We all know there is a Sound Barrier….but did you know there is a Faith Barrier, as well? The Sound Barrier is the point at which the buildup of air pressure in front of a plane creates so much drag that it feels as if the pilot will lose control and the plane will disintegrate. Then, when a plane reaches Mach 1, there is a loud sonic boom….followed by an eerie silence. But before a pilot can reach that point of calm, he has to push through a tremendous amount of resistance. It’s the same with faith: Sometimes it takes a tremendous amount of “praying through” to break through the resistance you are facing. And the closer you get to your breakthrough, it probably feels like you’re going to completely fall apart. It may take more than prayer to push through; you may need to try fasting through the Faith Barrier. You just might find your miracle on the other side!
It Takes More Than Prayer
Maybe you’ll remember the story of the father who took his epileptic son to the disciples; they were unable to drive the demon out of him. But when he took the boy to Jesus, He was able to heal the boy instantaneously. When the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t do it, He told them it wasn’t just their lack of faith, it was because that kind of demon could only be removed through prayer and fasting.
However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. Matthew 17:21 NKJV*
You see, Jesus’ disciples hadn’t begun fasting yet. Remember when John the Baptist’s disciples asked Jesus why His disciples didn’t fast like they and the Pharisees did? Jesus replied, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while He is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.” (Matthew 9:15).
It seems obvious there is certainly a need to fast to break through certain enemy attacks. In fact, Jesus made it very clear that fasting is an assumed part of the Christian’s faith walk. In Matthew 6, He taught His disciples there are three things that are expected of us: giving to the needy, praying, and fasting.
So when you give to the needy…..But when you pray…..When you fast…. – Matthew 6:1, 5, 16 NIV c1978 [emphasis mine]
If you have been praying over something, but just don’t feel like God is answering….perhaps it’s time to include fasting along with your prayers.
The Daniel Fast
One widely-known fast is the Daniel Fast. I’ve included a link below (click on image) to a great article by Dr. Josh Axe that discusses the history, the benefits, and the “diet plan” of this fast in great detail. Based on Scripture, the Daniel Fast is traditionally done in one of two ways: for 10 days, or for 3 weeks.**
Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables [pulses] to eat and water to drink. – Daniel 1:12
In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. – Daniel 10: 1-2
The Daniel Fast is considered a “partial” fast, restricting only certain foods and drinks; you are allowed fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans & legumes, nuts & seeds, and certain beverages. You’re certainly not going to starve, but you will have to be intentional…which will surely keep your objective at the forefront of your mind. 😉
Fasting has many benefits, but for the purposes of this post, the primary motivation is to increase spiritual sensitivity; to remind us of our weaknesses (especially those related to food), and lead us to a deeper dependence on God.
Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the chains of injustice, and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?….Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I. – Isaiah 58:6-9a NIV, c1978
Fast-Track Your Prayers
If you feel a desire to “fast-track” your prayers, demonstrating your dedication and obedience through fasting may help facilitate the answer you’re waiting on. It may also bring about a spiritual freedom and deeper communion than you normally experience when circling an issue in prayer.
So join me this week as we dig deeper into the practice of fasting. Your miracle may be just 10 – or 21 – days away!
*Verse 21 is only found in select versions.
**As with any eating plan, you should consult your doctor before beginning an extended fast. In my own experience, I need to “prep” before doing this fast (reducing caffeine intake, especially) or my heart acts up. So please be wise in how you approach this or any fast.