Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Fasting as Spiritual Warfare: Part 2 - Some Practical Suggestions

The first time I ever fasted was after reading Richard Foster’s book A Celebration of Discipline. Were I to list the top 10 books outside of the Bible that have influenced me, Foster’s book would be on that list. After reading his chapter on “Fasting,” I felt motivated to begin to practice it.

Here are some more practical thoughts I have about fasting.

Accompany a fast where you have no food with water and fruit juices.

If you have not practiced fasting before, then try a one-day fast. Go without food for 24 hours.
Drink only water, and perhaps add fruit juices.

Allow God to lead you in regard to the spiritual focus of your fast. For example, you may choose to fast and pray for a specific person in your life. During your fast, when you feel hungry, let that sensation of hunger be your reminder to pray for that person. In praying for that person, pray the 6 “Prayer Hooks” of the Lord’s Prayer.

For example:

1) “I pray that ______ would hallow Your name, Lord.”
2) “I pray that the Kingdom would come in _____’s life.”
3) “I pray that Your will would be done in _____’s life.”
4) “I pray that ______ would receive daily bread.”
5) “I pray that ______ would understand how Your Cross brings forgiveness for _____’s debts, and that ______ would extend that forgiveness to any who have sinned against _______.”
6) I pray, God, that You would protect _______ from the evil one, and not let _______ fall into the evil one’s traps.”

You may choose to fast for breakthrough and victory in some area of your life that is not pleasing to God. This will likely include prayers of brokenness before God. And prayers of breakthrough by the power of God.

NOTE: If you have a medical condition that does not allow you to fast from food, then read this article by Richard Foster called “Fasting: Twentieth Century Style” to see other areas to fast from.

If you want to study more about fasting, in addition to Foster’s book, I recommend:
- Bill Bright, The Transforming Power of Prayer and Fasting: Personal Account of Spiritual Renewal
- Bill Bright, 7 Basic Steps to Successful Prayer and Fasting
- Bill Bright, The Coming Revival: America's Call to Fast, Pray, and Seek God's Face (I read this several years ago, and was blessed by Bright's own fasting experiences and God-encounters. Bright was the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ.)
- Elmer Towns, Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough (I read this book years ago. A very good resource, describing 10 biblical fasts. Get it used for $1.99 at amazon.com!)