Sunday, May 3, 2009



Q. My question is about fasting. I know that there are examples in the New Testament of people fasting, but I’ve never had a pastor ever teach about it. How should we fast? When? For how long? How often? How does it work? What is it’s purpose? Please teach me about this subject and how I should incorporate it into my own life and walk with God. Thank you, as always, for all of your hard work.

A. Believers fast when they want to show that an issue has great urgency or importance to them. It could be for healing, direction, intercession or other significant matter. The length and type of fast depends on the person, and could be a partial fast, like foregoing only certain foods, or a complete fast. The important thing is that you do what you commit to and keep it secret.

Matt. 6:17-18 says, “But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Since the Lord didn’t say “If you fast” but “When you fast” it seems that fasting should be a regular part of our prayer life.

Is This Fasting Or Not?

Q. Hello again, still watching your web. Learning answers to a lot of topics I have wondered about for a long time. Every one is talking Fasting. I go to a church that does fasting different than I’ve ever heard. I believe that you give up food in some way or totally for as long as you feel God would exspect of you as an individual. I have heard that a person can fast things like giving up T.V or some kind of pleasure. I do not believe in this as to me it seems like one is giving up a sin that should not be in your life any way. What does the Word say? I really would like your thought on this. Maybe I am wrong. God Bless you and I’ll look for an answer.

A. Many Christians give up little pleasures for a time and call it fasting. But Biblical fasting involves either limiting or going entirely without food or drink or both.

Also, the dictionary defines fasting as, “1) To abstain from food. 2) To eat very little or abstain from certain foods, especially as a religious discipline.”

The idea is to devote the time normally spent eating to prayer and also let our hunger pains prompt us to pray. Jesus spoke of fasting as if it should be a normal part of our Christian life.

The Israelites were required to fast on certain Holy Days, Yom Kippur for example. Several Biblical characters fasted for extended periods. Among them were Moses, Elijah, Daniel, John the Baptist, Paul, and Jesus. It’s a way of focusing intently on God and listening for His will on an issue. Fasting often precedes embarking on an important mission for the Lord.

Casting Out A Demon

Q. In Mark 9:14-29 is Jesus saying that the unclean spirit in the boy can only be delivered through prayer and fasting only. Is this applicable in our day or do we have the authority to expel a demon?. If we were to pray and fast, will Jesus remove the demon without expelling it ourselves? What happens if the person is hostile to any sort of ministry?.

A. Prayer and fasting are ways to gird ourselves for battle. They build up our spiritual strength. Some spiritual battles are tougher than others, and Jesus was telling His disciples that the demon they were up against had great strength and would be difficult to dislodge. Jesus cast out the boy’s demon because He had sufficient strength then and there and didn’t need to go and prepare Himself like the disciples did.

If you’re asking about casting a demon out of an uncooperative person, forget it unless you’ve been specifically called to a deliverance ministry and are adequately prepared. Read Acts 19:13-16 to see why.


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