Many followers of Jesus Christ want to be able to hear more clearly from Him and have wondered if there is a way to improve this essential ability. Spending time with Jesus helps us hear from Him, but often the “noise” of busyness, distractions and other desires drown out His voice. For centuries, combining fasting with prayer has been a time-honored way of reducing the clutter and noise around us so we can hear from God. God has used fasting in my own life and countless others to deepen our walk with Him.
What is Fasting?
Fasting is going without food or certain activities for a period of time in order to focus on God; to deepen our hunger for God and increase our sensitivity to His voice. Fasting feeds our hunger for God. Fasting can be a powerful time in the life of those who love God and want to grow deeper in their relationship with Him. But many aren’t sure how to fast or what to do while they are fasting. That’s what this guide is for.
Fasting as a church
In 2015 we asked God to ignite prayer in us. He is! Now in 2017 He is
taking us deeper. He wants us to experience the power of fasting and prayer and has called me to lead us through a graduated, step-by-step process over a one-month period. I believe this will be a powerful time of breakthrough and intimacy with God for each of us and therefore for Church of the Open Door as a whole! Each of us can follow this process and grow in our relationship with God. This is meant to be a corporate exercise not just an individual one, so encourage each other. Join a LifeGroup and share with each other how it’s going.
Types of Fasting:
Liquid Fast: This Fast is the restriction of solid food intake, and replacement of solid food with liquids. All throughout the day, make sure you drink plenty of water, as well as, fruit juices, vegetable juices, herbal teas, smoothies and broth.
Daniel Fast: The Daniel Fast is modeled after the spiritual practices of Daniel. Basically, the Daniel Fast is to abstain from eating meat and to eat only what comes from the ground that have not been refined or processed.
Media Fast: For this type of Fast, abstain from anything that would personally distract us from our purposes in the Fast (e.g. television, social media, video games, hanging out, idle conversations, texting, gossip etc.)
Hungering for God
Whenever you feel a craving to eat or use media, stop right there and ask God to deepen your hunger for Him. Tell Him you want to learn what Jesus meant in John 4:32 and Matthew 4:4. (Guess you’re gonna have to look those up!) Fasting helps you feed on God.
You will have more time on your hands than normal; don’t fill it with activities. Spend it praying and reading God’s Word (i.e. the Gospels or Psalms) and a book such as:
The Pursuit of God -A.W. Tozer
Learn to Breathe -Jim Mindling
Renovation of the Heart -Dallas Willard
A Hunger for God –John Piper
Knowing God –J.I. Packer
Listening to God –Jan Johnson