Yellow Creek Baptist Church Fasting Primer

Fasting and prayer is a spiritual discipline that is seldom preached or taught and even less frequently practiced.  In Matthew 6:16, Jesus says, “Moreover when ye fast….”  Not if you fast, not should you fast, but WHEN you fast….in other words, Jesus is assuming we are going to fast. 

In Matthew 17, Jesus, Peter, James, and John are coming down off the Mount of Transfiguration.  They come upon the remaining disciples and a multitude of people in a big hullabaloo.  A man steps forward to Jesus and says, “My son is possessed with a devil.  I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t cast the demon out.”  Jesus promptly casts the demon out of the boy.

Now this wouldn’t seem unusual EXCEPT a few chapters before, Jesus gave the disciples the power to cast out demons.  So as you can imagine, they are perplexed as to why they couldn’t cast the demon out of the young man and they ask Jesus privately, “What’s up?”  Look at Jesus answer in Matthew 17:21.  “Howbeit this kind goeth not out buy by prayer and fasting.”  

In other words, there are some things that cannot be accomplished by prayer alone.  There are some situations in life that require prayer AND fasting.  There are some prayers that will never be answered unless we also FAST when we pray.  

Fasting and prayer works.  There are numerous families at Yellow Creek that can give testimony: Kyle & Casey Murphy, Phillip & Erin Chambers, Rusty & Marsha Mauney, Garrison & Whitlee Goosetree, and many more. 

Why don’t more people fast?  Because its hard.  Very hard.  Our society today thinks religion should be easy.  But ask any person who has ever received an answer from a fasting prayer and they’ll tell you, the sacrifice is very much worth it.  

There are 4 types of fasts:

1. Esther fast…..give up all food and water.  Not recommended for long periods of time unless directly supervised by a physician.

2.  Liquid only…..drink water/protein shakes only…no food.

3.  Daniel fast….fruits and vegetables only plus liquid.  No meats, sweets, or breads.

4.  Lenten fast…giving up something that’s important to you such as TV, Facebook, etc., and replacing that time with prayer.  

To have a successful fast, you need the following:

1. Purpose….why/what/who are you fasting for?  You can have multiple purposes.  Write them down so you can specifically pray over your purposes during the fast.

2.  Plan…you need a written out plan of how you are going to fast.  If you have never fasted before, start with liquid and only do it for 24 hours.  Eat supper early, then start your fast at 5PM.  When you wake up the next morning, you are over half way there.  After you liquid fast, Daniel fast for 48-72 hours.  Then Lenten fast for the remainder of your time.  

Word of caution:  Don’t get bogged down in the plan/method.  Don’t be legalistic on yourself.  You are not a failure if you accidentally eat a piece of candy.  The MOTIVE of your fast is way more important than the METHOD.  

3.  Fast with Friends…In the Bible, when the Man of God called the people/nation to a fast, everyone knew that everybody else was fasting too.  In a similar manner, during our 21 day fast to dedicate the year 2019 to The Lord, we need friends we can contact when we are struggling and about to give in.  Kind of like an alcoholic’s sponsor in AA.  Your fasting friends will know your purpose, your plan, and they will be fasting and praying along with you.  I suggest having at least one or two fasting friends.

Our church wide fast is Wednesday January 2nd, 630PM through Wednesday January 23rd, 630PM.

Get ready to receive for the breakthrough you have been looking for!!  You may not ever receive it unless you fast AND pray for it.  

For further info on Fasting & Prayer, check out the messages on Fasting and Prayer at www.yellowcreekbaptistchurch.com or contact Pastor Phillip at phillipchambers@bellsouth.net, his cell at 731-616-4014, or on Facebook.