Do you have chains that need to be broken, do you need a breakthrough in your life? I had the privilege of being raised by a prayer warrior. My mother taught us to pray and depend on God from when we were children. I have been blessed with a woman of God that prays for me now that my mother is gone. I believe in the power of prayer and fasting is a spiritual atomic bomb. Fasting is abstaining from food for the sole purpose of focusing on God. This is not a way to manipulate God into giving you the desires of your heart, but a way of drawing closer to God. For me, when I start worrying about the stressors of life, it is because I have not set my burdens at Jesus’ feet. When I take everything to God in prayer, I trust that He will handle it and all I have to do is chill or do my part whatever that may be.
Fasting is not easy, in fact it seems as though when you decide to fast the devil will find ways to distract you and to discourage you. There are times when I decided I was going to fast and somehow I found myself eating and then remembered that I was supposed to be fasting. It seems as though I can be busy and go hours without eating but that moment when I decide I am fasting, I become extremely hungry. Being hungry brings about physical symptoms like headaches, irritability, hunger pains, difficulty concentrating etc but don’t let that discourage you. Depending on your schedule I suggest tailoring your fasting to your activities for instance, I don’t go for my runs when fasting because that requires fuel.
I have times when I fast alone for specific breakthroughs in my life and other times I fast with my best friend or a group of family and friends. It can be missing one meal or one of our popular ones is 6am to 5 or 6pm for a specified amount of time drinking liquids through out the day or on a weekend off refraining from food for 24-48 hours and drinking only water or liquids. There is also a Daniel fast where you refrain from sweets, meat, bread or dairy. Your diet would consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grain, legumes, water. Obviously if you have health problems you have to find ways to modify. No one fast is better than the other, the state of your heart is what matters.
I have countless experiences in my life when things were difficult and I fasted and prayed and God opened up doors for me or made a way where there seemed to be no way. Fasting and praying is an important part of our spiritual growth. I don’t advocate fasting to the point of being detrimental to your health. There are ways to fast safely and again for those with medical conditions its important to consult with your medical practitioner about the safest way to fast. To start, I would suggest missing one meal, replace with fluids and choose a time to pray. Could be every hour or every 2 hours, and it doesn’t have to be formal kneeling down, you can pray wherever you are. Take time to read God’s word and meditate on it. Use this time to just enjoy being in God’s presence.
My best friend and I will do a partial fast for 10 days or Daniel fast for 21 days. We share our prayer requests and at the end of the 10 days or 21 days we have a session where we praise God and pray together. She lives far from me, it would be nice if we lived close and we could break the fast together. When I complete a fast, I know that God has answered my prayer whether I get what I asked for or not. If it is not what is best for me then I don’t want it. He sees the future, trust that He knows what is best for you! I love this article by Marilyn Hickey on the power of prayer and fasting.