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A Commonsense Guide to Fasting

Fasting is something commonly heard amongst us Christians. But, the question is - how do we fast? A 40 day fast? Daniel's fast? A 3 day fast? A liquid diet fast? Fast all the meals, or fast by skipping just one meal?

Taking a look at the Old Testament, Moses writes in Leviticus 23:27 about “affliction your souls”. In Brother Hagin’s book “A Commonsense Guide To Fasting”, he shares with us the Hebrew meaning: “Ye shall humble yourself deeply before God inwardly by sorrow, and by judging and loathing yourselves; and outwardly by fasting and abstinence from all carnal comforts and delights”.

The Jews fasted for 24 hours; from sun down one day to sun up the next day. If we look at Joshua 7:6 we read that Joshua and the leaders lay on their faces before God until evening. Giving us an indication that it was from morning until evening, which is about 12 hours that they went without food. In the Old Testament we also see in Judges 20:26 and 2.Samuel 12:16 examples of fasting. So fasting has been around for a long time.

Taking a look at the New Testament, Jesus never endorsed any certain fast to be kept. The Holy Spirit has not given us instructions through the Apostles Paul, Peter, James, or John “to fast” or “not to fast”. The Apostle Paul did say that he fasted, but in all his letters to the Church, there is no reference instructing the Church to fast.

When we look at the four Gospels, Jesus said something about fasting in Luke 5:33-35. Some religious leaders asked why do the disciples of John fast and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but not Jesus’ disciples? Jesus answers by saying; can you make the children of the bride chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? Then Jesus goes on to say, “The day will come when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then they shall fast.” In Matthew 6:16-18 Jesus says, “When you fast anoint your head and wash your face; that you don’t show people that you are fasting, but you show the Father in secret, and the Father who sees in secret, will reward you openly.” This means that we are not to go around bragging about how much we pray, or how long we fast. Do it unto God and He will reward you openly.

Fasting is also mentioned in the book of Acts. In Acts 10:30 we read that Cornelius was fasting. Corneius was not saved at this time. He was a Jew, and Jews fasted. In Acts 14:23 we see that they ordained elders in the church with prayer and fasting. Acts 13, when they ministered to the Lord and fasted, The Holy Spirit said “separate Barnabas and Saul for the work which I have called them to”(vs 2).

The disciples fasting didn’t change God. So why do we fast? We fast to minister unto the Lord, and to ultimately change us. We take more time in prayer and communication with God, and become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit as we put our flesh under.

Fasting must have a purpose. In scripture we don’t see that they fasted for revival or for a mighty move of God. Again, the NT shows us that people fasted to minister to the Lord, to ordain men to the ministry, or to seek God in times of extreme danger. Have a purpose for why you are fasting, and don’t just fast because someone tells you to.

Be led of The Lord to fast. He will not put your life in harm or danger with your fasting. As Brother Hagin was fasting, the Lord spoke to him and directed him to live a fasted life. To make this his lifestyle. Fasting not just from food, but also from worldly things. Fasting, will make you more sensitive to the Lord.

In everything you do be led by the Holy Spirit. This is why we teach this class “How to be led by the Holy Spirit”. If you are an Alumni, you already had this class, but revision is great. Send us an email so you can join us in our next teaching session of the Holy Spirit. If you are a friend of RHEMA, come join us at one of our campuses so you can enrich your self with this truth and many more. You can find more information at our website

God Bless you as you continue your walk with the Lord!


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