What is Fasting?
Throughout Scripture, fasting refers to abstaining from food for Spiritual purposes. It stands in contrast to the hunger strike, or for health reasons such as dieting. Biblical fasting always centers on spiritual purposes.
Scripture Describes Different Types of Fasts
The Normal Fast.
This involved abstaining from all food, solid or liquid, but not from water. In the forty-day fast of Jesus, we are told that “He ate nothing” and toward the end of the fast that “He was hungry” and that Satan tempted Him to eat, indication that the abstaining was from food, but not from water (Luke 4:2).
The Partial Fast.
The Bible describes what could be considered a partial fast: that is, there is a restriction of diet, but not total abstention. Although the normal fast seemed to be the custom with the prophet Daniel, there was an occasion where for three weeks he “ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all” (Daniel 10:3).
The Absolute Fast.
There are several examples in Scripture of what has rightly been called an “absolute fast,” or an abstaining from both food and water. It usually appears as a desperate measure to meet a dire emergency. Upon learning that execution awaited herself and her people, Esther instructed Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews… and hold a fast on my behalf, and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will also fast as you do” (Esther 4:16). Paul engaged in a three-day absolute fast following his encounter with the living Christ (Acts 9:9). It must be underscored that the absolute fast is the exception and should never be engaged in unless one has a very clear command from God, and then for not more than three days.
Is Fasting a Commandment?
Nowhere in Scripture do we find Biblical laws that require regular fasting, nor do we find a direct command to fast. What we do find are examples of many biblical personages to whom fasting was a regular part of their lives: Moses the lawgiver, David the king, Elijah the prophet, Esther the queen, Daniel the seer, Anna the prophetess, Paul the apostle, and Jesus Christ the incarnate Son.
Many of the great Christians throughout church history fasted and testified to its value. Among them were Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, David Brainerd, Charles Finney and Pastor Hsi of China.
Jesus gives instruction on fasting in the Sermon on the Mount. He states: “And whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do,” (Matthew 6:16). Jesus did not say “If you fast,” neither did He say ” You must fast.” He seemed to make the assumption that people would fast, and what was needed was instruction on how to do it properly.
Seven Day Prayer & Fasting Focus
Sunday — Joel 2
Make a decision to consecrate yourself this week. Position yourself to hear God clearly regarding your next place in Him. Make a declaration to your flesh that it will not rule & reign but it will be brought into subjection to the Spirit.
Monday — Esther 4, 8 & 9
Ask the Lord to help you align properly in the Body of Christ to help fight against the enemy. Commit to pray and fast for God’s people. Be willing to boldly enter in to the King’s Throne Room. Take the house of your Haman.
Tuesday — Daniel 1; Romans 12:1, 2
Declare you will not be swayed by the world’s system even as it relates to food. Prepare to present yourself to the King by offering your body as a living sacrifice. Declare you are holy, acceptable unto Him. Receive supernatural wisdom from God.
Wednesday — Daniel 9, 10
Understand the importance of repentance & prayer that identifies what you need to repent & pray for. This is important for your bloodline, city, our nation, churches, etc. Refuse to give in and withstand until you receive an answer from God and embrace breakthrough.
Thursday — Isaiah 58
Renew your mind regarding fasting.
Friday — Luke 4
Be led by the Spirit. Know that satanic attacks will come. Refute attacks with the Word of God.
Saturday —Acts 2; Acts 13:2, 3; Acts 14:23
Be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to speak to you heart regarding your gift/s – how and where they will be utilized.