First, the prayer directive for Day 5 of our Jubilee season of fasting and prayer (and this is still for you to pray whether you happen to be fasting or not!):
When was the last time you truly, with a loving heart, sat aside time to pray for your enemies? (Don't answer that.) 😉 I know, it's hard. But … how does today work? 🙂
I felt like the Lord wants us today to stop for a few minutes and pray for our enemies. To pray for those who have hurt us, spitefully used us, or persecuted us. That's what Jesus said, right? Matthew 5:43-48 says:
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?
Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
So today, I encourage you to stop and pray for your enemies. If you're not sure what to pray, here are some starter points:
- Pray for God to bless them.
- Pray for God to provide all their needs.
- Pray for Him to overwhelm Him with His goodness (which brings men to repentance).
- Pray for them to see things the way God sees them.
- Pray for them to sense God's love and affection for them.
- Pray for God to fill them with His Holy Spirit and draw them closer to Himself.
- Pray that anything in your relationship with this person that grieves the heart of Jesus would be fixed and healed.
- Pray for true and complete reconciliation and godly unity between you.
I wrote more about how to pray for those who hate you here, if you want to dig into that. Basically, I learned the hard way that it's all about praying in sympathy with the heart of Jesus. 🙂
And now for 10 practical tips for fasting:
Related: Read my other posts about fasting here:
- Prophetic Word: January Is a Time for Healing;
- Fasting Brings Acceleration;
- The Supernatural Grace for Glorious Fasting;
- Field Notes From My Fasting Failures;
- On Intercessory Fasting.
1. Pray about your fast through the day, every day you are fasting (and for several days before you start).
Ask God to give you the desire and the grace to fast, so that fasting will be easy. Yes, fasting can totally be easy! I recorded a whole MP3 on that, called Supernatural Grace for Glorious Fasting. Read more about the supernatural grace for glorious fasting here.
I know it sounds strange, but even going without food completely doesn't have to be hard. It's a little-taught fact in the modern church, but it's been practiced by Christians for centuries.
Pray also that God would give you more hunger and passion for the things on your prayer list than you have for food. His answer to that prayer will help you tremendously.
2. Ask God to keep your body strong and steady (steady mood, steady insulin, glucose, etc) while you fast.
If we dwell in the secret place of the Most High, God's Word promises that He will keep us stable and steady. Read Psalm 91:1 in the Amplified Classic version for more about that. And yes, we can take that literally–and we should. 🙂
3. DRINK LOADS OF WATER–distilled water, if possible.
If you can help it, don't drink tap water, filtered water, or spring water. Filtered, tap, and spring water have lots of things in them that can make you feel sick without food to offset them. I get chlorine-sick when I drink tap water, and even spring water, while fasting.
Distilled water, however, will help you feel good. (Of note, the brand SmartWater has a distilled water that also includes electrolytes. I love that stuff; it helps me a lot.)
Drinking distilled water will curb your hunger and will help you feel full. It will also cleanse your body. Especially if you have headaches right at the beginning, drinking more water will help eliminate that.
4. Set aside time to pray and read the Bible during your fast.
Fasting without prayer equals a really miserable form of dieting. #AintNobodyGotTimeForThat
5. Have a specific purpose for your fast in mind.
Are you fasting to draw closer to Jesus (also often referred to as a “Bridegroom fast”)? Are you fasting because you sense God wants to do something new in your life, and you are drawing closer to Him and asking Him to do it? Are you fasting for breakthrough in your own life or someone else's regarding a particular situation?
No matter what you need, write down your prayer list. Use that list to inspire you to keep going on your fast. Keeping a list will also help you notice God's answers!
If you haven't already done so, write down a list of your 10-or-so biggest needs right now. Then pray through the list each day.
6. Keep a journal, and write down two things each day: 1) what God does; and 2) what He speaks to you about.
Every day I have fasted so far, God has done wonderful things that have blessed me. For example:
- Sometimes it's a beautiful conversation with a cherished friend.
- Sometimes it's a big breakthrough, like a financial breakthrough.
- Sometimes it's the giving of a new opportunity.
In your life, it could look like any number of things; but no matter what God does, LOOK FOR HIM at work!
There's a belief among Christians out there that says the results of your fast may not be seen until after the fast. I disagree.
I agree that SOME of the results may not be seen until after the fast. In other words, you will continue to reap benefits from your fast and see its results long after your fast is over.
However, Psalm 23 says that the Lord's goodness and mercy follow us ALL the days of our lives. That means, every day–and every day while fasting–you can expect something good to happen.
In my experience, you get what you expect. Expect no results until afterward and that's what you'll get. Expect breakthrough every single day, and that's what you'll get. Glory to God, I've gone to preaching.
7. When you feel hungry, stop and pray for awhile:
- Pray to draw closer to Jesus;
- Ask God to accept your hunger as an offering to Him, a sweet fragrance in His nostrils;
- Ask Him to take your hunger for food away, and give you hunger for Jesus;
- Pray for grace to fast; and
- Pray about whatever you’re fasting about.
8. Give or help somebody every day during your fast. Offer up whatever you can as a love offering to God.
Maybe that's sending someone an encouraging word. Maybe it's giving an extra offering at church. Maybe it's doing something nice for your husband or wife. Maybe it's volunteering to help the needy, or to help at your church.
Whatever your offering looks like, give something, some way, every day during your fast. Do something nice for someone. This is acceptable fasting to the Lord. (Read Isaiah 58 for more details on that.)
9. Purposefully clear your schedule of as many things as you can.
The enemy would love to distract you from busyness and rob you of your prayer/Bible study time in this season. I have often actually put in my time alone on my calendar. And if anybody wants to meet during that time–which they often do–“So sorry, I'm booked.”
“No” is a valid answer. Don't let the enemy steal this time from you!
10. Above all else, remember that fasting is about seeking God and aligning our hearts with His.
‘Nuff said. 🙂
Do these tips help you? If so, please share! And I'd love to hear from you in the comments if you have any thoughts or questions. If you've seen a breakthrough on your fast so far, I'd also love to hear about it!
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