It is a brand new year laced with everything new. We are unaware and do not have control of how the days of the year will metamorphose; hence we seek for guidance, put our hands on the plough and hope to be victorious. In the midst of all the excitement about the New Year, it is pertinent to set aside some time to equip oneself for the tasks, challenges, tests and trials ahead in the New Year; one of such ways is fasting.
Fasting is an appetite-denying exercise achieved through the vehicle of discipline to better concentrate on God. It is essential for spiritual growth and to fine-tune our body/soul/spirit to heaven’s frequency. For fasting to be effective, it must be accompanied with prayer to ensure that you are not starving yourself; it is possible to pray without fasting but you can’t fast without praying.
There are different types of fasting:
Regular Fast – This means refraining from eating food for a period of time. Most people still drink water during a regular fast.
Partial Fast – This type of fast generally refers to omitting a specific meal from your diet or refraining from certain types of foods just as Daniel restricted his diet to vegetables and water.
Full Fast – These fasts are complete – no food and no drink. Paul went on a full fast for three days following his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. Esther also called for this type of fast for three days. It is recommended that this type of fast be done with extreme caution and not for extended periods of time.
You may be asking, why do we fast? Here are some reasons why:
- To draw closer to God so as to strengthen our relationship with him. During fasting we bond with God by seeking his presence. While in his presence we get to know him more and more.
- To consecrate our soul and bodies; that’s why we abstain from food and other things such as social media.
- When Jesus was to be tested by the devil in Matthew 4: 1-2, He prepared for the test by fasting. Fasting equips us to be victorious in times of tests/trials; they usually come unexpected.
- For a ready and receptive heart, sensitive to insights and understanding.
- Renewal of strength – The bible says, “they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.”
- Benefits of Fasting:
Spirit & Soul
- Guidance: You enjoy divine guidance from God and through revelation, you’ll have an understanding about things to come.
- Better bonding with God and alignment to his will.
- You become more focused on God as you exercise your faith.
- It gives your internal organs the opportunity to take a break and relax from digesting food. These organs work round the clock, they also need a break.
- Weight loss: calorie intake reduces which constitutes to weight loss.
How to Get the Best of Fasting :
- Pray: Jesus derived strength from solitude with God. As often as possible, He withdrew to pray. You need to engage in prayer constantly. This does not mean you will leave your daily work activities; you can take out 5 – 10min to pray and if you’re not able to take some time out, you can pray in your mind. Christ dwells on your inside so he can hear you.
- Feed on the word. You are abstaining from food to be filled with God’s word. Thanks to bible apps, you can download bible promises, read through scriptures without anyone knowing.
- Reminisce on God’s goodness to stir up your faith regarding whatever you’re looking up to him for.
- Always give thanks because you know your labour is not in vain and that your prayer requests have been answered.
As we go through the 21 days fasting & prayers, be steadfast to follow through; before you know it, 21 days will be over. What is most important is that you have sought God during these days and received a word, inspiration, idea customised just for you to soar higher in 2019. Don’t miss out. Get on board and stay on board.
Written by Bolutife Ore-Dawodu