Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fasting-27 Reasons

January is often a month of prayer, fasting, and consecration. At Church Ablaze and many other churches often a Church wide fast is called by the leadership. When taking on a fast the big question that comes up is, "Why am I doing this?" My family did a little Bible study together and came up with 27 biblical reasons to fast.

1) Intensify the effectiveness of prayer Isaiah 58:9, Ezra 8:23
2) A means to seek the Lord Dan 9:3
3) A means to accompany confession Dan 9:3; I Samuel 7:6; Neh. 9:1-3
4) A means to accompany returning to the Lord Joel 2:12-16
5) A means to serve or worship God Luke 2:37, Acts 13;2-3
6) A means to accompany prayer Neh. 9:1-3; Luke 2:37; Acts 13:2-3
7) A means to accompany bible reading Neh. 9:1-3
8) A means to train our bodies 1 Cor. 9:27
9) A means to invoke humility Ezra 8:21
10) A means of mourning I Sam 31:13; II Sam. 1:12; 12:16
11) To accelerate physical healing Isaiah 58:8
12) So righteousness will go before you and glory behind you. Isaiah 58:8
13) To overcome strong temptations Luke 4:1-2
14) To strengthen obedience to God Luke 4:1-2
15) A response to being led by the Spirit Luke 4:1-2
16) To enhance personal devotions Matthew 6:16-18
17) To loosen heavy burdens and wickedness Isaiah 58:6
18) To free the oppressed Isaiah 58:6
19) To respond in times of crisis and seek deliverance 2 Chron. 20:3-4
20) To develop a hunger for God’s word over food. Matt. 4:4
21) To focus your hearing in making decisions Acts 13:2-3;
22) To find and set forth leaders Acts 14:23
23) To hear directions from God clearer Acts 10:30-32
24) To increase faith to overcome evil spirits Matt. 17:19-21; Mark 9:28-29
25) To seek God's protection Ezra 8:21-23
26) A reminder to share with the poor Isaiah 58:7
27) A reminder to help your family with needs Isaiah 58:7
Incorporating fasting as a spiritual discipline is like injecting an accelerator into all of the other means you pursue God. It totally is an example of offering your body as a living sacrifice to God (Rom. 12:1). A great ebook on the subject of prayer and fasting is available for free from John Piper called "Hunger for God". Take these 27 reasons to heart and make fasting apart of your spiritual growth. Also you can read a blog I did on Journaling that is a very effective spiritual discipline too. What has been your experience with fasting?

Listen to a message here: Spirtiual Disciplines II-Fasting

Read: 8 Biblical Reasons to Stop Fasting
Read: Ending a Fast-Six Things to Remember

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