Fasting (Bible Study)

WHY FAST?

  1. To get Heaven’s (God’s) attention: You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high. Isaiah 58:4 NIV (Implying fasting correctly can get Heaven’s attention)
  2. Necessary for certain diseases to be healed/evil spirits to leave: So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” Mark 9:29 NKJV 
  3. Fasting not an option but a necessity/Get rewarded for fasting: when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Mt 6:17,18 NIV
  4. Receive power: Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry… Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. Luke 4:1,2,14 NIV

EXAMPLES OF PEOPLE WHO FASTED

  • Queen Esther: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”… When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter. Esther 4:16 & 5:2
  • Ninevites: The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth…Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. Jonah 3:5,7 NIV
  • Israelites: There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask Him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and He answered our prayer. The hand of our God was on us, and he protected us from enemies and bandits along the way.  Ezra 8:21,23,31 NIV

HOW

Do what you can: She did what she could. Mark 14:8 NIV e.g. Meal once a week 

LIFESTYLE OF FASTING

Daniel: Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank Daniel 1:8 NASB

Jesus: I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” Mt 26:29 NIV