Fasting


Something I never heard taught much on or discussed much in Arkansas for some reason was the subject of fasting. When we moved up here on New Year’s weekend, it was announced in the Sunday morning service that the church was going to begin a 21-day fast. I haven’t had someone teaching me about fasting, and getting me pumped about this fast. I show up, and “hey, we’re starting a fast.”

The fast that our church is doing is a progressive 21-day fast, to make it easier for people to participate. The first week (began on Friday the 7th) was a Daniel fast – Vegetables, Fruit, Whole grains, and Water. The second week is juice and water only. The third week (Beginning this Friday for anyone who’d like to join me) is water only.

I’ve done some fasting from time to time with the longest lasting 7 days of water and diluted juice only. I’ve done 3 days of water only, and single days with water only. I’ve done 21 days of a Daniel fast. I’ve never done 14 days without food whatsoever. This has been by far easier than ever. It hasn’t been effortless, however. My second night of juice and water, I thought I’d just give up – I ate a snack. The conviction that came over me after I ate was overwhelming! I felt as if I had committed a huge sin or something.

Let me share with you why I’m fasting, and what the purpose of fasting is.

  • the 21-day fast is a fast of breakthrough. Daniel fasted and prayed for 21 days then received his answer.
  • I don’t fast to get God’s attention or to get God to do something for me; I fast so God can get my attention, so I can do what He wants me to do. It’s all about posturing myself to hear from God clearer than ever before.
  • My body hungering reminds me of how much my spirit is hungry for God, His Word, and more prayer time.
  • When I am hungry during this fast, I’m reminded often of people who go without eating all the time – and not by their own choice.
  • Something changes as you fast – you become more aware of God’s presence in your life. Ideas flow, answers come, and there is more clarity than ever.
  • Fasting is also actually good for your body. Doing a water only fast for 3 days is medically known to help clean out the toxins from your body. This is why you have a headache for the first 2-3 days. After the “detox” period, the fast gets easier.
  • I’ve never done a 21-day water only fast, but I hear there are three milestones: the first day, the third day, and the 10th day. I am told that after 10 days of water only, your body’s metabolism changes, and you can go long-haul if you’d like.

A quick disclaimer: If you have health conditions that will be aggravated by fasting, don’t do a water only fast. A Daniel fast is more suited to you. Consult your doctor if you desire to go on a fast if you have health trouble!

So why am I fasting? At first it was because everyone else was. Now it’s because I want to draw closer to the Lord and hear His direction for the year.

What’s your thoughts on fasting? I’d love to hear some testimonies from some of you who have fasted and what the result of your fast was.

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7 thoughts on “Fasting

  1. Nodrog says:

    Hey TJ, hope you are surviving the ongoing effects of moving…

    I haven’t done much fasting, and none recently. The irony is always that it’s difficult to talk about because (some)people throw the ‘fast in secret’ instruction back at you, but I see no reason why we can’t discuss it, as long as we’re not trying to make people think that we’re ultra-holy. In fact, the usual comment I’ve heard from scripture is that Jesus said “WHEN you fast”, not “if” so I am obviously breaking that instruction (though probably not only that instruction!). I remember also getting hung up about whether I would only be fasting for the (physical) health benefits and not spiritual ones, or to give me more time for busyness instead of stillness… My spirituality is not very consistent or well-thought-out but I think fasting needs a place somewhere, sometime.

  2. Mark W. says:

    I’m sure this is going to be a major experience for you. All the best!

    My (ex)brother-in-law once fasted completely on fruit juice and water for 40 days. He did it for spiritual reasons, but the transformation on his body was also astonishing. By the end, he looked extremely gaunt. He did, however, also take on the peaceful and giving nature of a true sage – very impressive! Just watching him convinced me that the spiritual cleansing involved in fasting is “for real!”

    So, as I said, all the best!

  3. Jim says:

    Fasting…such a lost word…a lost concept…a lost practice. RARELY have I ever been privy to messages/lessons/whatever on this subject. Which forced me to investigate it on my own. And what I found was absolutely amazing. I still can’t believe how little it is practiced! I’ve been led to fast on many occasions, mostly 3 day fasts, however there was one 10 day fast…the results are still indescribable. Kinda tough though…I can do without food, but 10 days without coffee…well you get the picture!

  4. TJ says:

    day 15… everything is going great. I begin the final week today with no food and just water. Pray for me, and pray with me!

    This is getting really exciting. God is churning some things inside of my (or is that my stomach?). I’m about to ramp up some more on the prayer time during this final week. Can’t wait to see what the Lord reveals this week, and what He directs me to do for Him.

    One thing I’m really seeking Him about, and I would like all of you who frequent my blog to agree with me in prayer too, is that some doors open for this computer business.

    Thank you all for your encouraging words!

  5. Mark W. says:

    Amens to the computer business, TJ. We’re praying for you (while holding a donut and coffee – I hope that still counts!)

  6. Robert Fellows says:

    I’m happy to pray with you and for you, TJ. And thank you for opening my eyes to various ways to fast.

  7. Mary says:

    Hey TJ,
    I shared a little on the phone with you this evening about the fast that we started as a church on Jan. 1st going through the 21st. Pastor called a 21 day fast for our church and encouraged all to participate. I guess you guys weren’t here during the time he did a series of teachings/sermons on fasting; why we do it, the benefits, pretty much what you put in your blog. We heard a great majority were involved in our fast this year with some doing the Daniel Fast and one gentleman in particular is on a journey to fast 40 days with water and juice only and I might add he did a 40 day fast this time last year. We were also encouraged to not only fast from the physical desire of food but also fasting secular television and to spend that time reading God’s word, praying, listening to gospel music, listening to preaching sermons on Christian television, tapes, or CD’s. We were encouraged to pray WITH our family each day and to sow a special seed offering during the fast. I can say without a doubt it has brought many closer to God and the fruits of this is evident. As we fasted for a breakthrough we began to see a greater hunger for the things of God, even having new souls saved in our services the past two weekends. If you haven’t read the book or series of books that Jentezen Franklin has out on Fasting I encourage you to read them. Great books and his broadcasts have been on the subject of fasting the past few weeks as well. I expect to hear of great things happening in any place where they corporately fast together for their breakthrough in God. Take care…..miss you all!

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