Posts Tagged ‘fasting’

Fasting for an Enemy

Friday, September 25th, 2015


Are you willing to suffer for an enemy? One time God required me to fast for a person contorted her face with hatred every time I saw her. She was about to go on a missions trip, and a friend of mine commanded me to fast because this woman could not go on a missions trip with a demon on her. She said this kind does not come off but through prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21). So I angrily agreed to fast, knowing that God was calling me to fast. I always obey God, even if I have to force myself.

I braced myself for a horrible day where I had to devote the entire day to praying for this woman. I was surprised to find out that it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. God showed me to pray through praise music. I prayed the whole day, and the woman was released from the demon that had been on her for four years.

Next time I saw her, she had a gentle, Spirit-filled expression on her face, and she said she loved me. It was so opposite to the way she had been treating me before that I knew the demon was off her.

When a believer is acting in a way that they distort the truth to stab you, where they attack you verbally at every turn and attribute wrong motives to everything you do, you know you are dealing with a demon. This is especially true if the facial expression is hateful or contorted with rage. This is not normal for a child of God. A demon is on that person. I suppose they could also be given over to their flesh, so I don’t want to rule that out, but where contention exists, it is almost always a work of the enemy. This is especially true when you are in Christian leadership, which both of us were.

Sadly, after the demon was off her, a few months later, she welcomed the demon back. The demon was so familiar with the lies that were used against me that she took them up again as if she had never reconciled with me. Maybe I should have told her that two of us had fasted for 24 hours to have her released from a demon. Because she had no idea, she invited the demon back. I knew she wouldn’t believe me if I told her a demon was on her, and I didn’t want her to attack me again, especially since the demon was off her. I now regret that I wasn’t more honest with her about her sin because it cost her being under the bondage of the demon again.

You can actually be walking by the Spirit and have a demon attached to your physical body, by the way. This happened to me when two friends prayed over me to release me from a personal issue. I was in bondage, and it was demonic, and I did not KNOW. It wasn’t until I humbled myself with two other believers to have them lay hands and pray over me that this demonic presence peeled off my face, and the shackles were gone and I was set free. See, I had absolutely no way to know that I was in bondage, and it began two years previously when I stepped up to Christian leadership. I had been in bondage for two years without knowing. I praise and magnify His name that I had the guts to humble myself to say something personal to two ladies who stormed the gates of heaven to set me free.

During those two years of bondage in one area of my life, I had mightily walked by the Spirit and accomplished wonderful things for the kingdom of God. So just because a demon is on you doesn’t mean you will always be evil. The most spiritual people on earth will have demons lurking, waiting to see where they can make an inroad to sin to slip them up so that others will also fall into sin. Christian leaders are attacked more than most Christians. But through humility and dependence on other believers in the body of Christ, you can overcome the enemy each time. If other believers are aware of your thoughts, they can correct the lies of the enemy immediately so that the enemy does not get a foothold. This is why I believe it’s so important for believers to be transparent with each other and love each other and believe the best in each other.

Even with the apostle Paul, he was given a thorn in the flesh that was “a messenger from Satan.” (II Corinthians 12:7) A messenger from God is an angel, and a messenger from Satan is a demon. So a demon was allowed to torment Paul to keep him from exalting himself. When he was given revelation from God, he could have easily become prideful. But a demon comes alongside during your times of greatest spiritual breakthrough. Because you are fully open to God, Satan uses that openness to insert his own thoughts, too. Then you go close to the brink of insanity, and you calm yourself before God. You humble yourself and are quiet.

This has happened to me more than once, during times of huge spiritual breakthrough, where I nearly went insane because of a demon. But I humbled myself to God and was calm. It causes you to not talk about how to actually have a breakthrough because you’re embarrassed that you were also influenced by a demon at the same time. This also happened to Spurgeon, one of the greatest preachers of all time. God comforted me through some of Spurgeon’s sermons that what had happened to me was normal for a true servant of God. Satan will impede our true spiritual breakthroughs. Just humble yourself and be calm. Then ask God to give you discernment in retrospect. Test the spirits to see if they are from the Lord (I John 4:1). Anything that is said in your mind, you need to test it against Scripture and against what you know about God. For example, if it’s agitation, it’s from the enemy.

If you need more help in differentiating God’s voice from the enemy’s voice or your own voice, print out the free chart and listen to the audio here.

How to Fast

Friday, September 11th, 2015


When God commanded His people to fast, the fast would always start at sundown and end at sundown the next day, since God counts each day beginning at sundown: “Evening and morning, the first day.” (Genesis 1:5) The evening begins the day. They had food in their stomachs before sundown. So they did not have to go to bed with absolutely nothing in their stomachs. The next day they were released at sundown, so they could eat before going to bed. It was just the daytime when they had to go without food and seek the Lord with ALL their hearts and humble themselves before God and confess their sins (Leviticus 16:29-31; II Chronicles 7:14).

I started with a juice fast because I was scared of clonking my head by falling down. If you are diabetic or anemic, you might not be able to do a fast with water only. Regardless of the fast you choose, you must give up food. I drink coffee to not get a headache on the day I have set aside to fast and pray. So now I do water and coffee. You can do a minimum of juice, if you feel like you’re about to faint. Even with juices, your stomach will hurt really badly, and this will be what causes you to be emptied and stripped of all else before the Lord.

You can also do a half-day fast. In the morning, you would not eat breakfast. Most of the days I’ve done a half-day fast, it has been when I have a prayer meeting at noon. If all the people in the prayer meeting fast, they will be emptied and ready to cry out to the Lord together for one purpose. It is usually a very specific request, like the salvation of my friend’s husband, that God would bless our women’s retreat, or that a convicting sermon would cause a change in the lives of a worldly congregation. We were able to pray fervently as a result.

When you begin the day, cry out to the Lord in humility. Rest in God’s presence. Don’t watch any TV. Don’t do any entertainment or reading, unless it’s Scripture or a Christian book that is dealing with the issue you are fasting about. Many times words from Scripture have popped off the page during a fast, and it was God answering me. Also, I take more seriously what I’m reading, because I’m in pain.

I sometimes go outside and take a walk while praying. This clears my mind and enables me to continue if I feel like I can’t make it through the day. If your energy dips in the afternoon like mine does, I call a friend who is aware of the specific prayer request I have laid before the Lord, and we pray together over the phone. I always feel refreshed for the final stretch of the fast after I have prayed over the phone with a friend.

It’s even more joyful if you are able to pray in person with another believer during the fast. If you are asking for wisdom about a decision, or wisdom to find the root cause of a problem in your marriage, the other believer can lay hands and pray over you on the day you fast, that God would reveal it to you. Sometimes there is a demonic component that will be cast off at the laying on of hands, and the demonic blindness would remain otherwise.

I’ve cast off a demon from my own body without anyone around. It was when I was 15 years old. I asked God to be set free from my oppression in the name of Jesus, and this huge weight lifted off my chest and I was free. I did not know it was demonic until after the fact. But I was set free, and another believer was not in the room. So don’t lose hope if you are alone and don’t know any true believers who can lay hands to pray for you in this way. God honors your personal walk with Him, and He will hear you.

Hopefully this has given you a general feel for how to fast. Don’t eat food. It’s that simple. Dedicate the day to God to pray and try to do nothing else. You can do laundry while you are praying, or take care of small children. Do whatever God requires of you, but be focused on prayer throughout the entire day.

For more details on how to fast, here is a free audio (to download, right click, choose Desktop, and save):

Have you missed one of our posts about fasting? Follow our “Hunger for God” Fasting Series. (One will be posted each Friday):

To keep up with my prayer posts, follow my Prayer Page, where you will find exclusive prayer videos to help you hunger for God and establish a true prayer life!

Seeking Wisdom During a Fast

Friday, September 4th, 2015


One reason to fast is to seek wisdom from the Lord about a specific issue. Several years ago my husband and I fasted before the Lord because he had a sleep problem that was affecting his life. He was becoming so haggard that he could hardly survive. I had prayed and prayed about it, but God didn’t seem to be answering. So we decided to fast.

After fasting for 24 hours, the following day, I got an e-mail that a couple of gray-haired people from our church were prompted by God to pay for a sleep study for my husband. They hardly even knew us at that point, but God prompted them during the same 24 hours that we were fasting. The sleep study cost them over $1,000, so it was obviously God because people don’t part with their money like that. It’s impossible aside from God, but He was using the people within the church to answer our request.

As a result of the sleep study, my husband was given practical sleep strategies that he could implement to improve his sleep, and he was better able to sleep. But the overarching problem was a deeper issue. While fasting before the Lord, I had asked some practical questions. These are some of the questions I asked God:

  • What is causing my husband not to sleep?
  • What can I do to help him sleep?
  • How do we reduce work stress? Does he need to switch jobs?
  • How do we reduce financial stress? Is there something else we can do for income?
  • Are there spiritual issues keeping my husband from sleeping?

Ask God each question and open your heart expectantly in silence for a long time. Rest in God’s presence in silence. Do not be rushed. Ask one question at a time and rest. Then write down what comes to you. These are always in line with God’s Word and are often counter-intuitive; ideas you never would have thought of on your own. You will find that deeper issues are resolved rather than the original issue you raised to God.

Another time I fasted before the Lord for three days to find the root cause of a problem in a relationship. At the end of the three days, God answered me, and I knew the root cause and was able to deal with it. Only God knows the issues of the heart and where true healing is needed. Ask God a question, and then fast for the answer. God promises us in James 1:5 that if we ask for wisdom, it will be given to us.

Sometimes God answers instantaneously during a fast. Other times there is a time delay. God hears our prayers during a fast, and then a month later, the answer comes. With Daniel, God heard his prayer instantly, but there was a time delay because of spiritual warfare going on. Just because you don’t see an instant response, don’t be disheartened.

Have you missed one of our posts about fasting? Follow our “Hunger for God” Fasting Series. (One will be posted each Friday):

To keep up with my prayer posts, follow my Prayer Page, where you will find exclusive prayer videos to help you hunger for God and establish a prayer life that is truly alive!

Reasons to Fast

Friday, August 28th, 2015


We live in a self-indulgent society. We know nothing of self-denial. Christ commands us to lead a life of self-denial. (Matthew 16:24)

Jesus Himself fasted. He said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 4:34 NASB) Jesus gave us the example of wanting God’s will above our own stomachs. He never prioritized self-pampering. He never did it. He constantly denied Himself, and He was God!!

If Jesus who was God had to be somehow unblocked through fasting to know God’s will clearly for His life, how much more do we need to fast to gain clarity for our own lives! Do we want to do the will of God? Then why don’t we seek Him wholeheartedly?

If you don’t have a hunger for God, fast. If you are bored reading your Bible, fast. If you feel like you’re not connecting to God during prayer, fast. “Blessed are those who HUNGER and thirst for righteousness, for they WILL be filled.” Matthew 5:6 NIV

There are some strongholds of the enemy that can ONLY be broken through fasting (Matthew 17:21). This is because there is a demonic component to many strongholds in our lives, and we are not even aware that we are in the grip of the enemy until we fast and have our spiritual eyes opened. Fasting is a way to break the bonds of the enemy in our lives. Fasting will open your eyes; it will humble you and show you your real self.

More reasons why you should fast:

1. When God doesn’t seem to be answering your prayers
2. When you have trouble overcoming a specific sin
3. When you feel blind in a situation where action is required
4. When counseling others
5. When you are in the midst of a trial where you have no hope
6. When you want to experience God in a deeper way
7. When you need clear direction and wisdom
8. When you have a broken marriage that only God can heal
9. To seek the heart of God about leading His people
10. When God’s people need to be revived

When you fast, you are humbling yourself before the Lord, which is why God hears you. He delights in people who seek Him with humility. Then our voices will be heard on high. “Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’” (Isaiah 58:9a)

Every time I have fasted, I have pressed into God with all of my being, and Scripture says that when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us (James 4:8).

We can walk with spiritually open eyes, clarity of vision, nearness to God. Your own will needs to be fully and unconditionally crucified in order for you to be ready to do whatever God has called you to do. And maybe what you’re doing right now (your vocation) is exactly where God wants you, and you will get a special empowering to live it out in a much more powerful way. Or maybe you can’t even begin to conceive of how wonderful your life will be if God changes your desires and then gives you the desires of your heart. I’ve had this happen to me, and I can tell you, it is wonderful!

Here is the audio that further explains why you should fast: