Last week we learned three of 9 Biblical Fasts and now it is time to check out the second three types of fasts to consider when choosing a fast. We have covered the Disciples’, Ezra and Samuel Fasts. Today we will look at The Elijah Fast, The Widow’s Fast and The St. Paul’s Fast. One of these three fasts is what I completed two years ago and still walking in the result of that fast. Read on to find out which one!
Here is the link if you would like to get caught up in Part 1 of this 3 part series.
The Elijah Fast
We already know that fasting with prayer will set captives free and push back the powers of darkness. But did you realize that fasting will also help to clear the mind? For example, look at the Scripture concerning Elijah. Starting in 1 Kings 18, we read the account of the challenge between Elijah and Ahab’s prophets calling on the name of their respective gods/God to start the fire under their offering. The Baal prophets cried out to their god all day and were not successful.
When it was Elijah’s turn, he had a trench dug around the altar and had it filled with water. Not only that, he had his burnt offering drenched in water as well. He prayed a simple prayer, “Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.”
After this, Elijah killed all the Baal prophets down at the brook. However, Queen Jezebel, Ahab’s wife, was not impressed and she threatened Elijah’s life because he killed her prophets. This is where Elijah began to doubt himself. When he heard of this threat he ran for his life, 1 Kings 19:3. Elijah not only doubted himself, he also fell into great despair. This threat from Queen Jezebel knocked the rug out from under him.
Who is this fast for?
This fast should be used if you have a negative self-image, a low self-image, a threatening self-image or self-rejection. (page 84 of Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough by Elmer L Towns.)
Elijah was so despondent that he wanted to die, 1 Kings 19:4. Can God help us when we are in despair? We know that often when we have a great victory, that sometimes a defeatist attitude consumes us. Remember that God is fully aware of your heart and mine and knows our habits, whether they are good ones or not. Completing the Elijah Fast can help you to see the big picture from God’s point of view.
This book, by Elmer Towns, lists the 10 steps to follow to help you successfully complete the fast. In addition to the steps, he talks about habits and attitudes and principles to remember along with providing a covenant for you to sign to keep yourself focused on the vow you are making.
The Widow’s Fast
God is very concerned about His people and their needs. We see this in the account of the widow and her son who had very little food left by the time Elijah arrived to their place. Turn with me to 1 Kings 17:8-24 where we read the account of Elijah arriving at the gate of the city where he meets the widow and asks for some water to drink. After she gives him some, he then asked for some food. This is when she replied she only had enough for her and her son.
At this point, Elijah encourages her to go home and make a small cake for him first and then make one for herself and her son. Then he tells her why in 1 Kings 17:14 For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.
She was obedient and did as he asked and found that day after day, they were all fed during the remainder of the famine.
In Isaiah 58:6-7, we read this verse: 6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? 7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
Notice verse 7, to feed the hungry. This poor widow did that. She was willing to give up her portion of the cake to feed Elijah but when she returned to make the second cake as he had instructed her, she found enough ingredients to make another whole cake! She gave sacrificially and God rewarded her for her obedience.
Once again, the author, Elmer Towns, list seven steps along with principles to help you work through your fast for desiring to help others to meet their needs.
The St Paul Fast
This particular fast is to help with making decisions. We all have decisions to make and some may be harder to make than others. Seeking the help of the Father through fasting will definitely give you your answer.
Once again, looking at our basic verse from Isaiah 58:5-8, we see in verse 8 that God said “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, …“. It is my belief that when we pray starting with the focus on His will for us, our prayers will stay focused on Him. This fast will help us to stay focused on God’s will for us as we make decisions that are bigger than us. AND He will give us the answer we are seeking according to His will.
Do you recall the account of Saul on the Damascus Road? He was struck blind for three days and did not eat or drink. You can read this is Acts 9:9. As you continue to read this account, the Lord worked in His heart during this time as he was faced with the decision to continue on persecuting the Christians or make a change to follow God.
As you and I know, because we have a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, we have an advantage when it comes to making major decisions. Our initial response is to seek Him for His wisdom and know that He will answer us. We hear Him through His Spirit to our spirit and we also hear Him in the Word of God. As mentioned above, God will give us light to help us hear from Him.
Prepping for this fast
Are you faced with a major decision that you need to hear from God? Elmer Towns has a strategy to work through the decision-making process plus steps to follow as well as the covenant to sign. Does it sound like this is a great book? I sure think so! My book is well marked, especially in this chapter.
That’s a Wrap
So, what do you think about these three fasts? Do any sound like one you may need to perform? I strongly recommend the book by Elmer Towns, Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough. You can find it on Amazon or ChristianBook. com.
I found this on the internet and thought you might like it. It is a PDF file for his Bible Study if you would like to do an in-depth study on fasting in conjunction with his book. BIBLICAL_STUDIES_FOR_FASTING_STUDY_GUIDE Elmer Towns
Which fast did I keep?
I promised I would tell you which fast I performed two years ago that I am still walking in that result. You may have guessed it, it is the St Paul Fast. Were you right?
The decision I faced was where to serve in the church. We were fairly new to this city and new to this church but I felt that God wanted me to step up to be of service. The calling I walked under was teaching, primarily in children’s ministry for about 30 years. However, I knew I didn’t have the energy to do that again so I sought the Lord for His direction.
Working through the strategy, steps and principles was a great experience. I narrowed down my solutions to three of five possibilities and presented the three to the Pastor. He selected two of the ministries I was willing to serve in. Today, I am still serving in these ministries: Women’s Ministries Lead and I manage Social Media accounts and our church website. God is good!
So, as always, my dear friend, I invite your comments as I would love to hear from you. Are you interested in fasting? Have you fasted before? Do you have a reason to fast but you are not sure which fast to use? They don’t have to be from this book. God will direct you, however, if you’d like to chat with me about it, drop me a line to connect.
Source: Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough by Elmer L Towns, Regal Books