There are several benefits of fasting and prayer, but today we’ll explore the spiritual and biblical importance, the types and concepts of fasting and prayers. Basically, it is not only Christian that do fast, other religions are also fast. Now, it is important that you understand the scriptural guideline in order to enjoy the benefits of fasting and prayer.
In Christendom, fasting and prayers go beyond starvation of food, drinks, and pleasure. A fasting period is usually a solemn time to seek God’s face, in truth and honor, for renewal of spiritual strength, power, miracles, or anything.
The book of Ezra 8:21 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.
This means, during fasting and prayer, you are to humble yourself before your maker and ask him for whatever you want. Before Jesus Christ began His ministry, He fasted forty days and nights in the wilderness. The Bible also recorded that Moses fasted for 40 days.
Personally, I do fasting and prayer, though not 40 days, the longest I have done was 9 days. And anytime I fast and pray, I always experience God in a new dimension. In this article, we’ll extensively discuss the benefit of fasting and prayers from the bible and my personal experience.
Meaning of Fasting And Prayer?
Basically, fasting means depriving yourself of foods, drinks, and pleasure for religious, healthy, ethical, or ritualistic purposes. The difference between religious fasting and others is the prayer involved. These days, people fast to lose weight, such fasting does not require prayers.
The scriptural and religious fasting goes along with prayers. Fasting without prayers is incomplete, it is called starvation. That is why it is called fasting and prayers. Whenever you are fasting, don’t be too tired to pray, always alone.
The Concept of Fasting and Prayer
The fasting and praying period is a time of total submission before God. It subdues the works of the flesh and increases the works of the spirit if you do it with sincerity. You might look fragile physically but spiritually, your strength is renewed.
If you really want to achieve the spiritual benefits of fasting and prayer, isolate yourself to a quiet place anytime you want to fast. It could be your room, waterside, mountain, or wilderness as Jesus did. Praying to God in a quiet place makes you concentrate and hear when God speaks. Fasting and praying in a quiet place will also help you to focus on your supplication, and avoid distraction.
The devil can tempt and distract you with anything to hinder your prayers if you are not careful. Distraction can come in the form of anger, bitterness, hatred, and so on.
In Isaiah 58:1-14, some people complained they fasted before God and He was not impressed, they have been very hard on themselves but He did not notice them? And He responded you fasted to please yourselves and not me. While you are fasting, you keep oppressing others, quarreling, and fighting. Verse 4, This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me. Verse 6 of the chapter, further states the kind of fasting God wants from us and how to live as a true worshipper for God to answer our prayers.
Matthew 6:16 -18 explains that when you are fast, you shouldn’t make it obvious, don’t look dirty and unclean. Look good, don’t let anyone notice you are fasting, let it be between you and your maker who sees everything and He will reward you. These are biblical principles that can make us enjoy the benefits of fasting and prayers.
Why Fasting And Prayers?
There are many reasons why we fast and pray. Apart from the spiritual benefits, it is also good for your health if you do it moderately.
The first reason for fasting and prayer is that it helps you to spend more time and focus on God. Whenever I am fasting and praying, I don’t go out. I stay indoors for days, all I do is read the Bible and pray. I spend the majority of the hours praying during fasting.
Secondly, Fasting shows your commitment and seriousness to whatever you are asking God to do during that period. Except you are not doing it sincerely. God cherishes those with strong faith and serious desire. Joel 2:12 Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
Thirdly, fasting and praying are one of the fastest ways to experience God’s supernatural power and the flow of the Holy Spirit. Fasting and praying connect you to a higher spiritual realm. The reason why many Pastors and Church leaders embark on regular fasting.
Medically, fasting can help you lose weight. There is what is called intermittent fasting, doctors recommend it to those with obesity or overweight. It is an eating pattern that curbs the rate at which you eat.
Benefits of Fasting and Prayer
The bible records different instances where people fast and pray before a major breakthrough. Therefore, fasting and praying prepare you for a supernatural blessing. Even though there are numerous benefits of fasting and prayers, we classify them into five.
Fasting and prayer help you to receive God’s direction and guidance – Anytime I pray and ask God for something and I did not receive a revelation on my request, I go into fasting and praying. A few years ago, I was praying to God for direction, and God didn’t reveal anything to me. After some time, I went on the mountain to fast and pray for three days. Behold, I received the directions before I left the mountain.
Daniel fasted for God’s guidance in Daniel 9: 3, and in Daniel 9:21-22, he received guidance. In Exodus 34:28, Moses fasted for forty days and forty nights to receive the ten commandments. Fasting and praying will help you make the right decision when you are confused.
Fasting and prayer bring victory: Some longing battles require fasting and praying. Jehoshaphat begged God for guidance and asked the people of Judah to start fasting when he heard they were surrounded by the vast army from Edom. 2 Chronicles 20:2-3. The fasting and prayer brought victory to the Israelites.
Another benefit of fasting and prayer is the development of spiritual gifts: When you deprive yourself of things that you usually do, and focus on fasting and prayer, you are giving room for the Holy Spirit to freely operate within you. The presence of the Holy Spirit in you enhances your spiritual gift, He will guide and direct you. Fasting and prayer can help you develop your spiritual gift.
Fasting and prayer is a means of penance and repentance: Fasting humbles you, it is a way to show remorse before God when you disobey or commit sin. David fasted and prayed to God, pleading for His mercy – 2 Samuel 12:15-25. Nehemiah also fasted and prayed for God’s forgiveness Nehemiah 1: 4-11.
Fasting and prayer bring you closer to God: Prayer generally connects you to God, and when you combine both it brings intimacy between you and God. The urge to sin will no longer be there, and the Holy Spirit will flow
Thanksgiving Prayer Fasting And Praying
Appreciating God after fasting is very important. I usually dedicate the last day of the fasting to appreciate Him for answering my prayers even though I’m yet to receive the result, but I believe strongly He has done it.
Start the first day of your fasting with thanksgiving and end the last day with thanksgiving. Always appreciate God more than your request, God is happy when you show appreciation.
Thank God for giving you the grace and energy to fast and pray, appreciate God for renewing your strength and uplifting you spiritually.
No doubt fasting and praying have many benefits, it ranges from spiritual, physical, and mental. However, some people are not medically fit for fasting, especially those with underlying health conditions. Know your strength and limit in fasting, whichever type of fasting you want to do, ensure you pray along. These benefits of fasting and prayer are to guide you when next you want to fast. And as you fast and pray, the Lord will grant all your requests in Jesus’ name.
I hope this blesses you? Drop a comment below and share your experience in fasting and prayer. Feel free to share with family and friends, it might be of good help.