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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 || : : 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|
How to use this website for fasting and prayer|
The Lord created us to have a
personal relationship with Him. As in any relationship, we must nurture
and care for our relationship with the Lord so that it will grow and
flourish. Our Lord is always pursuing us, even when we are not actively
pursuing Him. He reveals Himself to us in many ways - big and small, in
difficulty as well as in blessing - in order to capture our attention
and to grow us into His likeness.
EAT is designed to take the believer
on a journey, through the simple process of using the traditional
mealtime schedule, to build a disciplined lifestyle of spending time
with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It seems difficult to believe
that we must be "taught" to spend time with the Lord, but the enemy is
very deceptive and sly. Many of us live completely unaware of the
numerous minutes and hours that are swept away by mindless, idle
distractions. The enemy cleverly intends to keep us so busy that we
have little time to spend with the One Who created us and loves us
above all else.
In the Scriptures, the Lord often
used mealtime as a time of teaching and ministering. He continues to
use this ordinary and necessary mealtime routine to ignite a desire in
us - a craving for Him above all things, even our food. When the
Israelites wandered the desert for 40 years, the Lord caused them to
hunger and thirst; this purposeful correction disciplined them to seek
Him and to put their trust in Him. Today, He still longs for His
children to trust Him and to obey His commands.
Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God
with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind.' This is the
first and the greatest commandment" (Matthew 22:37-38). Our entire
lives should revolve around Him, and yet, most of us spend more time
planning our lives around when we will eat next and what we will eat.
How different life would be - spiritually, physically, emotionally, and
otherwise - if desired Him like we desire food?
It is our prayer that EAT will
encourage you to suspend your usual schedule in order to meet God for
breakfast, lunch, and dinner - every meal, every day. Do not skip any
meals. Just like missing a physical meal may cause your body to become
weak, missing a meal with the Lord weakens you spiritually. Sacrificing
physical food is not really the emphasis of this fast. Rather, the
priority is holding fast to the Lord and clinging to Him throughout the
day. We lay the sacrifice of precious time on the altar so that He may
fill us with His Daily Bread.
You may find it difficult to
surrender your food to the Lord, and, especially in the beginning, you
may first need to fast (surrender) your time. As you grow in the
discipline of spending time with the Lord, He will build a desire and a
strength that will allow you to set aside your natural food for His
completely fulfilling supernatural food.
Take each day as it comes, one meal
at a time, and follow God's leading in your life. Do not compare your
experience to others. God's purposes for you are unique and specially
designed to achieve what He wants to accomplish in your life. Do not
succumb to the discouraging voice of the enemy; he wants to captivate
every moment of your day and hold your mind hostage with dispiriting
and unholy thoughts. Stand firm on the Word that is nourishing you, and
be filled with the encouraging voice of your Savior. He is so pleased
with your desire to spend time with Him!
As you walk and dine with the Lord,
He will reveal Scripture to you; follow His leading and journey there.
Linger over them, meditate upon them, and savor them. The devotions in
this journal are only a starting point. Consider them to be appetizers
- little letters of encouragement offering a taste of what your
faithfulness will produce. Please take time to record any words,
Scriptures, or names that the Lord impresses upon your heart. You will
be grateful for your personal journal at the end of your journey, and
it will stand as a written testament of the Lord's transforming work in
Forty days seems like a lot, but -
considering the length of a lifetime and in comparison to eternity - it
is only a moment in time. The Scriptures record many stories that
exemplify how God changed a people and a nation in 40 days. There is
something Divinely supernatural about a 40-day time frame, and the Lord
can accomplish a lifetime's work through you in that relatively short
period of time...
We pray that you do not enter into
this journey because of what you hope to achieve or experience. We pray
that, above all else, that in 40 days, you will find yourself face to
face with your Lord and Savior. We pray that you will be forever
spoiled with a hunger and thirst for His righteousness, overflowing
with the glory of God and overcome with the desire to lead others to
When you seek Him you will find Him... if you seek Him with all your heart!
"One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple."
| || Fasting ||: : Recommended Books on Fasting and Revival|
| || The Process of Repentance ||: : The Most Holy Week|
| || The Process of Repentance - The Most Holy Week |