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FAQ

    Fasting    : : What is Spiritual Fasting?
    Fasting    : : Is Fasting Relevant in a Covenant of Grace?

Many Christians are unfamiliar with spiritual fasting. Some believe that fasting is an Old Testament tradition neither required nor relevant to the New Testament grace under which we now live. In truth, however, fasting is a necessary though underutilized spiritual discipline that Jesus addressed right along with giving and prayer (reference Matthew 6). Fasting was never replaced, rescinded, or superseded in the New Testament, and it is not just Old Testament legalism. Jesus came to fulfill the Old Testament, not to render it irrelevant. As Randy Alcorn so eloquently stated in Money, Possessions & Eternity, "Being under grace does not mean living by lower standards than the law." In fact, Jesus assumed that we believers would fast. Jesus said, "When you fast" (Matthew 6:16) not "if you fast".

The verses below emphasize that we are saved by grace, not by works. Fasting, like prayer, is a spiritual tool that believers should use not to earn righteousness but to embrace it.

"I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing." (Galatians 2:21)

"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men." (Romans 14:17-18)

"But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do." (1 Corinthians 8:8)

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    Fasting    : : Fasting: Superficial or Supernatural?
    Fasting    : : Fast Unto the Lord, Not Unto Men

Fasting is a sacred and special sacrifice; it is for the Lord, not for human approval or notice. In Matthew 6:16-18, Jesus cautions those who choose to fast for human admiration and approval, "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men 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."

Please understand the spirit of Jesus' message. He is not saying that absolutely no one should know when we are fasting. In fact, it is very important to have a trusted Christian friend or a network of Christian friends who can pray for you while you are fasting. Jesus is cautioning against fasting for the approval and notice of man, just as He cautions against giving for sheer spectacle.

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    Fasting    : : Who Fasted in the Bible?

Below, in chronological order, is a representation of those who fasted in the Bible, but it is not a complete or exhaustive list.

Moses

(Exodus 34:28), in a 40-day radical fast (no food or water), sustained by the Lord as he received the 10 commandments

The Israelites

(Judges 20:26-27), in a corporate fast, to seek the Lord's guidance

(Nehemiah 9:1), in a corporate fast, confessing their sins and worshiping the Lord

(1 Samuel 7:6), led by Samuel in a corporate and intercessory fast, repenting for their sins

King David

(2 Samuel 12:16), in intercession for his ill son

(Psalm 35:13) in mourning and intercession for the illness of others

(Psalm 69:10) in humble repentance, asking God for personal mercy and restoration

Elijah

(1 Kings 19:8) in a 40-day radical fast, prompted and sustained by the Lord

Ezra

(Ezra 8:21-23), in humble petition before the Lord

Esther

(Esther 4:16), in a three-day fast, accompanied by fasting intercessors, as she sought the Lord's favor in interceding for the Jews

The Ninevites and the King of Nineveh

(Jonah 3:5-10), in a corporate fast, earnestly repenting of their evil ways

Jesus

(Matthew 4:2, Luke 4:2), in preparation for His earthly ministry

New Testament Leaders and Prophets

(Acts 13:1-3), in worship of the Lord before He instructed them to set apart Barnabus and Saul for His designated missionary appointment

Paul and Barnabus

(Acts 14:23), in committing the appointed church elders to the Lord

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    Fasting    : : Are There Different Kinds of Fasts?
    Fasting    : : How Do I Fast Unto the Lord in Today's World?
    Fasting    : : The Compassion of Jesus and the Purpose of this Fast
    Fasting    : : I'm Afraid to Fast!
    Fasting    : : How Fasting Relates to the The Great Commandment
    Fasting    : : True Fasting as Detailed in Isaiah 58
    Fasting    : : Isn't Fasting Practiced by Other Religions (and By Those with No Religion?)
    Fasting    : : Why Fast Now?
    Fasting    : : Corporate and Intercessory Fasting
    Fasting    : : 2008 Lenten Fast
    Fasting    : : I'm a Pastor; How Do I Get My Congregation Involved?
    Fasting    : : I'm a Parent; How Do I Include My Children in this 40-Day Journey?
    Fasting    : : Have Additional Questions, or Need More Information?
    Fasting    : : Have Additional Questions or Need More Information?
    Fasting    : : This is My First Fasting Experience; What Should I Expect?
    Fasting    : : Legalism and the Liquid Fast
    Fasting    : : I Feel So Weak! What Should I Do?
    Fasting     : : How to use this website for fasting and prayer
    Fasting    : : Recommended Books on Fasting and Revival
    The Process of Repentance     : : The Most Holy Week
    The Process of Repentance - The Most Holy Week   





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