Fasting & Prayer - Matthew 6:5-18

January 2, 2022 Speaker: Adrian Pina Series: The Book of Matthew

Topic: Spiritual Growth Passage: Matthew 6:5–6:18

What is Fasting?

Fasting is deliberately abstaining from the normal routines of life. Its purpose is to spend focused time in prayer and the study of God’s word, seeking to align our lives with God’s will. Ultimately, fasting is more about replacing than abstaining. It is filling our lives with God’s word, instead of with food, social media, or
entertainment. It is finding satisfaction and enjoyment in God and in God alone.

How to get started

1. Pick your fast

Full Fast: Drink liquids only. Please consult your doctor first.

Daniel Fast: Eat only vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans & legumes, nuts & seeds, water and juice.

Partial Fast: Not eating one or two meals on a specific day or abstaining from certain kinds of food.

All-day Food Fast: Abstaining from food one day or multiple days per week.

Activity/Media Fast: Forgoing a time-consuming activity such as entertainment, hobbies, television, internet,
sports, etc.

2. Set goals & write them down

Begin with clear personal goals. Be specific. Why are you fasting? Do you need direction, healing, restoration of your marriage, or resolution of family issues? Are you facing difficulties? Pray and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Keeping a journal throughout your fast is a great way to track and remember all God does during
your fast.

3. Feast on the word of God
Fasting is ultimately an expression of humility and dependence on God. It is about replacing the daily intake of food, entertainment and human contact with focused times of prayer, spending large amounts of time feeding on the Word of God and spiritual listening. The YouVersion Bible App and bible.com have a variety of 21 day
Bible reading programs.

4. Open your life before God

One of the great benefits of spiritual fasting is a heightened awareness of God’s presence and power in our lives. It is not that God has moved but that we have. Fasting has a great way of moving us towards a deeper spiritual dependency and away from willful self-dependency. The greatest breakthrough will take place when
you make time to examine your life and discover what areas most need breakthrough.

5. Expect God to move

Enter your fast by faith. The Word of God says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, for anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Spiritual fasting is a supernatural endeavor that has shaped and transformed God’s people for centuries.If you have doubt, ask God to meet you in your doubts and lead you in overcoming them, just as the apostles prayed, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5).

6. Key verses about Fasting

Exodus 34:28
Leviticus 16:29–31
Judges 20:26–27
2 Samuel 12:17–23
Esther 4:15–17
Isaiah 58:3–7
Psalm 35:13–14
Daniel 9:3; 10:1–3
Matthew 4:1–2; 6:16–18
Luke 5:33–35; 18:12

More in The Book of Matthew

March 29, 2020

The Crazy Carousel

March 22, 2020

First the Birds and Now Flowers?

March 15, 2020

The Birds of the Air