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Fasting - Back on the Menu?

Making Disciples | Robyn Ius | 21 Nov 2013
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plate, napkin and cutleryWhat is Fasting and Why should we do it?

Tony Cauchi, Revival Librarian, wrote that he had made a discovery that “fasting has been the bread and butter of normal church life for 2000 years!” www.revival-library.org/leadership  I believe that we do need to rediscover this important piece of information to release Holy Spirit power into our prayers for revival, help and break through. [1]


This year a friend of mine told me that her daughter and son-in-law had been delivered the sad news from their doctor that they would be unable to have children. My friend’s response to this was ‘I want grandchildren’ and ‘I’m not going to take that news’ and she immediately started sacrificing sugar from her diet as a fast. The good news is that after just 6 months of fasting, her daughter became pregnant!

Fasting involves abstaining from food for a purpose and a set period of time during which time it is important to set aside quiet times to pray to God and perhaps read the scriptures.

Jesus says in Matthew 6:17-18 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,  so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Today placing oil on your head would be like styling your hair with mousse, or in a previous generation using ‘Brylcreem’ so you are ready to face your day looking good.)

People in the Bible who Fasted

There are plenty of examples of fasting in God’s Word; in fact Jesus commenced His ministry by fasting for 40 days and nights. (Matthew 4:2) Moses also fasted 40 days and nights when he was waiting for God to give him the commandments. (Deuteronomy 9:9) In Nehemiah 9 we see that the Israelites fasted and prayed because of the hardship they found themselves in. They confessed their sin for a quarter of a day, read the word for a quarter of a day and worshipped the Lord so they could see break through. Ester is another who commanded a fast to find a way out of their dangerous predicament. “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” (Ester 4:16) [2]

Paul also commenced his ministry with fasting for three days, (Acts 9:9) and this was also the way he appointed elders in the church. (Acts 14:23 “Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.”) [2]

Successful Men who Fasted

Many great Christian men before us have fasted and prayed in sincerity and earnestness before God and achieved amazing things; men such as Johnathan Edwards -American philosophical theologian, John Wesley -founder of the Methodist movement,  Charles Finney -lawyer, theologian and revivalist, D.L. Moody –evangelist and publisher, John Calvin- French Theologian and Pastor, John Knox- Scottish clergyman and leader of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther - German monk, Catholic priest, professor of theology of the 16th Century and Billy Graham- American Christian Evangelist, just to name a few. [1]

In a letter, published in The East London Evangelist in 1869, General William Booth wrote to the Brethren reminding them to wait on the Holy Spirit help with prayer and fasting. [3] http://www.sermonindex

[2]

Do you have a need? Do you need breakthrough in health or family situations? Do you want to see change in our country and around the world? Let’s wait on the Holy Spirit in prayer and fasting as our normal routine. Let’s see what God will do for us.

Notes

1

Cauchi T. Lets put fasting back on the menu!. [Internet]. 2010 [cited 2013 November 12]. Available from: http://www.revival-library.org/index.php/resources-menu/newsletter-articles/let-s-put-fasting-back-on-the-menu

2

Nave O. Nave's Topical Bible: Fasting. [Internet]. 1979 [cited 2013 November 12]. Available from:http://www.biblegateway.com/topical/Fasting/Nave/

3

Booth W.  To the Brethren and Sisters labouring for Jesus. 1869 [cited 2013 November 12]. Available from: http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=1420&forum=34&2