Fasting with others is different than fasting by yourself. When you fast by yourself, it is harder to remain focused because you are alone. If you are tempted to eat, you don’t have anyone to hold you accountable. Even if you’re alone, though, once you’ve made the decision, through an act of the will, you can always follow through. It hasn’t been a problem for me to sin by breaking my promise to God to set aside the day to fast. It was sin for Jesus to eat a piece of bread before the end of His fast, and He replied to Satan’s temptation that “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4 NASB)
Actually, when you are desiring food, it shows just how little you desire God. Your soul then yearns more deeply for God, to trump the pain of hunger. This is how you draw nearer to God, and why He draws nearer to you.
When I’m fasting alone, I often tell my mother or a close friend so that they can pray with me over the phone in the afternoon and help me to get through the final slump of the afternoon, when it’s the hardest to finish the fast. My energy takes a nosedive after the noon hour. When they pray with me, it suffuses me with strength and enables me to finish the fast.
If someone else fasts with me, I feel a huge difference. When I’m praying and someone else is praying at the same time, there is a power that’s similar to electricity. One time I was praying for the salvation of the husband of one of my friends, and I felt that deep spiritual electricity for three hours. I felt released at 10pm to go to bed. The next day when I got together for a prayer meeting at noon, another one of the ladies who was fasting felt prompted by God to pray intensely from 10pm to midnight. I was so shocked that at the very moment my electricity stopped, it was passed to another woman who was fasting for the same thing. When we all gathered at noon, the five women who had fasted got on the floor and wept before the Lord for this man to come back to Christ.
The Holy Spirit would have never prayed so intensely through me for three hours if He never intended that man to be saved. Because it was the Spirit praying, I knew that my will was God’s will, and that I would be getting the request. (I John 5:14) It’s just a matter of time.
The Spirit can intercede through you. This electricity is not normal. Most of the time I feel nothing. I just fast and pray and choose to put God first. Don’t be disappointed if nothing spectacular happens. When I fasted with my husband about his insomnia, I had no electricity or anything. It was just a lot of hard work of praying. But God answered miraculously by having someone from the church pay for the sleep study. So God honors your fast, even if it’s just drudgery and you don’t seem to be connecting to God. Don’t be discouraged. Continue to press in to God, and He will reveal Himself to you more and more.
This is especially true at first, when we start to pursue God wholehearteldly. There is so much sin that we don’t know about in our lives, that we can’t really connect to God until we ask God to remove it little by little. So it might take several fasts to get to the point where you can actually feel the Holy Spirit interceding so strongly inside of you. I can’t remember how many times I had to fast before I actually experienced this. Also, don’t pursue an experience; pursue God Himself. Who cares about experiences? I want God!
You can also physically get together with another believer who is fasting for the same thing, and it can be a wonderful time of communing before the Lord. What God reveals to one person is confirmed by the other person because you can both hear God because you are emptied of self with no unconfessed sin, pressing into God for an issue that God has placed on your heart.
Here is the audio that explains how fasting with others can be better than fasting alone (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):
- What is Fasting?
- Reasons to Fast
- Seeking Wisdom During a Fast
- How to Fast
- Fasting with Others (this post)
- Fasting for an Enemy
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!Tweet