Why do I fast? Isaiah 58:6-9 says it all so well.
"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? 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? 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. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, 'Here I am.'NKJV
It is also a critical discipline when it comes to increasing our faith and power. In Matthew 17 the disciples could not cast a demon out of a man. Jesus exhorted them in Matthew 17:20-21.
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. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."
Those are the main reasons why I fast. Not to mention Moses, David, Elijah and Jesus all fasted. Jesus said, once the bridegroom was taken away (He's the bridegroom) then we would fast. I want to be like Jesus and follow in His footsteps. The root word of fast in the Hebrew means "to cover the mouth." The dictionary says fasting means abstinence from food or limiting food.
There are Different Types of Fasts
A fast can last from one meal to 40 days. For those just starting out it is wise to start just one day at a time. After doing a day for a while then move to two or three days before attempting a longer fast.
As you develop in this discipline it will be wise to learn more about the process, the health benefits and how your body will react. There are ways to prepare to enter into a fast as well as coming out, You can hurt yourself.
I'll never forget my first 3 day fast. Our pastor called it for the whole church. We were excited. No one told me how to prepare. They did not tell me about how to reduce my coffee intake several days before so as to avoid caffeine headaches. They did not tell me about how to begin to change my diet by reducing the quantity and increasing fruits and vegetables so as to clean my system out before the fast. They did not tell me how to break a fast.
On the third day we were hungry and they broke the fast with a pot luck at church. That table was loaded with meet, hot dogs, beef, fried food and oh yeah, there was some vegetables and things like that but......... I was a guy and a former athlete. I eat meet and lots of it. Well, a lot of us guys stuffed ourselves and we were miserable. Don't do that.
It is wise to ease into a fast decreasing quantity moving towards fruits and vegetables and reverse it coming out. Meet is harder to digest. The longer the fast the longer the process.
What's on my Bookshelf?
The first book Brenda and I ever got was "God's Chosen Fast" by Arthur Wallis. For years that is what we used as a guide. We also have: