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Author Topic: Prayer and FASTING?  (Read 2340 times)

Offline me again

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Prayer and FASTING?
« on: November 12, 2014, 04:56:28 PM »
It’s interesting that Jesus said, “…when you fast...” (Matt. 6:16). Jesus didn’t say, “…if you fast…” but He said "when" you fast. The implication is that fasting is something that His disciples will do.

There is an incident in the book of Mark where a father complained to Jesus that His disciples could not cast a demon out of his son. Jesus explained that “…some kind come not out but by prayer and fasting…” (Mark 9:29). The book of Matthew describes the inability of the disciples to cast the demon out because of “a lack of faith” (Matt. 17:19-20).  Subsequently, it appears that spiritual authority (at least in the above case) is connected to THE BIG THREE: PRAYER, FASTING AND FAITH.

Nine months ago, I vowed to give up beer for one year and to go on a one-day water fast every week for the rest of my life, until I stand before the Lord Jesus. The fast is begun on Tuesday at 9:00 PM and it ends sometime on Thursday around noon (about 36 hours). The fast is broken with vegetable juice because it eases the body back into eating with the least amount of shock.

Questions for you:
(1) Do you fast for the Lord Jesus?
(2) What is your fasting regimen?
(3) What kind of goals or intentions do you have for fasting?
(4) How many years have you been fasting and what prompted you to start fasting?
(5) What results have you achieved from fasting, if any?
(6) What are your spiritual, mental, emotional and physical experiences with fasting?
"So then, stand firm and hold to the traditions :o which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

Offline Quasar

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Re: Prayer and FASTING?
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2014, 12:26:05 PM »
Keep in mind re fasting, Jesus ministry in His first advent was EXCLUSIVELY to Israel.  It had nothing at all to do with the Church, because it did not exist then.  Because the Holy Spirit had not yet arrived, recorded in Jn.7:39, until at Pentecost, ten days after Jesus ascended into heaven, recorded in Acts 1:9 and in 2:1-3.

With that in mind, together with Rom.10:4 and Heb.8:13, fasting is not to be a responsibility of the one body of Christ, as He fulfilled all of the Law for us, as recorded in Mt.5:17-18, that also reflects the continuation of the Law with Judaism until the Lord's return.


Quasar
"I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except by me."  Jn.14:6.

Offline Zaph

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Re: Prayer and FASTING?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2014, 06:39:08 PM »
I have done a weeks worth of nothing but vegetable juice. Never felt better actually. However, I'll be honest and say that I didn't do it with the purpose of Biblical fasting in mind. It was out of a motive to see what happens.

I don't believe that fasting is some kind of rite that magically draws us closer to God. Depriving your body of food for a while actually has the affect of clearing our mind. I believe the physical bodily results from fast allow our minds to hear the voice of God more clearly. When you eat the body diverts blood to your stomach to aid in the digest process. So if there is no food to be digested more blood flows freely to brain. Some make take me to task over this and that is ok.

I think fasting is a really good practice. Especially the idea of one day a week. However, the question is WHY are you fasting?

Mat 6:16  Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Mat 6:17  But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
Mat 6:18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

Offline me again

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Re: Prayer and FASTING?
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2014, 08:28:11 AM »
Quote from: Zaph
I have done a weeks worth of nothing but vegetable juice. Never felt better actually.

It seems that on a juice fast, someone could go on forever.

Quote from: Zaph
However, I'll be honest and say that I didn't do it with the purpose of Biblical fasting in mind. It was out of a motive to see what happens.

Jesus fasted. His disciples fasted, presumably after Jesus was risen from the dead, which means it is acceptable for us to fast.

Quote from: Zaph
However, the question is WHY are you fasting?

Mat 6:16  Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Mat 6:17  But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
Mat 6:18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

Yes, I try to put on a good countenance while fasting and do not disclose to anyone that I'm doing it, except to my family because I have to provide a reason for not eating while they are partaking.

As I wrap up my life, I decided to fast into the closing chapter (for the rest of my life) -- and to do it for the Lord.

There have been others who have said that they received answers to prayer after fasting. My prayer-intention is to try and get closer to God, which means:
- being in His will
- discerning His will
- walking in the same demonstrated POWER that the disciples walked in.

As a comparison and contrast: It's interesting to note that the Apostle Paul had the power and authority to cast out unclean spirits, but he did not have the power to stop men from beating him up. One minute, Paul was casting out an unclean spirit -- and the next minute, he is being roughed up by men. Look at Acts 16:16-24 as a scriptural example.

Quote from: Zaph
I don't believe that fasting is some kind of rite that magically draws us closer to God.

I do not know the spiritual and physical mechanics behind fasting. I only know four basic things:
1. Jesus did it
2. Jesus said that some kinds of demons cannot come out except by prayer and fasting
3. Jesus' disciples fasted, presumably after His resurrection
4. I have heard Christians say that God answered their petitions/prayers after a fast.

Quote from: Zaph
Depriving your body of food for a while actually has the affect of clearing our mind. I believe the physical bodily results from fast allow our minds to hear the voice of God more clearly. When you eat the body diverts blood to your stomach to aid in the digest process. So if there is no food to be digested more blood flows freely to brain. Some make take me to task over this and that is ok.

I do not know the physical and spiritual mechanics (magic ritual, so to speak) behind fasting, except for the four points noted above. Obviously, there is something spiritual that is connected to fasting because in some cases, demons cannot come out, unless the prayer against them is in conjunction with fasting.

Quote from: Zaph
I think fasting is a really good practice. Especially the idea of one day a week.

That comes out to 52 days a year!!! Jesus fasted for 40 days straight, which I won't do for health reasons, unless the Lord calls me to do it, but fasting once weekly adds up to over 40 days a year -- so hopefully there is a long-term spiritual benefit. The bottom line is:
1. To get closer to God.
2. To be in His will.
3. To discern His will.
NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!!!

« Last Edit: November 22, 2014, 12:24:41 PM by me again »
"So then, stand firm and hold to the traditions :o which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

Offline Zaph

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Re: Prayer and FASTING?
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2014, 09:04:38 PM »
When I saw this topic I thought of this news story I saw a while back. I thought you might find it interesting.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/10878625/Fasting-for-three-days-can-regenerate-entire-immune-system-study-finds.html

Offline me again

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Re: Prayer and FASTING?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2014, 10:12:51 PM »
When I saw this topic I thought of this news story I saw a while back. I thought you might find it interesting.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/10878625/Fasting-for-three-days-can-regenerate-entire-immune-system-study-finds.html

Yes, it appears that fasting has some health benefits that can be scientifically measured. This is a gross topic, but I'll write it anyway since I'm anonymous on this forum: I always get diarrhea after fasting for a day and a half -- without fail. It is the strangest thing.

I've come across a great deal of resistance to fasting for various reasons:
- "I'm a diabetic and I cannot miss a meal."
- "I have health problems and I cannot miss meals."
- "I have too many stressful things in my life that prevent me from fasting."
- "Fasting is a waste of time. You'd be better off not fasting."
- "Fasting is not for the New Testament covenant. It is only for the Old Covenant."
- "God doesn't need you to fast."
« Last Edit: November 26, 2014, 07:51:04 AM by me again »
"So then, stand firm and hold to the traditions :o which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

Offline Zaph

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Re: Prayer and FASTING?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2014, 05:15:37 PM »
I've come across a great deal of resistance to fasting for various reasons:

Even without health problems many will object because they can't imagine denying themselves something even for a couple of days. This reminds me of something although it's a bit off topic (but related) but this verse came to mind as I read your post.

Pro_23:21  For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

A few years ago this verse struck me in a new light. The Bible makes no distinction between the over-eater and the drunkard. It was a new thought to me that I'm just as bad as the drunkard when I can't control my appetite when I sit down to eat. I now believe this is the case because when we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us we also have self-control (temperance). So over eating is just a symptom of ?????

Gal 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Sorry... didn't mean to side track you topic so much. Back to fasting we go.

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Re: Prayer and FASTING?
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2014, 07:47:06 AM »
A few years ago this verse struck me in a new light. The Bible makes no distinction between the over-eater and the drunkard. It was a new thought to me that I'm just as bad as the drunkard when I can't control my appetite when I sit down to eat. I now believe this is the case because when we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us we also have self-control (temperance). So over eating is just a symptom of ?????

It's interesting that you mention that because I was just recalling when a preacher said that "drunkenness and gluttony" are always mentioned together in the bible. That's an interesting correlation.

As a side-note, I am unable to fast when I drink beer. If I drink just one or two beers (no excess), then I completely lose my ability to fast the next day or two days later. I do not understand the physiological or psychological correlation -- except that I cannot fast and drink in the same week. I just assumed that I'm an anomaly -- not exactly sure though. 
« Last Edit: November 26, 2014, 07:54:00 AM by me again »
"So then, stand firm and hold to the traditions :o which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

 

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