What is fasting?
What is fasting and prayer?
Fasting and prayer is a period when a person separates just for that purpose, fasting (spending a period of the day without eating anything) and praying, using this time in talking to God and interceding for people or situations asking God for grace, mercy, help, etc.
And knowing that fasting brings greater discernment, which makes you more sensitive to the voice of God, it is essential to have prayer during the fasting period. Fasting for someone else, for example, only makes sense if there is prayer for the person (James 5:16). Even a fast should always start with a prayer, because that is when you will receive God's guidance regarding the purpose and timing of that fast.
Why is fasting important?
Because fasting is also a purpose that you do with God, however, in the case of fasting, it is a necessity, we need to fast!
The Bible shows fasting as a sign of dependence on God (Dan. 9:3), where man afflicts his soul (Ps 69:10), failing to eat, in order to humble himself (Ps 35:13) and seek God in prayer (Ne 1:4).
What is the power of fasting and prayer?
Although the Bible gives us several examples of the supernatural action that happens as a result of fasting (Mt 17:21, Ac 27:9), it is still something that we have no way of knowing exactly how it works. However, if on the one hand it is difficult to understand the supernatural action of fasting, on the other hand it is very simple to understand its practical side, which is its effect against the desires of our flesh (Gal. 5:19-21).
And why does fasting work? Basically because food is the primary human need. When you are very hungry, all your soul's wants and desires are concentrated in one thing: eating! Everything else loses importance because now the priority is to eat.
And the secret is that during the fast you deny that desire and say no to your soul. And as she has no other greater desire, she is at peace (Ps 42:11). At this moment, everything that was the will of the flesh becomes much clearer, and you can better discern the voice of God that is ministered through his spirit (Acts 13:2-3, Acts 10:9-11, Acts 9:8-9). The consequence is that you think less about yourself and more about God, less about yourself and more about others. Your prayers become less selfish (Mt 7:12), and you focus on what really matters (John 15:16).
How long do you have to fast?
If you have never done a fast for spiritual purposes, the tip is to start gradually, without exaggeration. Suddenly withdrawing a meal that you are used to having or establishing a number of hours without eating, the important thing during fasting is that you feel fasting (Rom 14:22), and this varies from person to person. In fact, fasting is something so particular that the Bible recommends that you do not even tell others that you are fasting (Mt 6:16-18), but fasting is not really a secret, after all when you are offered food or in the case of a collective fasting (2 Ch 20:3), there is no problem that people know that you are fasting.
Is fasting bad for your body?
Researchers have come to the conclusion that fasting regularly is good for your health, and that not eating anything for just 1 or 2 days a week, eating normally on other days, has health benefits.
According to the researchers this type of fasting helps to lose weight, decreases the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer's, heart disease, dementia, protects against various types of cancer and improves the individual's quality of life.
On fasting days, you can drink water and eat some vegetables, but nothing more, and in the days that follow you can eat everything, but in moderation, avoiding sweets, fats and processed foods, to obtain the expected results.
1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasu-e'rus, by birth a Mede, who became king over the realm of the Chalde'ans-- 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years which, according to the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. 3 Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and supplications with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. 4 I prayed to the LORD my God and made confession, saying, "O Lord, the great and terrible God, who keepest covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from thy commandments and ordinances; 6 we have not listened to thy servants the prophets, who spoke in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 7 To thee, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us confusion of face, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those that are near and those that are far away, in all the lands to which thou hast driven them, because of the treachery which they have committed against thee. 8 To us, O Lord, belongs confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. 9 To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness; because we have rebelled against him, 10 and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God by following his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has transgressed thy law and turned aside, refusing to obey thy voice. And the curse and oath which are written in the law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against him. 12 He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us and against our rulers who ruled us, by bringing upon us a great calamity; for under the whole heaven there has not been done the like of what has been done against Jerusalem. 13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us, yet we have not entreated the favor of the LORD our God, turning from our iniquities and giving heed to thy truth. 14 Therefore the LORD has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us; for the LORD our God is righteous in all the works which he has done, and we have not obeyed his voice. 15 And now, O Lord our God, who didst bring thy people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast made thee a name, as at this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16 O Lord, according to all thy righteous acts, let thy anger and thy wrath turn away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy hill; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people have become a byword among all who are round about us. 17 Now therefore, O our God, hearken to the prayer of thy servant and to his supplications, and for thy own sake, O Lord, cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary, which is desolate. 18 O my God, incline thy ear and hear; open thy eyes and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name; for we do not present our supplications before thee on the ground of our righteousness, but on the ground of thy great mercy. 19 O LORD, hear; O LORD, forgive; O LORD, give heed and act; delay not, for thy own sake, O my God, because thy city and thy people are called by thy name." 20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy hill of my God.