Last week, the church started its 21-day fast that consists of two weeks eating fruits and vegetables, followed by one week of liquids only; however, God told the Apostle that what He is doing is too great and instructed Him to modify the fast to one week of fruits and vegetables, followed by two weeks of liquids only. Consequently, for the next two weeks, we will be doing a total fast. In addition, we will also have a service every night from 7:30 – 9:30 pm; communion will be taken every night. If you are able, come join us during these next two weeks and be a part of what God is doing. Then, on the 30th of January, we will break the fast, humbling ourselves before God and praying for His presence and revival.
A Call to Fast
So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.
There is a call of God to seek His face through fasting and prayer. In Scripture, we can see that Moses, Jesus, Paul, and the early church lived by a pattern of fasting and prayer. Nowadays, it is very rare to hear or see people fast. This ministry is an exception. The foundation of this ministry has been praying and fasting. The Apostle lives by a pattern in his personal life to fast two days every week. Whenever he goes to another country to minister, he fasts three to four days before going, seeking God for the specific word that God has for the church and the country he is visiting. In his experience, he has seen ministers of other churches laugh at people who fast and pray, saying it is of the Law and not of the New Testament and, therefore, is not biblical. Here is a fact: most of the religions in the world fast – for physical and spiritual cleansing. There is power to it.
Last Sunday, we honored God with our first fruits, and we will continue to do so the rest of the month, but fasting is a way to consecrate ourselves in the beginning of the year. There is a call to fast. God is calling us to seek His face.
Fasting is an act of humbling your soul.
Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.
Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting.
We have forgotten that fasting is part a weapon of warfare, and the reason it is not practiced is because we don’t believe it can produce results. God is telling us to humble ourselves through fasting and prayer because we need to remember that everything we have comes from God. Therefore, we are dependent on Him and not in our own strength.
What is Fasting?
Fasting is the abstinence of food—to willingly not eat—with the purposes of:
- Seeking His face: To develop communion with God; for the sake of having a closer relationship with Him.
- Asking for His favor: We need the favor of God in all areas of our lives, so during our fast and prayer time, we present to God the needs and desires of our heart.
Returning to God
“Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
God is telling us to return to Him with all our hearts with fasting, weeping, and mourning. To return to God means to seek Him. Sometimes, we get so distracted with our daily affairs that we forget to seek God and get into His presence. But God is saying to come back to Him, not just with our words but with fasting, prayer, and weeping. We need to reignite our passion for God, for His will, for service to Him, for the souls, for His presence, and for worship, and God is telling us that the way to do it is through fasting and prayer.
Kinds of Fasting
1. Partial Fast
I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.
A partial fast is when you abstain from eating certain foods or meals. When you abstain from certain foods, you stop eating that which you enjoy the most for the duration of your fast. For example, you can fast with vegetables and fruits, not eating sweets, bread, rice, or meats. When you abstain from eating a meal, or two, you basically decide which meal of the day you will not eat . You can also include in your fast the abstinence of certain things that you know take time away from your relationship with God. For example, if you are addicted to watching too much television, fast watching television and spend more time seeking God’s presence.
2. Total Fast
A total fast is when you only drink water and liquids. Some people in the body of Christ are afraid to fast. They worry about fainting or dying. However, your body has reserves that can help you last 40 days on water alone. You can fast a total fast of 14 days.
The Best Time to Fast
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But 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.
Another translation of this verse says, “Whenever you fast…” Jesus did not say to fast when you feel led to do it. In other words, fasting is a willing decision of your heart. You can fast whenever you want. In verses 17-18, God says to fast privately, and He will reward you publicly. The kingdom is a kingdom of rewards. Your list of petitions is the list of your rewards.
Purposes of the Congregational Fast
- Divine guidance for 2011
- Breakthrough in every area
- Open doors for preaching the Gospel to the world
- Commitment, consecration, and dedication to God
- Personal and church finances
- Jobs for the people
- The family
- Creative miracles, signs, and wonders
- Revelation and manifestation of God’s glory and power
- The next level of growth (30,000)
- For Miami and the United States
You need the revelation of why fasting is important in order to see its benefits. If you do it for God and not for man, God will reward you publicly. People will see that fasting does produce results because you will have the car, healing, job, house, spouse, business, or whatever you were fasting for. So enter into your fast with joy in the Holy Ghost!
When to Fast
- When someone you know needs healing
- In a time of grief
- When you see danger coming
- When you see a threat
- When the Lord has prophesied a divine judgment
- When you desire to humble yourself in God’s presence
- When you need to repent and change your ways
- To commission ministers/elders in ministry
- For spiritual warfare
- When you need a breakthrough in any area of your life
- For a personal miracle
- During a crisis time
What to do When You Fast
- Study the Bible
- Seek His presence
Stay away from the kitchen and from smelling foods.
A fast is the perfect time to change behavioral patterns that stop you from seeking God.
Who Needs to Fast
Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. 16 Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber.
Everyone needs to fast, not just pastors or leaders. In Joel 2, God includes everyone, even the nursing children, because God wants you and your family to learn the power of fasting and prayer. Teach your children how to fast. Make fasting a lifestyle in your home. The enemy is afraid of people who fast. So take up your weapon of warfare—fasting and prayer—and defeat the enemy!
For more information on our 2011 congregational fast see our 2011 Congregational Fast Guide.
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