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Trinity Church Interdenominational

FASTING & PRAYER

BASIC INFORMATION

15555 W Dodge Road :: Omaha, NE 68154 402.330.5724 :: www.trinityomaha.com

The Definition of Fasting

Fasting is giving up something, on purpose, we normally do regularly (eating, drinking, TV, chocolate, Internet, marital relations, coffee, sports, newspaper reading, watching the news, etc.) in order to increase our focus & time commitment to God.

The Biblical Basis For Fasting

Fasting is mentioned throughout Scripture, in both the Old & New Testaments. Key fasting passages include: · Matthew 6:16 ­ "When you fast..." Jesus speaks to his disciples assuming that fasting will be a part of their lives. · Isaiah 58 ­ This chapter speaks of God's heart for fasting as a tool to "set the oppressed free" & to "break every yoke." (v.6) · Mark 9:29 ­ Here Jesus teaches his disciples that certain demons "can only come out by prayer & fasting." · Ezra 8:23 ­ In this instance, Ezra proclaims a fast seeking safe passage for Israel as they return to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon. Here Ezra proclaims, "So we fasted & petitioned our God about this, & He answered our prayer."

Various Types of Fasts

Fasting can take many forms, including: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Total ­ This is where no food or liquid is consumed. This type of fast in not normally recommended & must be miraculously empowered by God if practiced over an extended period of time) Normal ­ No food or nourishment is consumed; also referred to as a "water" fast Modified ­ No solid food is consumed,; also called a "juice" fast Daniel ­ This is a vegetarian/water fast that excludes all "pleasure" foods or beverages Selective ­ This fast involves giving up some food or activity we normally consume or engage in; this is especially recommended for pregnant women or those with illnesses that preclude them from drastically altering their diets

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What You Can Expect When You Fast & Pray

A number of things happen when we fast and pray. Here is some of what you can expect: 1. Connection ­ Expect to have a better spiritual connection with God. Many times the things we choose to fast have been causing spiritual "static" that make it difficult to hear God's voice or sense His presence; giving up these things often removes that static & sharpens our "reception." 2. Bumps ­ Fasting often reveals things in us that we hadn't seen before (i.e. anger, bitterness, hurt, etc.) As these things rise to the surface we get "bumped" emotionally and relationally. 3. Physical Changes ­ Our bodies go through a number of changes when we fast, particularly when giving up food. The absence of food in our system allows the body to go through a natural detoxification process, removing toxins from our system and freeing the body to perform some of the natural healing functions it was designed for. Certain "symptoms" may occur, including headaches, halitosis, dizziness, muscle fatigue, chills, etc. (Typically the intensity of these symptoms is relative to the length & nature of the fast itself.) 4. Spiritual Movement ­ As the great evangelist Mahesh Chavda has stated: "There are simply no shortcuts to His presence, & the surest path to holiness, purity & power is found in the powerhouse combination of prayer & fasting."

Seven Steps To a Successful Fast

There are seven helpful steps to a make the combination of prayer & fasting effective: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Set Your Objective ­ Determine your reason for fasting; this will help give you focus Make Your Commitment ­ Make a solid decision to fast, then stick with it Prepare Spiritually ­ Seek the Lord's guidance in prayer before the fast begins Prepare Physically ­ Gradually adjust your diet depending on the length/nature of your fast Choose A Schedule ­ Ask the Lord to show you what you are to fast & how long. End Gradually ­ See the chart at the end of this packet to assist you in ending your fast Expect Results ­ Stir faith that expects to see God move in the area of your prayers

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Journaling Through A Time of Fasting & Prayer

Below is a template to help you journal through your fast on a daily basis. This is just a suggested format and can be adjusted on an individual basis.

Day #_______ Today's Date: _________________ Time I got up this morning: ___________________ General physical feeling:______________________ General emotional feeling: ____________________ Physiological changes: _______________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ Progress toward my spiritual goal: ______________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ Level of hunger: _____________________________ Desire for water: _____________________________ Special challenges to maintaining the fast: _______ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ Other notes: ________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ Time I rested today: __________________________ Time I went to bed: __________________________ Day #_______ Today's Date: _________________ Time I got up this morning: ___________________ General physical feeling:______________________ General emotional feeling: ____________________ Physiological changes: _______________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ Progress toward my spiritual goal: ______________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ Level of hunger: _____________________________ Desire for water: _____________________________ Special challenges to maintaining the fast: _______ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ Other notes: ________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ Time I rested today: __________________________ Time I went to bed: __________________________

Recommended Resources

There are a number of resources available on the subject, including: · · · · · · God's Chosen Fast, by Arthur Wallis Fasting For Spiritual Breakthrough, by Elmer L. Towns The Hidden Power of Prayer and Fasting, by Mahesh Chavda The Coming Revival, by Bill Bright www.billbright.com/howtofast www.billbright.com/7steps

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Guidelines For Breaking Short or Long Fasts

Here is a tested and proven method for safely breaking your fast over a six day period:

For a fast lasting... Day 1 2 to 6 Days Three or four meals of your choice of "acid fruit" (i.e. oranges, grapefruit, etc. A diet of light soup or milk consumed in moderation. Drink plenty of water while gradually working in to your regular diet. Important note: take an equal number of days that you fasted to work back to your normal diet. If you fast for three days, take three days to get back to your normal diet Always remember to drink plenty of water; people need an average of 80 oz. of water per day 7 to 14 Days 15 to 21 Days 21 Days or Longer Break fast with one Three meals that Three meals of 3 oz. glass of fresh fruit include 4 to 6 oz. Servings of fruit juice. Follow with Servings of fruit juice diluted with two moderate meals juice diluted w/equal equal amount of of choice "acid fruit" amount of water. water. 3 or 4 meals of fresh 3 or 4 meals of fresh 3 or 4 meals of fresh fruit and plenty of fruit juice, 6 to 8 oz. fruit juice, 5 to 6 oz. water. Space meals 5 diluted with equal diluted with equal to 6 hours apart. amount of water. amount of water. Light soups, light Three meals of fresh 3 or 4 meals of fresh green salads and a fruit, drinking plenty fruit juice, 8 oz. glass of milk with of water throughout diluted with equal each meal. the day. amount of water. To return to normal Continue with the Three meals of fresh weight drink plenty fresh fruit or add: fruit, drinking plenty of milk or light one glass of milk of water throughout soups and eat plenty every 3 hours, or the day. of light salads light soups/salads Three meals of fresh Three meals of fresh Begin following the "acid fruit" or feel fruit or light 15-21 day course. free to add "sweet" soups/salads and Don't rush the fruit as well drink plenty of water breaking process! Carry on working Keep to milk, fruit If you have fast 30 back to a regular and soups. Work days, take 30 days to diet. If your body back slowly to get back to regular begins bloating, give vegetable meals. diet. Drink plenty of up milk for 2 days. Drink water and rest! water every day!

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