Isaiah 58:5Is a fast such as this what I have chosen, a day for a man to humble himself [with sorrow in his soul]? Is it only to bow down his head like a reed And to make sackcloth and ashes as a bed [pretending to have a repentant heart]? Do you call this a fast and a day pleasing to the Lord? ‘
As born-again believers, fasting is essential to our spiritual lives. Fasting is beneficial; rather, it is a full or partial fast; the key is setting your heart/face to seek God. There are certain types of fasts, but as we seek God, we want to embark on a fast that is pleasing to the Lord. As stated in the above scripture, there is such A fast that is pleasing to the Lord. God has given us his key to effective fasting; let us read Isaiah 58 to understand the proper fast in which the Lord delights.
What is fasting?Fasting is the discipline or practice of abstaining from or eating very little food for biblical reasons. The KJV translates Strong’s H6684 in the following manner: root; to cover over (the mouth) In short, fasting is the act of refraining from or not eating very little food; during A fast, the goal is to place A cover over the mouth.
Always approach fasting with humility. Fasting must be genuine and not religious or hypocritical. God wants us to do all things with the correct motives, including fasting. During your fast, it should be A time of examining your heart and repenting.
Types of fast: As we notice, fasting is to abstain from food; several people may fast from: TV, the internet, social media, etc. to abstain from these things aren’t bad. However, to fast biblically means to abstain from food.
- Full Fasts: Complete fast with or without drinks and completely no food.
- Partial Fasts: Abstaining from food for A certain amount of time. A partial fast can include some food such as vegetables and can be done for long lengths.
Why should we fast? Fasting draws us near to God. God is not interested in our outward show; instead, he looks at our hearts. When we draw nigh to God, he will draw near to us James 4:8 There are several biblical reasons for fasting, some reasons are in Isaiah 58:
To undo the bonds of wickedness: God wants to break/lose the band (fetter) of wickedness & iniquity in our lives. Are you or someone you know bound by sin? Scripture tells us that when we are bound by sin, we are servants and slaves to sin John 8:34. Romans 6:16 rather its pornography, masturbation, alcoholism, adultery, lying, fornication, or any besetting sin, GOD wants to set you free. You may need to incorporate fasting with your prayers for your complete breakthrough and revival.
To undo the heavy burdens: God wants to remove and violently shake/tear off the heavy yokes/bands of burdens weighing us down. A burden is something that is carried. Such as A load. A burden can be: False responsibilities; burdens are typically something oppressive and worrisome A heavy burden of guilt, A financial burden, or simply us trying to bear the load for someone. Let us read what Jesus says about these burdens:
- Matthew 11:29-30 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
To let the oppressed go free and break apart every enslaving yoke: Fasting will set those free who are oppressed, bruised, broken, and discouraged in their spirits. The spirit of oppression is like that of A broken vessel; it weighs you down in your body and mind. If you’re feeling: sad, anxiety, moodiness, hopelessness, or any suicidal tendencies, you’re dealing with A spirit of oppression (depression). Scripture tells us to put on the garment of praise in exchange for this spirit. As you begin to praise the Lord, oppression will begin to lift. When you add fasting and prayer, you will have the anointing to destroy every yoke of oppression.
Results of A Godly fast: Isaiah 58:8-12
- Fasting can cause your light to spring forth. The Holy Spirit provides illumination; we need this illumination to make all things clear. When the light of Christ comes forth, darkness must flee.
- Fasting brings good health and wholeness quickly; it can break the power of sickness and infirmity.
- Our righteousness will go before us, leading us to peace and prosperity.
- Fasting releases God’s Glory and protection; the Glory of the Lord will be our rereward. God’s Glory will cover us as A defense.
- Fasting can result in answered prayer when we call; the Lord will answer, if we cry, he will say, “hear I am.” Once we take away from our midst, the yoke of oppression we place on others, the finger (accusing others), and the tongue that speaks evil. Examine your heart!
- When we offer ourselves to assist the hungry (spiritually and physically) and satisfy the afflicted (distressed, tormented), our light will rise in the darkness. Our gloom will become like the noonday. When we become selfless servants in God’s kingdom, all of these things will be added unto us because we are seeking his kingdom first.
‘Isaiah 58:11-12 And the Lord will continually guide you, And satisfy your soul in scorched and dry places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. And your people will rebuild the ancient ruins; You will raise up and restore the age-old foundations [of buildings that have been laid waste]; You will be called Repairer of the Breach, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. ‘
There are many benefits and breakthroughs when we incorporate fasting with our prayers. Prayer and fasting help us to clear the obstacles to our faith and faith-filled actions. It has been said that fasting is “super-charged prayer.” The flesh has primary needs or desires for food. Our need for food is dominant. Quoted from book
These natural desires are valid but can quickly become too intense (A snare, lust, inordinate, or gluttony), dominating us. Fasting is A way to assert control over the flesh where it counts. Fasting, coupled with prayer, is one of the most powerful weapons to your breakthrough. To overcome those besetting sins or draw near God, I encourage you to fast and pray for breakthrough.
I’ve written A sample prayer for when you begin your fast. God is waiting to hear from us. Seek God while there is still time and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you into the fast that pleases GOD.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for your chosen fast according to your word in ISA 58. Father, I enter into this fast seeking your Divine intervention seeking you wholeheartedly to know your will for my life. I am praying and fasting this day for (whatever you’re fasting for) Father; I pray that you will give me A broken heart over my sins. Remove every desire to do my own will or my pleasures during this time of fasting. I ask that you give me A heart of fasting, not one that is fasting to be seen of men but YOU.
I come before you to humble myself with sorrow in my soul. Father, I pray that every band of wickedness will be loosed, all heavy burdens will be undone, and that you break every yoke in my life in Jesus’s name. Father set people Free who are oppressed by heavy burdens and those who are troubled mentally or physically (anxiety).
Lord, fill me with your unselfish love, teach me how to love you with my whole heart, and love others unselfishly. Help me seek the best for others during this time of fasting lead me to those who cannot help themselves both physically and spiritually. Lord, help me be available to my own family’s needs and help the poor and needy as led by your Spirit. Father, I seal these prayers in the blood of Jesus, believing that these words will not return void according to your word. Thank you, father, in advance for your answered prayers, and I believe it is done in Jesus’s name AMEN!
Make your petition and request known to God. What are you seeking and believing God for according to his word/will? 2nd Chronicles 7:14
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Bible Study: “How To Fast Successfully” Derek Prince https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqzZlpL5-YI