(Republished from first post on 6/15/07)
Jesus said that some things happen “by nothing but by prayer and fasting” I would think any prayer warrior would want this spiritual bunker blaster. But some are afraid to handle such a weapon or don’t know how. Others don’t realize the benefits of such.
God tells us how to properly fast in Isaiah 58. In vs. 3 and 4 we find that we must be holy, sincere, earnest, and charitable and not fast to be noticed. Fasting is to humble ourselves before God. (v.5) And God knows our intentions.
But what are the benefits? (v.6) Fasting breaks strong chains of wickedness, cuts loose heavy burdens, frees the oppressed, and breaks bondage. No wonder the devil tries to make the saints steer clear of fasting! Also, when we are not eating it gives us more income to help the poor, (v.7) which God wants us to do. One of the greatest misconceptions is that fasting will harm you physically, but God (v. 8) promises that your health will spring forth speedily. Dr. Joel Fuhrman (see his book Fasting and Eating for Health)and other doctors who specialize in fasting for treatment prove that fasting is healthy. Besides, Jesus would not advocate something destructive to His temple. Those who fast much testify to improved health and vanishing infirmities. Scientific studies show that those who have lived under fasting type conditions have longer life spans. Deny yourself and step away from the table, for many are digging an earlier grave with their fork.
Another benefit (v. 8) is that the glory of Jehovah will guard your back, similar to the children of Israel with Pharaoh’s army. When you call (v. 9) God will answer. When you cry, God will say, “Here I am.” God reiterates that with fasting you must live a blameless, careful, God fearing life, but if so, He will exalt your light in the middle of nowhere (v. 10) and it will break forth as the morning. (v. 8) Commentators believe that “light” refers to prosperity. Your darkness will be like high noon. Your every step will be ordained of God, He will feed your soul in famine, give vigor to your bones, and you’ll be like a flourishing garden and an eternal, artesian spring. Also they that are of you will build the old ruins, you will build the foundations of many generations, and you’ll be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the paths to dwell in. Meditate on that! But God gives one final condition (v.13) if you want Him to heed your fast and bless you like this. Don’t meddle with His Day of Rest. That is, don’t do your tasks and pleasures, but honor God not walking in your own ways, not finding your own pleasure, nor even speaking your own words, and then to consider this type of life delightful. Then God will cause you (v. 14) to delight in Him, give your life the ride of its life with abundant blessing, and nourish you with the heritage that He has promised Jacob. That’s a fact; keep your end of the covenant and God will prove it to you.
For water-only fasts longer than several days or more: 1) Lead up to your fast eating raw fruits and vegetables. 2) Expect weakness, pain, dizziness, and cold from detoxification, slowed metabolism, and lower blood pressure. 3) Drink lots of pure water. 4) Come off long fasts (1 week – 40 days) with juices and broths for the first 2 days. 5) Then eat juicy fruits & vegetables (starting slowly) for the same amount of time as your fast. 6) Plan on loosing a pound a day. 7) If you break your fast with heavy meals or food too rapidly there could be dire consequences with acute pain or worse. For you must give your body time to build up its digestive enzymes again (yogurt cultures & probiotics help). There is a strong temptation to gluttony after fasting, but it is harmful and can go to accelerated weight gain with your slowed metabolism. (If you are uncertain about fasting due to health problems, the above mentioned book would be an advisable read.)