Phil Scovell

                          Copyright (C) 1989/2003

                            By Phil Scovell

                          All Rights Reserved

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          Phil Scovell
          840 South Sheridan Boulevard
          Denver, Colorado  80226-8017
          Toll Free:  888-936-0001
          Voice:  303-936-2188
          Fax:  303-936-1841
          Email:  Phil@RedWhiteAndBlue.ORG
          Web:  WWW.RedWhiteAndBlue.ORG

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS










                            FRUITFUL FASTING


                              Phil Scovell


               Often I  have heard confessed  by those who have  fasted for
          prolonged  periods of  time "There's  nothing to  it.   After the
          first two or three days, hunger isn't
           even a problem."  It  has never been true for me.   I have never
          enjoyed  fasting nor  found  it easy.    As I  write  this, I  am
          concluding the last two days of my second twenty-one day  fast in
          less than  sixteen months.   I  find the  last two  days just  as
          discomforting and difficult as the first.  "Then why do it?"   As
          you will see, there are spiritual  benefits to be gain by fasting
          in the proper way.  "Easy?" No!  "Fun?" Nope!  "Convenient?"  Are
          you kidding?   "Worth it?"  Yes  and amen!  "Should I  do it?"  I
          trust the balance  of this booklet will answer  that question for
          you.    If you plan to  fast, be sure to bear  spiritual fruit by
          following God's Word.


               Over  the years  I  have fasted  on  numerous occasions  for
          various reasons;  but I  never liked it.   When  the Holy Spirit,
          therefore, began urging  me to consider a twenty-one  day fast, I
          quickly dismissed the idea as fleshly.  I fasted once, as a young
          preacher, for ten days;  but that was many  pounds and years  ago
          and  the  results   had  been  negligible.    How   could  I  now
          successfully fast  for twenty-one days?   After  more than  three
          months of  deliberation, I  was convinced that  it was  truly the
          leading  of the  Holy Spirit  and  thus submitted  myself to  the
          leading of the Lord and prepared to favor God for twenty-one days
          without food.  

               Picking  up the  telephone, I  called   two  friends in  the
          ministry,  and requested  prayer.   I had  three major  problems:
          First, "Was this  really of  God?"  Until  being filled with  the
          Spirit in August 1982, I had lived my Christian life primarily by
          rule and regulation.  I did not now wish to be fooled by my flesh
          for the purpose of self-glory.

               Secondly, my attitude was poor.   I had always fasted before
          to  obtain greater  spirituality; thus to  be more  acceptable to
          God.   Additionally, I had  always needed something from  God and
          fasting seemed  to be a  good arm-twisting exercise to  get God's
                Thirdly, "Could I  do it?"  I  had many good reasons  why I
          could not successfully  negotiate, spiritually  or physically,  a
          twenty-one day fast.  I had  failed many times before at fasting;
          setting a one  or two day goal and never achieving even the first
          few hours without diving into a bag of potato chips and fishing a
          burrito  out of the freezer  to toss into  the microwave. Plus, I
          was  over weight!   In fact,  I was  more than sixty  pounds over
          weight!   Surely  God  could not,  would not,  place  my life  in
          jeopardy by asking me to fast.

               To complicate matters, there seemed to be no real reason for
          the  fast.  Sure!  I  had lots of personal  needs worthy of God's
          consideration, in fact, I was facing some of the most spiritually
          difficult  times of my  entire Christian life.   Somehow, though,
          my  problems did not  seem related to the  fast. Then, of course,
          there  was the  most prominent,  certainly  the most  legitimate,
          reason why I should be excused from this fast; "I did not want to
          do it!"  All of these concerns I shared with my brethren and less
          than a week later, I began my fast.

                                      THINGS TO CONSIDER

               There  are some important  things to think  about before you
          begin a fast of any  length:  For what  are you fasting and  why?
          How long will you fast;  Until you receive an answer?  What would
          be your attitude toward God if, after the fast,  your prayers are
          still  unanswered?     What  happens  if  you   break  your  fast
          prematurely?  Do not even  consider a lengthy fast until  you are
          certain of the answers to these questions.  

               For most Christians,  fasting is like the  dedicated swimmer
          who runs out to the swimming pool and leaps in without ever first
          testing the  temperature of  the water.   In many  cases, without
          proper spiritual preparation, you may  discover the pool has been
          drained for cleaning.
                                 PART I

                         THE PURPOSE OF FASTING

               Like most, I generally fasted  for all of the wrong reasons.
          I either wanted to be more  spiritual or I was in desperate  need
          of a miracle  from God.  I  even secretly hoped I  could testify,
          brag,  some day  of  my  great  accomplishments for  God  through
          fasting.   Fasting, without   Scriptural  knowledge  of its  true
          nature and purpose, is nothing more than a glorified  diet; and a
          mighty poor one at that.  

               Fasting has been an ancient form of discipline common to all
          religions since  the world began.   It is generally  practiced by
          Christians and nonchristians alike for the same reason:  To bring
          the physical  body into  the spiritual  subjection  of the  human
          spirit.   For the Christian,  however, the human spirit  has been
          regenerated,  (recreated), and made compatible with the nature of
          God and has been given the Holy Spirit to dwell within this newly
          created human spirit as an  administrator of the nature and power
          of God.  (See Tit. 3:5-6).

               Jesus was  questioned  in Mark  2:18-20  by those  who  were
          concerned  that the  disciples of John  and the  Pharisees fasted
          while  the disciples  Of Jesus  seemed to   ignore  the practice.
          Jesus replied to these  inquiries that there was no  need for His
          disciples  to  fast because  He, the  Bridegroom, was  still with
          them.  When  He was departed, then they should fast.  Thus, Jesus
          taught that fasting was for His disciples and was to be practiced
          as a discipline until His return.

               The  Old and  New Testament terms  for "fasting"  are simply
          translated  (without food).  Fasting, therefore, is going without
          food  as a form  of physical  discipline in  light of  the Lord's
          return.  It is a discipline of  love for the Lord and a desire of
          His fellowship and for the  purpose of spiritual edification.  It
          is a physical expression of a spiritual desire.  

               Jesus also  taught on  what our attitude  should be  when we
          fast in Matthew 6:16-18:

               Moreover when ye fast, be  not, as the hypocrites, of a
               sad  countenance:  For they disfigure their faces, that
               they may  appear unto men to  fast.  Verily I  say unto
               you,  they have  their  reward.   But  thou, when  thou
               fastest,  anoint thine head,  and wash thy  face.  That
               thou appear not  unto men to fast, but  unto thy Father
               which  is in  secret:   And thy  Father which  seeth in
               secret shall reward thee openly.

               Until this  instruction was given  by our Lord,  fasting was
          harsh and dramatic with the  wearing of sackcloth, going unbathed
          and unshaven for days, and lying in  beds of ashes.  Jesus taught
          that  we should fast with dignity.  It is to be both personal and
          private and practiced without public recognition.


               Scriptural evidence  for the purpose of fasting  seems to be
          mainly for discernment and spiritual insight as well as direction
          from  God.    This  was  certainly  the  case  with  Daniel  upon
          concluding his twenty-one day fast recorded  in the tenth chapter
          of the book of  Daniel.  The angel of the  Lord which appeared to
          Daniel  was an  answer  to  his prayer  because  he, Daniel,  had
          "Chastened" himself before the Lord; (Dan. 10:12).  Moses, on two
          occasions, stood before  the Lord for forty days  without food as
          he  received  the  ten  commandments  as  well as  other  related
          instructions  concerning   the  governing  of  the   children  of
          Israel.Esther  likewise fasted for wisdom and guidance to prepare
          the way to  go before the king  to request her people  be spared.
          Clearly, therefore, fasting is used in Scripture by those seeking
          spiritual discernment in matters of grave importance.


               Daniel was informed by the angel that he had been dispatched
          as soon  as  Daniel had  begun  to pray.   The  angel  confessed,
          however, that  he had been  inhibited for three weeks  by Satanic
          forces.   He finally   received assistance from Michael,  a chief
          archangel, (Dan. 10:13),  which then made it possible  for him to
          gain victory and thus to appear before Daniel.

               Jesus also fasted for forty  days and nights and was tempted
          of the Devil  in the wilderness according to  Matthew 4:1-11.  So
          severe was the Lord's spiritual  conflict with Satan that  angels
          from Heaven were sent to minister to Him following the fast.  

               Another indication of spiritual activity in the supernatural
          realm as a  result of fasting   is found in Matthew  17:14-21.  A
          demon  possessed   child  was   brought  before   the  Lord   for
          deliverance.  The Lord's disciples  had already tried to cast the
          demon  out earlier  but had  failed.   They  questioned the  Lord
          afterward  as to the reason why they were unable to do so.  Jesus
          responded that they could have done so if they  had only believed
          but  He added,  however, that  "this  kind goeth  not out  but by
          prayer and fasting." 
               From  these  three  examples,  it  should  be  evident  that
          fasting, for  some unknown reason,  has a definite effect  in the
          spirit  realm.  Ephesians 6:10-18 also confirms spiritual warfare
          occurs when  we pray.  Thus as Christians,  when we fast, we need
          not  only to be aware of the spiritual activity which takes place
          but we  also need  to be spiritually  prepared.  There  should be
          little doubt  that Daniel's  fast somehow  made spiritual  forces
          come into play for his benefit as  he sought the truth concerning
          his people.   Would the  same results have been  possible without
          his fast?  It is unlikely.  Some demons are likewise unable to be
          cast out without the aid of prayer and fasting together.  Fasting
          therefore is  a tool; which,  when associated  with prayer,  will
          place one into  the supernatural realm with power  and authority.
          Fasting must therefore  be considered serious business and should
          not  be  practiced   without  prayerful  consideration   and  the
          knowledge of  Scripture.  We  should never forget that  our Lord,
          when tempted  by the Devil  for forty days, always  answered with
          God's Word.   Satan was even commanded by our Lord to "Depart" by
          the authority of God's Word.  Thus, know the word  if you plan to

                                       PART II

                              THE PRINCIPLES OF FASTING

               The principles of fasting are not physical in nature.  It is
          not  the number of  days chosen to abstain  from food nor whether
          one decides to  drink water or  not.  The principles,  rules, are
          spiritual and thus Scripturally discerned.


               A conviction  is a belief.   More literally, it  is what you
          believe.   Jesus  said, when  questioned by  His disciples  about
          their inability  to cast  the  demon out  of  the child,  it  was
          because of their "unbelief,"( Matt.  17:20).  They simply did not
          believe.   What  do you  believe about  fasting and  what do  you
          believe will happen when you  fast? If you are uncertain, do  not
          consider fasting.

               A Biblical conviction  is something to be  lived by.   It is
          that  which  is decided  upon  because it  has  been Scripturally
          proven.    This is  when  the knowledge  of God's  Word  plays an
          important part. Without knowing the Word of  God, convictions are
          not possible.  The promises of God's Word are given that we might
          be established even  in our daily life: (II Peter 1:3-4).  If His
          promises  are  unfamiliar  to  you, fasting  will  be  harsh  and
          unproductive. If you feel unprepared to fast because of a lack of
          familiarity  with Scriptural promises, refer to my little booklet
          "God's  Three  Steps To  Answered  Prayer." I  have  written this
          booklet with  an easy-look-up format  which allows the  reader to
          choose  by subject the  various promises needed  when petitioning
          God.  Biblical  convictions can only be settled  upon through the
          knowledge  of   God's  Word  and  you  must  believe  God  before
          attempting a fast.

               One further note on the subject of Bible convictions.  There
          is a difference between a  personal practice, something done as a
          routine for  personal  benefit,  and a  Bible  conviction.    The
          difference  is  fruit.    A   Bible  conviction,  when  lived  by
          faithfully, will always produce spiritual fruit.   A practice, on
          the  other  hand, may  be  beneficent; but  does  not necessarily
          produce spiritual fruit.


               After establishing Scriptural beliefs,  (convictions to live
          by),  it is  necessary to  make  a commitment.   Many  Christians
          confess their belief in the Bible as God's Word but few are truly
          committed  to their  beliefs.   A commitment is  a promise  or an
          agreement.  Such words have little meaning in today's society but
          once  they carried  authority and  absolutism.   A marriage,  for
          example, is a commitment;  but one out of every two  marriages in
          America  ends in  divorce.  So  much for  commitment!  What  is a
          Bible commitment?

               While preaching in  Montana a number of years  ago, I stayed
          with one of the ranchers in the church for several days.  One day
          he brought  out some rattle  snake tails and  dropped them in  my
          hand.   He  confessed that  the  thing he  hated  the most  about
          ranching  was mending  fences.   He calculated  that he  had over
          twenty miles of fence around his land.
               "I hate snakes!" he confessed.  "That's why I  don't like to
          mend fence and it always seems like the fence is down somewhere."

          He continued by telling  me that it was necessary to dismount his
          horse, wade down into the thick  brush, strip a small tree to  be
          cut down for the fence post, and then attach the fallen fence.  

          "You  can't see  the snakes in  the tall  brush," he said  with a
          frown, "and I guess that's what I fear the most.  Somebody has to
          do  it and  at  least I've  never been  bitten;  thanks to  those
          little rattles," he concluded pointing to the rattles in my hand.

               Years later I  recalled this conversation and  realized that
          this was an illustration for  commitment.  The Christian life has
          Scriptural boundaries.   The  commitment we make  to God,  on the
          authority of His Word, is the Christian's fence.  I have had many
          people confess to me,

               "I would  come to  God but  I just  don't think  I could  be

          If they are Christians they confess,

               "I just wish I could live a committed life to Christ."

          You become  a committed Christian  by putting  up the  Scriptural
          fence; thus saying, "I won't cross over and nothing will be allow
          in."   What happens if the  fence falls down?   You  just  put it
          back up again.  

               "But I'm afraid of the Snake?"

          "For this  purpose the Son  of God was manifested,  that He might
          destroy the  works of the devil."   (I John 3:8).   Your fence is
          going to  fall but we  have the responsibility of  restoring that
          commitment made when we confessed  Jesus Christ as Lord.  Without
          such commitment, beliefs,  (conviction), is only head  knowledge.
          James taught that  faith without works was dead,  (See Jam. 2:14-
          26).    Agree with  God  before  you  fast concerning  both  your
          petition and your faith in Him regardless of the outcome.


               After the  disciples failure  to cast the  demon out  of the
          young child, Jesus  instructed them that it had  been a result of
          their unbelief,  that is, a lack  of commitment to  His Word, but
          added that  prayer and fasting  were often  necessary  in certain
          cases.Although prayer takes on many forms, Jesus was referring to
          prayers of petition in this case.  Prayer, or communing with God,
          is the sharing of mutual  interests intimately.  How intimate are
          your prayers?   Fasting  will not  necessarily improve  spiritual
          intimacy alone; but it  will cause us to focus on God  as the one
          who  hears and  answers our  prayers.   Fasting becomes   counter                                                              The Provider.
          productive if we focus on the problem  rather than  
          If you  find yourself focusing  on the  problem as  you fast,  be
          quick to  discipline yourself  to return  your thoughts  to God's
          Word and  His promises.   In  another words, be  committed to  an
          attitude of "Thus saith the Lord."

               I often  find it more difficult to pray  during a fast.  The
          fast itself actually becomes a  distraction and my mind just does
          not focus on the spiritual as  well.  If you experience the  same
          when fasting, do not become alarmed or feel as though you are not
          doing your job.

               "And He that searcheth the hearts knows what is  the mind of
          the Spirit," (Rom. 8:27).

          Fortunately  there are  multiple    forms of  prayer.   Even  are
          thoughts,  as we  meditate,  are prayers  to God.    You are  not
          necessarily fasting to facilitate more time for prayer but rather
          to demonstrate commitment  and discipline.  Learn to  pray before
          you fast or learn to pray as you fast.

                                PART III

                        THE PRACTICE OF FASTING

               The practice, or regulation,  of fasting is simple:  Abstain
          from food  and pray.  Fasting is a  practice which we exercise in
          order to execute  discipline.  Our attitude toward fasting should
          never be  "Practice makes perfect,"  but rather one  of spiritual
          conformity to God's perfect will.


               Our relationship with God is uniquely personal.  Although we
          learn  and receive from  others, we are  individually responsible
          for  our  relationship with  God.    Fasting  is an  individually
          exercised discipline.   We  may fast  collectively with a  common
          cause  and thus amplify the spiritual agreement factor in prayer;
          but fasting is singular in nature.  

               It should,  if conducted Scripturally,  sharpen our personal
          awareness  of the  dimensions  of  God.   The  fast displays  our
          willingness to become personally involved to the extreme of going
          without  food.   It allows us to  again focus on God and  not the
          problem  and thus shows  our willingness to  be totally dependant
          upon God.

               Fasting also unveils  spiritual authority and you  will find
          it necessary to  exercise such authority  repeatedly  during  any
          fast.  The  unholy and unseen forces which seek to oppose us will
          do  so relentlessly  during a  fast because  we have  entered the
          supernatural realm with a specific cause.  Maintain your Biblical
          authority throughout the fast.
               Perhaps  the  most  beneficent factor,  certainly  the  most
          personal,  of  fasting  is  the  spiritual  intimacy  it  brings.
          Abstaining  from food displays our spiritual desires to harmonize
          with God's perfect will, thus,  it will afford us spiritual depth
          and  intimacy with our Lord.  This  may not be experienced during
          the fast itself, but if you remain faithful, it will occur.  Keep
          in  mind, however,  that  the  Devil will  war  against any  such
          spiritual intimacy; thus  the absolute necessity for   Scriptural


               Most of us have experienced  the negatives of fasting but it
          is to  be  a positive  experience  in our  lives.   The  physical
          hunger,  the  lack  of  answers  to  prayer,  and  the  spiritual
          frustration often experienced during a fast, all circumscribe any
          positive effects for most of us.  It is, however, to be something
          spiritually  positive.   Jesus said  we  were to  fast until  the
          Bridegroom cometh.    That is  a  positive statement  because  it
          reminds  us  of  the  return of  our  Lord.    A  fast should  be
          conducted in  light of such  revelation.  Additionally,  our Lord
          implied that if  His disciples would first believe  and then fast
          and  pray,  the demon  would be  cast  out.   That likewise  is a
          positive  promise.    Confidence can  and  should  be experienced
          during a  fast from  the awareness  of these promises.   God  has
          likewise promised to  hear and answer  our prayers repeatedly  in
          His Word.   If fasting becomes negative, we are  not listening to
          His Word.


               It can   be unwise  to fast without definite  direction from
          the Holy Spirit.   In the case of  my twenty-one day fast,  I was
          encouraged  by  the Holy Spirit  for  a  number of  weeks  before
          beginning  my fast.   If  you choose  to fast for  a day  or more
          without  any such  spiritual  direction  you  would,  of  course,
          certainly be  Scriptural in doing so.  We  need to finish what we
          start,  however.   Whether  self-determined  or  holy Spirit led,
          never fast without commitment to  the end; unless, of course, you
          receive some definite spiritual indication during the fast to end
          prematurely.  Be prudent and exhibit faith.

                                PART IV

                          THE POWER OF FASTING

               Fasting reveals and  releases power.  when we  begin to fast
          and pray,  we suddenly  step  into the  supernatural world  where
          Satan exercises dominion and has for millennia.  It should not be
          surprising,  therefore, that  we would  experience discouragement
          and  often  defeat when  we  begin a  fast.   At  the  same time,
          however,  the power of God becomes  prodigious and angelic forces
          activated accordingly.  We need to be  keenly aware of both God's
          power and the Devil's when we fast.


               Carefully examine the account  of our Lord's forty day  fast
          recorded in Matthew 4:1-11.  Jesus was tempted in all points like
          as we are yet  without sin: (Heb. 4:15).  During  the fast, Satan
          assaulted our Lord by challenging His identity as the Son of God,
          the ability  of God's  Word to  protect Him  from  harm, and  His
          authority  in this  world.   In  each case  Jesus responded  with
          Scripture  that  is, with  God's eternal  Word.   As we  fast, we
          likewise will be  challenged in similar areas of  doctrine.  "Are
          you really  a child  of  God?   Who gives  you the  right?   What
          authority  do  you  have?"   Many  Christians  become discouraged
          during  a  fast  because  they  have thought  such  things.    We
          generally  fail  at  fasting  because  of   a  lack  of  Biblical

               I think it important to mention at this point that a lack of
          Biblical knowledge should not keep you  from going  ahead with  a
          fast; especially if you feel led to do so.  You may even consider
          a fast for  the exact purpose of  learning more from God  through
          His Word and  the ministry of the  Holy Spirit.  In such  a case,
          however,  consider  a  short fast  and  remember;  discernment is
          certainly a key factor  in any fast.   Rely upon the  Holy Spirit
          for the  Scriptural guidance you  need both  before, during,  and
          after any fast.

               Howbeit when He, the Spirit  of truth, is come, He will
               guide you into  all truth:  And  He shall not  speak of
               Himself;  but whatsoever He  shall hear, that  shall He
               speak:  And  He will show  you things  to come.   (John


               The discipline  of fasting  testifies of  our identity  with
          Christ.   The Holy Spirit bears  witness with our spirit  that we
          are  the children  of God:  (Rom.  8:16).   As we  fast,  we bear
          witness of this  identity.  As I mentioned,  Satan will challenge
          us in this area.  Our power in fasting lies in our witness.  This
          is  why Jesus  said that  prayer and  fasting often  go together.
          Satan will, without question,  attempt to break down  our witness
          as the  sons and daughters  of God during  a time of  fasting and
          prayer.  Prayer is needed to quench this fiery dart: (Eph.  6:11-
          18).   If we will  learn to pray  in the Spirit during  our fast,
          Romans  8:26-27   promises  that   the  Holy Spirit   will  "make
          intercession for  us."  The  Holy Spirit is the great  Witness of
          God in  our behalf  and such  power is  released in  the form  of
          authority in the spiritual realm as we fast and pray.


               According to Matthew's account of our Lord's forty day fast,
          Satan attempted to  get our Lord  to worship him.   Fasting is  a
          definite act of one's will to focus on God; thus, it is a form of
          worship or (oneness with God).  Jesus responded to this attack in
          Matthew 4:10  by commanding Satan  to depart for only  God allow,
          Jesus confessed, is worthy  to be worshipped.  Thus,  acknowledge
          God during  your fast and worship  Him.  In this way  you will be
          resisting  the  Devil  and  drawing  nigh  to  God;  (Jam.  4:7).
          Spiritual  power  is  thus  released.    Exercise  discipline  by
          perpetually  acknowledging God and His power and worthiness to be
          praised  and worshipped.   Ignore Satan, minimize  your problems,
          and worship God over circumstances.

                                 PART V

                        THE PROMISES OF FASTING

               For the Christian,  fellowship with God is confirmed  by His
          promises.   Beyond  salvation,  we  are  promised  eternal  life,
          spiritual liberty,  answers  to  prayers,  grace,  righteousness,
          Heaven, and  the Holy Spirit; just  to name  a few.   Fasting has
          promises as well.


               Jesus confirmed reward for those  who fast:  "And thy Father
          which  seeth in secret  shall reward thee  openly," (Matt. 6:18).
          The two words  "reward" and "openly"  are translated (given)  and
          (publicly).   The same  word for "reward"  is also  translated as
          (perform,  repay,  restore),   and  (yield)   elsewhere  in   the
          New Testament.  It  is often used when concerning  the payment of
          money owed.  "Openly" on the other hand, is also rendered (known,
          manifest), and (outwardly).  Its  root means (luminous) and comes
          from our English word  (phosphorescence).  From these  two words,
          therefore,  Jesus revealed fasting will perform for the Christian
          in the natural realm what  has been accomplished in the spiritual
          realm.          Thus, it becomes luminous - visible.


               Perhaps  less  obvious,  but certainly  as  forceful  in its
          revelation, is  the awareness  that our  fasting and  prayers are
          recognized by  the Holy Father:   "And thy Father which  seeth in
          secret."   Fasting takes us directly  into the supernatural realm
          where all  prayers are  spiritually  conceived.   It  is in  this
          place of unseen power that God looks for our petitions; "seeth in
          secret."    In  my opinion,  fasting  amplifies  this recognition
          because  it is a  physical manifestation  of a  spiritual desire.
          "And if we  know that He heareth  us, whatsoever we ask,  we know
          that we  have the  petitions  that we  desired of  Him," (I  John


               The  Heavenly  Father  desires  to  honor  our  prayers  and
          fastings because  we have  an established  relationship with  Him
          through His Son.  Jesus confirmed this by saying, "And thy Father                                                                 ___
          which seeth in secret."   God is our  Father by spiritual  birth.
          Fasting therefore is  done out of love;  and  our father responds
          to our prayers and fastings out of love for His own.

                                PART VI

                         THE PRODUCT OF FASTING

               The  test of any Biblical principle, Scriptural practice, or
          spiritual  conviction is  its  fruitfulness.   Fasting  is not  a
          doctrine but is  a Scriptural principle thus it  is available for
          the producing of spiritual fruit in the Christian life.

               Fasting is an  act of obedience just as  prayer, giving, and
          praise  are.    Any  time   we  acknowledge  God's  Word  through
          agreement,  either in  word or  deed,  we demonstrate  obedience.
          Obedience  is  the  quickest  way  of  getting  God's  attention.
          Fasting gives evidence to Biblical obedience.


               Since Jesus instructed that prayer  and fasting  go together
          in certain  cases of  spiritual discipline, we  can experience  a
          more  intimate  relationship  with the  Father  through  fasting.
          Often, however,  the intimacy will  not be appreciated  until the
          fast is  over; and  even then  it may  be some  time before  such
          spiritual intimacy is personally discerned.  

               Spiritual intimacy occurs  through worship.  During  a fast,
          you may discover  it is easier   to worship than to  pray because
          concentration  often  becomes  more difficult  when  the  body is
          refused   nourishment.    Worshipping  God  opens  the  door  for
          spiritual intimacy and personal awareness of the holiness of God.
          In another words, we simply become more aware of our oneness with
          God through the ministry of the Holy Spirit in prayer. 


               We  have already noted  Daniel's opportunity when  he fasted
          for twenty-one days.  The  angel confirmed that he had  been sent
          to Daniel the moment he began his petition but Satan hindered him
          for three  weeks.  Jesus  also informed His disciples  upon their
          failure to cast the demon out of the young child; that prayer and
          fasting was  needed in that  particular case for success.   These
          two examples prove  opportunity is created by  prayer and fasting
          which  may not  otherwise be  available.   We  should learn  from
          Scripture that fasting produces spiritual opportunity.


               When  I fast,  I always  drink natural  fruit juices.   Some
          disagree with my methods and feel the only way to fast is without
          food of  any kind; water being the only form of liquid intake.  I
          have tried fasting that way and find it nearly impossible  for me
          personally.   It reduces my  ability to  concentrate so  severely
          that  I  find   it  difficult  to  function  normally   in  daily
          responsibilities;  So I drink fruit juices.  If you plan to drink
          only water, I  recommend that you use distilled  water because it
          causes less stomach irritation and  will minimize hunger.  

               After the  first week of  my twenty-one day fast,  I stopped
          drinking  coffee because  of  the  bitterness  and  its  stimulus
          effect.  After the second week I gave up tea, hot or cold, and by
          the end  of the third  week, I was  even finding it  difficult to
          drink the fruit  juices.  I  drank them, however,  only to  avoid
               If some day  you feel led to  fast for a number  of days, be
          careful how you resume  eating when your fast is concluded.  Long
          fasts should be broken gradually.  I  suggest you eat nothing the
          first  couple of days following the  long fast.  Drink soup broth
          and  if you  have gone  for days  with  nothing but  water, begin
          drinking  diluted fruit juices before attempting any solid foods.
          After a couple of days of being off your fast, you may try eating
          small portions  of chicken and  rice mixed with your  soup broth.
          By  the  third  day you  should  be  able to  eat  a  light meal,
          depending on how many days you have gone foodless, and within the
          week, you should be able to return to normal eating habits.  Most
          foods tasted  different for several  days after I broke  my three
          week fast.   I might also add that I did not follow my own advice
          concerning returning  to a normal  diet slowly and I  paid dearly
          for my mistake.

               There is one additional word of caution.  If you fast  for a
          prolonged period  of time,  although this could  occur even  in a
          short fast, you may  experience depression immediately  following
          your fast; or even during the  fast.  It could even be acute.   I
          anticipated such could be  the case at the end of  my three weeks
          and found it  necessary to request special  prayer.  If  you feel
          led to fast  for several days, be sure others  have been informed
          of your intentions  so that you will  have them praying with  you
          and for you during the fast.   The next couple of days  following
          my fast were very difficult and my wife prayed with me concerning
          my depression.   Depression is  when demonic forces accuse  us in
          the spiritual realm; thus the need for other Christian friends to
          be aware of your fast.  As  has been seen, things begin to happen
          in the spiritual  realm when we  pray and fast.   Be careful  and
          know how to pray if you plan to fast.


               Fasting never seems to be easy for  me although I have heard
          some insist there is nothing to it.   Fasting for three weeks was
          the most spiritually difficult thing  I have ever experienced.  I
          know it  would not have been  possible for me  without the direct
          leadership of the HOly Spirit  in my life.  Although   I have not
          fasted often since my three week fast, I do now somehow feel more
          sensitive  to God's direction  in the matter.   I  doubt it would
          take the Holy Spirit  as long to  convince me of  His leading  in
          this area  since I yielded   before.   I personally believe  that
          this type of an attitude is the real secret to a  successful fast
          and  recommend   you consider  carefully God's  will  before ever
          engaging  in a  long fast.   It is  not just for  the spiritually
          strong  but for  those who love God and desire  to serve Him even
          if it means going without food for a period of time.

               Man shall  not live by  bread alone, but by  every word
               that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4).

                            End Of Document
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