When to Fast
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. —John 16:13
It’s easy to recognize physical hunger, but what about spiritual hunger? Aside from the corporate fast we are doing right now, how do you know when to fast? There are times when you should fast on your own and you need to know how to recognize those times.
Mammoth Tasks Have you ever been faced with something that you knew was impossible to accomplish on your own? God gave Nehemiah a burden for the city of his people. When he received word about the condition of Jerusalem he said, “So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1:4). Nehemiah knew he had to do something.
Against amazing odds, Nehemiah got the job done! God empowered and equipped Nehemiah to rebuild the city in a ridiculously short period of time. You may not be rebuilding city walls, but God has put a dream in your heart. Fast and pray for His means and direction to accomplish it.
Physical Danger or Under Attack Queen Esther and all the Jews were under threat of extermination at the hand of Haman. She called a 3-day fast for the Jews. What the Enemy intended for evil, God turned around for good because she humbled herself, fasted and prayed, and sought His face!
Are you facing something that will put you in physical danger? Are you facing surgery, a dangerous journey of some sort? Do you or someone you love serve in the military? You can fast and pray for the protection?
Appalled Sometimes we are so overwhelmed by a sin in our nation, that it drives us to our knees and causes us to fast. The fact that we live in a society where human trafficking—specifically the sale of little children in the sex-trade—could become the second highest crime in the nation is utterly appalling. The only thing more appalling is how long this nation has said that our children are disposable, beginning in the womb.
Demonic Oppression Jesus said there are times when nothing but fasting and prayer will drive out the source of demonic oppression in someone’s life (Mark 9:29). Demons are real. Jesus began His earthly ministry with a grueling 40-day fast and gave His followers authority over the power of the Enemy.
The Holy Spirit’s Prompting The Holy Spirit knows when you need to fast. He led Jesus on His first fast in the wilderness. The Holy Spirit knows when you are losing the edge in your life. Jesus said of the Holy Spirit, “…when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth. (John 16:13). The more you choose to make fasting and prayer part of your life, the more sensitive you become to the Spirit of God.