Fasting for 40 Days
We’ve discussed the supernatural power that is released by prayer and fasting when we are in need of a breakthrough. Please see, “Do You Need a Breakthrough?” And then we studied, “Which Type of Fast is Best for You?” And now this is the third part in this series about fasting for 40 days.
First of all, there are only 3 people recorded in the Bible that fasted for 40 days. They are Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. You can read in Exodus 34:28-29, about Moses’ supernatural encounter on Mount Sinai with God. It was such a powerful encounter that the glory of the Lord shown on his face, and the people would actually cover his face with a veil because he shown so brightly.
In 1 Kings 19:7-9, during Elijah’s 40 day fast on God’s mountain, Mount Horeb which is also the same mountain that Moses was on, Mount Sinai, the downtrodden prophet Elijah is restored from fear, failure and depression.
In both these accounts, Moses and Elijah, powerful men of God are being led up the mountain of God without basic provision for 40 days. This fact speaks volumes to me. Near the top of the mountain there is a wilderness to pass through. There is a test of obedience and discipline that leaders must be willing to walk. They must overcome pride and entitlement, and the only way seems to be by humbling themselves before God by prayer and fasting.
Then we have our wonderful Lord and Savior, Jesus who was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness, where satan first tempts Him to break His fast early by turning stones into bread to eat. Then He is tempted to test Father God’s faithfulness if He deliberately does something foolish that could perhaps end His physical life before His destiny at Calvary. And then He is tempted with false power and position if He will bow down to satan. And our faithful Jesus overcomes every form of temptation by speaking the Word of God. See Matthew 4:1-11.
And we should take note that during this time of temptation, satan is also trying to cause Jesus to question His true identity, and fall into the sin of entitlement. Be aware of the enemy’s tactics during this time of prayer and fasting.
And isn’t it interesting that satan first tempts Jesus to break His fast. This shows us that fasting must be very powerful if he will try to tempt Jesus and us to give up and quit. Be like Jesus, don’t give in. Use the Word of God during this time to overcome the temptation to break your fast.
Amazingly, years later, these three men, Moses, Elijah and Jesus meet up with each other on the Mount of Transfiguration. See Matthew 17. Again, this proves that supernatural power is released during times of prayer and fasting. And our destinies are forever altered when we obey.
The difficulties that you will encounter during a 40 day fast are as follows.
o You will be led into a spiritual wilderness. God does not promise that prayer and fasting will or should be easy.
o God will test your faithfulness. He will try the motives of your heart.
o When you are physically weak and worn down, the devil will make his move and attack.
o The enemy will cause you to question your identity in Christ.
o The enemy will fight against you in the arena of your calling.
o With his lying tongue he will make false promises if you will give into his temptations.
Years ago, the Lord required of me to go on three 40 day fasts in one year. It was hard on the flesh. It was preparation for the healing ministry, and I am still harvesting the fruit that was planted back then.
I began with drinking a non-salted clear broth made from boiled vegetables that was strained. I drank this 3 times a day, along with lots of water throughout the day. Then, eventually the only thing my system could handle was warm water.
Along with drinking the clear vegetable broth and water, I would spend most of my days and nights reading and studying the Word of God. Actually, I read through the entire Bible during each of these 3 fasts. And I spent much time in prayer and worship.
Personally, I do not recommend this fast for those that are struggling with eating disorders, or are fighting sickness and disease. If, this is you, there are other types of fasting that would be better for you. And I highly recommend that you ask your physician how you can participate in a type of biblical fasting.
I know of a woman that struggled with an eating disorder in her past, and she knew her weakness in this area and instead of fasting from food, she fasted sugar and salt, and from entertainment, and in their place she read and studied her Bible more, and spent personal time in worship.
As I shared in an earlier post, during times of prayer and fasting, I purchase a new notebook. I purchase the biggest one I can find, and I journal throughout the day. On the first page, I write down the start and end dates of the fast. I add to this page Scripture verses that I will stand on, and specific prayer requests or reasons for the fast.
Even though, 40 day fasts are difficult on the flesh, they are very powerful spiritually. Through personal experience I have found that the benefits outweigh the difficulties. And these are some of the benefits that you can expect during a 40 day clear liquid fast.
o You will encounter the Spirit of God in a greater manner then before.
o Your spiritual senses will be empowered.
o The gifts of the Spirit become highly activated.
o You will see and hear God clearly.
Seven Scriptural Reasons for Prayer and Fasting
- Divine Protection. Ezra proclaims a corporate time of prayer and fasting for God’s divine protection. Ezra 8: 21-23.
- Physical Healing. Paul fasts for 3 days and nights from food and water and his blind eyes open via the obedience of Ananias. Acts 9:1-19.
- Deliverance from evil spirits. In Matthew 17:14-21 Jesus teaches His disciples that the only way certain evil spirits will leave is by prayer and fasting.
- Restoration from failure and depression. 1 Kings 19, the well-trained prophet Elijah is restored from failure and depression.
- Victory over temptation. In Matthew 4: 1-11, we read how Jesus fasted 40 days and nights, and victory over very strong temptations.
- Repentance and revival. In 1 Samuel 7:6, God uses Samuel to revive the people that were enslaved to idol worship and lead them to repentance and deliverance.
- Release into ministry. Again in Matthew 4:1-11, after 40 days and nights of fasting Jesus is released into 3 years of faithful ministry.
So, let me repeat myself from the previous post, choose your type of fast, set your dates, purchase your journals, and let the breakthroughs and the miracles begin!
Becky Dvorak is a prophetic healing evangelist and the Destiny Image author of DARE to Believe and Greater Than Magic. Visit her at authorbeckydvorak.com. Becky will be ministering in the Virginia area on these dates.