Fasting was an expected discipline in both the Old and New Testament eras. For example, Moses fasted at least two recorded forty-day periods. Jesus fasted 40 days and reminded His followers to fast, "when you fast," not if you fast.
Fasting and prayer can restore the loss of the "first love" for your Lord and result in a more intimate relationship with Christ.
Fasting is a biblical way to truly humble yourself in the sight of God (Psalm 35:13; Ezra 8:21). King David said, "I humble myself through fasting."
Fasting enables the Holy Spirit to reveal your true spiritual condition, resulting in brokenness, repentance, and a transformed life.
The Holy Spirit will quicken the Word of God in your heart and His truth will become more meaningful to you!
Fasting can transform your prayer life into a richer and more personal experience.
Fasting can result in a dynamic personal revival in your own life-and make you a channel of revival to others.
Quick Tips on Fasting
Most of the fasts mentioned in the Bible were public fasts initiated by the priests; Jesus gave us the model for private fasts in Matthew 6:16-18 and 9:14-15. Whether you are beginning a private fast, or fasting corporately as we do each year at Bethel City of Hope, we believe you will find these tips helpful.
How to Begin
Start with a clear goal. Be specific. Why are you fasting? Do you need direction, healing, restoration of marriage or family issues? Are you facing financial difficulties? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Pray daily and read the Bible.
There will be some prayer points provided to help you with you time of personal prayers. There will be specific subject the church may be focusing on during our corporate prayer time.
Preparing spiritually and physically
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness. Forgive all who have offended you and ask forgiveness from those you may have offended (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3-4). Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ and reject the worldly desires that try to hinder you (Romans 12:1-2).
It is very important to prepare your body ahead of time before beginning the fast. We recommend that you transition from heavy meal, spicy and greasy food, caffeine and refined sugar at least a week before the start.
Deciding What to Fast
The type of fast you go on is up to you. You can go on a full fast in which you only drink liquids, or you may desire to fast like Daniel, who abstained from sweets and meats, and the only liquid he drank was water. For those who cannot abstain from food due to medical reasons, there are other ways to fast such no TV or Social media.
At Bethel City of Hope, we do not enforce a particular type of fast. It is left up to the individual to decide the type of fast to follow. Regardless of the type of fast you choose, it is important to prioritize prayer and Bible study.
What to Expect
When you fast your body detoxifies, eliminating toxins from your system. This can cause mild discomfort such as headaches and irritability during withdrawal from caffeine and sugars. And naturally, you will have hunger pains. Limit your activity and exercise moderately. Take time to rest. Fasting brings about miraculous results. You are following Jesus' example when you fast. Spend time listening to praise and worship. Pray as often as you can throughout the day. Get away from the normal distractions as much as possible and keep your heart and mind set on seeking God's face.
How to End
Don't overeat when the time comes to end your fast. Begin eating solid food gradually; eat small portions or snacks.