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| || Fasting || : : What is Spiritual Fasting?|
In a purely traditional spiritual sense, fasting is abstaining from solid food for the purposes of mourning, repenting, and seeking the Lord's favor. In rare and radical cases, heroes of the Bible fasted food and liquids, including water. The Bible mentions many kinds fasts of throughout the Old and New Testaments.
If you trust the Lord for your time of fasting, He will lead you on the type of fast that He desires for your particular circumstances and needs. You may fast solid food for the entire 40 days; you may fast one meal a day; you may fast one day a week. Your journey will be unique and can not be compared to anyone else's experience. However, it is important to enter into this sacred time with the Lord earnestly and with a pure heart, hopefully anticipating the journey on which He will lead you. According to your faithfulness and willing spirit, the Lord will bless your intentions and sustain you during your fast.
Please understand that the fasting referred to throughout the Trumpet and Torch website is purely a spiritual discipline; no fasting references are intended for physical, medical, or other purposes. While we believe that the Lord will take you on the type of fast that He intends for you, we encourage you to seek medical guidance before beginning a fast, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or currently suffering an illness or disease.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1).
| || 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 Fasting was never replaced, rescinded, or superseded in the New Testament, and it is not just Old Testament legalism.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)
| || Fasting || : : Fasting: Superficial or Supernatural?|
| || Fasting || : : Fast Unto the Lord, Not Unto Men|
| || Fasting || : : Who Fasted in the Bible?|
| || Fasting || : : Are There Different Kinds of Fasts?|
There are four basic kinds of fasts: absolute, radical, normal, and partial. Below is a brief explanation of each as well as additional important information.
Absolute fast- No food or liquid (not even water) is consumed. Supernatural sustenance is necessary. An absolute fast is VERY, VERY RARE AND VERY, VERY DANGEROUS unless the Lord has specifically and unquestionably called you to this type of divinely protected and sustained fast.
Radical fast- Only water is consumed. A radical fast is also rare and not recommended for long periods of time unless the Lord has specifically and unquestionably called you to this type of fast.
Normal fast- No food is consumed; liquids include water, clear broths, and fruit and vegetable juices.
Partial fast- Some foods and drinks are sacrificed; for example, processed foods, sugary foods, and caffeinated beverages may be eliminated from your daily intake. A Daniel fast (see "Biblical Types of Fasts" link) is an example of a partial fast.
Those whom He calls to absolute and radical fasts (Moses, Elijah, Jesus) are sought for extreme and divine purposes. One who is radically fasting consumes only water; one who fasts an absolute fast ingests nothing - neither food nor water. We do encourage you to test the Spirit (Romans 12:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:21, 1 John 4:1) for confirmation as you sense a call to fast, especially for a radical fast. We do not recommend an absolute fast unless you are absolutely certain that the Lord is calling you to completely abstain from food and drink; biblical heroes who were called to an absolute fast were divinely anointed and supernaturally sustained for the duration of their fast. It is a rare person whom God calls to a radical fast; rarer still is the one He calls for an absolute fast.
More commonly, those convicted to fast undertake a normal fast where no solid foods are consumed, and physical sustenance is provided by broths, and fruit and vegetable juices. Others may participate in a partial fast where some foods and drinks are sacrificed (processed foods, sugary foods, and caffeinated beverages, for example).
As always, we at Trumpet and Torch recommend that you consult your physician before beginning any type of fast. We especially urge you to consult the Great Physician for His discernment and guidance. Expectant mothers, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical concerns may participate in the spirit of fasting while still receiving essential physical nourishment.
| || 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|
| ||1" 'Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to My people their rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins. 2For day after day they seek Me out; they seem eager to know My ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask Me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. 3'Why have we fasted,' they say, 'and You have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and You have not noticed?' 'Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. 4Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high. 5Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? 6'Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter--when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. 9Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I. 'If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. 11 LORD will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. 12Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. 13'If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on My Holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, 14then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob. The mouth of the LORD has spoken.' " |
| || 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?|
Blessings to you for responding faithfully and obediently to the call to fast and pray! More than just a way to experience a spiritual breakthrough, fasting, in its purest sense, is honoring Holy God by setting aside every earthly encumbrance in order to prioritize Him above all else.|
The most important thing is to seek the Lords will and His guidance for your fast. (See Psalm 16:7, 32:8; Isaiah 48:17, 58:11). Not everyone is called to fast in the same way, and, you may be called to modify your fast, especially during extended periods of fasting.
If the Lord calls you to something, He will supernaturally protect and sustain you. If youre doing it in your own strength, however, you do not necessarily have that same Divine covering. Some fleshly weakness is normal, but extreme distress is not.
Make an effort to discern the Lords call from the enemys lie, and recognize the Lords will from your own idea. Do not compare yourself to others; fasting is not a competition. Some may be called to fast only on water, some only on liquids, and some only on healthy solid foods. The Lord can impress any kind of combination of those upon your heart depending upon your particular situation and your particular needs. (Please see Are There Different Kinds of Fasts? in our FAQs as well as Meal Planning on our Family Time page.)
We encourage you to contact us to share your praise reports and prayer requests. Also, please contact us with any additional questions that you may have.
| || 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 |
|Trumpet & Torch Ministry Brochure -download here for useful helps and sharing this ministry with others.