Since fasting is a very powerful and effective weapon at our disposal as we stand against the gates of hell for the restoration of our marriages, and since many Christians have very little idea of what the Bible actually teaches about a spiritual fast, it’s very important to study so we can understand exactly what we’re doing when we fast. Not only do we need to know what a fast is and how to do it, but we also need to know what it is not, and we especially need to be familiar with and understand the reasons and occasions for fasting as they’re described in the Bible.
Matthew 6:17-18 (AMP) tells us But when you fast, perfume your head and wash your face, So that your fasting may not be noticed by men but by your Father, Who sees in secret; and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open. So understanding fasting that pleases God is very important to us, because we certainly want the Lord’s promised reward! And one of the most instructive passages to help us understand fasting that pleases God and the awesome blessings it brings forth is Isaiah 58, which in The Amplified Bible says:
1 CRY ALOUD, spare not. Lift up your voice like a trumpet and declare to My people their transgression and to the house of Jacob their sins!
2 Yet they seek, inquire for, and require Me daily and delight [externally] to know My ways, as [if they were in reality] a nation that did righteousness and forsook not the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God [in visible ways].
3 Why have we fasted, they say, and You do not see it? Why have we afflicted ourselves, and You take no knowledge [of it]? Behold [O Israel], on the day of your fast [when you should be grieving for your sins], you find profit in your business, and [instead of stopping all work, as the law implies you and your workmen should do] you extort from your hired servants a full amount of labor.
4 [The facts are that] you fast only for strife and debate and to smite with the fist of wickedness. Fasting as you do today will not cause your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is such a fast as yours what I have chosen, a day for a man to humble himself with sorrow in his soul? [Is true fasting merely mechanical?] Is it only to bow down his head like a bulrush and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him [to indicate a condition of heart that he does not have]? Will you call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord?
6 [Rather] is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every [enslaving] yoke?
7 Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house–when you see the naked, that you cover him, and that you hide not yourself from [the needs of] your own flesh and blood?
8 Then shall your light break forth like the morning, and your healing (your restoration and the power of a new life) shall spring forth speedily; your righteousness (your rightness, your justice, and your right relationship with God) shall go before you
[conducting you to peace and prosperity], and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, Here I am. If you take away from your midst yokes of oppression [wherever you find them], the finger pointed in scorn [toward the oppressed or the godly], and every form of false, harsh, unjust, and wicked speaking,
10 And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday.
11 And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.
12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of [buildings that have laid waste for] many generations; and you shall be called Repairer of the Breach, Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
13 If you turn away your foot from [traveling unduly on] the Sabbath, from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a [spiritual] delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and honor Him and it, not going your own way or seeking or finding your own pleasure or speaking with your own [idle] words,
14 Then will you delight yourself in the Lord, and I will make you to ride on the high places of the earth, and I will feed you with the heritage [promised for you] of Jacob your father; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.
Obviously, fasting that pleases God is about a LOT more than not eating or drinking, either completely or partially for a short period of time or a long period of time. Even though that’s a very important aspect of fasting, because it demonstrates to the Lord that we’re so concerned or burdened about something that we’re willing to deny the natural need and desire of our flesh; that we’re willing to set aside a particular time for the purpose of allowing our spirit to dominate our flesh so we can enter into a time of closer communion and relationship with Him. BUT if we don’t have an attitude of humility, a genuine desire to seek the Lord and be obedient, and if we’re not living with consideration, peace, love, and charity toward others, or if we harbor ungodly motives or attitudes of self-righteousness, fasting is in vain. So before starting a fast, it’s important to seriously consider the above passage to make sure we have the right attitude and motivation so we will be blessed with the awesome rewards and blessings fasting for the right reasons and with the right attitude produces. And it’s very important to understand that fasting is ALWAYS accompanied by prayer, because while it’s possible to pray effectively without fasting, it’s not possible to fast effectively without praying.
Some of the scriptural reasons we might be called to fast as we stand for the restoration of our marriages include: grief and mourning, repentance, the need for protection, seeking divine revelation, direction and guidance, supernatural intervention, and overcoming demonic strongholds and forces in matters of spiritual warfare. So reading and studying the passages of scripture at the following links help give us a more thorough understanding of biblical fasting, its proper use, and what it can accomplish, especially the kind of fasting that might be required as we stand for the restoration of our marriages.
2 Chronicles 20
2 Samuel 12
Matthew 6:1-18 (NKJV)
1 Corinthians 7:1-9 (KJV)
Matthew 17:17-21 (NKJV)
Mark 9:24-29 (NJKV)
A much deeper and thorough study of Biblical Fasting, is available at this link. And for more detailed information about how to fast and what fasting is and is not, this article, Fasting, by Dennis Rupert, provides additional interesting information and insight. So be blessed and encouraged!
Since fasting while standing for marriage restoration is becoming more popular, the above information is intended to help better understand what the Bible teaches about it and how to use it most effectively because it is without a doubt a very powerful tool when used in accordance with what the Bible teaches.. But since so few Christians really understand and appreciate the awesome power of fasting, the FAM Fellowship website provides a section dedicated to sharing fasting testimonies and answering questions about fasting. Besides helping our members better understand Biblical fasting, we believe sharing our personal experiences and testimonies encourages and teaches us how to most effectively use this powerful spiritual weapon as we take a stand against the forces of Hell for the restoration of our marriages. Standing for marriage restoration is definitely a matter of spiritual warfare, and as Jesus said, there are times when fasting is the only thing that works. However, anyone with a medical condition should consult with their healthcare provider before beginning a fast since there could be some medical conditions or medications that preclude fasting, in which case, other options are available, as described in the above article by Dennis Rupert.
Click here to join the FAM Fellowship, where you can share your fasting testimonies, or read and respond to the testimonies of other members, or post any questions you might have about fasting.
All Bible verses are from the New International Version 1984 unless otherwise indicated.