Today we will look at four kinds of fasting for believers to participate in when God calls you to fast with prayer. If you have not yet begun the practice of Biblical fasting, you may very well find this interesting as it is the first post in a study on Biblical Fasting.
Prayer and fasting are a common Biblical act. Some examples from the Old Testament saints who have spent time in prayer and fasting are Moses, David, Elijah, Daniel and Hannah. A few examples from the New Testament are Jesus, His disciples, John the Baptist, his disciples, Paul, Anna and Cornelius.
If you are going to fast, you are in good company. But the question is, why do you want to spend time fasting? Think of your reasons for a moment.
Why did the old time saints spend time in prayer and fasting? For several reasons and each is unique to the moment they were in but ultimately they wanted to see God move in their situation, for answers to prayer and to draw closer to God.
Do you desire to grow closer to God? Are their reasons your reasons too? If so, then I encourage you to consider fasting as this intimacy with God is like no other!
Fasting and prayer will bring you closer to God.
This study will cover the kinds of fasts, not the types. We will study types next week to piece it all together. Here is what I learned about fasting. Whichever fast I am doing, I complete a ‘covenant’ with God, but more about covenants in the next study.
4 Kinds of Fasting
The basic kinds of fasts apply to any of the types of fasts that we will study next. Today our focus is on the kinds of fasts. But before we look at them, let me remind you what Micah 6:8 says, He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? KJV
The Lord requires us is to be wholly committed to Him.
To paraphrase this, God wants us to be so committed that our walk and talk meet His standard. He wants commitment.
Fasting is a way that you can worship Him and submit yourself to Him in humility. Keep in mind though, that you cannot manipulate God for answers according to your will. Your fasting is not to serve your purpose, and yes, you will receive answers, but they will be according to God’s will.
The Normal Fast
This fast is going without food for a pre-determined period during which you consume only liquids (water and/or juice). The duration could be 1 day, 3 days, 1 week, 1 month or 40 days. If you are considering the longer fasts (1 month or 40 days or longer), it is advisable to seek medical advice.
This normal fast is one that I do regularly for shorter time periods.
The Absolute Fast
An absolute fast is when you do not consume any food or water or liquids. This fast is recommended for shorter time periods as it could be detrimental to your health IF the Holy Spirit has not led you to this fast long term. I would also caution you to test the spirit that is telling to you take on a long term fast, even if it includes liquids. You should be beyond doubt that the Lord has called you to a long term absolute fast.
The Partial Fast
This fast omits certain foods or can be on a schedule that includes limited eating. It could be that you fast two of the three meals a day, or that you eat only fresh raw vegetables. This is often called the Daniel Fast. If considering this fast, a fast meal is not your regular meal size. It is a handful as compared to a plateful.
The partial fast is the other one that I do at least twice a year for 10 days each. I follow a specific fast method by Dr Jordan Rubin, author of The Maker’s Diet Revolution.
The Rotational Fast
On this fast, you would consume food on a rotational basis, ie, every second day you would consume raw vegetables or every fourth day, you would eat grains and legumes. This rotation allows for some food to be available each day.
God’s Chosen Fast
Fasting with prayer must be Spirit-led to be effective. If God has not called you to it, then do not do it. Prayer and fasting that is Spirit-led will return to God and He will direct His will in answering.
A chosen fast means that God has appointed it and it is set apart for Him. It will minister to Him and will bring glory and honour to Him. The outcome will be to accomplish His perfect will so that heaven’s will can come to earth.
When you are called to pray and fast for a specific purpose, you are stating to the supernatural realm that you are earnest and sincere in desiring God’s will in your situation. You are showing God that you will not let go of Him until you receive your answer. God sees that you are committed to the “yes” answer so keep on praying until you receive it!
When you fast, you are notifying heaven that you are committed to receiving God’s will for your situation.
That’s a Wrap
I hope you found some value in this brief study on the four kinds of fasts. These are effective when called by God and carried out to honour Him. He, in turn, will give you a blessing according to His sovereign will.
Please come back for the next post where we will study some of the ‘types’ of fasts that are found in the Bible. I’ll even share the outcome of a fast I completed that God answered in an amazing way…and I’m still walking in that answer today!
So, I would like to ask you, do you fast? Are you familiar with the ‘kinds’ of fasts as presented in this study? If you haven’t begun the practice of fasting, would you consider starting? Don’t start just yet, though! Wait for the next study that describes various ‘types’ of fasts so you know which one to complete for your specific situation.
As always, I invite your comments, below! I love to hear from you and look forward to reading your comments.
- What the Bible Says About Healthy Living (Regal Books, 1996, Dr Rex Russell)
- Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough, (Regal Books, 1996, Elmer L. Towns)
- God’s Chosen Fast – A Spiritual and Practical Guide to Fasting (1993, Arthur Wallis)