Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:16
Prayer is not preparation for the battle…
Prayer is the battle.
Have you ever fasted? In its simplest form it means not eating or drinking for a designated time period. Some people fast unto deities, some do it for rapid weight loss and others for spiritual cleansing, and even for higher focus or to discipline their bodies in any area like emotions, addictions or urges, etc. The truth is that there are incredible benefits in fasting, and if done unto God. He does not accept all types of fast, because He knows there are many.
The reasoning behind fasting is abstinence from selfish desires, symbolically and mentally using the need and the pleasures of eating. This act of discipline can directly interpret to the human brain that if it can survive or manage those urges (and desires) then the other things that can be managed (the mind and the flesh) can be subjected as well. During fasting, many receive mental clarity, higher focus or expanded thoughts. And those who do it for spiritual reasons, achieve greater awakenings like Muhatma Ghandi, for example. Ramadan is a month long time of fasting, that Muslims do, but so many people fast including Buddhists, Hindus, Catholics, those in occultism and Jews; Even though they all fast in different ways and for various reasons.
Since I am a Christian, I will lean on scripture even though people who are not “religious” fast as well. Jesus, Paul, Elijah, Moses, Ezra, Daniel, Esther and so many others in the bible, fasted unto the Lord. And when you fast unto the lord, you should do so as an act of humility, with dedication to worship and prayer. For instance, the people of Israel were going to be killed and Mordecai had a good idea, but Esther was afraid. Esther understood that she needed God to strengthen her, so she called a fast. She fasted with her maidens and the people of Israel, in unity, and God gave her the courage to go before the king (nobody, not even the queen, could go to the kings’ court without permission, or else they would be killed). And God also softened the king’s heart, and he relented from his plan to kill the Jews. Other examples in the bible are:
- Jesus, who fasted 40 days before His ministry on earth began. He also fasted in an all night prayer before choosing His disciples.
- Ezra fasted so that God would protect them while they carried the ornaments of the temple, and He protected them!
- After fasting unto the Lord, the prophet Daniel the received the visions with revelations from God!
- And Moses received the 10 commandments after he fasted Ten Commandments.
Fasting is not for people who cannot discern God’s voice, from their own voice or the devil’s voice.
Of course not everyone that fasts is guaranteed to see results right away. Fasting is not a genie wish formula, but it is a chosen will to submit the human nature to a higher nature.
Dear God, thank you father for your sustaining grace. I thank you for your holy spirit, your wisdom and direction. I present to you those who fast, and who do not understand fasting and those who do not understand the fasting which you accept. I pray for strengthening, increase of faith and revelation in their lives. I pray for bonds to break and for wrong thinking to shift. I pray for discernment for all those who think, and hear: may they still their own minds and hearts to know your voice. I pray you give the precision in the spirit. In Jesus name, Amen.