Over the years, I have learned about the many benefits, do’s and don’ts of fasting. I am still learning. I share with you what I have learned in the hope that you too will make fasting as a lifestyle as well.
In the Scriptures, there are many verses that speak about fasting and humbling oneself. The Lord expects His people to do three things in secret, one of which is fasting and the other two are prayer and giving. God’s promise is that He will reward each one of us who practice these very powerful and beneficial disciplines.
When we do, the benefits are: intimacy with God, revelation, encounter, strength, power, gifts of the Spirit, healing, miracles, answered prayer, grace etc… These are just a few and they alone should encourage us to live a fasted lifestyle. One of the books that I recommend reading is called: Atomic Power with God, Thru Fasting and Prayer by Rev. Franklin Hall. A preview of the book can be found here.
Since I grew up in a Catholic home, I have been fasting annually during lent since I was a teenager. I didn’t really understand it because I was doing it because everyone was asked to by the priest. My parents participated and cut out all meats and went vegan for the 40 days till Resurrection Sunday. I felt good that I was able to abstain from eating certain foods during the designated times my church declared the fast. The fast was from 12am till 12pm each day.
As I grew older, I became more interested in learning about my faith. I made a commitment to Jesus, gave my life to him and was baptized. When I fasted, now married with three children at the time, I remember being quite irritable and I would yell at my children. At one point, I thought to myself, “that’s not an acceptable fast. My attitude is wrong and I need to figure out why and how I can fast in such a way that it will be meaningful and acceptable in the eyes of God and my own family.”
I hadn’t been taught much about fasting but I did it anyway. But I needed to know the significance of fasting, so I started to ask God why we need to fast? I heard the Lord say, “Fasting helps you to have self-control and helps you not fall into temptations.” This answer caused me to persevere in continuing to fast and pray and really strengthened my faith and trust in Him.
Recently, I was reading a book called The Priesthood, Theology of Day and Night Prayer. On page 129, David Bradshaw wrote: “We fast to cultivate self-control and restraint related to the pleasures of this age.” His comment confirmed to me what the Lord had previously told me about the importance of fasting.
The reason that many at the end of the age will fall into apostasy is related to lawlessness, which flows from the appetites of the flesh gaining dominance. Matthew 24:12 says “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” On January 1, 2023, I had a dream. In it, a woman was saying we must divide between our soul and our spirit, meaning we must live by the Spirit and not by the flesh. Fasting can help us do this.
Many people have shared their testimony with me of how God gave them clarity when they fasted for their children. One time, Maria Durso, a speaker, author and pastor, came to Ottawa. She shared with us that at one point when she was a youth group pastor, along with her husband, and leading the intercessory group in her church, she heard the Lord say, “My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” She responded, “I am leading the intercessory prayer, you have the wrong address.” The Lord answered, “Your children are lost and you are praying nice mother prayers. You need to go to war. Your children are living in sin and you need to fast and pray for them to be saved.” He told her that He will give the grace to fast as long as it was necessary to win the souls of her children. Maria then fasted for nine months for her children’s salvation because God gave her grace and faith to do so. She admits that she didn’t have faith that God wanted to save her children and realized that faith was not a fruit of the spirit, it’s a gift from God. If you want to listen to her testimony, here is a short interview she had with Glisten. I am sure you’ll be inspired as I was. Fasting is similar to going to war and it’s possible by God’s grace! Ask God to give you the grace to fast!
Last year, I listened to a sermon on fasting by Rev. Derek Prince, an international Bible teacher who was highly revered for his theological insights and sincere Christian faith. I discovered that when 2 Chronicles 7:14 talks about humbling oneself, it is referring to fasting. Prince gave many examples from the Scriptures on why fasting and prayer is hope for a nation. Here are a few of his quotes:
• Fasting is a key for breakthrough.
• “Do you think God has changed or we could find a better way?”
• 2 Chronicles 7:14 is Hope for a nation if God’s people will listen and apply. There are seven steps to this scripture and the first four steps we must voluntarily do and God will do the last three steps.
1-Humble ourselves because pride is a barrier to the answer to our prayer (Fasting)
2-Pray (ask God)
3-Seek my face (get into God’s presence)
4-Turn from our wicked ways (If you say you don’t have any wicked ways, God says, wait till you get into my presence and you’ll find out).
5-I will hear from heaven
6-Forgive their sins
7-I will heal your land
• There are many examples of breakthroughs in the Bible through fasting. King Ahab, the people of Nineveh, Esther, Moses, Jesus, Paul’s conversion etc…
• What changed history? The turning point was Fasting.
• No wonder Satan tries to keep this key of fasting out of the hands of God’s people because it’s powerful and Satan is afraid of it.
Here is a link to Part 1 of 5 Podcast by Rev. Derek Prince for you to have a listen.
I also found this free downloadable ebook written by Derek Prince for your exploration on Prayer and Fasting. You may find it quite helpful as you consider adding fasting during the week of prayer for our city in collaboration with City on Our Knees. It’s called Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting and is excellent.
As I mentioned earlier, when I started Burning Hearts House of Prayer back in 2015, I was recommended to buy a book called The Priesthood, Theology of Day and Night Prayer. It’s a wonderful book and it has a section on The Sermon on the Mount and the fasted lifestyle. I started reading that section before writing this article and it was so good, it made me realize even more how powerful fasting is. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking deeper understanding about fasting and other spiritual disciplines to deepen their relationship with God and encounter Him regularly.
In short, the book touches on the fasted lifestyle from Matthew 6, reasons why we fast? How much to fast and who can fast and when? Five types of fasting food etc… As I read it, fasting became even more important to me and it highlighted some amazing benefits to fasting and prayer. On page 128, Bradshaw wrote, we fast for an “increase of the Spirit of Revelation. It’s understanding what the Spirit is saying to the Body. The prophetic spirit is connected to fasting”. See Dan 10:12 and Dan 9:3, 21-23.
On page 131 section, Bradshaw writes “Fasting is always voluntary, there is no biblical commandment which regulates how much one should fast. This opens us up to even greater degrees of abandonment to God!”
Fasting is positioning ourselves to receive more revelation from God!
This is an invitation to draw closer and more dependent on God in this blessed new year through fasting and prayer!!
Sincerely in Christ,
Director of Burning Hearts House of Prayer
And Burning House of Prayer