Fasting and Prayer 2016

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1 Fasting and Prayer 2016 Frans Meintjes IBC Brussels Spiritual Discipline of Life and Core Seminar: How to Grow - Fasting

2 Questions: 1. Who have fasted before? 2. What is Fasting? / What is Fasting NOT? 3. Why do most Christians not fast?

3 What is Fasting? Simply stated, biblical fasting is refraining from food for a spiritual purpose. Fasting is NOT abstaining from things like sports, TV, social media, internet, etc Fasting is NOT starvation or a food strike. According to the Jesus (Matthew 6), there are three duties of every Christian: 1. give, 2. pray and 3. fast. Jesus puts fasting on the same level as giving and prayer. Biblical fasting takes a lot of discipline and strength strength which you can only receive from God.

4 Why do most Christians NOT fast? It was only required in Biblical times. Not needed anymore today. Fasting is legalistic. I cannot do it. I have health issues (like diabetics). Perhaps some lack of understanding what the Bible teaches on fasting. Fasting goes strongly against the modern way of life with instant gratification from a self-indulgent society. If you are not desperate for something, you will not fast. Are you desperate?

5 Who fasted in the bible? Moses, Esther, Hannah, Daniel, David, Jehoshaphat, 2 Chronicles 20 Anna, Jesus, Peter, Paul,

6 Purpose of Fasting? Here are some Biblical objectives:- 1. To humble yourself before God. David said "I humbled my soul with fasting. God will not humble us as He has told us to humble ourselves. If you fast with the right motive, and in faith, you can humble yourself, and when you do this God will lift you up. Ps Another motive is to come closer to God. James 4:8 says:- "Come near to God and He will come near to you." 3. To understand God's word. When you fast God will give you greater and deeper understanding of His word. 4. To find God's will and to receive direction in your life. 5. To seek healing or deliverance from evil spirits. Jesus said about one kind of evil spirit:- "This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting." (Mk 9:29 - see footnote.) Before Jesus Himself entered on His ministry of healing and deliverance, He fasted and prayed for forty days. 6. When we need God's intervention in some particular crisis, or when some tremendous problem has arisen, which we can't handle by ordinary means. 7. To intercede and pray on behalf of others. e.g. An unsaved relative. Are you willing to do something that will cost you on behalf of your loved one?

7 Fasting is a means of subduing your bodily appetites. Luke 12:23 life is more than food. Luke 12:29 do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink Philippians 3:19 - their god is their stomach 1 Cor 9: beat my body and make it my slave Control in one area (eating) enables control in every other area (many biblical references between overindulging in food, wine and sex 1 Cor 10:7-8, ect.)

8 FASTING IS FEASTING ON CHRIST!

9 Scripture References on Fasting Jesus teaching:- Matthew 6:16-18, Matthew 9:14-15, Luke 18:9-14 Relation to Prayer and Reading of the Word:- 1 Samuel 1:6-8, 17-18, Nehemiah 1:4, Daniel 9:3, 20, Joel 2:12, Luke 2:37, Acts 10:30, 13:2 Acts 13:1 3 Barnabas and Saul Sent Off In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

10 Scripture References on Fasting Corporate Fasting:- 1 Samuel 7:5-6, - Israel confess their sins and turned back to God Ezra 8:21-23; 31, - Jews return with Ezra to Jerusalem. Fasted for safe travels and Gods protection. Nehemiah 9:1-3, - Repenting and fasting for sins. Joel 2:15-16, - Huge economic crises (locusts army) Jonah 3:5-10, - people of Nineveh Acts 27:33-37 Paul in the storm, before the shipwreck

11 Components of Fasting There are four components of fasting. Fasting is described in terms of: 1. what is given up, 2. who participates, 3. the duration of the fast, and 4. how often the fast is conducted.

12 Components of Fasting What is given up: Full Fast:- Not drinking any fluids or eat any food (Short time only) Food Fast:- Drink only liquids - water. The Daniel Fast:- Eat no meat, no sweets and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables. Who participates: Private Fast Small Group Fast Congregational Fast The duration of the fast: The Bible doesn t give any commands about length. It includes fasts that cover part of a day (Judges 20:26-28), one day (Jeremiah 36:6), three days (Esther 4:1, Acts 9:8-9), seven days (1Samuel 31:13), 21 days (Daniel 10:2-3), and fasts of 40 days (Deuteronomy 9:9, 1Kings 19:8, Matthew 4:1-2). The Bible also records many fasts without mentioning their length (e.g., Matthew 9:14, Luke 2:37, Acts 13:3). How often the fast is conducted Regular Fast - On a repetitive schedule, e.g., Israel s fast annual fast on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:29-31). The Pharisee in Luke 8:12 congratulates himself for fasting twice a week. Occasional Fast - These occur whenever a need is perceived. Most of the fasting examples in Scripture seem to fall into this category. Continuous Fast - Example: John the Baptist. In Matthew 3:4, we read, His food was locusts and wild honey. The fast and duration you choose is between you and God. He will honor your best sacrifice.

13 Why Fast in 2016? When you give God your first through fasting, prayer and giving at the beginning of the year, you set the course for the entire year. Are you in need of healing or a miracle? Do you need the tender touch of God in your life? Is there a dream inside you that only He can make possible? Are you in need of a fresh encounter? Do you desire a deeper, more intimate and powerful relationship with the Lord? Are you ready to have heightened sensitivity to the desires of God? Do you need to break away from bondages/sin that have been holding you hostage? Is there a friend or loved one that needs Salvation? Do you desire to know God s will for your life?

14 What Happens During A Fast? 1. During your fast take extra time for Bible reading and prayer. Bible reading should come first because this "anoints your spirit" and gets your mind in line with God. Your prayer will normally be much more effective after Bible reading. 2. Guard against spiritual attack. The real sacrifice in fasting is not going without food; it is the fact that when you really begin to seek God, pray and fast for things that matter, Satan is going to turn extra spiritual forces loose against you. You can find that strange oppressions begin to come over you - doubt, fear, or loneliness. You may feel yourself in a dark place - or you may lose some of the usual feelings of joy, peace and happiness that you normally have as a Christian. Don't get worried if this happens. In fact, it's a kind of back-handed compliment from the devil. It means that you are worrying him, and he's out to prevent you from going through with your objectives. Don't yield to these emotions. Bear in mind the great basic truth of the Word of God: God is on your side; God loves you; God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. This is true whether you feel it or not. 3. Don't put on a religious act. Don't let everybody know that you are fasting. Some people will have to know, but don't make a show of it. Don't make a display of it. Do it as quietly and as unostentatiously as possible. Remember, normally speaking, with a few exceptions, fasting does not prevent you from doing the things that you would ordinarily be doing.

15 Tips to spend the time in fasting and prayer? Spend time listening to praise and worship music and sermons. Get away from the normal distractions as much as possible and keep your heart and mind set on seeking God s face. TV adverts (often of food), can make watching Television tough. Limit your use of the internet, TV and s. Pray as often as you can throughout the day. Pray for your family. Target your prayers during the fast. Ask the Lord to show you areas to target during your time of fasting and prayer. As we pray and seek God and give Him our best at the first of the year, He will bless our whole year (Matthew 6:33). Pray for the list of needs you listed before the start of the fast. Keep a journal on the things that happen to you, thoughts you have and scripture you read. This will become an incredible testimony later.

16 Quick Tips (1 of 4) How to Begin Start with a clear goal. Be specific. Why are you fasting? Write it down. Preparing Spiritually Confess your sins to God. 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). Deciding What to Fast The type of fasting you choose is up to you. Remember to replace the time of eating and preparing for meals with time of prayer and Bible study. Deciding How Long You may fast as long as you like. Most can easily fast from one to three days, but you may feel the grace to go longer, even as much as 21 to 40 days. Use wisdom and pray for guidance. Beginners are advised to start slow.

17 Quick Tips (2 of 4) What to Expect Because of our current lifestyles, most people will experience some type of physical reactions in the early stages of the fast. When you fast your body detoxifies - withdrawal from caffeine and sugars. Some common ones are headaches - and they can be very severe - dizziness, and nausea. If you are fasting for a day you are liberating your blood from normal digestive duties, to do a lot of clean up jobs which badly need doing, but which never were done because your blood had to spend its time digesting food. At meal times you may feel real hunger pains. Actually, you don't need food, but your stomach operates by habit. In about an hour you will find that your hunger pains will go without you having eaten. It was just habit. If you want to fool your stomach take a couple of glasses of water. Light headiness (difficult to concentrate) Bad breath (brush your teeth often) Might feel a bid cranky. Get away from the normal distractions as much as possible and keep your heart and mind set on seeking God s face. Taking some salt or soup during long fasts will renew your energy levels. You will feel colder than usual.

18 Quick Tips (3 of 4) How Can I Get The Maximum Physical Benefits From Fasting? Take plenty of rest, take extra time to rest. You can pray just as well lying in your bed as you can on your knees. Take some exercise and try and get some fresh air. Why not go for a walk and pray while you are walking. You can exercise, pray and get fresh air all at once. For most people the unpleasant reactions from fasting come to a climax in the second to fourth day. If you get beyond that then you will come into a period where fasting really becomes exciting, exhilarating and enjoyable. While fasting consume plenty of fluids. This has the effect of flushing out your kidneys and generally cleaning out your body. Try to avoid coffee or tea as both are strong stimulants. You will get more physical benefit from your fast if you avoid these. Challenges for families Your family( including your kids) will need to know that you fast and why. Explain this to them. It is difficult for both parents to fast at the same time if there are kids in the home. Your normal family time around the dinner table will need compensation. The kids will miss you.

19 Quick Tips (4 of 4) How to End This is a very important part of fasting. You may lose a lot of the benefits that are due you from fasting if you break your fast unwisely. After fasting always begin with a light meal, even if you have fasted only a short period. Don't begin with anything cooked or greasy or fat or heavy. Preferably begin with a raw salad or fruit. You are going to need to exercise real self-control when you break your fast. After about the first two or three days you don't feel hungry, but when you start to eat again the hunger comes back, and that's where you really need to hold onto yourself. You may get mental pictures of all sorts of things that you love eating, but you just can't give way because you can ruin many of the physical benefits of fasting by breaking your fast rapidly or unwisely. Don t overeat when the time comes to end your fast. Begin eating solid food gradually. Eat small portions or snacks.

20

21 QUESTIONS?

22 : Spiritual Keys To Fasting from Kingdom Connection : Derek Prince When you fast, not if

23 MAY GOD GREATLY BLESS YOU AS YOU FAST!

24 The Daniel Fast (1 of 2) Step 1: Be Specific Daniel was not vague in his objection to the Babylonian diet. He defined the problem immediately. The king s food was against dietary laws. Daniel and his friends had vowed against wine. The king s food had been offered up to idols/demons. Step 2: Fast as a Spiritual Commitment The Daniel Fast involves a spiritual commitment to God. Daniel proposed in his heart that he would not defile himself (Daniel 1:8). Step 3: Reflect Inner Desire by Outer Discipline Many people have an inner desire for better health, but they can t discipline themselves to avoid junk food, and other foods that are not good for their health. The physical health you seek from God may be more than an answer to prayer. Your physical health can be linked to any of the following factors: Your food choices. The level of your spiritual commitment as reflected in constant prayer during the fast. Your time commitment. If you determine to fast for a certain time, keep it. For example, if you determine to fast 10 days, don t stop on Day 9. Your testimony commitment. Your fast is a statement of faith to God that you want Him to heal your body, and faith is foundational to the Daniel Fast.

25 The Daniel Fast (2 of 2) Step 4: Fast as a Statement of Faith to Others Daniel was making a statement of faith when he asked for only vegetables to eat and water to drink, then dared the overseer to compare the appearance of the four sons of Israel with the young men who ate the king s food. Step 5: Learn the Effects of the Food You Eat Why are some foods good for us, and other foods not? What does certain food do to your body? If we really knew, there would likely be some things we would never eat again. Step 6: Yield All Results to God Daniel said, as you see fit, deal with your servants (Dan. 1:13).

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