The Power of Fasting

“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. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so 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.” - Matthew 6:16-18



The Importance of Fasting:


“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. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so 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.” - Matthew 6:16-18

This Week’s Fast:

This past week, my friends and I completed a 7-day fast in an effort to grow in our personal relationships with God. We each had different goals in mind, whether it was to develop our spiritual discernment, or gain breakthrough in certain areas. A huge tool for us to stay connected was The Bible App’s, “7 Days of Prayer and Fasting,” plan that allowed us to interact with each other each day.

I have fasted before in the past, however this one was different for a myriad of reasons. First, I did this fast with a group of people, whereas before I usually did them alone. Second, I was intentional at the outset and determined to see it through to the end no matter what. Third, I actually prepared my body for the fast prior to beginning. Lastly, I thought about it deeply prior to, and identified the areas in which I wanted to see breakthrough.

Additionally, I set aside three different times each day that I would pray during the fast. This honestly did wonders, and helped me to not concentrate so much on my physical hunger.


What did we fast from?


This is an important area, because it really has to be a sacrifice. You should give up something that will cause you to rely on God in order to make it through the day. Some of my friends fasted from social media, some fasted from food during the hours of 6am-6pm, others fasted from secular music, certain tv shows, or in any other area they believed would help them grow closer to God. Personally, I fasted from food, gave up secular music, and limited my time on social media tremendously (I still posted a few times, but only as it pertained to Assuredly Ashore’s Instagram page).


The hardest area for me during my fast, was refraining from eating food between 6am-6pm. If you know me, then you know I LOVE food. I look forward to each and every one of my meals lol.


Well, during this fast, I had to be intentional about not allowing myself to fall into temptation. Working from home, it is so easy to walk into the kitchen and get something to eat. I really had to suppress my fleshly desire to eat, and instead look to God to fill me up spiritually.

While it was difficult in the beginning, I actually starting looking forward to the pangs of hunger, because this was my opportunity to lean closer into God. This was when I knew it was time to pray and push in closer to get the results I wanted to obtain by the end of this fast. As each day passed, I found myself become more proud of myself as I made it through another day. However, the third day was the hardest for me. Once I made it over that hump, I knew I could keep going.


Suggestions on How to Fast:


I suggest that before you start a fast, to really prepare your mind, spirit, and body for the task at hand (unless you are led to just jump into one immediately). The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. I would really think about the things you want to accomplish with the fast. Whether it’s growing closer to God, praying against spiritual warfare, receiving a breakthrough, discernment, peace, or any reason you feel led to pursue.


Most importantly, as the verse above states, DO NOT fast just to show others that you are fasting. Refrain from fasting in an effort to show how “holy” you are, or how you are “suffering” for the Lord. Like the verse said, you have already received your reward. Instead, we are to make ourselves appear refreshed to the outside world. The fast is between you and God, and not other people.


While you can participate in a corporate fast like my friends and I did, the main purpose of the fast should be to strengthen your individual relationship with God.


Do not get discouraged if you slip up. We are all human and it happens. Keep pushing, repent, and try to do better the next time. Spiritual growth is a process, and does not happen overnight. It could take months or years. I have participated in a few fasts over the years, and this is the first time that I have been able to truly say I stayed true to the guidelines.


Final Thoughts & Encouragement


Finally, you may be wondering why you should even fast. I am a true believer that we should each incorporate the practice of fasting and prayer into our lives as Christians. There is something about dying to your flesh in order to seek God, that is truly beautiful. Even Jesus said that, certain things will only come out of us through prayer and fasting. There is true breakthrough and spiritual growth on the other side!

If you feel led to fast, do not ignore it. One of my best friends, Ariel, who always seems to be on the same wavelength as me, felt really led to fast at the same time I did. One day when we were talking she expressed this, and I was like me too! The feeling has been on me really strong. Hence, how the seven day fast came to fruition.


When the feeling hits you, or if you just feel like you need to fast to gain understanding, declutter your mind, or gain guidance from the Holy Spirit, just do it. Prepare your mind and body by hydrating yourself in the days prior, eating healthy, taking your vitamins, and setting your guidelines.


Also, here is some great videos by Wonderful Acts on YouTube that has helped me tremendously! Make sure to subscribe to her channel!

I love you all, and I hope you have an amazing week! Be sure to let me know if you decide to fast, and if you need any encouraging words or have questions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uvQ4f4Xwu8&t=314s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDpXXBuy7Hw&t=32s

Connect with me on Instagram at @assuredlyashore_blog and @ashlaw23.

My email address is assuredlyashore@gmail.com.

 

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