THE EFFICACY OF FASTING
We thank God for this season of history making in the Redeemed Christian Church of God all over the world through the 100 days of fasting. We thank God for making us a part of this dispensation; we could not have had it better. One of the prophecies given to us by Daddy G.O. for this year is that “destines of individuals, families and even churches will be determined this year”. In other words this is a destiny determining year. One of the surest ways to realize a prophecy is through prayer and fasting as prophecies not prayed about may not be realized. This was confirmed by our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 17:21 where He said that some situation will not go except by prayer and fasting.
It is therefore imperative for us to share some thought on fasting as it affects us.
What is fasting?
Fasting can be described as refraining from food, drinks and or other legitimate practices that gives pleasure to the body.
Why do we fast?
a) Seeking to know God in a deeper experience Exo 34:28; 1 Samuel 7:8, 1 Kings 19:8, Matthew 6:12
b) It is a time of confession Psalm 69:10
c) A time of seeking deeper prayer experience and drawing near to God in prevailing prayers Ezra 8:23
d) It may also be to seek God’s will for leadership in Local church Act 13:2
e) To know the mind of God
f) To seek help from God 1Chronicles 20; Esther 4:16
g) To eliminate all enemies of progress who have refused to repent and change
h) To humble ourselves before God Psalm 33:13, Ezra 8:21
i) Fasting can transform our prayer life and bring revival unto us
j) To handle situations that appears very tough and resilient Matthew 17:14-21
k) It is a spiritual discipline that enables us control and tame our flesh and also connects us to the Spirit of God. Matthew 4:1-11
l) It helps not only our spiritual but also our physical body because it keeps us away from ‘toxics’ that we daily ‘feed’ our body system with.
m) Fasting may be required when facing national crisis in a nation. 2 Chronicles 20:3; Ezra 8:31; Esther 4:16
n) For individual needs Matthew 17:21
o) During period of distress 2 Sam 3:35; Psalm 35:13
p) When facing physical or spiritual decision Matthew 4:2, Act 13:2
Who should fast?
Every Christian should and must fast regularly except those with certain peculiar situations, for instance;
a) Pregnant women and nursing mothers
b) Elders above 70 years except, those who are used to fasting.
c) Persons who take insulin for diabetes or with other blood sugar issue (for medical reasons)
d) Newly married couple. Though, they may choose to be part of it if they both agree.
e) On the advice of Doctor, particularly, if your faith can not carry it.
Benefits of fasting
a) Heavy burdens are relieved through fasting Isaiah 58
b) Wisdom is obtained through fasting Daniel. 10
c) Revival comes Isaiah 58:6
d) God’s protection from danger is secured by fasting 1 Kings 21:27-29
e) Recovery of a sick loved one may come after fasting Psalm 35:12
f) Inauguration of a great ministry may follow fasting Matthew 4:2
g) Uncommon victory comes after fasting Matthew 4:1-11
h) It’s a time of reward. Prayers are answered with fasting.
What to do when fasting
a) Pray ceaselessly. Fasting without prayer is like dieting. Mark 9:29 Be in attitude of prayer always. It is necessary that fasting be complemented with prayer. Both must go hand in hand. Fasting is useless without prayers.
b) Read, study and meditate on the word of God. Revelations comes very often while fasting and studying the word of God
c) Avoid unnecessary and idle talk. Let your spirit man be in consonance with the Holy Spirit.
d) Be in attitude of worship always and take time to praise and worship God
e) Rearrange your schedule (especially when you are embarking on long fast) to accommodate the fast. Remember that fasting involves giving up the physical for the spiritual therefore allow room for Spiritual to thrive
f) Be watchful in all things
g) Sow generous seeds. Isaiah 58:7. It is a time to sow into the life of people and the work of God as God is surely going to reward the sower. Galatians 6:9-10
Type of Fast
Absolute fast: This is where you fast for a continuous numbers of days without breaking or eating (e.g. 3 days, 7 days, 21 days, 40 days etc.) In absolute fasting, we are encouraged to always take fluid e.g. water.
Paul in Act 9:9; Jesus in Matthew 4:24; Moses in Deuteronomy 9:9; Elijah in 1 Kings 19:8;
Normal fast: This is done on day to day basis where you break the fast at the end of each day. Children and the elderly may take shorter hours in observing their fasting.
General Tips for fasting
a) When hunger comes during fasting it is to remind you to pray. When you pray as soon as the hunger comes, the devil will not want the hunger to surface again because of the prayer. The devil obviously does not like prayers.
b) Fasting must be done in proper manner acceptable to God as instructed by our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 6:16-18
c) When breaking a fast after a long while do not start with solid or heavy food but fluid like water, pap, custard etc. Avoid carbonated drinks for a start.
d) Eat lots of fruits and vegetables while breaking your fast.
e) Do not eat excessively while breaking your fast
f) Avoid physical activity as much as possible. Exercise moderately and rest as much as your schedules will permit.╦
THE EFFICACY OF FASTING