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Old 01-25-2009, 05:40 PM
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Default Christian Fasting

Please post your thoughts on personal Christian fasting. Do you do it? If so, why? Do you believe every Christian should practise it?

The only time I practised fasting was during 1998 when my pastor challenged the church to do it once every month for one year in conjunction with prayers for a new church building. The church got it's building but a number of families left the church half way through the project for one reason or another.

Fasting has always been a grey area to me, the only time I see it clearly instructed in the NT is where a Christian husband and wife are told to do it in 1 Corinthians 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
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Old 01-25-2009, 05:51 PM
Bro. Parrish
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I have done it a few times but not often.
I probably should do it more.
When I have done it I kept it secret, and that's kind of hard to do when you have a big family unless you tell them you are sick or not hungry. I think the worst thing is walking around blabbing on about how you are fasting, just seems like a show to me. (Luke 18:11-12)
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Old 01-25-2009, 06:58 PM
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I have done it once for something that I've been asking God to take away from my life. I agree with Bro. Parrish. It's difficult to keep it a secret; but it should, and I should have done some more of it as the Lord leads.

In the Age of Grace, I think it ought to be done the same way we give out of grace: Every man as he purposeth in his heart, so let him fast.
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:28 PM
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I do it a couple times a year to get prayers answered and to mortify the works of the flesh. I always do water fasts and I start at sundown and end the following sundown (that is when I do a 24 hour fast). When I was a young Christian I always broke my fasts, but as I've grown in Christ it's gotten easier (or perhaps more important) to keep my word to God on this matter. Another thing I've noticed as I've gotten older is that my fasts have become all out spiritual warfare. Lately when I do it I end up being confronted with something sinful in my life, like pride, for example. Sometimes it's very ugly and quite scary and I feel very ashamed of myself in light of what I see. It's kinda hard to describe this, but the last fast I did I ended up feeling completely mental and outside of myself, as if my brain went haywire and I started feeling completely out of control of my flesh and ended up hiding under my bed covers pleading for God's mercy. I had found myself confronted that night with some very prideful comments (unrighteous judgement) I had made online and God reminded me that I am nothing without Him and had no right to boast about anything except Him. I was terrified...

Anywho, I think fasting is something that babes in Christ should wait on until they've graduated to meat and they should try to take it easy at first. Jesus spoke on this very thing:

But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. (Luke 5:35-38 KJV)

Matthew Henry comments on this as follows:

Quote:
It was a wonder of his grace that he proportioned their exercises to their strength. He would not put new cloth upon an old garment (Lu 5:36), nor new wine into old bottles (Lu 5:37-38); he would not, as soon as ever he had called them out of the world, put them upon the strictnesses and austerities of discipleship, lest they should be tempted to fly off. When God brought Israel out of Egypt, he would not bring them by the way of the Philistines, lest they should repent, when they saw war, and return to Egypt, Ex 13:17. So Christ would train up his followers gradually to the discipline of his family; for no man, having drank old wine, will of a sudden, straightway, desire new, or relish it, but will say, The old is better, because he has been used to it, Lu 5:39. The disciples will be tempted to think their old way of living better, till they are by degrees trained up to this way whereunto they are called.
I think Christ wanted us to wait for His Spirit. Because I don't think fasting is very useful without Him.

Peace and Love,
Stephen
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by stephanos View Post
I do it a couple times a year to get prayers answered...
Do you mean that certain prayers of yours go unanswered unless you fast? Or is fasting a way of you getting God's attention so that He answers a prayer quicker than if you hadn't fasted?

It sounds like fasting is a *magical* formula that is used to move God? If this is the case why isn't every Christian doing it, and why is it not spelled out in the New Testament? The only time I can see prayers being hindered or unanswered is again in the context of an husband and wife:

1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

It doesn't look like fasting was practised before the law of Moses was given, it's clear Israel practised it in the OT and the disciples & early Jewish church were doing it in the gospels and the book of Acts. Paul said he practised it during his persecutions (2 Cori 6:5; 11:27), but he never gave clear instructions about it in his writings to the body of Christ?

Through David we learn that fasting humbles & chastens the soul:

Psalms 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.

Psalms 69:10 When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.

Is that what God wants us to do? Are we to outwardly demonstrate to the Lord that we want him to take our prayers seriously? Unlike the OT saints we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in our mortal bodies, and Paul said in Romans that the Spirit intercedes on our behalf, and that we don't really know what we should pray for anyway!

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Maybe God has kept fasting one of those grey areas so that only those who really desire to get close to Him will see it's signifigance in their personal walk with the Lord? Maybe I need to try practising it in my life, I could do with a revival.
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Old 01-26-2009, 02:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi Christian View Post
Do you mean that certain prayers of yours go unanswered unless you fast? Or is fasting a way of you getting God's attention so that He answers a prayer quicker than if you hadn't fasted?

It sounds like fasting is a *magical* formula that is used to move God? If this is the case why isn't every Christian doing it, and why is it not spelled out in the New Testament? The only time I can see prayers being hindered or unanswered is again in the context of an husband and wife:

1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

It doesn't look like fasting was practised before the law of Moses was given, it's clear Israel practised it in the OT and the disciples & early Jewish church were doing it in the gospels and the book of Acts. Paul said he practised it during his persecutions (2 Cori 6:5; 11:27), but he never gave clear instructions about it in his writings to the body of Christ?

Through David we learn that fasting humbles & chastens the soul:

Psalms 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.

Psalms 69:10 When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.

Is that what God wants us to do? Are we to outwardly demonstrate to the Lord that we want him to take our prayers seriously? Unlike the OT saints we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in our mortal bodies, and Paul said in Romans that the Spirit intercedes on our behalf, and that we don't really know what we should pray for anyway!

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Maybe God has kept fasting one of those grey areas so that only those who really desire to get close to Him will see it's signifigance in their personal walk with the Lord? Maybe I need to try practising it in my life, I could do with a revival.
Your questions are all valid. Personally I think fasting is more of a weapon against the flesh. It's a tool that we can use to tear down carnal strongholds in our life. I don't think it's a magical formula to force God to answer prayers. But rather, it demonstrates to God that we are serious about changing and serious about submitting to His will by depriving our flesh of the things it lusts after. Hunger is something that is very difficult to resist, but when we practice denying ourselves in this way we should find that it becomes easier to say no to the flesh in other areas.

One thing though you should be curious about is this verse:

And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. (Mark 9:28-29 KJV)

Why prayer and fasting? What was wrong with just prayer? I cannot answer that myself.

Peace and Love,
Stephen
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Old 01-26-2009, 03:32 AM
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Originally Posted by stephanos View Post
Personally I think fasting is more of a weapon against the flesh. It's a tool that we can use to tear down carnal strongholds in our life. I don't think it's a magical formula to force God to answer prayers. But rather, it demonstrates to God that we are serious about changing and serious about submitting to His will by depriving our flesh of the things it lusts after. Hunger is something that is very difficult to resist, but when we practice denying ourselves in this way we should find that it becomes easier to say no to the flesh in other areas.
That's good thought which makes good sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanos View Post
One thing though you should be curious about is this verse:

And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. (Mark 9:28-29 KJV)

Why prayer and fasting? What was wrong with just prayer?
Yes this is an interesting case, and may be something to consider when dealing with seducing spirits. It shows that there were certain evil spirits that the disciples could not cast out in the normal manner, Jesus said "this kind" making a distinction between different kinds of spirits, like an hierarchy where some are more important than others and require more effort to cast out.

See in the following passage how that the evil spirit prevailed over the exorcists, even when they attempted to cast him out in the name of the Lord Jesus. The spirit admitted knowing Jesus and Paul, and likely would have come out if either of them had commanded him, but he didn't know these guys so he pounced on them:.

Acts 19:13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

The Bible gives us insight into the spirit world, but answers to some of the deep questions aren't handed to us on a platter, they come through diligent time spent in the word of God, that's why Dr Ruckman knows so much!

Something else which is revealing of the Satanic influence in modern perverted bibles, is how that most of them remove the "and fasting" from the text of Mark 9:29 & Matthew 17:21!!!
 

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