Wednesday, January 7, 2009

9 Types of Fasts- Part 1

Whether you need healing, direction, protection, finances or something else from God today, His Word is full of people that faced similar hardships and overcame them through fasting & prayer. Jentezen Franklin (JentezenFranklin.org) talks about the 9 different types of fasts that believers have done in seeking the miraculous to invade their circumstance. Here are the first 4:

One: THE DISCIPLES FAST
“The Disciples Fast” is a fast that frees you from addictions to sin or besetting sins as referred to in Hebrews 12:1. Besetting sins are those that ensnare us and hinder us from achieving God’s purpose for our lives. In Mark, chapter 9, Christ’s disciples were frustrated because they could not cast out an evil spirit. Jesus said, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29). Through fasting we can break free from the addictions and habits that are not pleasing to God. “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?” (Isaiah 58:6).

Two: THE EZRA FAST
“The Ezra Fast” is found in the Book of Ezra, the eighth chapter (Ezra 8:21). Ezra had been given silver and gold to take back to Jerusalem from King Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:14-17). But there was a problem — thieves! Maybe you feel like thieves have stolen what belongs to you financially. When Ezra faced an uncertain financial journey, what did he do? He declared a fast and God answered his prayer! If you will fast, pray and obey God’s commandments, He said you will be blessed (Deuteronomy 28:2).

Three: THE SAMUEL FAST
When the Phillistines were preparing to attack Israel, Samuel declared a fast for national revival, Samuel told the people to fast and seek God to return His presence to the nation (1 Samuel 7:3). our society today critically needs believers who will take “The Samuel Fast” — a fast for national revival. “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). We can return God’s presence and glory to our personal lives and our nation if we fast, pray and seek Him now.

Four: THE ELIJAH FAST
one of the most powerful fasts is “The Elijah Fast.” It breaks negative emotional feelings and habits. When Jezebel sent word
that she wanted to kill Elijah . . . he became so distraught that he was an emotional wreck(1 Kings 19:4). He was depressed . . . even suicidal. That’s when an angel came to Elijah and instructed him to journey back into the presence of God. The Bible says that Elijah fasted for 40 days and 40 nights as he returned to Horeb, the mountain of God. God delivered Elijah from feelings of suicide and fear. He gave Him hope, courage and direction. Whether you suffer from emotional bad habits, a negative self image, fear, insecurities, depression or some other emotional bondage, fasting will help open your heart and mind to hear the still, small voice of God.