may have been something like cake or some delicacy. It is a known fact that Charles Wesley fasted by eating only bread and water. A partial fast may also include going without breakfast for several days in succession, or eating only one meal a day. The possibilities for this kind of fast are endless, and it is a good place for the novice to begin.

what are some good liquids for the normal fast?

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