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Why You Need to Fast and Pray

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Is fasting something you do on a regular basis?

For the past year, my church has been having regular fasting days at the end of every month. The last Tuesday-Thursday of each month was dedicated to prayer and fasting as a church body.

I also am part of a community of women who spend one day in prayer and fasting each month.

At the end of each fasting period, there have been many testimonies of God’s provisions and victories.

“He answered, “Because of your little faith [your lack of trust and confidence in the power of God]; for I assure you and most solemnly say to you, if you have [living] faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and [if it is God’s will] it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. [But this kind of demon does not go out except by prayer and fasting.]” Matthew 17:20-22 AMP

Let me ask you again. Do you fast on a regular basis?

Fasting is a way to remind us that we need to be totally dependent on God for all things. Every time you feel hungry during a fast, that is a prompt to keep praying. That is a reminder that you are human and are in need of a mighty God.

Esther called for a fast before pleading for the lives of her people. God granted her an amazing victory and the people were saved!

Are you in need of divine provision and protection? Do you need God’s guidance? Looking for a way to express grief or repentance? Do you need a breakthrough like yesterday?

Maybe you need to go on a fast.

Fasting is very personal. How long and what to fast from are really between you and God. But here are a few general principles to get you started.

Have a purpose for fasting

It’s important to know why you are fasting. Otherwise, you won’t make it. There are many reasons to fast. If you aren’t sure of your why, here are a few things to consider:

  • to strengthen your prayers
  • to ask God for direction
  • to express grief/repentance
  • to ask for deliverance or protection
  • to be humble before the Lord
  • to overcome temptation

Set a length

The Bible is full of fasts of varying lengths of time.  There is no right or wrong length to a fast. Often your circumstances and purpose will dictate the length of your fast. Here are some options:

  • set numbers of days (7, 14, 40)
  • a consistent day each month (every Monday, the last Friday, etc)
  • fasting until you get what you are seeking from God

Choose your type of fast 

Traditionally a fast means no food. But there are times when going without food isn’t possible. If you have health problems or if you are pregnant/nursing, here are some things that have worked for me in the past:
  • dedicating a specific time to prayer and silence before God
  • media fast
  • fasting from negative thoughts
  • no sweets (or your favorite treat)

What is your biggest struggle when it comes to fasting?

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  1. Thanks for this. Our church does not do fasting but I have been wanting to know more about it and when to do it. Have a great day.

  2. I like your options for fasting. It’s a chore for me to go w/o food. But chores are good! My friend fasts breakfast and lunch – that works for me. I’m wondering about the third one: when we attempt to fast til God answers, aren’t we telling Him what to do a little too much? Just wondering.

    1. Sue thanks for your comment. Fasting is about humbling ourselves before God. Learning to lean and depend 100% on Him only. Fasting until God answers is not about telling Him what to do. It’s about committing to humbling ourselves before God so that we can hear clearly. God promises to answer when we call. So we aren’t asking Him to do something outside of His character or will.

      What you don’t want to do is say, “God I’m going to fast until you tell me what I want to hear.” There have been times when God has answered my fast with a no. It wasn’t what I wanted but it was an answer nonetheless.

  3. Thanks for the encouragement to fast and the explanations for how to go about it. This is something I want to incorporate, but keep being unsure how. I do like the idea of doing it with a group!

  4. Latoya, thank you for this post! I want to focus more on this and I like your idea of once a month. Thank you for these ideas!

  5. I was in a great habit of fasting and I loved what it did for my spiritual life. I’ve long been out of that wonderful habit now. Thanks for this reminder. I truly miss it. Great ideas you’ve shared for different types of fasting. I’m desperately in need of a good media fast too :).

  6. I need to get back to the practice of fasting. It always helps me to remember my total dependence upon God for all my needs.

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