Christian Fasting

Christian Fasting is part of the article on Prayer and Fasting. In the last article, Prayer and Fasting I , we looked at Prayer and Fasting - What it is, The Great Saints who prayed and fasted. But what is true Christian Fasting?

Today, we will look at the many questions that confront believers. Many times the question arises, What is the best type of Christian Prayer and Fasting? What is biblical fasting? I.e. As Christians, how should we fast? In the next article we will look at (a)Why Fast? Biblical benefits of Prayer and Fasting (b) Preparation for the fast – Prayer Points -A Missing Link (c) Physical Benefits of Fasting and finally (d)Scripture that will help encourage you as you fast.

What not to do - When praying and fasting.

Of importance, God intends that all you do be done to the glory of God. Even our prayer and fasting. Never engage in a christian fast with an aim to prove to someone a point or for a motive that is ungodly. Remember the Pharisees used to fast, but their motives were wrong for they wanted to be seen. Jesus said this "Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" Mathew 6:16-21

In Isaiah we read of yet another admonition in respect to prayer and fasting. "Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. 4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. 5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?" Isaiah 58: 3-5.

A word of caution, if you are having a medical condition, please consult your doctor to make sure you will not be adversely affected by the fast that you take. Fasting is a joy. Our prayer is that the Christian Fast that you undertake will be of benefit to you and not harmful.




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Types of Fasting & How to Fast


There are so many ways to undertake a Christian Fast that one cannot say do it this way or do it that way. The best we can do is to emulate the men of Old that we read of in the bible.

The types of fast may depend on (a) what is eaten – Liquids or Dry fasting (b) Length in terms of days (c) The number of those involved hence Corporate or Individual.

Liquids only.


A liquid only fast is christian fast that one takes when one abstains from eating a meal but drinks liquids only. This may be breakfast, lunch or dinner. Remember the key is that the time that you would have spent eating you divert it to eating the word of God as you experience the joy of prayer and fasting.

Dry Fasting

A Dry Fast is when one abstains from eating a meal but drinks liquids only. One may opt not to drink or eat anything making it an absolute fast. The objective is not to glorify your fasting but to humble oneself before His Maker, The King of Kings.

Length

Again, the Lord may speak to your heart on the duration of the fast. A Fast may be for one meal. It may be for one day or it may be for three, four, seven, forty days as the Lord leads.

Corporate or Individual

Corporate prayer is when you join in a group prayer. It may even be a family, a bible study group, a church, or even a whole nation. This is corporate prayer and the objectives are normally of a corporate or global nature. Individual prayer and fasting is when you pray and fast for your specific needs.

One vital ingredient should be the foundation of every Christian Fast - Jesus Christ Our Foundation.


Look out for the continuation of this article. Prayer and Fasting part III.
Look at the first article on

Christian Fasting



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