The Purpose & Power of Fasting
By Benny Hinn
Jesus did not say if you fast: He said when you fast because fasting is a part of the Christian life. It is a part of our Christian walk.
"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. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 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.” (Matthew 6:16-18, emphasis added) .
When I say fast, I am not talking about a hunger strike. I am talking about fasting. Some people go on a hunger strike and try to push God into a corner. They try to force Him to do what they want to see done in their lives. The principles of fasting in the Bible have nothing to do with hunger strikes.
The Word of God teaches us about fasting and the spiritual principles connected with it. You must know five things before you fast. Ask yourself these five questions:
1. Is it God led?
2. What are your motives for fasting?
3. What specific needs are you fasting for?
4. What results are you looking for?
5. Are you determined to minister to the Lord while fasting?
What is the purpose of fasting? Fasting brings the flesh and self off the throne.
In 1 Corinthians 9:27 Paul says, “I bring my body under subjection.” Fasting brings the flesh under subjection. Fasting will not allow the flesh to rule in your life.
The one thing that brought Adam down is the lust of the flesh. The one thing the devil will try to arouse in you just as he did in Adam is the lust of the flesh. Fasting strengthens your spirit man so that you can stay focused as you serve the Lord.
Power in Fasting
When you begin fasting, you are going to begin to see changes in your Christian walk. The presence of God will become closer, dearer, and nearer to you. Every time I fast, I get closer to God. Every time. It seems my prayer life takes on greater power when I fast. There is power in fasting like there is power in prayer.
In the books of Acts we find where the apostles fasted on the same day of atonement. In the days of the reformation, Martin Luther told the converts to fast once a week, and then the Catholic church went further, and many Christians began fasting twice a week. I’m not for fasting because men tell you to fast, or some church tells you to fast. I believe we need a regular fast for spiritual examination; a time with God alone.
Whether you fast once a year, once a month or once a week fast unto the Lord. My mother fasts every Friday. She has fasted every Friday for years and years. And you know what? It’s amazing how much God shows her. There’s times when I don’t know what to do that I say to my mother, “Mama, ask God.” And, every time she’s right on target. There is mighty power in prayer and fasting.
God Answers Prayer
"It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24)
God declares the day will come when the harvest will come or overtake you before you can sow for it. God will give you what you are asking for before you ask it. How would you like to receive from the Lord before you even ask?
As you develop your relationship with Him through prayer and fasting, and build that covenant, God will begin to give you things you have not asked for. He will say, like with Abraham, Shall I hide from them what I am about to do?
Abraham never asked for God to show him what he was about to do. However, God said, Abraham kept covenant with me. I am about to show him things he has never even asked me for. The prophet says, before they call, I will answer. Isaiah declared that God will begin to answer before you call. The harvest comes before you sow.
As you connect with heaven, you will disconnect with earth. If you will today, set your affections on things above, you will lose the desire for things of this earth.
A Prayer for Transformation
You can lift your heart to heaven right now in prayer and say, “Father touch me deeply today. Holy Spirit, move in my life. I want to know You. Lord Jesus, right now take my eyes and turn them away from the things of the world. Place them on You. Turn them away from beholding vanities. Let me see You, Lord. Let me behold You, Lord. Take out of my heart the world and all that is in it. Disconnect me, Lord, from earthly things and connect me, Lord, to heavenly things. Empty my heart of all that is earthly and worldly and let my heart be filled with Your glory. Holy Spirit, if there is anything in me that grieves You or that displeases You, take it out in Jesus’ name. Transform me, cleanse me, purify me and bring me closer to You, Master. Help me to run the race and win in Jesus name. Amen”
www.bennyhinn.org Copyright © 2009, Benny Hinn Ministries. Excerpt from Prayer and Fasting by Benny Hinn. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the written consent of the publisher.