·      Times of visitation by God’s Spirit are always preceded by preparation.

·      The Spirit of God draws people to prepare their hearts so gain maximum benefit.  E.g. Exod. 19:10-11 Sanctify the people - Be ready for the third day - visitation.

·      “Sanctify” = to set apart, purify, make clean, dedicate before the manifestation of God’s glory was a season of preparation.  E.g. Mal.3:1-2 “Behold I send my messenger he shall prepare the way”.

·      Before the first coming of the Lord there was a season of preparation.

·      “Prepare the way” = call to repentance, confront and turn from sin.  E.g. Joel 2:12 “Turn to me now with all your hearts and with fasting and with weeping.

·      Fasting is a powerful spiritual weapon to break open our hearts.

·      Some areas of sin and bondage require fasting for breakthrough.  E.g. Mt.17:21.  This kind comes out only by prayer and by fasting.





a)  What is Fasting?

·      Not just missing a meal!

·      Purposeful, voluntary abstaining for a season from food, drink, rest or attachments to people or things so that there might be an increased inner focus upon the presence and person of God.


b)  3 Different Kinds of Fast

i)    Normal - going without food for a determined period.

ii)   Absolute - going without any food or drink (3 days max.)

iii)  Partial - going without certain types of food or limited eating.


c)  Fasts that God has chosen

i)    Loose the bands of wickedness     -free self and others from addictions to sin


ii)   Undo heavy burdens                      -solve problems and overcome difficulties

                                                            (Ezra 8:23)

iii)  Let the oppressed go free              -for soul winning and revival (1 Sam. 7:3)

iv) Break every yoke                          -conquer mental and emotional problems

                                                            (1 Kg.19:48)

v)  Bread to the hungry                       -care for poor and needy (1 Kg.17:16)

vi) Light to break forth                         -clear perspective, vision, insight (Acts 9:9)

vii) Health spring forth                         -healing or health (Dan.1:8)

viii) Righteousness go before             -Influence on community (Lk.1:15)

ix) Glory of Lord be reward                -Presence of God protecting (Esth.4:16)




i)   Before the Fast

·      Make a written commitment in journal or diary.

·      Aim - why are you doing this?

·      How long are you fasting? Start - Finish? - Duration.

·      What fasting from?

·      You strengthen your will by stating what you are committed to do.

·      You focus your anticipation and build faith in God for an answer.

·      You are making a vow of separation to the Lord. (Num.6:7,8)



ii)  During the Fast

·      Set aside time alone with God above what normally have.

·      Pray - this is central to fasting - seeking the presence and power of God.

·      Bible - spend time reading, seeking insight.

·      Journal - Write down struggles, requests, insights you received about God, purposes, direction or guidance, issues exposed.

·      Drink - plenty of water.


iii) What to expect?

·      Headaches, weakness, nausea (eat a little), irritability, withdrawal symptoms, increase craving or addiction, bad breath, frequent urination.

·      Alertness, spiritual sensitivity, reduction in craving for food.


iv) Breaking the Fast

·      Don’t shock the system by overeating or by fatty foods.

·      Begin with soup, porridge etc.

·      Celebrate and thank the Lord. (Lev.16:32)


v)  Violating the Fast

·      Fasting is not just about getting answers - how you do it is important.

·      Mt.6:16-18 Do it secretly without outward show.

·      Num.6:12 - stick to the commitment you have made.

·      You violate the fast when you -

a)  Fail to do it

b)  Break the fast prematurely or “cheat”.

·      Violating weakens your faith and personal esteem because of the lack of self discipline.


vi) A key place to start!

·       “Loosing the bands of wickedness?”

·      Identify “besetting sins” (Heb.12:1)

·      What areas of your life are a continual area of compromise and defeat that seem to resist and defy you like a giant.

·      Fast for breakthrough!

·      N.B. David - Breakthrough 1 Chron. 13

                        - Restoration of Ark 1 Chron. 14






















Do not attempt to answer all the questions


1.  The Fast God has chosen:


·      Read Is.58:1-7

·      What 3 things did Israel do that seemed to be godly? (v2)

·      Why are outward actions less important than heart motives to God?

·      What complaint did the people make against God? (v3a)

·      Have you complained to God when he did not act as you wanted?

·      Why do people tend to blame God rather than look at their own attitudes and actions?

·      What reasons did God give for refusing to respond to their fasting? (v3b - 4)

·      What did God reveal is the right motive for fasting? (v4b)

·      How does this compare to Jesus instructions on fasting? (Mt.6:16 - 18)

·      What four motives or purposes does God give for fasting in v6?

·      Why is it important to have a clear purpose for fasting?

·      Are you facing any one of the situations described in v6?

a)  Loose bands of wickedness - Free self or others from power of besetting sin

b)  Undo heavy burdens - Solve difficult problems

c)  Let the oppressed go free - Salvation or deliverance from darkness.

d)  Break every yoke - Break the power of mental, emotional, demonic bondage.

·      Are you willing to fast as well as pray for breakthrough?

            - What commitment will you make to this?  Tell others in the group.

·      What four practical actions are listed as part of the chosen fast? (v7)

·      In what ways are these actions like a fast - purposeful abstaining from things you need or like?

·      In what ways does this passage compare to Zech. 7:5 - 10?

·      What practical actions did God require in that passage?