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When Christians Fast

To seek God’s wisdom and direction in ministry.  Mathew 4, Mark 1 and Luke 4 teach that Jesus spent forty days and nights fasting and praying before He began the work that His Father gave him to do. In Acts 14, Paul and Barnabas fasted for the elders of the churches before commissioning them into their pastoral ministry.

To seek deliverance or protection. With the Jewish people on the brink of eradication and before Esther makes her appeal to the king, she requests the Jewish people to fast and pray for three days. In Ezra 8, Ezra announces a nationwide fast and prays for safety as they travel 900 miles from Babylon to Jerusalem.

To repent and experience God’s mercy. After Jonah preached to the city of Nineveh, the Bible reveals that the king led the city in repenting by fasting and prayer. Jonah 3:10, “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, He relented and did not bring on them the destruction He had threatened.”

To experience a spiritual breakthrough (Daniel 10:1-3, 12-13). Sometimes we fast not knowing that what we really are facing or struggling with is spiritual warfare. Clearly, yet unbeknownst to Daniel, this is what he was facing.

To break the bonds of sin, to experience spiritual health. This could be in your own life or in the lives of others.  There are some habits, some addictions, some patterns of sin that can only be broken when God’s people fast.

To worship God. Luke 2 introduces us to Anna. She’s 84 years old and she fasts.  Verse 37 reads, “She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.” If you desire to see your affections and worship of God increase, I encourage you to fast and see what God does.

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