CHAPTER 6: Fasting Intensifies Prayer
I. Christ’s Teaching and Example
a. Emphasizes motive and warns against religious ostentation for the sake of
impressing people. (Matt. 6:1-18)
b. Fasting is endorsed by Christ’s own example – Luke 4:1-2.
i. When Jesus went into the wilderness, He was already
ii. After fasting, He returned in the
iii. Fasting was the final phase of preparation through which He had to pass,
before entering into His public ministry.
II. The Practice of the Early Church
a. Fasting was a vital part in Paul’s ministry – Acts 9:9; 2 Cor. 6:3-10; 2 Cor.
b. Early Church fasted individually and COLLECTIVELY – Acts 13:1-3; Acts
i. As a result, they received direction and power from the H.S. for
decisions or tasks of special importance.
III. How Fasting Works
a. Fasting helps a Christian to receive direction and power from the H.S.
b. It’s a form of mourning, in one sense.
i. Mourning is not self-centered remorse or hopeless grief.
ii. It’s a response to H.S.’s prompting to share in God’s grief over sin and
folly of humanity – 2 Cor. 7:10.
c. It’s a means to humble and chasten oneself.
i. Rightly practiced, fasting brings both soul and body into subjection to the
H.S. – 1 Cor. 9:27
ii. Fasting deals with barriers to the H.S. – self-will and insistent, selfgratifying
appetites of the body. (Gal. 5:17).
1. Fasting changes people, not God.
2. Breaks down barriers in man’s carnal nature that stand in way of
3. With barriers removed, H.S. can work unhindered in His fullness
through our prayers.
d. Four Requirements in 2 Chron. 7:14:
humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear
from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
full of the H.S.power of the H.S.if my people, who are called by my name, will
i. Humble themselves.
iii. Seek His face.
iv. Turn from their wicked ways.
e. Fasting will never change the righteous standard of God. If something is outside
the will of God, fasting will never put it inside the will of God – e.g.) David’s
fasting to save his son after he committed adultery (2 Sam 12).
f. Fasting is neither a gimmick nor a cure-all.
Fasting is not a substitute for any other part of God’s provision. Conversely, no other part of God’s provision is a
substitute for fasting (117).