Many of you know that I try to start every New Year with a time of focused prayer and fasting. Typically, I do 21-days, but sometimes shorter/longer as I feel the Lord is directing me. Over the years, fasting has been an integral part of my spiritual growth, but I consider myself somewhat of a newcomer to fasting. Although I have been saved most of my life, I only started fasting about 8 years ago. To be honest, I never thought I could do it.
I think that’s why I enjoy supporting the fasting experience for others. The spiritual benefits of fasting far outweigh the deprivation from my favorite foods.
Hands down, I think the best way to learn about fasting is through the book, Fasting by Jentezen Franklin. This book is easy-to-read, is Biblically based and totally enlightened me on the principles of fasting.
I sometimes fast throughout the year as well, typically when I am going through a very difficult season. Last year, I was faced with a very difficult business decision.
I wanted direction from the Lord about which direction I should take my consulting and coaching business. I had mentally wrestled with the different options and paths I could take, but felt like my head was spinning in circles. Have you ever felt that way?
At the advice of a trusted deacon from my church, my husband joined me in a 3-day fast and we asked the Lord to confirm His direction for me by the witness of two to three other people (2 Corinthians 13:1).
True to God’s Word, by the end of my fast, I knew what I needed to do. Keep in mind, this issue had been weighing on me for months, and I just couldn’t get settled in my spirit about it.
Some breakthroughs come only by prayer and fasting – even the apostles learned that in Mark 9:29.
The direction wasn’t necessarily the “easiest” path, but praise the Lord, I knew what He wanted me to do! Also, just to level set expectations…the confirmation by two or three others was not some mystical, thunder and lightning experience. In some ways, it was subtle, and I think that’s why Jesus Himself said we should “watch and pray.” (Mark 14:38)
That passage talks about avoiding temptation, and we typically think of “traditional” temptations like fornication, adultery or stealing. Sometimes we can simply be tempted to not trust God. Unbelief can tempt us to do things our way and in our own time, which is ultimately sin or disobedience. Without faith it’s impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6
If we only avoid certain foods during a period of fasting, we have missed the whole point and deprived ourselves for no reason. We have to study the Word consistently – at least read a verse of Scripture a day – and we absolutely have to pray and then watch how The Holy Spirit guides or speaks.
I love testimonial posts!
As we experience this prayer and fasting journey together, I would love to hear how you are hearing from the Lord. Feel free to leave a comment below with your testimonial.