Today my post will talk about Fasting with a purpose. In order to understand it I will outline the types of Fasts so that you can understand its value. If you’ve read my previous post regarding Hindrances to Prayer, then you will understand that when you are dealing with things that you cannot see nor comprehend, you have to up a level in your prayer life in order to have the Lord open your spiritual eyes to see what is really going on. I will list the types of Fasts that I am aware of and remember that I am listing them based on experience and from what I’ve read in my Bible. If I have missed anything out, feel free to add on to this list. This is still a learning process for me. I might have to split the post into parts for it to be reader friendly.
The Different Types of Fasting
1. 21 Day Fast – the Daniel Fast for Spiritual Warfare (Daniel 10:13) – Did you know that it takes 21 days to break a habit as well as build a habit? Research has proven this to be true and in the same way, this 21 Day fast is just as important to start getting into the practice of doing at least once every year. The Daniel Fast was a Spiritual Warfare Fast that Daniel needed to do in order to battle a great spiritual hindrance that he was dealing with which was the Prince of Persia. In Daniel 10:1-9 you will see that Daniel experienced a download of visions and revelations in his intense state of prayer and fasting. He did not eat meat, “pleasant food” , nor did he drink wine, and he didn’t anoint himself at all which is typical practice of a Personal Fast. Daniel described seeing a “glorious man” (Daniel 10:5-9) in a vision who informed him that Arch Angel Michael had come to help him fight that Prince of Persia and that the Prince of Greece was soon to come and only Arch Angel Michael could fight against that Prince (Daniel 10:20).
i.) Visions –Daniel could see the vision of a glorious man that had come to confirm that his prayers were answered (Daniel 10:12);
ii.) Supernatural visitations – Daniel’s encounter with the glorious man was one that only he could see by the river while the others who were there with him initially had ran away in fear and trembling even though they were unable to see this same being that Daniel could see in his vision (Daniel 10:7);
iii.) Revelation – Daniel is revealed what type of hindrance he was dealing with that was blocking him from receiving the answers he needed from the Lord through his prayers (Daniel 10:13);
iv.) Instruction – Daniel is told to “be at Peace and to be strong” by the glorious man that was encouraging him with the prophetic Word from the Lord (Daniel 10:19);
v.) Release of the Prophetic Word– Daniel is warned about the Prince of Greece (Daniel 10:20) and also receives more warnings about the Kings of the North and South in (Daniel 11). Daniel would have to continue to pray in order to prepare for the forthcoming events that are yet to occur; also revealed by the “glorious man”.
You must understand that Daniel was dealing with a territorial spirit to which I would describe as a geo-political spirit. He wasn’t dealing with some small fry demonic stronghold; he was dealing with something that had legal authority to operate in the land of Persia. This spirit was what Arch Angel Michael (also referred to as “Prince Michael”) was dealing with in Daniel 10.
I think this type of fast is appropriate to hold in times of political elections seasons and during times when political leaders are planning to decree an unjust law that goes against the principles of God. This is the type of Fast that the Daniel Fast can be used for. It can also be used during the beginning of the year for a church body to receive instruction for the direction of where and what season the church is moving towards. It can be done at an individual level and/or it can be done at a collective group level. I think this type of Fast should be done more than once a year; however, I also believe that this type of fast can only be used with a direct purpose to seek God for answers to the hindrances that are blocking opportunities, blessings, and divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit for the children of God. I classify this Fast as a Super Spiritual Warfare Fast. The nature of the Fast is to receive revelations, visions, instructions and strategies to fight your enemies effectively. 21 Days of fasting requires discipline that enables you to prepare your Spirit man to receive downloads of inspiration from the Holy Spirit. Prepare your mind and body for this Fast since it is intensive and requires serious discipline since you will definitely need to crucify your flesh in order to harness what you need in the spiritual realm.
2. The 3 Day Fast – Crisis Fast (Esther 4: 15-16)- Esther bid them return Mordecai this answer, “Go. Gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan. Fast for me. Neither eat nor drink 3 days and 3 nights. I and my maidens will fast likewise. I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law. If I perish; I perish.” [Emphasis added] – This is the type of fast that lifts an execution of a judgment that is man made where only God can change this execution by His divine intervention through Mercy, Grace and divine strategy.
The 3 Day Crisis Fast calls forth divine intervention against a demonically inspired plan to bring about harm to God’s people through a legalized decree regardless of whether the decree is just or unjust.
In this situation, Esther had to reveal that she was a Jewish concubine to King Ahasuerus who was also the same King that had legalized a decree to kill all the Jews through the counsel of one of his evil princes named Haman. King Ahasuerus was not aware that Esther was a Jewish Concubine because all the concubines in his Harem were supposed to be Persian. Haman was a wicked counselor of a prince that had tricked the King into legalizing this evil decree as a conspiracy to kill all the Jews because he hated the Jews. He also plotted to have Esther’s cousin Moredecai to be arrested and killed in the gallows. When Esther heard what had been done to her cousin and heard about Haman’s evil conspiracy to destroy all the Jews, she called for what I call a 3 Day Crisis Fast that required all of her people who were Jews to Fast with her in preparation to decide to do the unthinkable, which was to request an audience with the King. Requesting the audience of the King was unthinkable at that time because no concubine was allowed to do that unless the King requested to see a specific concubine which was also rare on occasion. This act could have cost Esther her life but she went ahead and did it anyway. She lavished the King with a banquet that pleased him greatly to such an extent that he was willing to bend and hear of her request. Through this fast she was able to strategize a way to inform King Ahasuerus of Haman’s conspiracy to destroy the Jews and the plot to kill her cousin Moredecai by revealing that she herself was in fact a Jew and if he allowed Haman to have his way, she would surely perish because of her status as a Jew. The King loved Esther so much and was heavily enraged by Haman’s evil plot to trick him into killing her and the Jews that King Ahasuerus decided to free Mordecai from the unjust sentence and sentenced Haman into the gallows for his evil deeds. The evil plot and conspiracy against the Jews was reversed in this Fast.
I believe that the 3 day Crisis Fast has the ability to provide strategies when facing impending doom in a crisis. It has the ability for the Lord to provide a way out of no way out of that crisis through divinely inspired strategies to thwart the evil schemes of your enemies and reverse the outcome. The nature of this Fast is also quite intense in that you do not eat nor drink for three days straight as you pray for God to answer swiftly in your dire situation. This is the type of Fast that this is, and I believe that it requires more than one person doing this. It is a collective group fast and I don’t classify it to be an individualistic type of fast because of the nature of the crisis. If the crisis affects more than one party than it should be a group fast. If it only affects only one person, then I would still recommend a group fast in such a situation as well because it requires a serious level of intercession to thwart the enemies attack on your life. You will definitely need back up with respect to receiving instructions concerning strategies to fight against your enemies and reverse their plans so that they backfire on the enemy. I classify it as a COVERT OPERATION Fast.
3. The Personal Fast (Matthew 6:16-18) –
16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.– [Emphasis added]
This type of fast is the type done in secret where one is instructed to wash their face and anoint their heads with oil and going about it as life as usual without the need of advertising to the whole world what you are doing because it is your personal communion with You and God. Nobody needs to know that this is what you are doing on the sidelines because it isn’t necessary and also, it isn’t wise either. If you cannot discern who your enemies are, then telling the world that you are seeking God through your personal fast isn’t a wise thing to be heralding at times. In essence, you should look normal on the outside while still going about your daily affairs and business as you are fasting in secret on your own time.
With this type of fast, it can be initiated for a number of reasons such as:
i.) Seeking clarity over a present situation/circumstance;
ii.) For divine understanding of a scripture in pursuit of revelation;
iii.) It can be for the sharpening of ones discernment; or
iv.) For personal healing/deliverance or intercession for someone else.
This fast is not time limited because it can vary in length anytime from 1 day to a week or a month depending on the level of seriousness of the need. You do this until you recieve your answer. When you receive your answer that is when you stop.
I will continue with the rest of this list in Part 2.