Joe Miller repost from 2010.
One of my favorite books about fasting is "Shaping History" by Derek Prince. The title to chapter six in his book is "Fasting Intensifies Prayer". In this chapter he talks about the practices of the early church.
He states, "Fasting played a vital part of his (Paul's) ministry. Immediately after his first encounter with Christ on the Damascus road, Paul spent the next three days without food or drink (Acts 9:9). Thereafter, fasting was a regular part of his spiritual discipline. In 2 Cor 6:3-10, Paul listed various ways in which he had proved himself a true minister of God, In verse 5, two of the ways that he listed are: "in watchings, in fastings." Watching signifies going without sleep; fasting signifies going without food. Both were practiced at times by Paul to make his ministry fully effective. In 2 Cor 11:23-27, Paul returned to this theme. Speaking of the other men who set themselves up as his rivals in the ministry, Paul said, "Are they minister of Christ?... I am more" (v. 23). He then gives another long list of ways in which he had proved himself a true minister of Christ. In verse 27, he said, "In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often."
I bring this passage up tonight because fasting is not a new invention. If anything it is an old invention that we have forgotten about in a modern age. Paul compared a true minister with watchings and fastings. I think this is an important point. Somehow we have become comfortable with going to church and letting pastor feed us. But Paul (who was not a pastor) considered watchings and fastings to be an important part of his spiritual life. Taking this to a personal level, I cannot tell you how many times my family was in trouble and fasting was the only way to break through. When my wife and I were fighting big time over deep issues, I went to fasting. When my son was dealing with strange dreams night after night, I went to fasting. When it seemed like the world was caving in on me; machines breaking, lawsuits looming, employees stealing, I went to fasting. There have been many times in my life that I had no choice but to make the decision to fast for a more intense prayer. It was during these difficult times that I learned the power of fasting and prayer as a joint weapon of warfare. Now that most of my time is spent praying and fasting over the city, those experiences have given me the faith to know that continual, focused prayer with fasting involved will "Shape History".
Isaiah 58:12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.