Have you been longing for a breakthrough in your life? Today I stand at the precipice of a big decision and I need to hear from God to choose what’s best. It’s an area I’ve wrestled with for years and I need breakthrough. Yet, years of experience falling flat on my face while making life-changing decisions tells me I need more than Bible Study and prayer on this one. Spiritual fasting is the next right step toward the breakthrough I need.
A note from Sara: Today I’m honored to have Tiffany Montgomery, owner of HopeJoyinChrist.com and author of the book, A Beginner’s Guide to Fast and Pray. I know Tiffany personally and can tell you that she is a prayer warrior, a loving wife and mom, and a dear friend and mentor to many women. May her article, below, be a blessing to you.
What Does Spiritual Fasting Do Spiritually?
by Tiffany Montgomery of HopeJoyinChrist.com
Have you heard all the hype our culture has built up around the practice of intermittent fasting for weight loss? It’s the shiny new thing they are sure will solve all the problems of obesity.
If only the culture understood the truth power behind fasting the way God designed it.
“Fasting – Spiritual fasting – is a Biblical principle, a Spiritual discipline that when used with a humble heart draws you nearer to God as little else can.” – A Beginners Guide to Pray and Fast: Taking Spiritual Warfare to the Next Level by Tiffany Montgomery
When you draw near to God with a humble heart, God draws near to you.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8 NASB)
What Does Fasting Do Spiritually?
What is the purpose of fasting? To understand what fasting does spiritually, you have to know that there is a difference between fasting for weight loss however and spiritual fasting.
- Fasting for weight loss is about giving up food for a time in order to achieve a scale goal.
- Fasting spiritually is about giving up something you seek satisfaction from in order to seek God for help in your life.
Spiritual fasting is powerful and leads to breakthrough and awakening.
Spiritual Fasting Leads to Breakthrough and Awakening
Why is Spiritual fasting so powerful?
When you choose to give up something you seek satisfaction from, you are humbling yourself before God.
From what do you seek satisfaction? Don’t think I am saying you have to give up big things to find that breakthrough and awakening. The most powerful times of fasting in my past have been small fasts, like giving up social media for a week or TV for a day to spend that time that I was using to chill to seek God.
It’s amazing the amount of time we dedicate to entertainment. When you turn your time and focus over to God, He shows up and moves in powerful ways.
How to Fast and Pray for a Breakthrough
There are many different types of fasting in the Bible to give us direction, but I would offer a word of caution first. The Bible says more about how not to fast than it does how to fast. There are so many ways to mess up a time of fasting.
These are my top 3 ways to ruin a fast:
- Expecting God to answer like a genie.
- Giving up food for a day to seek God but secretly hoping to lose weight.
- Telling everyone around you about the fast for sympathy or respect.
Yes, I’ve crashed and burned while learning how to fast and pray in a way that pleases God. Through every mistake God has pushed me to get back up and try again (and share the failures with you to help you learn).
So how do you fast spiritually – well? When fasting is done with a humble heart and an open mind ready to hear whatever God wants to say, there is more power in it than any other spiritual discipline I’ve seen.
Logistics of Fasting
The first logical question when thinking about fasting is, “What do you eat when fasting in the Bible?” The answer is not a simple one. There are more than 9 Biblical fasts in the Bible.
- The 40-Day Fast
- A Complete Fast
- The Partial Fast
- The Daniel Fast
- Esther’s Fast
- The Passover Fast
- Group Fasting
- Isolation Fasting
- None-Food Fasts
- Unholy Things
- Dirty Things
Because there are so many types of spiritual fasting, we have to believe that the power behind fasting is not harnessed by following the rules as much as seeking God’s heart.
You may choose to join a group in 21 days of fasting and prayer and see amazing results. It may take you several attempts at fasting before you find the right thing to give up to drive you to prayer.
The reward of fasting in the Bible came to people practicing all different types of fasting. Be comforted and encouraged that you will find the right rhythm with this in time.
The Key to Fasting and Spiritual Awakening
The importance of prayer and fasting are seen throughout the stories in these Bible verses on Fasting. Whether we look at Daniel receiving visions to answer deep spiritual questions (Daniel 10:3), or Esther receiving favor from the King leading to salvation for her people (Esther 4:16). Jesus fasted and prayed before beginning His ministry on earth (Matthew 4:1).
Fasting and spiritual awakening go hand in hand when we look deeply into the endless fasting and prayer scriptures.
You only have to open the Word to see the connection.
If you wanted to create a “Spiritual Fasting Definition” you could say: Spiritual fasting is seeking breakthrough and awakening from God while abstaining from the things of the world used to dull your senses.
Just remember that the key to fasting and Spiritual awakening is humbly seeking God. Seeking God is always powerful. Humbly seeking God is taking powerful to the next level!
Will You Practice Spiritual Fasting for Breakthrough Today?
Knowing that Spiritual fasting leads to breakthrough and awakening is sadly not enough most days. Fasting is outside the normal cycle of life and so you need a plan to make it happen.
If you are longing for breakthrough in an area of your life that prayer and Bible study alone have not brought to you yet, a time of fasting may help.
Maybe you felt the stir but you are still unsure of the specific how-tos of fasting. No worries. I’ve written a short book to help guide you through the process of fasting.
A Beginners Guide to Pray and Fast: Taking Spiritual Warfare to the Next Level by Tiffany Montgomery. Get your copy and start the journey to spiritual breakthrough today.
In the meantime, I’d love to pray over you. Let me know how I can be praying in the comments.
Tiffany of Hope Joy in Christ inspires Christian Women to grow in faith, live out Biblical Marriage Principles and raise Godly Children. She is also author of A Beginners Guide to Fast and Pray: Taking Spiritual Warfare to the Next Level on Amazon. Join the Wives Only Facebook Group here or keep up with her through Pinterest.
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