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✿ Fasting and Prayer--The Cure for Unbelief The disciples asked the Lord why they could not heal a lunatic boy. Jesus said, "Because of your unbelief... Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting" (Mt. 17:14-21). Faith needs prayer for its development and full growth, and prayer needs fasting for the same reason. Fasting has done wonders when used in combination with prayer and faith. This is a Biblical doctrine. ✿ To fast means to abstain from food--that which caused the fall of man (Adam 'n' Eve). ✿ Fasting humbles the soul before God (Ps. 35:13) ✿ Fasting chastens the soul (Ps. 69:10); ✿ It crucifies the appetites and denies them so as to give the entire time to prayer (2Sam. 12:16-23 Mt. 4:1-11). ✿ It manifests earnestness before God to the exclusion of all else (1Cor. 7:5) ✿ It shows obedience ✿ It gives the digestive system a rest (Mt. 6:16-18; 9:15; Lk. 5:33) ✿ It demonstrates the mastery of man over appetites; ✿ It aids in victory over temptation ✿ It helps to attain power over demons; ✿ It develops faith; ✿ It crucifies unbelief; and ✿ It aids in prayer (Mt. 4:1-11; 17:14-21). All believers are supposed to fast, but no regulations or set rules are given as to how long or how often. That is determined by individual desire and needs (Mt. 9:14-15 1Cor. 7:5; Acts 13:1-5). Men should fast when under ✿ chastening (2Sam. 12:16-23); ✿ under judgment (1Kings 21:27); ✿ in need (Ezra 8:21); ✿ in danger (Esther 4); ✿ when worried (Dan. 6:18); ✿ in trouble (Acts 27:9,33) ✿ in spiritual conflict (Mt. 4:1-11); and ✿ when desperate in prayer (Acts 9). Since fasting and prayer are so prominent in the Bible, modern Christians should do more of this until they receive power with God over all the powers of the devil. Many things about fasting and its benefits are not known to modern men, but those through the ages who have been men of great prayer have also fasted much.
I have a very short answer, but this is what I have noticed. When I pray with fasting, it's like lighting a fire to your prayer. For some reason, it intensifies it. Don't ask me why. I am not a Theologian. I am just speaking from experience. Another thing I have noticed is that when I fast, even with little prayer, things change as well. In my opinion, fasting is essential. Also, don't get discouraged by stories of people fasting for 10-40 days, etc and think there's no way you can do that. Start out small (maybe a meal or two, or even a day). God has honored that kind of fast for me.
When you fast, two things happen, first your body fat is diminished. Second there is a loss of blood. When an animal sacrifice was preformed, the blood was drained, the fat was burned. Fasting is a time of self sacrifice. It is symbolic of giving your life, short of death, back to God. Jesus fasted for 40 days,and was carried out of the wilderness. Committing to fasting should be a time of atonement, pray, repentance, and shouldn't be taken lightly, as to make a mockery of God.
In my quest to understand prayer and fasting, my paster told me that we are made up of two parts as a person: "a Spirit person" and "a flesh person." So, what you feed will grow, and what you starve will die.
I thank and agree with Selva, Salem and Jack! As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are to be dead (or in the process of deadening) in flesh/body. When you fast the flesh weakens and the Spirit strengthens (apart from all the health benefits) and this allows strengthening of self-control, reducing desires of flesh (and adversary's intrusion), embracing holiness and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you wholly into the prayer. Blessings of the most High God be with you all!
I was an epileptic for about 18 years of my life. I controled this grand mal siezures with medication. But then I bagan to pray and fasted every Monday for about a year. Then one Wednesday night after church and a trip to dairy queen in a the parking lot of a prayer circle of 4 people God chose to answer that quest. I was healed. The power of the most high fell upon me and the prayer group held me up so that I didn"t fall to the blacktop. I went home and disposed of a three months supply of medication and I am free and whom the son sets free is free indeed.John 8:36 Jesus disciples could not cast out the epeliptic demon so they ask him why not Lord? He said this kind does not come out without much prayer and fasting. Mathew 17:21 Mark 9:29 So with God's help much prayer and fasting all things are possible even the impossible. My salvation is a miracle and my healing is my secound personal miracle of life. Sacrifice of time in prayer and denying your self food are elements that bring about change spiritually. You have to want something with all your heart, mind, soul and body. A ferverent prayer of the rightous man avails much. James 5:16 You can only become righteous through Jesus Christ. John 1:17
Fasting is the Biblical way toward mastering the flesh. It was the first thing Jesus did after His baptism. As we begin our Christian walk of being sanctified, we must exercise control over our flesh, (our sin nature). This begins with recognizing and knowing when the flesh is operating in us! The longer we fast, the louder the flesh screams. Next we must exert our will to rule over our flesh. Jesus demonstrated this by quoting scripture against temptation. We then learn that our power is inadequate and the power of God (the Holy Spirit) living inside us is required to overcome our fleshly desires. The Holy Spirit, “like a dove” came upon Jesus before He went into the wilderness. As this is how Jesus began His ministry, so also is it a demonstration of how we are to proceed in our walk as we grow in faith. As we pray for strength, courage, discernment...we know better and better the voice of the Lord once we know the screaming of the flesh. Fasting teaches us to recognize the difference between the two. Prayer teaches us to know and listen to the Lord.
Well, Man consist of spirit, soul and body (Deuteronomy 6:5; 1 Tessalonians 5:23). and Paul told us to live by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:16-26). Then, we should pray with all of our spirit, soul and body, but the problem is that our body/flesh, the sinful nature desires is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit is contrary to the sinful nature.(Galatians 5:17-26). In general, fasting is stop eating and drinking in a certain time (Esther 4:16; Luke 4:2), as a matter of fact, fasting is to crucify our flesh desires (Galatians 5:24) and to deny ourselves (Mathew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23), because our flesh desires is an entrance gate for an evil doings and temptations (Genesis 3:6; Luke 4:1-13). In conclusion, fasting is to eliminate any obstacle in prayer, so that our prayer will be accepted by the LORD.(Psalm 6:8-9) To God be the glory!
As Christians, we are instructed to pray and give thanks continually in our day to day lives, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Fasting is setting yourself in the spirit environment for long periods of time, just you and God, your full attention. God looks upon the sincerity of your heart and the importance of the issues and praises brought before him. I believe only personal matters that you would like God's intervention should be mentioned during your fasting. Let your day to day prays be for others that are in need.
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