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Archive for the ‘FASTING’ Category

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Would you wish to experience and maintain a personal revival? I know every Christian would wish to have such. Bill Bright in The Coming Revival: America’s Call to Fast, Pray, and “Seek God’s Face” suggests the following
1. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any unconfessed sin in your life.
2. Seek forgiveness from all whom you have offended, and forgive all who have hurt you. Make restitution where God leads.
3. Examine your motives in every word and deed. Ask the Lord to search and cleanse your heart daily.
4. Ask the Holy Spirit to guard your walk against complacency and mediocrity.
5. Praise and give thanks to God continually and in all ways on all days, regardless of the circumstances.
6. Refuse to obey your carnal (worldly) nature (Galatians 5:16,17).
7. Surrender your life to Jesus Christ as your savior and Lord. Develop utter dependence on Him with total submission and humility.
8. Study the attributes of God.
9. Hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6).
10. Love God with all of your heart, soul and mind (Deut 6:5).
11. Appropriate the continual fullness and control of the Holy Spirit by faith on the basis of God’s command (Eph 5:18) and promise (1 John 5:14,15).
12. Read, study, meditate on, and memorize God’s holy, inspired, inerrant Word daily (Colossians 3:16)
13. Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
14. Fast and pray one 24-hour period each week. Fasting reduces the power of self so that the Holy Spirit can do a more intense work within us. Fasting brings yieldedness, even a holy brokenness, resulting in inner calm and self-control. It renews spiritual vision and inspires determination to follow God’s revealed plan for your life.
15. Seek to share Christ daily as a way of life.
16. Determine to live a holy, godly life of obedience and faith.
17. Start or join a home or church Bible study group that emphasizes revival and a holy life.

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FASTING

FASTING (easy to use notes for students)

Means making a decision to stay without taking a meal(s) and / or drink for the purpose of having a deeper spiritual experience with God.

It is a common occurrence in the bible. Many bible characters fasted like Moses – 40 days (Exo 24:12-18, 34:26), Samuel (1 Sam 7:5-6), Esther (Esther 4:16), Jesus (Matt 4:1-2), John’s disciples, the Pharisees, the apostles, the early Christians etc.

 

Kinds of Fasting.

  1. Absolute fasting – when one does not eat or drink at all. Should not be more than 3 days for it can seriously affect one’s health. (Esther 4:16, Exo 34:26)
  2. Complete / Total / Normal fasting – No food but one takes water. This could be the fasting used by Jesus for he never complained of thirst.
  3. Partial fast – one can take a light meal, juices, bread or deny himself some choice food, TV watching etc. used by Daniel. If it’s a long fast like 21 days one can take solid meals at night – this makes you strong to pray especially at night.

When did people pray in the bible?

  1. when there was a disaster
  2. when they were going through emotional problems
  3. when there was grief
  4. when there was anxiety or impending danger
  5. when they received bad news
  6. when God gave instructions to do so
  7. when there was sin in the land

Because we still experience the above today, we need to fast.

 

Why should we fast?

  1. To seek God when repenting as an individual or nation eg people of Nineveh repented during Jonah’s time (Jonah 3:5-10) by fasting and praying. They decided to God.
  2. To humble ourselves before God – God does not like proud people. He resists them 1 Pet 5:5-6 James 4:10.
  3. For God to give you direction on an issue – When confused and you don’t know what to do, seek God by fasting. Ezra fasted to ask God whether he should be assisted by the King or he should rely on God. Ezra 8:21
  4. To gain victory over temptations or sin. To get victory over sins like malice, hatred, drinking, smoking, drug addiction, immorality, adolescence crisis etc. the powers that hold us are easily broken when we fast. Eph 6:10-13
  5. To get protection from danger – During Esther’s time, Harman plotted how to kill all the Jews. Realizing they were un danger, they fasted and God killed him. The devil would wish to kill you, when you feel afraid, fast and pray.
  6. Helps in casting demons. In Matthew 17:14-21, the disciples were unable to cast out demons in a boy. He told them this was only possible if they could have fasted and prayed.
  7. Helps to release the power of God in us for ministry. Would you like to do more and to have more power as you serve God? Then fast. Acts 13:2-3
  8. Helps us obtain favour from God – Special favours will require you to fast as you work your way. If you need a job favour, passing exams etc, ask God for that favour. Esther was granted favour before the king after fasting for 3 days.
  9. It is commanded by God. God always commanded his people to return to him through fasting. Jesus told disciples in Matthew 6:16-18 ‘when you fast’ not ‘if’.
  10. Helps us to obtain healing from God. Isa 58: says we shall receive quick healing when we fast. Drinking pure water during fasting is quite good as it eliminates toxic waste in the body. You can also get divine healing. During a fast, the body improves physically and spiritually
  11. Helps us gain more understanding about God’s word. You gain great wisdom and understanding of God’s word when you fast. God shows you hidden angles of his word.
  12. Helps us to discipline ourselves. You can discipline your soul through fasting. Your heart starts longing for what God desires.
  13. Helps us to put to death the carnal body so as to walk by the spirit. Praying and fasting helps you to put to death such evils. Col 3:5-6.
  14. Helps us to purify our channels so that God can use us. Fasting enables God to clean our body, spirit and soul. Let prepare the way of the Lord in our lives. Isa 40:3.
  15. Helps us obtain divine strength for tasks ahead. Paul got his strength in weakness. 2 Cor 12:9. He says ‘when I am weak I am strong’. You can achieve supernatural things through fasting.
  16. Helps us to do more intensive prayer. Fasting is good for you. It will help you to be more prepared for what might happen later. Jesus told his 3 disciples to watch and pray so that they may not get tempted, but they slept. When the trial hour came, peter had to rely o his knife than God’s protection.
  17. Helps to increase our spiritual level. God brings us to His holy mountain and starts revealing his plans and strategies to us.
  18. Helps to increase our faith. Fasting breaks barriers of unbelief in our hearts. It strengthens our faith and helps us to be filled with the Holy Spirit, win souls to God’s kingdom, pray for the sick, improve our Christian life, do impossible things.
  19. Helps us to take over a land for Jesus. For us to win a city or a nation, or a school to Jesus, we need to pray and fast over long periods. It requires us to be persistent – not giving up. Are you ready for this?
  20. Can be done as a service and sacrifice to God. Anna, a prophetess in Luke 2:37 served God with prayers and fasting day and night. She did this in a way of serving God.
  21. From Isaiah 58, the following are other advantages:

a.V8. Your light will break forth. You will prosper in health, relationship, material wise, school etc.

b. V8 Your righteousness shall go before you. You will have victory over sin.

c. V8.  God will anoint you.

d. V9 God will always be at your service to answer you.

e. V11. God will continually guide you in all you do.

f. V11. God will provide for you, even during famine times

g. V11. You will be refreshed(renewed). You will be like a well watered garden

h. V12. God will use you to restore others.

i. V12. You shall raise up foundations. Things that were not will spring up because of your involvement.

j. V12. You will repair hopeless situations.

k. V14. God will promote you.

l. V14. You will be blessed and will bless.

22. Releases a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit and restoration of God’s glory. Joel 1:8-14; 2:12-15; 2:23-29

What to do when fasting.

ü  Read the Bible and pray much more than usual

ü  Determine the duration you’ll take e.g. half day fast, 1 day, 3, 7, 21, 40 days.

ü  Set specific objectives ie ask your self: what do I need? Healing, spiritual renewal, guidance, special grace etc.

ü  If it’s a long fast, begin taking a lot of fruits and vegetables to clean up and adjust your metabolism.

ü  Confess and repent sins you remember.

ü  Ask God to fill you with His Holy spirit and to talk to you.

ü  Don’t do any work, concentrate in prayer.

ü  For employees, students etc since there may not be time off, they should utilize their mornings, breaks & evenings.

ü  Set aside ample time in a quite place alone with God.

ü  Spent more time in prayer, praise and worship, bible study and with God.

ü  You may inform another person to pray for you to back you up.

ü  Record any thoughts or promptings that the Holy Spirit may lay in your heart.

ü  Bathe frequently because your body will open up its pores to eliminate toxins.

ü  Keep your body warm to avoid catching a cold – remember you are losing fats.

ü  Brush your teeth more than once because of bad breath that develops.

ü  If not taking dry fast, drink plenty of pure or boiled water, fruit or vegetable drinks. This helps reduce headaches, nausea and eliminate toxins.

ü  Keep away from every kind of pleasure (including sex if married – you should alert your spouse early enough).

ü  Break your fast slowly/ gradually with thin soup, porridge, vegetable juices etc.

ü  Don’t eat a lot for it may cause damage to your body.

ü  Don’t break your fast with bread, meat or soft drinks – like soda.

ü  Get back to normal eating slowly.

When fasting, don’t:

  • Blow your own trumpet – don’t tell everyone. Read Matt 6:16-18.
  • Fast a day you’ll be too busy to pray or read the word. You will just be starving yourself. However, you can pray as you work and God will still hear and reward you if there may be no time.
  • Fast with hidden sins. Ps 66:18 says God will not hear.
  • Fast in names other than that of Jesus Christ.
  • Fast when living in injustice and lack of mercy – Zech 7:5-6
  • Fast to achieve evil- don’t pray for your enemies to die or suffer. Love your enemies and don’t avenge yourself. Rom 12:19-20.
  • Fast by force – should be willingly
  • Fast to please people.

You should be clean, happy, cheerful and bright before God

It is always for Christian to have at least one day in a week to pray and fast.

 

The devil doesn’t want you to fast & will look for ways to bring opposition. You must however overcome this.

              Are you wiling to take up the challenge?

                                  God bless you all

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