Week 6: Fasting and Prayer

1. Fasting & Prayer
1.1. Fasting is skipping a meal out of respect for God. Fasting happened in the Old Testament. Fasting happened in the New Testament too! Jesus fasted. Jesus said his Disciples (that’s you!) should be fasting. Jesus taught about it and said “When” not “If”
1.1.1. Mark 2:20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
1.1.2. Matthew 6:16–1. That sounds like a command to me.
1.2. The New Testament church was fasting in
1.2.1. Acts 13: 2While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
1.3. The Apostle Paul wrote that he fasted a lot, and that husbands and wives should do fasting together
1.3.1. 2 Corinthians 11:23–28.
1.3.2. 1Cor7:5 Deprive not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your lack of self-control.
1.4. Fasting isn’t only just a secret thing, it can also be corporate or as a group (acts 13:2 for instance). In context, the scripture about secrecy is saying fasting is not something to complain about or do for hypocritical reasons.
1.4.1. Matt 6:16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that it will not be obvious to others 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
1.5. Reasons why you haven’t been fasting, or why you haven’t been taught about fasting
1.5.1. Fasting is a powerful weapon and the enemy doesn’t want you doing it or learning about it. Matt 17:21 21”But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
1.5.2. Fasting is hard, and our flesh doesn’t want to, so it will look for reasons not to “I don’t feel led”
1.5.3. Fasting is next level stuff. Many Christians are content with the pew
1.6. Mechanics of fasting

1.6.1. First we must understand our Tripartite being, Body/Sarx, Soul/Psyche, Spirit/Pneuma 1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Genesis 2:7And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

1.6.2. Our flesh is our sin nature, desires, cravings. Our spirit connects with and bears witness with the Holy Spirt. Our soul (mind will and emotions) decides which one is fed the most. Fasting starves the flesh so the spirit can be fed. Eph 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Gal 6:8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

1.6.3. Our walk becomes weak when we feed the flesh. Fasting crucifies the flesh

1.7. Practicalities

1.7.1. Set a schedule, fasting is intentional and doesn’t just “happen”

1.7.2. Have an expectation Is 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? 7Is it not to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to your house? when you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh? 8Then shall your light break forth as the morning, and your health shall spring forth speedily: and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. 9then shall you call, and the LORD shall answer; you shall cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If you take away from the middle of you the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; 10And if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall your light rise in obscurity, and your darkness be as the noon day: 11And the LORD shall guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and make fat your bones: and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. 12And they that shall be of you shall build the old waste places: you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.13If you turn away your foot from the sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honorable; and shall honor him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words: 14Then shall you delight yourself in the LORD; and I will cause you to ride on the high places of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it..

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