Thoughts About Fasting
- By Steve Uppal
- Published 01/29/2009
Steve Uppal was born in Wolverhampton in 1974. At the age of five he gave his life to the Lord. It was prophesied that he would travel the world preaching and at thirteen he committed to a wholehearted Christian walk, challenging his friends to examine their lives and to commit totally to the Lord. They started to get together to pray and to read the Bible. By 1988 the group, led by Steve, began to feel challenged to take the “uncompromised gospel” to others. They called themselves “Christian Warriors.” They began to plan their evangelistic activities at weekends and at school holidays and were soon visiting churches and youth events up and down the country. Through the late 1990’s, Steve’s work with the Warriors grew to encompass a number of different activities. As well as becoming involved in local church leadership and youth networking, Steve founded a training school as a pilot programme for one year. In 1999, he began working on a part-time basis for CfAN as an events organiser - work which took him to Africa, to experience first-hand the impact of mass crusades. In November 2000 he began work as Associate Minister of All Nations Christian Centre in Wolverhampton, England, and in May 2001 he was asked to take on the role of Pastor. At All Nations he has brought a new vision to the church based on a “militant” Christianity that wants to see the Kingdom of God forcefully advanced across all nations. The “three pillars” of the church are now overseas missions, actively engaging with all levels of the community through social action, and the training and development of disciples. Steve is married to Esther. They have four children – Bethany, born in 1998, Sophia, born in 2000, Joel, born in 2003 and Judah born in 2005.
Fasting For Breakthrough
He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting." Mark 9:29
There is much we want to see the Lord do in our lives, Church, City and world. It is good to have expectations and desires for a better life, a spiritual breakthrough, maybe even a breakthrough in healing or restoration in a relationship. Just having an expectation is not enough; we must combine that expectation with action. Fasting is one way of seeing breakthrough come in our lives. There are some things that can only be changed by prayer and fasting. The discipline of fasting and prayer has been given to us as a tool to help us to get closer to the Lord and see breakthroughs come.
Primary Purpose Of Fasting
The primary purpose in fasting is always to humble oneself before the Lord and allow the Lord to deal with our hearts, attitudes, motives and unconfessed sin. We see this attitude in David when he wrote Psalm 51. He knew there was stuff in his own life that needed to be changed and he fasted, prayed and asked the Lord to change him,
2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. 5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. 6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. 7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalms 51:2-12
Use your time of fasting and prayer to examine your own life, talk openly and honestly before the Lord. You will find many things exposed to you that need to be dealt with, don’t be discouraged but see this as a spiritual detox.
Physical Benefits In Fasting
At the same time your body will also be getting rid of all it rubbish. Fasting cleanses the body. It is a good and healthy thing to do. During a fast you will burn toxins that have been stored in fatty tissues, in your body. For example even after a night of fasting you will awaken in the morning with discoloured tongue and bad breath etc, this is your body getting rid of the rubbish and cleansing itself.
During a fast your body will go through deeper cleansing or detoxifying. That is why some will experiences headaches, discomfort and mood swings. Embrace these times recognising that it is good for you. It is good for the body to have a break from food, giving it a chance to cleanse and rebuild.
To learn more about the fasting you can visit: www.freedomyou.com
Tips For Fasting
1. It is important to prepare your body for a fast. You can do this by slowly cutting out tea and coffee (caffeine) 4-5 days before the fast. Doing this will help you not to have cravings on your fast. Also eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables the week before a fast. This will help cleanse your body, making it easier for you while fasting. Don’t eat meat the couple days before a fast otherwise it will sit in your digestive system while you are fasting.
2. Fasting is good for your body and should be encouraged. But if you are on medication or suffer an illness it would be wise to get medical advice before entering a fast. Having said that for many ailments fasting will prove beneficial.
3. Be prepared for emotional ups and downs during a fast. You are denying your flesh what it wants and it will not like it. Your body will also be burning toxins and that may produce headaches or discomfort. Make a decision not to be led by your feelings. Remind yourself of your purpose during these times.
4. Have a purpose to your fast. The primary purpose is always to humble oneself before the Lord but their may be other things you want to bring before the Lord during the fast. Write these things down before you begin so you know your purpose. If you feel like giving up remind yourself of your purpose.
5. Use scripture. The Word of God is powerful and a very effective tool during times of prayer and fasting. Take a particular passage like Psalm 51 and spend time reading, mediating and reflecting on such a passage. At times you can pray through a passage, claiming it’s promises for your own life.
6. Pray. This mind sound basic but many people set aside time to fast and in the business of their day get little or no praying done. We were not told to fast alone but to fast and pray. Don’t just have a day you starve yourself but make time in that day that you can pray. These times may be early morning, lunch time and early evening.
7. Solitude. Though this may not always be possible because of work and family commitment it is to be encouraged. Even if you can just get 30 minutes or an hour alone, these times are very beneficial for reflection and examination as well as prayer.
8. You will need to make a quality decision about when you will begin your fast and when you will end and also your purpose for fasting. Then make a commitment to follow through with your decision.
9. Don’t just fast food. Cut out television, radio and newspaper. Minimise the input of the world into yourself and increase input of the Word and the Holy Spirit.
10. When your fast is over don’t go crazy with food. Break it gently with some fruit or soup and then give it a few hours before eating again. Depending on the length of your fast will depend on how long it takes before normal eating can resume.