It’s one thing to know about God— it’s a different thing to know and be known by God. Prayer and fasting are powerful ways to prepare to receive His presence, and all that He has planned for your life, as well as grow deeper in your walk with Him as you proclaim, More of you and less of me.
Ask yourself, “What am I allowing to come between me and God’s presence?” Imagine the blessings He has for you when you prepare your heart and surrender it all to Him.
What is Fasting?
Fasting is a voluntary, private, and Spirit-led separation from one’s usual activities of life for a period of time. What do you “consume” in terms of physical food, social food, intellectual food, spiritual food, and emotional food? Are these things distracting you from your relationship with God? Are you relying on things that have nothing to do with God to get you through your day? Ask God and He will show you.
Everyone doing a physical fast should consult a physician first. If it is not possible for you to fast meals, consider fasting other things such as time spent with TV, the Internet, hobbies, or other interests that command a lot of your time and attention. The point is that there is something God wants you to separate yourself from for three weeks so that you can see Him more clearly. Don’t cheat yourself by removing yourself from the fast entirely.
FASTING GOAL: A Personal Encounter with the Living God
“He must increase and [we] must decrease.” - John 3:30 “Be holy, for I am holy.” - 1 Peter 1:16
You may experience many benefits from fasting (cleansing your body, breaking addictions, etc.), but the goal of fasting is to experience God.
Prepare your heart:
In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God appears to Solomon and explains that if His people are going through a hard time, they should seek Him and follow His ways. Then, He will hear their prayers and heal them.
Be willing to hear what God says needs to change, and be willing to change. Don’t continue to sin. What are the paths He wants you to walk? How much does He want you to pray and read His Word? Tell God that you surrender your life to Him and that you want more of Him and His way.
Prepare your motives:
Ephesians 1:3 says that there are spiritual blessings assigned to us. We can never exhaust them! Who knows what God wants to give you or show you? Maybe He wants to bestow gifts such as wisdom, anointing, prayer power, healing power, teaching power, joy, or encouragement. When you eliminate things that are keeping you from focusing on God, He is able to show you things about your life that you never knew.
Prepare your body:
If you decide to eat only fruits and vegetables for your fast, it will result in cleansing of your physical body. You may feel sick as your body detoxes, but you’ll make it! This isn’t a mind game to see if you can survive eating less or not watching your favorite show, but about experiencing God.
Prepare your schedule:
Decide where you will meet with God, what and when you will eat, and how you will spend your time differently. Remember, the fast is about communing with God, so don’t fill your time with distractions that will keep you from feeling hungry. Create a plan and commit to spending more time with the Lord.
Set reasonable goals for this season of fasting. Consider the following options:
· Fast 1, 2, or 3 Meals a Day
· 21-Day Daniel Fast
· Liquids Only Fast
· Fast Sugar or Coffee
· Fast Media (TV, Movies, Social Media)
· Spending & Shopping
If you go completely without food for a full day or longer:
· Drink plenty of water.
· Drink some fruit juice for energy.
· Remember that some medications should not be taken without food.
Prayer Life During The Fast
It’s important to remember that fasting is more than just missing a meal. Powerful seasons of fasting are experienced when we plan to spend additional time in God’s presence as we fast. As well, purpose now that every hunger pang, every feeling of fatigue, and every caffeine headache will be a reminder to call on God in that moment and to cry out for those things you are seeking Him to do in your life. David Mathis says, “[Fasting] is a desperate measure, for desperate times, among those who know themselves desperate for God.”
But don’t just focus on the battle or the pain – Scriptures promises there is fullness of joy in God’s presence and there are pleasures at His right hand. Delight yourself in seeking Him and you’ll know the joy of seeing Him work in your life.
May God richly bless you as you seek to grow closer to Him through fasting and prayer.