Fasting is a crucial spiritual discipline, with the promise of greater liberty from the bondage to sin as we persevere. When Jesus was on earth, He fasted too. Here is a prayer as we fast and seek God.
Isaiah 58:6 ESV “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
Isaiah 58:6-12 NLT “No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply…”
A prayer to commit to fasting in honour of Jesus
“Dear Heavenly Father,
Today, I bring my flesh in full submission to Your Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:5-9 ESV For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit…
Jesus, You have purchased my body with Your blood. I am Yours. This fast is dedicated to You. I praise You for Your faithfulness and goodness to me!
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
This fast is not about the food and drink I am giving up. Rather, it is about the heavenly riches Jesus sacrificed in order to come as a man to die for my sins. Thank you, Jesus, for Your great and unimaginable love for me. My fast is a comparatively small offering to You in response. With any hunger pang, I remember each stripe that You took on Your body for my sins and thank You.
John 19:1 NLT Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip.
Isaiah 53:5 ESV But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.
Throughout this fast, Satan will try to pull me away from honouring You. Jesus, You know these struggles because You too agonised in the garden of Gethsemane over completing Your Mission to bring me to Your salvation. Yet You chose to die for me. I too will choose to persevere in my fast just as You persevered for me. Holy Spirit, please come and strengthen me.
Acts 14:21-22 NIV They preached the gospel in that city and … strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.
I confess I have been the target of many worldly marketing messages that tell me how much I need to eat and when. Only You, oh God, sustain my life. I am here today because of You and I thank You from my heart. Where I have idolised food or comfort, I now confess and repent in Jesus’ name.
Psalm 54:4 NIV Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.
Philippians 3:18-19 ESV For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
Holy Spirit, please search my heart and show me what else I need to surrender. With this fast, I’m choosing to deny my flesh so that I can restore a more abundant spiritual life through Christ.
Psalm 139:23-24 NIV Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Please also forgive me for any unbelief that You will speak to me during this time of fasting. Please help me recognise Your still quiet voice, as I read Psalm 139 out loud as a reminder of how close and intimate we can be.
James 1:6 ESV But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
John 10:27-28 ESV My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
With the enemy filling my heart with distracting thoughts, I now rebuke all ungodly spirits and silence you all in Jesus’ name.
Father in Heaven, where I have worshipped idols and participated in the occult in the past and allowed the enemy into my soul, I seek Your unending mercy and forgiveness. Holy Spirit, please bring to mind any of these activities from my past so that I can repent and remove Satan’s footholds for good.
2 Corinthians 6:16-18 NLT And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
Today, as I fast, I choose to read God’s Word and renew my mind. Holy Spirit, the Bible is Your Sword of truth and I invite You to penetrate my thoughts and heart with Your gentle revelation and love.
Ephesians 6:17-18 ESV … and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance…
When anxieties and uncomfortable memories surface as I fast, I will choose to confess and repent for any part I have played in judging, accusing, and hating other people. My bitterness has defiled me and many others. Holy Spirit, I know You are convicting me of my sin and bringing me to righteousness. I will choose to quickly forgive and bless my enemies so that my heart is washed clean in Jesus’ name. Therefore, no accuser can stand against me! Thank you for Your grace and deliverance!
Matthew 5:23-24 ESV So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Hebrews 12:15 ESV See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;
John 16:7-8 ESV Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:
Matthew 5:44 ESV But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Only with You is there true love, joy, and peace, my dear Saviour. May my hunger not be for the things of this world but continually for You, oh Lord. Please quench the anxieties and desires of my heart with Your loving touch.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Colossians 3:2 ESV Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.“
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