Check this out. This is the most complete, direct and guaranteed method of fasting. Books are good, but this one is better. Continue below:
Isaiah 58:6-14 (NKJV)
6 “ 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?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
“ If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
12 Those from among you
Shall build the old waste places;
You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
13 “ If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the LORD honorable,
And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words,
14 Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD;
And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
The mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
Now be honest, if you fast, when you fast, it’s usually done with motive. Something in your life, in your environment has gone awry. You need healing, you need deliverance, you need breakthough, family needs salvation, need a promotion, need favor, etc etc etc. I was challenged by this word this morning, because I, too, have been guilty at times in the past of approaching fasting in that way. We live and die by the scripture in Matthew 17:21, “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting”, in hopes that this applies to our situation. We fast the way WE want to and the way WE think it should be done.
I’m here to challenge you. There is no doubt that you have needs, problems that need to be solved, answers that you need, etc, but Isaiah 58:6 says this is the fast that God has chosen! If we’re attempting to petition God on our behalf to gain answers, we’ll have more success approaching things the way He desires. Now look at the passage and rethink the challenge.
God’s choice for a proper fasting approach deals with one thing: your approach to others. It’s not even what all you pray when you fast, but that your prayers and your actions align. God’s concern is your attitude and actions towards others; v. 6: praying for THEIR salvation; their burdens, their needs, their oppressions; v.7: taking action against THEIR brokenness, their humiliation, their need; v. 9b: remove condemnation from your approach to them and do away with your hypocrisy; v. 10: most of all, show love and Jesus to the pained.
Now watch. Go back to v.8: you’ll get YOUR breakthrough, your healing, your favor, your protection; v. 9: your answers; v. 11: you’ll receive your guidance, your strength and your needs met! If you look at the verse mentioned above in Matthew, when the disciples were questioning Christ about breakthrough and He answered with “prayer and fasting”, it wasn’t for their breakthrough, it was for someone else! A sick boy.
The Bible teaches us that God knows every need we have without having to even speak it. If you have an understanding of that, then you realize that God is on standby to bless you, to answer you, and to think otherwise shows a lack of faith in God and His word, but the key to that release in your own life, is that you begin to operate in care and concern for others. Look again at verses 13-14; paraphrasing, if we can forget about our own needs, when approaching God with prayer and fasting, and begin to turn our attitude and service towards others, God will remember us and restore us to a greater realm than even before.
You can win by keeping it simple: Love God, Love Others.