The Importance of Fasting
If Jesus felt it was necessary to fast as He entered into a new season of ministry, we also should have that mindset.
Luke 4:1-2, 14 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry….14 Then Jesus returned in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Verse 1 says that He was filled with the Holy Spirit and then led by the Holy Spirit for a time of separation of fasting and prayer. Verse 14 says He returned from that experience in the power of the Holy Spirit. In the same manner, fasting and praying will release the power of God to flow through your life.
Fasting is important to obtain breakthrough for yourself and for others.
Isaiah 58:6 "Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, 'Here I am.' "If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, 10 If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday. 11 The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. 12 Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In. 13 "If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight the holy day of the LORD honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, 14 Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken."
As you can see from this passage, fasting and prayer grabs God’s attention.
Fasting and prayer is a key to breakthrough in a person’s life. Fasting will disconnect you from the world to connect you to God. The best thing you can do for others is to be close to God, so you can help them obtain their breakthrough.
Fasting and prayer applies pressure to things in the spirit causing Heaven to move on your behalf and on the behalf of others.
There are certain dimensions of God that you can only enter into through fasting and prayer.
Matt 17:14-21 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15 "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him." 17 Then Jesus answered and said, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me." 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" 20 So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."
“Faithless” means disconnected from God. “Perverse” means connected to the world.
“This kind” in verse 21 means that there are levels of strengths and hierarchies within the enemy’s kingdom that can only be dealt with victoriously as a result of fasting and prayer. There are certain battles you will not win without fasting. Fasting adds pressure in the realm of the spirit.
Jesus says the problem here is unbelief. Fasting and prayer will activate and grow your faith to operate in deeper levels of God’s power. Fasting and prayer is a detoxification process of your spirit and mind and it will take you to a new level in every area of your life.
Fasting and prayer can bring healing to a nation.
2 Chron 7:14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Fasting is a condition of the humbling of self. Fasting will determine your motives.
Fasting intensifies your prayer life. Fasting is a purifier; prayer is an activator.
When God sees the humility and hears the prayers of the saints, He hears from Heaven and responds to the cries of His people.
Fasting and prayer will help you to get your spiritual edge back.
Eccl 10:10 If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success.
Many times we make situations worse because we try to deal with them with a dull edge (i.e. we aren’t sharp in the Spirit). If your spiritual walk has been sluggish, dry, and/or dull, fasting and prayer will help to “sharpen the ax.”
Fasting and prayer will give you revelation of God.
Dan 10:2-11 2 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. 3 I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. 4 Now on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris, 5 I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! 6 His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude. 7 And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. 8 Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength. 9 Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground. 10 Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. 11 And he said to me, "O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you." While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling.
Most of the time you will see the results of your time in prayer and fasting after it is over. This passage states that Daniel fasted and prayed for three weeks, and on the 24th day (three days after the fast) he had a Divine encounter and revelation from God. This does not mean that you won’t experience anything in the midst of your fast.
Ps 10:17 LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear,
This passage shows that God prepares the heart to receive the answers to prayer. Fasting will cause you to enjoy the answer when it comes, carry the answer when it comes, and give God the glory for it when it comes.