The Cry of My Heart
Week 3: “How To Fast”
"Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven; 5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full; 16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. - Matthew 6:1, 5, 16-18
Fasting Defined: Fasting is the abstinence from anything that hinders our communion with God.
I. How to Proceed
Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. - Ezra 8:21(NKJV)
Determine the Type of fast
A. Food Fast / Water Only Fast – (1 Samuel 20:34)
B. Absolute Fast –Exodus 34:28
C. Partial Daniel-type fast. Daniel 10:3
D. Juice Fast
E. Sundown fast
F. Alternatives to Food Fasts.
I Corinthians 7:3-6.
And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. - Joshua 6:18
That you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. - Acts 15:29
Duration of the Fast
A. One Day Fast – The duration is from Sun up to sun down (II Sam 3:35) Also known as the “Sundown Fast”. This was typical for the Jew. After the sun had set he would then eat.
B. One Night or 24 hour Fast – This fast would last 24 hours, both night and day. Daniel 6:18
C. Three Day Fast – A fast including multiple days. Esther 4:16
D. Seven Day Fast – This fast would last a week and was usually associated with days of mourning. I Samuel 31:13 (King Saul and his son’s death)
E. 40 Day Fast – Exodus 34:28 Moses on the Mount / Matthew 4:2 Jesus’ Temptation in the Wilderness.
II. The Pattern
1. The launch
You go, therefore, and read from the scroll which you have written at my instruction, the words of the Lord, in the hearing of the people in the Lord’s house on the day of fasting. - Jeremiah 36:6 (NKVJ)
2. Evening Retirement – Bed Time
“The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge. . .” - Proverbs 18:153.
Morning Wake Up
I will praise O , with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. - Psalms 9:1 (NKJV)
Make me understand the way of Your precepts; So shall I meditate on Your wonderful works. - Psalms 119:27, (NKJV)
Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. - Psalms 119:11 (NKJV)
4. Normal Daily Duties
“ . . . but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,”- Ephesians 5:18-19 (NKJV)
5. Resume Eating
III. The Plan
LIVE IT OUT
1. Fasting will not be beneficial unless you have a personal relationship with God. Do you know for certain if you were to die today, you would go to heaven?
2. What issue in your life do you need to fast over?
So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”- Matthew 17:20-213.
3. Will you seek God and determine how He might want you to join others from our church in fasting for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God?