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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?|
| || Fasting || : : Fasting: Superficial or Supernatural?|
Fasting unto the Lord goes beyond rote, superficial sacrifice of food. Fasting unto the Lord, when done with the proper heart and the proper spirit, cleaves you to the Lord; everything on earth takes a back seat to worshiping and communing with your Heavenly Father. It is about "holding fast" to Him regardless of your circumstances (reference Deuteronomy 10:20, 11:22, 13:4, 30:20; Joshua 22:5, 23:8; 2 Kings 18:6; Psalm 119:31, 139:10; 1 Peter 5:12).
In Jeremiah 14:12, the Lord proclaims, "Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry." His refusal to listen to His people was based on their continued wickedness; their superficial sacrifice meant nothing because they persisted, unrepentant, in sinful behavior. Jesus, too, warned about fasting as an empty, perfunctory ritual. Jesus spoke to the Pharisees about hypocrisy and hardened hearts in Matthew 15:8-11, 18-20: "You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 'These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. They worship Me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' Jesus called the crowd to Him and said, 'Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean', but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean'. ... But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean'. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man 'unclean'. ..."
| || 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.
| || 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.
(Exodus 34:28), in a 40-day radical fast (no food or water), sustained by the Lord as he received the 10 commandments
(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
(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
(1 Kings 19:8) in a 40-day radical fast, prompted and sustained by the Lord
(Ezra 8:21-23), in humble petition before the Lord
(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
(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
| || Fasting || : : Are There Different Kinds of Fasts?|
| || Fasting || : : How Do I Fast Unto the Lord in Today's World?|
Some wonder, "How do I fast while continuing to work, take care of my family, and just live life in general?" When you put the Lord first, He supernaturally and divinely orders your day so that you are able to accomplish the important things according to His will. The urgent no longer overshadows the important, and things that seemed pressing suddenly fall away, no longer significant in His great kingdom plan. This means that the Lord will give you the grace, energy, and sustenance to care for your essential responsibilities while you are fasting. Necessary work and caring for your family fits the category of "essential responsibilities". The key is to prioritize the Lord above all else, to seek His guidance in all things, and to trust Him every step of the way. You must also have the courage and obedience to forsake opportunities and tasks on your list if God's priorities prove different from yours.
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)
| || 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 |
The Great Commandment, as Jesus replied to the Pharisees in Matthew 22:37-38 is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself."
Fasting, as outlined in Isaiah 58, accomplishes both the first and second greatest commandments and also highlights the "true" fast (indicated by actions representative of Christ's character) as opposed to the "legalistic" fast (indicated by actions representative of arrogant, sinful, and unrepentant human hearts).
| || Fasting ||: : True Fasting as Detailed in Isaiah 58|
| || Fasting ||: : Isn't Fasting Practiced by Other Religions (and By Those with No Religion?)|
| ||Trumpet and Torch promotes only Christian spiritual fasting. Yes, other religions do fast, and yes, some people fast for purposes that have nothing to do with faith of any kind.
While some may fast because their beliefs demand the discipline and others may fast for a variety of earthly reasons, Christians fast exclusively unto our Creator God, the Father of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As such, our fasting intentions and efforts are divinely blessed for"... the LORD looks at the heart" (reference 1 Samuel 16:7) and "...motives are weighed by the LORD" (reference Proverbs 16:2).|
| || 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 |