Fasting and Prayer
Blog Post by Minister Madeline Conaway
What is Fasting?
While fasting is not a direct command in the Bible, it is beneficial and profitable for the Believer. Fasting, in simple terms, is restricting gratification of the flesh for spiritual focus and gain. So often we think of only fasting food, but for a fast to be spiritual, beneficial and profitable, it must include restricting other daily pleasures/focuses as well. An example may be fasting social media or games. That means we have must discipline ourselves not to pick that cell phone up every time we get the urge.
Why is it necessary to pray as well as fast?
Fasting and prayer go together. The Bible instructs us to pray on a continuous basis (1 Thessalonians 5:16). Therefore, it only makes sense that as we pray, we communicate with, and hear from, our Father. We need to not only talk but listen to the voice of our Lord during the time of fasting. We must at times get into a quiet place where we can focus and hear clearly. “But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly.” (Mathew 6:6) Therefore, fasting must be planned out carefully. When you pray concerning your fast, ask the Father to direct you on how, when, and what to fast.
What are the benefits of fasting?
The benefits of fasting are the same today as they were in Biblical Times:
- To get our flesh and soul under control. At times in our lives, we can allow the soul and flesh part of us get out of control. Remember that we are three-part beings: spirit, soul, and flesh. The only part that God relates to is our spirit. However, He wants all parts of us to be in subjection to His will. There is always a struggle that goes on within us because the carnal mind (our soulish and fleshly desires) are enemies against our spirit (Romans 8:7). Fasting brings our soul and flesh under subjection to our spirit man which has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit.
- When you have a need. Fasting is an avenue to breakthrough. Have you been stuck in a place not understanding why you can’t more forward? Perhaps you have been dealing with an addiction or vice and have thought about giving up? Fasting and prayer is your way out! Fasting, coupled with speaking God’s Word will break the yoke of bondage! (Isaiah 58:9) Cry out to the Lord and He will hear!
- When you need direction concerning a decision. When you are uncertain about a decision or choice that is to be made, fasting and praying will bring clarity. (Acts 14:23) “And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.”
We encourage you not be operate in fear when it comes to fasting. Satan doesn’t want you to fast because he knows the power that lies within it. If you are a novice, or new to fasting, take time to ask God to help and direct you, and go for it! This is an area of continued growth. Start where you are and enjoy this journey. For more resources on fasting check out our Rightnow Media Channel.
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