Types of Fasts
The goal of fasting is to draw nearer to God. Biblical fasting always has to do with eliminating distractions for a spiritual purpose; it hits the reset button of our soul and renews us from the inside out. It also enables us to celebrate the goodness and mercy of God and prepares our hearts for all the good things God desires to bring into our lives.
On this type of fast, you drink only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.
- This type of fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, and bread from your diet and consume water and juice for fluids and fruits and vegetables for food.
- This fast is sometimes called the “Jewish Fast” and involves abstaining from eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to specific times of the day, such as 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sunup to sundown.
- This fast is a great option if you do not have much experience fasting food, have health issues that prevent you from fasting food, or if you wish to refocus certain areas of your life that are out of balance. For example, you might choose to stop using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast and then carefully bring that element back into your life in healthy doses at the conclusion of the fast.
How to Begin Your Fast
How you begin and conduct your fast will largely determine your success. By following these seven basic steps to fasting, you will make your time with the Lord more meaningful and spiritually rewarding.
Why are you fasting? Is it for spiritual renewal? For guidance? For healing? For the resolution of problems? For special grace to handle a difficult situation? Ask the Holy Spirit to clarify what He wants you to take away from this time. This will enable you to pray more specifically and strategically.
Through fasting and prayer, we humble ourselves before God so the Holy Spirit will stir our souls, awaken our churches and heal our land according to 2 Chronicles 7:14. Make this a priority in your fasting.
Pray about the kind of fast you should undertake. Jesus implied that all of His followers should fast (Matthew 6:16-18; 9:14-15). For Him, it was a matter of when, not if, believers would fast. Before you fast, decide the following:
- How long you will fast — one meal, one day, a week, several weeks, forty days? (Start slowly and build up to longer fasts.)
- The type of fast God wants you to undertake, such as water only or water and juices, as well as what kinds of juices you will drink and how often.
- What physical or social activities you will restrict.
- How much time each day you will devote to prayer and God’s Word.
Making these commitments ahead of time, write them down and share them with someone you trust. This helps you sustain your fast when physical temptations and life’s pressures tempt you to abandon it.
The foundation of fasting and prayer is repentance. Unconfessed sin will hinder your prayers. Here are several things you can do to prepare your heart:
- Ask God to help you make a comprehensive list of your sins.
- Confess every sin that the Holy Spirit reminds you of and accept God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
- Seek forgiveness from anyone you have offended and forgive anyone who has hurt you (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3-4).
- Make amends with people as the Holy Spirit leads you.
- Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit according to His command in Ephesians 5:18 and His promise in 1 John 5:14-15.
- Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master and refuse to obey your worldly nature (Romans 12:1-2).
- Meditate on the attributes of God — His love, sovereignty, power, wisdom, faithfulness, grace, compassion and other qualities (Psalm 48:9-10; 103:1-8, 11-13).
- Begin your time of fasting and prayer with an expectant heart (Hebrews 11:6).
- Do not underestimate spiritual opposition. Satan sometimes intensifies the natural battle between body and spirit (Galatians 5:16-17).
Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Consult your physician first, especially if you take prescription medication or have a chronic ailment. Some people should never fast without professional supervision.
Physical preparation makes the drastic change in your eating routine a little easier so you can turn your full attention to the Lord in prayer. Remember the following:
- Do not rush into your fast.
- Prepare your body. Eat smaller meals before starting a fast. Avoid high-fat and sugary foods.
- Eat raw fruits and vegetables for two days before starting a fast
Your time of fasting and prayer has come. You are abstaining from all solid foods and have begun to seek the Lord. Here are some helpful suggestions to consider:
- Limit your physical activity.
- Exercise only moderately. Walk one to three miles each day if convenient and comfortable.
- Prepare yourself for temporary mental discomforts, such as impatience, crankiness and anxiety.
- Expect some physical discomforts, especially on the second day. You may have fleeting hunger pains or dizziness. Withdrawal from caffeine and sugar may cause headaches. Physical annoyances may also include weakness, tiredness or sleeplessness.
The first two or three days are usually the hardest. As you continue fasting, you are likely to experience a sense of well-being both physically and spiritually. However, should you feel hunger pains, increase your liquid intake.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- 02 PRAY FIRST
- 03 HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
- 04 CREATING A LIFESTYLE OF PRAYER
05 THE LORD’S PRAYER
15 TABERNACLE PRAYER
27 PRAYING SCRIPTURE
40 THE PRAYER OF JABEZ
45 WARFARE PRAYERS
61 PRAYING FOR THOSE WHO NEED GOD 67 PERSONAL PRAYER FOCUS
Since the beginning of our church , we have set our hearts
to be a people of prayer. Our rally cry has simply been, “Pray First.” In every situation, whether good or bad, we try to pray before we act. Many times people act first and then want God to bail them out
of that situation, but prayer should be our first response, not
our last resort.
Understanding the necessity of prayer is not enough. In order for
it to become a part of our life, it needs to become something we look forward to. I’m convinced most people don’t enjoy prayer because they have never been taught how to pray. That’s where this simple prayer journal can help. Using several prayer models out of the Bible and having some guides to make prayer more personal, this booklet is designed to help bring joy into your time with God. When you discover the beauty of daily conversation with Him, you’ll experience the presence of God that will change your life.
Once you learn how to pray, prayer can become a part of everyday life. And then…
Before the day begins —
Before you go to bed —
Before you go to work or school — Before you send that text —
Before you react —
Before bad things happen — Before you eat, drive, or travel — In every situation — PRAY FIRST!
Prayer changes everything!
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
We don’t have to follow a specific formula to talk with God, but practicing different ways to pray can help us find deeper purpose and connection to Him through our prayer time.
This book is designed to give you several prayer models. You don’t have to master all of them at once; you can select a different prayer model each day in any order you want, and even spend a few days on the same model as you become more comfortable.
To get started, choose which model you want to use today in prayer. As you pray, focus on the process the model reveals, giving yourself time to pray intentionally. If your mind wanders, use the model to restore your focus.
The goal of using this guide is not to add pressure or overwhelm you. The goal is simply to get comfortable with different biblical models of prayer and for your prayer life to become more natural, effective, and enjoyable. To make your prayer time even more meaningful, you can write notes and prayer requests and play worship music. The most important step is committing to regularly entering God’s pres- ence through prayer.
The heart of this guide is to help you find a new level of purpose, effectiveness, and enjoyment in your prayer life. While prayer does take commitment and can require discipline to develop into a daily habit, we also want to remember that it’s a “get to” not a “got to.” It’s a privilege to be able to come to God in prayer.
CREATING A LIFESTYLE OF PRAYER
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a
solitary place, where He prayed.
Prayer is most effective when it isn’t something we do every now and then, but when it’s a lifestyle we cultivate. To understand how to have a lifestyle of prayer, we can look at the example Jesus gave during His life on earth.
HAVE A CERTAIN TIME
Jesus got up early in the morning to spend time with His Heavenly Father. Make a daily appointment with God — whether it’s first thing in the morning, at lunch, or in the evening — and faithfully keep it.
HAVE A CERTAIN PLACE
Jesus had a specific place He went to pray. Having a designated place to pray helps us remove distractions and frees us to worship and pray out loud.
HAVE A CERTAIN PLAN
When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, He gave them
a prayer outline. We call it “The Lord’s Prayer.” This outline, along with several other tools, is available in this guide. As we pray every day, our plans for our prayer time can vary, maybe including worship music, Bible reading, and quiet time to listen to God. It doesn’t always have to look the same; it just helps when we have a plan for connecting regularly with God.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
The Lord’s Prayer is often recited in churches or at religious events, but there’s so much more to this prayer. Jesus provided this model as an outline to teach us how to pray
in a way that connects us to God, aligns our priorities with His, and helps us live dependently on Him. This model takes us through each part of The Lord’s Prayer, showing us
how to pray the way Jesus instructed.
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place.
When He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray…”
“Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name.
Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver
us from the evil one. For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
MATTHEW 6:9-13 NKJV
CONNECT WITH GOD RELATIONALLY
“Our Father in Heaven”
God isn’t interested in us practicing religion; instead, He desires a relationship with us. God has adopted us as His children and loves for us to call Him our Father. Starting our prayer time acknowledging
our relationship with God is powerful for us and delights Him as well.
You have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when
He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him,
ROMANS 8:15 NLT
Proclaim your intimate relationship with God, addressing Him lovingly as your Father and thanking Him that you are His child.
“Father, I come to You in prayer today thankful that I am Your child. I know I am a sinner, but You have forgiven
me and adopted me as Your own, and I am so grateful to call You my Father. Thank You for loving me. I love You.”
WORSHIP HIS NAME
“Hallowed be Your name”
God loves when we worship Him, and there is power in His name. Here is a list of some of His names to help us worship Him specifically and personally:
God is Righteousness – He makes us clean
God is Sanctifier – He has called us and set us apart God is Healer – He heals all our diseases
God is Banner of Victory – He defeated our enemies God is Shepherd – He speaks to us and leads us God is Peace – He is our peace in every storm
God is Provider – He supplies all of our needs
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. PROVERBS 18:10 ESV
Speak God’s names out loud. When we proclaim who He is, we not only worship Him, but we also remind ourselves how powerful and great our God is.
“God, I am in awe of You. Your name is a strong tower, a place of protection and safety for me. I praise You as my Healer, my Shepherd, and my Banner of Victory. You are my Peace, my Provider, my Righteousness, and my Sanctifier. Your name is great, and I worship You.”
THE LORD’S PRAYER
PRAY HIS AGENDA FIRST
“Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”
Part of being a child of God is caring about what He cares about and loving who He loves. We know His will is perfect, and we acknowledge His wisdom and sovereignty when we pray His agenda first.
He will always give you all you need from day to day if you will make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. LUKE 12:31 TLB
Spend time focusing on what God is focused on. His priorities include:
- Saving the lost
- Wisdom and guidance for those in authority—
parental, spiritual, governmental, work-related
- Caring for the poor and marginalized
- Unity and love
- Freedom for those in bondage
- Accomplishing His purpose in our lives
“God, I recognize there is no better plan on earth than Yours, and I pray for Your will to be done in our world
and in my life (name the areas of your life where you
need more of God’s presence today). This world is lost
and needs You desperately, and I pray for every person to know You as their personal Lord and Savior. I pray for the leaders in my life (pray specifically over parents, spiritual leaders, governmental leaders, employers, and any other leaders in your life), that You would show them Your will and give them supernatural wisdom and discernment
as they lead. God, I pray that Your heart for justice and unity would be seen in our world; that those who are in bondage will be set free; that the needs of the poor and marginalized will be met. Show me what my role is in seeing the realities of heaven come to earth. Make Your priorities my priorities. Help me love who You love and see value in all people. I give my life to You again today; have Your way in me. Please give me wisdom and clarity as You show me my next steps.”
DEPEND ON HIM FOR EVERYTHING
“Give us this day our daily bread”
God promises to supply all our needs, and He wants us to come to Him with our problems, needs, and desires and to trust Him to provide.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!
PSALM 121:1-2 NLT
Ask God for what you need today. It may help to write down the concerns weighing on your mind or the desires of your heart. Bring them to God, and trust Him enough to hand them over to Him fully. It may help to open your hands before God to physically show your surrender to Him. Problems can either be ours or God’s; they can’t be both.
“Father, I acknowledge that everything I need today will come from You. You made the heavens and the earth;
You are more than capable of handling any situation I’m dealing with, so I give it to You completely (specifically talk to God about what is on your mind and heart right now and give it to Him). I look to You to help me, sustain me, and give me Your peace. Remind me of Your hope and power today. Thank You in advance for taking care of my needs.”
FORGIVE AND BE FORGIVEN
“Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”
God has offered us complete forgiveness, and we can receive it at any time. When we turn away from our sins and receive His forgiveness, our hearts are more prepared to forgive others as well.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 JOHN 1:9
Ask God to check your heart and life and show you areas where you might need to ask for forgiveness from Him. Then, it is your turn to forgive those who have offended you. We can even choose to forgive people in advance. Ask God to forgive you and to help you forgive others.
“God, thank You so much for offering me the gift of forgiveness. Show me any areas in my life that I need to bring before You in order to receive forgiveness and healing. I confess that I have been struggling with sin (talk to God about any areas of sin in your life),
and I know that You want me to be clean again. Please forgive me for my sin. Thank You for showing me unfailing grace. As You have so freely forgiven me,
I also want to freely forgive others. Help me let go of the things that have offended me and acknowledge when I have offended others. I release to You those who have hurt me, and I trust You to handle those situations according to Your perfect will.”
ENGAGE IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE
“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Spiritual warfare can seem difficult to understand,
but the Bible makes it very clear that we have an enemy who is trying to steal from us, kill us, and destroy us.
As we pray, we take our stand against the enemy and fight from a place of victory through Jesus as we’re empowered by His Holy Spirit. There is power in God’s Word, and every lie the enemy has told us can be replaced with God’s truth.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
By recognizing that the enemy wants to destroy you, you can shed light on his lies and claim God’s truth over your life. Ask God to show you any lies you’re believing or areas of warfare happening in your life. Ask Him
to expose the enemy and to help you understand and receive His truth. Simply speaking the name of Jesus has great power in the spiritual realm. The Bible tells us in James 4:7 that if we resist the devil, he will flee from us. Through prayer, we can resist him and walk forward in freedom.
“God, I recognize that my struggles today aren’t against the people or circumstances around me, but against the enemy. Please help me to see how the enemy is lying to me. Help me to recognize his lies, take them captive, and make all of my thoughts obedient to the truth of Your Word (list out any specific areas God shows you where you have believed a lie that needs to be replaced with His truth). While the enemy wants to destroy me, I know that You came to give me life to the fullest. I speak the name of Jesus over my life and declare that no weapon formed against me will prosper. I don’t have to fear the enemy because the One who is in me is greater than the one who is in the world.”
EXPRESS FAITH IN GOD’S ABILITY
“For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”
God is more than able to move in every situation, and ending our prayer time claiming His authority and power focuses our minds on the truth and hope of who He is and what He can do.
Ah, Sovereign LORD, You have made the heavens
and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for You.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Remind yourself of God’s limitless power and then return to praising Him and declaring your faith in Him: • “Yours is the Kingdom” – all authority belongs to You • “Yours is the Power” – all mightiness flows from You
• “Yours is the Glory” – Your victory will be complete
“Father God, nothing is too hard for You! Through Your great power, all things are possible. All authority is
Yours, all might is Yours, and I know that Your victory will be complete. You are amazing, and I worship You. I praise You for Your power and presence in my life. You are my God, and You are worthy of all praise.”
ALTAR OF INCENSE
TABLE OF SHEWBREAD
HOLY OF HOLIES
THE OUTER COURT
THE HOLY PLACE
In the Old Testament, the Tabernacle was the dwelling place of God, built to His specifications, where He would meet His people. As they entered the Tabernacle, they passed through seven stations, following God’s instructions, to experience His presence. Today, even though we no longer need the physical Tabernacle to meet with God, these same steps can help us connect with Him. This prayer model will take us through each station of the Tabernacle and use the purpose of each station to guide our prayers.
THE OUTER COURT
THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE
The Israelites entered the Tabernacle with thanksgiving and praise, and we start our prayer time the same way.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. PSALM 100:4
Spend some time really thinking about all the blessings in your life for which you’re thankful. You can write down a list, sing your own song of praise, or just spend quiet moments reflecting on your gratitude and praise toward God.
“Father God, You are good, and You deserve all my praise and more. Thank You for the many ways You have blessed me and for watching over me (tell Him specific things in your life that you’re grateful for. Thank Him for something new that you’ve never thanked Him for before). I want to experience Your presence and Your love in a fresh way today, Jesus. I thank You that Your mercies are new every day. I thank You for who You are and all You have done for me.”
THE BRAZEN ALTAR
THE CROSS OF JESUS
In the Old Testament, everyone had to regularly bring animal sacrifices as payment for their sins. Today, we don’t have to do that because Jesus paid for our sins once and for all with His blood on the cross.
Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all
His benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from
the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. PSALM 103:2-5
Thank God for the gift of Jesus. Thank Jesus for His sacrifice and love. Let the power of the cross and what it means for your life really settle in your spirit. In addition to expressing your gratitude, claim the power of transformation and healing that the cross of Jesus has in your life.
The cross provides us with five major benefits:
- Salvation – God forgives all my sins
- Healing – God heals all my diseases
- Redemption – God rescues me and restores me
- Transformation – God changes me into His likeness
- Blessing – God provides everything I need
CLEANSING AND PREPARING
“Thank You, God, for making a way for me through Your Son. Jesus, thank You for the sacrifice You made for me on the cross. You saved me, and You set me free. I praise
You for being my Healer. You have power over all disease and harm in my life (list specific areas where you need to experience God’s healing power). Thank You for being my Redeemer. You rescue me and give my life purpose. Thank You for transforming my life with Your love, for making me new. I want to grow to be more like You (give Him access to every area of your life). Thank You for blessing me. I know You have good plans for me and
all that I have comes from You (thank Him for specific blessings in your life).”
The next step in the Tabernacle was a bowl of water where people were reminded of their sinfulness and their need to be cleansed and forgiven by God. Checking our hearts and motives and surrendering our lives to God is an important part of daily prayer.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
ROMANS 12:1 ESV
Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we can confess our sins to Him and receive complete forgiveness
and a fresh start. In prayer, humbly and sincerely turn away from your sins and allow God to cleanse
and renew you. Then, surrender your life and every part of yourself to Him.
“God, I confess my sins to You and turn away from them (tell God any sin you know is in your life and confess it to Him with a sincere heart. Ask Him to show you any other areas that need His cleansing). Thank You, God, for freely forgiving me. As I turn away from my sin, I turn toward You, and I offer myself to You:
- I give You my tongue, to speak good and not evil
- I give You my eyes, to focus on You and the
needs of others
- I give You my ears, to be sensitive to Your voice
- I give You my hands, to do good for others
- I give You my feet, to walk in Your ways and
follow Your footsteps
- I give You my mind, to be transformed and used by You
I ask You, Lord, for the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23, so that I can grow closer to You and make a difference in the lives of others. I ask for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.”
THE HOLY SPIRIT
The next piece of the Tabernacle was a seven-branched golden candlestick. The fire represents the Holy Spirit and how we are called to be light in the world’s darkness.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit
of Wisdom and of Understanding, the Spirit
of Counsel and of Might, the Spirit of the Knowledge and fear of the LORD.
When Jesus left the earth, Christians were given the gift of the Holy Spirit. He calls the Holy Spirit our
“Advocate.” We cannot do what God has called us to do without His supernatural power. It is through the Holy Spirit that God comforts us, guides us, and empowers us.
“Holy Spirit, I ask You to fill me up. I need Your presence in my life, guiding, directing, comforting, and counseling me. I know that You, Holy Spirit, are God, in the Trinity with God the Father and the Son, Jesus.
You are the Spirit of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Might, and Knowledge. Give me a holy fear of the Lord, helping me to be in awe of who God is and what God does. Work in me, Holy Spirit. Teach and transform me
(pray through any areas where you feel the need for transformation today). Empower me with Your
THE WORD OF GOD
spiritual gifts to strengthen the Church and to help bring the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven to earth.
THE TABLE OF SHEWBREAD
In the Tabernacle, a table with twelve loaves of bread represented the importance of reading God’s Word for daily sustenance.
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
God’s Word is an incredible gift and a powerful tool, and it has great relevance and impact in our prayer life. Here is how you can incorporate God’s Word into
your prayer time:
- Take time to read and think about the Word
- Claim God’s many great promises for your life
and the world around you
throughout your day
world around you
“Thank You, God, for giving me Your Word. I commit
to reading it, and I ask You to reveal Yourself to me through it. I want to know You more. Help me to grow more in love with Your Word and to be more dependent on it. I claim the promises You have for me, and I meditate on the truth of Your Word (pray any Scriptures that are on your heart or that God has
given you in your current season). Give me fresh revelation from Your Word today and every day! Help me apply it so I can be Your ambassador for love, justice, and righteousness in the world.
THE ALTAR OF INCENSE
A small altar of burning incense stood at the entrance to the Holy of Holies, where God’s presence dwelled. The people of God entered God’s presence as they worshipped His names. This altar represents worship and the pleasure it gives God when we worship Him.
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. PROVERBS 18:10 NKJV
Thank God for making His presence available to you. Praise His names and worship Him personally and specifically for who He is and how He has moved
in your life.
“Thank You, God, for Your presence. I know that You are here with me. I worship You and You alone. I know God, that You are:
My Righteousness – Jeremiah 23:6 My Sanctifier – Leviticus 20:7-8 My Healer – Exodus 15:26
My Provider – Genesis 22:14
My Banner of Victory – Exodus 17:15 My Peace – Judges 6:24
My Shepherd – Psalm 23:1
(As you pray through the different names of God, focus on a few aspects of who He is that have been especially meaningful in your current season of life.) I know that You are always with me, God, and Your presence is life to me. You give me breath, joy,
and purpose. I love You, God.”
THE ARK OF THE COVENANT
The final place in the Tabernacle was the Holy of
Holies, where God’s presence dwelled. There, the priest interceded by praying on behalf of the people of God. In the same way, we intercede on behalf of those around us.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
1 TIMOTHY 2:1-4
We can make a difference when we spend time praying for others. Pray for those with whom you interact and connect, including:
- Those in authority – leaders in church,
government, family, and workplace
- Those who are marginalized – those suffering injustice,
the poor, the widowed, the weak
extended family members
members, and missionaries
nation, and world
“Thank You, God, for creating a way through Jesus
for me to have Your presence wherever I go. I want to specifically ask You to watch over those in authority over me— my spiritual leaders, governmental leaders,
the leaders in my family, and my employers (pray for these people by name). Give them wisdom and grace, watch over and protect them, and help them to know and love You more.
I also ask You to watch over those who are marginalized in my nation and in my community. Our world is desperate for justice and reconciliation. Please meet the needs of the poor, the widowed, the weak, and those suffering injustice (pray specifically for people you know who need help, advocacy, and intervention). Show me how I can be Your hands and feet to those who are hurting.
I ask You, God, to be present with my family. Bless them and keep them from harm (pray for any specific needs in your family right now). For those in my family who don’t know You, please meet them where they are and guide their hearts toward You.
I ask You to watch over my church, God. Give my pastor wisdom and vision, bless the Small Groups and everyone who steps foot into our buildings. I pray that
You will bring the lost into our church, and that they will have a positive experience and come to know You. Keep our vision rooted in who You are and moving toward
I ask You to watch over my city, my nation, and our world. I pray for justice and equality for all and ask You to bring peace (name areas where you feel a burden for
your city, nation, and the world). I pray for anyone who comes across my path to see Your light in me. I lift up my friends, neighbors, and coworkers. I thank You for them and pray for Your blessing over them (pray for any specific needs of others). I also pray for my adversaries, as the Bible teaches. Let me be a bridge through which
You can bring unity and reconciliation.
Lastly, God, I ask You to provide for my needs. I know that You sustain me, and that You care for me. I lift
up my physical, emotional, and spiritual needs to You (share the needs on your mind right now). I lay my cares at Your feet. Thank You for loving me, choosing me, and calling me Yours.
The Word of God is one of the most valuable tools we have to build a dynamic daily prayer life. It brings power, truth, and encouragement to our prayer time.
Let’s begin with King David’s Psalm 23. Take a moment to read it, and then use the prayer below as a way to use the psalm to have a conversation with God.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
“God, You are my Provider, and I know You will take care of me. Thank You for guiding me to places of rest. You are my source of energy and passion. You keep me going and lead me toward a life of purpose and freedom. I know that even when I experience my darkest seasons of difficulty and challenge, I have nothing to be afraid of because You are with me. Your presence and power are a constant comfort to me. I know that You are preparing the way for me and that my enemies cannot touch me because You are taking care of me. I know that You have blessed me, and I thank You for choosing me and anointing me with purpose. Your blessings are so much more than I could ask for. I know that You are good, God, and that You are with me all the days of my life. You have chosen me, and I have chosen You, and that means I will be with You, in Your presence, forever.”
In the following section, we will use several Scriptures and claim their promises through prayer. You can make this as personal as you like. You will find the most benefit when you pray the Scriptures that God is showing you in His Word and that are connecting with you personally in your current season of life.
Come near to God and He will come near to you.
“Heavenly Father, You have promised that if I draw near to You, You will draw near to me. I need more of Your presence today, and I am drawing near to You through prayer, worship, and reading Your Word. I open my heart to You and ask You to be near to me and change me to be more like You.”
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and
know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
“Father God, I ask You to search my heart. If You find anything in me that is offensive, please show me and help me remove it from my life. Teach me to love others well and live a life that points people to You. Help me live my life on earth in a way that impacts eternity.”
But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. MATTHEW 6:33
“Your Word tells me that if I seek first Your Kingdom and Your righteousness, You will lead me to a life of blessing,
purpose, and freedom. I am Yours today, God, and I give this day to You. Help me to focus on Your priorities first—sharing Your love, making Your Name known, and advocating for justice in our world. I know that by focusing on You and Your heart for others, rather than myself, I will receive joy and peace.”
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.
“God, You have promised that if I humble myself before You, You will lift me up. I recognize today that I cannot
succeed on my own, and I need You in every moment.
I humble myself before You, and I ask You to work in and through me today. My time, efforts, thoughts, and words are Yours today (name specific parts of your day and give them to God). Show me what I don’t know, and help me grow in the knowledge of You and Your heart for
people. Use me for Your purposes, Lord. I trust that You will be with me and lift me up.”
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 TIMOTHY 1:7
“Father, I know You have not given me a spirit of fear or timidity, but one of power, love, and self-discipline.
When my mind feels out of control, I pray that You will renew my spirit and let power, love, and self-discipline fill me. Help me look more like You every day. With confidence that Your power lives in me, give me boldness to confront the enemy and anything I see in the world that does not reflect Your heart. Thank You for breaking the spirit of fear off my life, and I receive the truth that
You have given me a sound and healthy mind.”
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
“God, You promise me in Your Word that in all
things You work for my good. Right now, there are circumstances in my life that don’t feel good and that I can’t see an ounce of good in (talk to God about the specific situations that are causing you difficulty or pain). Even though this is how I feel, I choose to believe
Your truth over my feelings. When You say You will work in all things for my good, I believe You. Even in situations that seem hopeless, I know You are working on my behalf and that You want more for me than I could ever want for myself. Thank You for having a purpose for me and for working all my circumstances forgood.”
Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.
“Father, in Your Word You invite me to pour out my heart to You. You are my refuge, and I know that anything I think, feel, or do is okay to bring to You. Knowing that You are a safe place for me, I come to
You and give You everything on my heart (talk to God about the specific things that are on your heart today). From what is worrying me to what is delighting me, for what I hope for to what I’m afraid of, I bring it all to
You because I know I can trust You. Help me and guide me in every area, in Jesus’ name.”
The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of His bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. DEUTERONOMY 28:12
“Lord, I believe You have everything I need and You want to bless me. You tell me in Your Word that You will open the heavens to bless the work I do. I know that without You, I can do nothing. I ask that You will open the heavens and pour out Your blessings and power over me. I give my work and my efforts to You and I ask You for favor and blessing in anything my hands touch (surrender specific efforts to Him). May it be for Your glory alone so that others may see Your power and goodness at work.”
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
“God, I am in awe of Your love for me. You are so great, and I am so small, yet You love me fully. I remind my soul today that nothing can separate me from Your love—I am so grateful! There is nothing I can do to win or lose Your love; You love me without condition. Because I know nothing on earth, in time or space, or anything in existence can separate me from Your love, I will live confidently and peacefully knowing I have always been and will always be fully loved by You.”
“No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord.
“Lord, I know that no weapon raised against me will succeed because I am Your child. I feel pressure in my life right now, and sometimes I feel as though life will overcome me (talk to God about the concerns weighing on you). Even though I feel this way, in faith, I claim
Your promise that no weapon can overcome me and that any accusations that come against me will be silenced. This truth is verified by Your love and saving power in my life.”
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
“Father, my heart feels anxious (tell God what is giving you anxiety). I don’t like this feeling, but I’m thankful I can come to You and receive peace. You invite me to replace my anxiety with prayer, and even though my mind and heart are racing, I’m coming to You knowing that You provide healing and calm for my soul. Thank
You for giving me breath and life. I thank You that I am fearfully and wonderfully made in Your image. I lay down all worries, all my physical and mental anxiety, and any attempt at trying to control it all (tell Him the things you are laying down right now). I surrender it all to You. I need You. I need Your peace that transcends my human understanding. Even if things are unstable around me, I pray that Your peace will be evident in
my heart and my life. Guard my heart and mind, God. I trust that You are faithful, and I receive Your peace in my life today.”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares
the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you
will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you
seek me with all your heart.”
“My God, I try to make so many plans for my life, but I know Your plans for me are best. You tell me that You have plans for me to prosper and have hope and a future. Thank You for loving me enough to have a plan for my life. You have promised me that when I call on You, You will listen to me. Thank You for listening when I pray.
I am confident knowing that I serve a God who cares about my life. I want to find You every day, and You say that if I seek You with all my heart, I will find You. Thank You for showing me the way to You. I lay my plans down at Your feet and receive Your plans for me (mention your plans and lay them down before God).
I know that You see the big picture and You know what is better for me than I do. I trust You, and I ask You to guide me toward Your plans.”
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
“Father, I am so comforted by the fact that You will never leave me. You are always with me, and I am safe with You. As I go through my life and take on each new situation, I’m comforted by knowing I’m not alone because You are by my side. Help me feel Your presence.
When I feel uncertain or afraid, I pray You will comfort me through Your Holy Spirit and remind me that I am never alone because You, the Almighty God, have promised to always be with me.”
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
“Lord Jesus, I am so tired and worn out (tell God the areas where you’re tired and weary). I feel exhausted mentally and physically. Life feels hard, and I feel like I can’t keep up my current pace. You invite me to come to
You when I am weary, and I fall at Your feet desperate
for rest, peace, and perspective. Show me where I am trying to do things on my own. Show me where I need to rest instead of strive. Teach me Your ways. Show me how to walk in gentleness, humility, and rest. I know
Your ways are higher than my ways, and I pray that You will transform my heart and mind to be more like You.”
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” PSALM 91:1-2
“God, I claim that I dwell in Your shelter, the Most High God, and I rest in Your shadow, the Almighty One. I claim that You alone are my refuge and fortress. You are my God and I trust You. When I face anything that brings me uncertainty or fear (confess these things to Him), I know that I can come to You as my safe place. Thank You for Your strength and protection in my life.”
The LORD is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does. The LORD upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
“Almighty God, as I claim the promises in Your Word through my prayer time, I praise You for Your character. Trustworthy, faithful—that is who You are. I thank You that I can trust You to be faithful to me.
I know that when I come to You with humility and a surrendered heart that You will lift me up.”
THE PRAYER OF JABEZ
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let Your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.
1 CHRONICLES 4:10
The Prayer of Jabez is a helpful model of a prayer we can pray every day.
Jabez begins his prayer by asking God for His blessing. We need more of God’s blessing to be better equipped
to make a difference for His Kingdom. We need more provision, more spiritual gifting, more wisdom, and greater understanding so that we can bless others with what God has given us. James 4:2-3 tells us, “You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” God wants to bless us, but He is often waiting for us to ask with the right heart. We have a big God, and we can be bold in asking for His blessing. As James points out, God
sees our heart, and we get His attention when we ask for blessing with the motivation to help others.
“Oh, that You would bless me…”
1 CHRONICLES 4:10
Ask God for His blessing. Recognize your need for His provision, and set your heart toward wanting more than you need so that you can be a blessing to others.
“Father God, I pray that You would bless me with more than I need so that I can bless others. I pray for more provision, that You would equip me to give generously to others and meet their practical needs in Your name.
I ask You to give me greater spiritual gifting so that I can strengthen the Church and be more effective for the Kingdom of God. I pray for an abundance of wisdom and discernment so that I can point others to You and make decisions that honor You. I ask You to help me grow in understanding of Your truth and Your heart for people so I can do my part to bring Your Kingdom to earth. Help me keep Your generous blessings in perspective,
so that I never become self-serving but stay focused on using what You’ve given me to serve other people.”
Next, Jabez asks for more influence. As God’s blessings increase in our lives, we ask for and experience greater opportunity to influence the world around us for Him.
THE PRAYER OF JABEZ
God has the power to bless us greatly, and He also has the power to open doors of opportunity for us to make a difference. We want to walk through doors that only He can open, and He responds when we specifically ask Him to give us more influence for His name.
“Enlarge my territory…”
1 CHRONICLES 4:10
Pray for more influence. Knowing that God can make a way, trust in Him to open doors and lead you on the best path for your life and for His glory. Ask Him for boldness to take the steps He lays out for you.
“God, make me effective in my sphere of influence, and open new doors for me to be able to impact and reach even more people for Your glory. Give me a heart to make a difference in the lives of people I have never reached out to before and boldness to walk in obedience to Your calling. Help me to be a good steward of the responsibility You’ve entrusted to me. I pray for greater territory to impact for Your glory.”
In order to have lasting influence, we need God’s presence in our lives. Through His power at work within us, God can do more than we could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). As we ask for blessing and influence, we also need to ask for His presence as Jabez did so
that we are not operating out of our own strength but through the presence and the hand of our Almighty God.
“Let Your hand be with me…”
1 CHRONICLES 4:10
In humility, acknowledge your need for God’s presence. Depend on Him and ask for more of Him in your life today.
“Lord, I know that without You, I am nothing. I cannot do what You’ve called me to do on my own. I am desperate for Your presence in my life. I depend on You completely. I recognize that the same Spirit who raised Christ Jesus from the dead lives in me. Through the power of Your Spirit, I pray that You will help me succeed in the opportunities You’ve given me. Thank You for being with me. I would never want to face today without You.”
Finally, Jabez asks the Lord to protect him. If we are influencing the world for Jesus, we must understand the enemy will try to stop us. This leads us to pray
that God will not only help us if the enemy attacks,
but that He will protect us from the enemy attacking
us in the first place. Jesus has already won the victory, so we don’t need to fear destruction. God promises to be with us and protect us, and because He is with us, we have nothing to fear.
THE PRAYER OF JABEZ
“Keep me from harm…”
1 CHRONICLES 4:10
Trust God to protect you. Tell Him specific areas where you feel the need for His protection and ask Him to cover areas that you can’t yet see.
“God, as I walk out the purpose You have for my life, I pray that You will stop any and every attack of the enemy against me. Please protect my body, my mind, and my emotions. Don’t let the enemy get a foothold in my life. I pray, too, that You will protect my family and community from harm. I know that the One who is in me is greater than the one who is in the world, so I have nothing to fear. Thank You for watching over me. I love
You and I trust You.”
Prayer is not only communion with God; it is also confrontation with the enemy. When Jesus was on the earth, He came face-to-face with the devil when He was tempted in the wilderness (see Matthew 4 and Luke 4), and every time the enemy tried to tempt Him, Jesus responded with a reference from the Bible. He used the Sword of Truth to defend Himself from the enemy’s attacks. In these exchanges, Jesus didn’t confront the devil as God. He confronted the devil as a man with the Word of God. We should do the same thing.
These spiritual warfare prayers and verses are examples we can use and adapt to our specific situations when we or someone we know is under attack from the devil.
THE ARMOR OF GOD
Based on Ephesians 6:13-17
Knowing that we are in a spiritual battle, God provides spiritual armor and equips us to take a stand when battles come our way.
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Acknowledge that you’re in a spiritual battle. Then, claim the protection God has given you by praying through the different pieces of armor described in Ephesians 6.
“Thank You, Lord, for my salvation. I receive it in a new and fresh way from You, and I declare that nothing can separate me from the love of Christ and the place I have in
Your Kingdom. I wear Your righteousness today against all condemnation and corruption. Cover me with Your
holiness and purity—defend me from all attacks against my heart. Lord, I put on the belt of truth. I choose a lifestyle of honesty and integrity. Expose the lies I have believed, and show me Your truth today. I choose to live for the gospel in every moment. Show me where You are
working and lead me to it. Give me strength to walk daily with You. I believe that You are powerful against every lie and attack of the enemy and I receive and claim Your power in my life. Nothing is coming today that can overcome me because You are with me. Holy Spirit, show me the truths of the Word of God that I will need to
counter the traps of the enemy. Bring those Scriptures to mind today. Finally, Holy Spirit, I agree to walk in step with You in everything as my spirit communes with You in prayer throughout the day.”
THE WEAPONS OF WARFARE
Based on 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
When we are aware of spiritual warfare, we can be active in praying through it. Through the blood of Jesus, God has given us victory and power to fight.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons
of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments
and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive
every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 CORINTHIANS 10:4-5
You can command anything that comes against the truth of God and His Word to bow to the name of Jesus. Take a bold stand, praying specifically and confidently through God’s power and His Spirit.
“Father, Your Word says that no weapon formed against me will prosper (Isaiah 54:17), and I declare it in Jesus’ name. Your Word says that trouble will not arise a second time (Nahum 1:9). I declare in Jesus’ name that satan cannot make trouble for me again, like he
has in the past. I declare in the name of Jesus that
all of these prayers are answered and taken care of by trusting You.
I stand on Your Word. The enemy is driven out from me; from my home, workplace, church family, children, and loved ones. I declare that he is not able to stand against me. No weapon formed against me will prosper, because the Spirit of the Lord is with me, protecting me. I declare these truths in the name of Jesus. Anything that comes against me or my family that is not in line with the truth and will of God, I command to bow to the powerful name of Jesus. Father God, I give You all of my thanksgiving, praise, glory, honor, and worship. Thank
You for loving me, making me clean, and giving me purpose.”
Based on 2 Thessalonians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1, 10:3-5; Romans 12:1-2
We often worry about our safety and protection. When we feel this way, we can immediately come to God in prayer, pouring out our heart to Him, and battling in the heavenlies by asking for and claiming protection for ourselves and our families in Jesus’ name.
But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
2 THESSALONIANS 3:3
Share your thoughts and concerns with God. Ask Him for His supernatural protection. He says He will command His angels to guard you in all your ways (Psalm 91:11). Claim this promise and lay
everything down before Him trusting His good plans and His power to protect you and those you love.
“God, I bow in worship to praise You. Thank You for making a way for me through Your Son, Jesus.
I surrender myself completely in every area of my life to You. I submit myself to the true and living God and refuse any involvement of the enemy in my life. I choose to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. I reject every thought that tries to compete against the knowledge of Christ. I pray and thank You for a
sound mind, the mind of Christ.
Today and every day I ask for protection over my family, loved ones, and those around me—all immediate family members, relatives, friends, and acquaintances. I ask for protection during all of our travels. I ask You to watch over our financial security, possessions, health, and safety (be as specific here as you like). All that I have is
Yours God, and I declare that satan cannot touch me or anything You have given me. I rebuke the enemy and tell him to bow to the blood of Jesus that covers me and my family. He will not take what You have given us and we are protected and provided for by You, God, and
Based on Romans 10:10; James 5:16; 1 John 1:7-9, 3:8
Our sin separates us from God, but Jesus made a way for us to be reunited with God by covering our sin when He died on the cross. When we accept the gift of salvation we confess our sin. As Christians, confessing and repenting of sin is something we continue to do. By coming clean and repenting before God, He is able to work in our lives and transform us to be more like Him.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 JOHN 1:9
Assume a posture of humility, and without fear of condemnation or punishment, come sincerely to God confessing your sin on a regular basis. Whether your sin feels big or small to you, your sin is still sin and affects your relationship with God. You get His attention when you tell Him your sin and turn from it to follow Him.
After you confess, remind yourself and claim the power of the blood of Jesus in your life to wash you clean and make you new.
“Lord Jesus, I confess all of my sins to You. I repent and turn away from them. I’m sorry for the wrong I have done. I confess the times I should have stepped up to do right and did nothing instead. I lay it all down at Your feet. I submit my thoughts, words, actions, and inactions to You. Thank You, God, for forgiving and making a way for me through Your Son, Jesus.
Lord Jesus, I believe that You are the Son of God. You died on the cross for my sins and rose to life again on the third day. I confess all my sins and repent. I receive
Your forgiveness and ask You to cleanse me from all sin. Thank You for redeeming me, setting me free, making
me holy, and giving my life purpose.”
Based on Matthew 6:14-15; Leviticus 19:18
Forgiveness can feel challenging, but God makes it clear in the Bible that He freely forgives us and we are expected to do the same for others.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will
not forgive your sins.
Come before the Lord with humility, honesty, and sincerity. Share the areas in your life where you need to forgive others. Even if you aren’t able to settle a situation with that person, you can settle it with the Lord by forgiving them. As you choose to forgive those who have hurt or offended you, you can also praise and thank God for forgiving you when you didn’t deserve it.
“Lord, I have a confession to make. I have harbored bitterness in my heart. I haven’t loved others well. I have resented certain people and have not forgiven them in my heart. God, I know that You have forgiven me for so much, and I need Your help to follow You and forgive others. In faith, I now forgive (name them). I also forgive and accept myself because You have made me new in the name of Jesus.”
Based on Proverbs 11:2, 16:18, 26:12; 1 Timothy 3:6
The Bible tells us that pride comes before the fall. Pride can be a very real issue in our lives, but we have the power to overcome it through Jesus.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
Practicing humility requires overcoming pride in our lives. Just as you confess other sins, regularly confess your pride to God. Submit it to Him, asking Him to help you walk in humility, free of pride, closed-mindedness, and self-absorption. If you feel like pride is an issue that continues to surface in your life, confess it daily and bring it before God.
“Father God, I come to You in the name of Jesus. I know pride only keeps me from You. I put down anything that would cause me to have pride in my heart in dealing with other people. Help me recognize where I lack knowledge and understanding. Help me to prioritize others over myself. I ask You, God, to remind me daily that true humility is not thinking less of myself, it’s thinking of myself less. I humble myself before You and come to You like a child.”
Note: One of the best ways to humble ourselves is to combine prayer with fasting.
GENERATIONAL BONDAGE PRAYER
Based on Exodus 20:4-6, 34:7; Numbers 14:18; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:1, 12:1
Generational bondage is sin that can be passed down from generation to generation. Whether it’s pride, addiction, racism, sexism, abuse, divorce, abandonment, sexual sin, or something else, through spiritual warfare, you can claim the power of Jesus to stop the sin with your generation.
You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Recognize the generational bondage that might be in your life and bring it before God. Ask for His power
to defeat the sin that has affected generations of your family. Ask for it to stop right now, with you, and rebuke any sin or anything that tries to pull you away from your relationship with Christ. Pray for protection, healing, and a new path for you and your family.
“Father God, I understand that I have inherited certain consequences from my family, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I proclaim Your power to break any hold of mental or physical illness, pride, addiction, racism, other ungodly perspectives, and anything
else on me and my family that are a result of sin being passed down through parents, grandparents, or other family members (if specifics come to mind, talk to God about it). I proclaim that all generational sin ends here and now, and that I will not pass these on to anyone in my family. Thank You, Lord, for setting me free and making a new way for me and my family.”
Based on 1 Peter 2:24; Psalm 103:2-5; Luke 1:37
Our God is a God of miracles. Just as we read about in the Bible, we still see Him perform miraculous healing today. He is our healer, and we can confidently approach Him asking for healing for ourselves or someone
Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all His benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so
that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
In faith, ask God for healing. Proclaim His power and goodness, believing and trusting Him to take care of you and those you’re praying to be healed.
“Father, in the name of Jesus, I come before You asking for healing (name yourself or someone you are praying to experience healing). My hope is in You as our Healer. I believe You are able to do this. Your name is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals, and I believe every knee will bow to You including the name of (name disease or disorder). Thank You, Jesus, for dying on the cross so that we can receive healing. You say that You forgive our sins and heal our diseases, and I praise You for this. Thank You that the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. I stand in faith believing for healing for (yourself or someone you’re praying for). Nothing is impossible for You, God! Give us peace and direction as
You work in our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Based on Ephesians 5:25-30
God created marriage, and His design for it is good. In marriage, just as in any human relationship, we have to work to love well. We can’t do this successfully in our own power. We need God, who is love Himself, to give us His Holy Spirit and to guide us in our marriage. Marriage is a picture of Jesus Christ and His bride, the Church. As Christian husbands and wives, we have
the high honor to represent the love and commitment Christ has for the Church through our love and commitment to each other.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it,
just as Christ does the church.
EPHESIANS 5:25-29 ESV
Thank God for your marriage. Start by asking Him to help you be the best spouse you can be. Ask Him to help you love well and to see your spouse as He sees them. Then, pray for your marriage, asking God to use your marriage to impact the world for Him. Ask Him for protection physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Pray for unity in your marriage and wisdom from Him about how to live your lives as one. Bring to Him anything in your marriage that concerns you, and trust Him to work on your behalf.
“Thank You, God, for loving us, and for creating marriage to be an illustration of Your love for us here on earth. Help me, God, to love my spouse (call them by name) the way You love me. Help me to listen to and honor my spouse, putting them before myself. Protect us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
We ask You to build greater unity between us, make
us stronger as a couple, more devoted to one another and to You. Use us God, build us up to be an example of what godly marriage can look like. Use us together to do more than we could ever do apart. We ask for greater influence and more impact on the people around us. We ask You to work through us in the lives of our friends, family, and even those far away. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and move through us to bring those far from
You closer, so that they can have an encounter with the Living God, who seeks and saves the lost, and who sets us free and gives us purpose.
We choose as a couple to love You first, God. We put our relationship with You before anything and everything else. We confess our need for You. Thank You for bringing us together. We choose to love one another today and every day. Thank You for our marriage. We ask You to bless our marriage, build it, and be present in it always.”
RACIAL RECONCILIATION PRAYER
Based on Ephesians 4:3-6; Mark 12:28-31; Psalm 139:23-24
God created every person in His image on purpose and for a purpose. We are all unique and have value in the eyes of God. As Christians, we love who God loves and seek to serve others, so it’s important for us to see the value that each person brings to the world. We need
to do our part to foster reconciliation, advocate for equality, and work to ensure that every person is treated with dignity, respect, and honor.
As followers of Jesus, we have been commanded to
do everything we can to promote peace. We are all one in Christ, called to serve Him and others with a Spirit of Unity.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; One Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Recognize the presence of racism in our world, and bring it before God today. Thank Him for creating every person in His image, on purpose, for a purpose.
Ask Him to help you embrace your unique design and the uniqueness of others. Pray for eyes to see the ways inequality is at work in the world around you, and
pray for boldness to uphold peace, love, and unity in
the face of injustice. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind any ways you have not promoted equality and unity (thoughts, words, actions, etc.) or people towards whom you have not shown the love of Christ. Ask for forgiveness, and trust God to help you grow and become an advocate for reconciliation.
“Father, I recognize that You created every person in Your image and that You have great purpose for each of
us. I ask You to help me see every person as You see them. Help me to love others with the unconditional love of Jesus and to make every effort to promote peace, unity, and equality for all people. Forgive me for the times
that I have not valued others or spoken up for what is right. Give me boldness to confront inequity when I
see it and to honor others in my thoughts, words, and actions. Help me to love my neighbor as myself and to be an ambassador for reconciliation, as You have called me to be. I ask You to break the spirit of racism and division off of our nation, in Jesus’ name. Thank You for making us one by the blood of Jesus and the power of
PRAYING FOR THOSE WHO NEED GOD
PRAYING FOR THOSE WHO
God desires everyone to know Him. He says in His Word that He would leave the ninety-nine to go after the one who doesn’t know Him. As followers of Christ, we are called to partner with Him in praying for those who don’t know Him to come to know Him.
ASK THE FATHER
TO DRAW THEM TO JESUS
God draws people to Him. It’s not something we can make happen out of our own efforts, so we need to be faithful in praying that the Father would draw those He’s placed on our hearts to Jesus.
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them…
Think about the people you know who are far from God. Let your heart be open to God and anyone He may bring to your mind. It may help to write down their names as you focus on praying for them.
“Father, I pray for the people around me (list specific names), that You would supernaturally draw their hearts to You. Send Your Holy Spirit to them, and give them the desire to give their lives to You. Help them to recognize their longing for more in life as a spiritual thirst only You can quench. Open their ears to hear
BIND THE SPIRIT
THAT BLINDS THEIR MINDS
The truth can be right in front of some people, and they still can’t see it because something is in the way blocking their view of God.
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is
the image of God.
2 CORINTHIANS 4:4
We can pray against whatever is in their way so that they can see the light of God. We can pray that they would see the truth without any obstacles or distractions interfering.
“Father, bind the evil spirits that are blinding the minds of the people around me. In the name of Jesus, I pray that they would be able to see clearly, to recognize who
You are, and to give their hearts to You. Remove all hindrances the enemy would use to distract them
from Your truth. Open their eyes, Lord, that they might see Jesus.”
PRAY THAT THEY MAY HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Many people think Christianity is just another
religion. They only see God through the lens of the organization and institution of the church. They may even feel frustrated, angry, or betrayed by people in churches they have encountered or by religious legalists and their hypocrisy. But God didn’t come to build an organization. He came to have a relationship with His children.
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
God wants His beloved sons and daughters to come home. Praying for people to have personal encounters with the living God makes a huge difference.
“Father, I pray that people will understand how much You love them. Loose the Spirit of Adoption for the
people around me, so that they come into a meaningful
PRAYING FOR THOSE WHO NEED GOD
relationship with You. Stir in their hearts a longing to come home, to hear Your voice, and to see You welcoming them with open arms. Let them know You are always running to meet them and hold them close.”
PRAY FOR BELIEVERS TO CROSS THEIR PATHS
This is twofold: we can pray for other Christians to influence the people around them positively, and we can also look for opportunities to influence others positively ourselves. God’s plan to reach people is worked through those who already know and love Him. Jesus asked us to pray for people to go into the world to be salt and light. He came to bring the good news of the gospel to all people, and His desire is that everyone would know and love Him.
Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore,
to send out workers into His harvest field. MATTHEW 9:38
As His “spiritual farmers,” we should be attuned to opportunities to plant spiritual seeds in the lives of the people we encounter each day. We may have no idea who has already been praying for them and the culminating impact our kind word, compassionate act, or loving attitude can have to draw them to Christ.
“Father, I pray for the lost around me to meet believers who will influence them in a positive way. Lord, let my life shine in such a way that people want to know the God I serve. Allow others to see my genuine love and concern for them in all that I say and do. Let me be Your hands and feet to serve them and let them know just how much You love them.”
RELEASE THE SPIRIT OF WISDOM AND REVELATION ON THEM,
SO THEY MAY KNOW GOD BETTER
It’s that “eureka” moment, that “aha!” when it finally clicks. The most important moment to have this kind of revelation is when the lights come on spiritually. People need to see their own sin, see what Jesus did on the cross, and see the hope that comes from giving their life to God.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation, so that you may know Him better.EPHESIANS 1:17
People need wisdom, not just knowledge, of spiritual things and insight into how spiritual realities directly impact them. We can pray for this kind of supernatural revelation that only comes from God.
PRAYING FOR THOSE WHO NEED GOD
“Father, I pray for the people around me to experience the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation. I pray that they would truly understand their spiritual condition and see what Jesus did for them on the cross. Help them to have the information and experiences needed to come to
You, so they can understand all You have for them.”
PERSONAL PRAYER FOCUS
PERSONAL PRAYER FOCUS
God has put us on the earth at this specific time for a reason. He says in Acts 17:26 that He determined when and where we would live. Knowing this, we can look at those around
us at this specific time in history, and take personal responsibility to pray.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
1 TIMOTHY 2:1-4
Pray for those in authority and those under your authority. Pray for those in your family and your circle of influence (anyone you’re connected to). Write down the names of specific people and pray for them.
PRESIDENT NATIONAL LEADERS
How to Begin Your Fast
A Sample Schedule
For maximum spiritual benefit, set aside ample time to be alone with the Lord. Listen for His leading. The more time you spend with Him, the more meaningful your fast will be.
- Begin your day in praise and worship.
- Read and meditate on God’s Word, preferably on your knees.
- Invite the Holy Spirit to work in you to will and to do His good pleasure according to Philippians 2:13.
- Invite God to use you. Ask Him to show you how to influence your world, your family, your church, your community, your country and beyond.
- Pray for His vision for your life and empowerment to do His will.
- Return to prayer and God’s Word.
- Take a short prayer walk.
- Spend time in intercessory prayer for leaders in your community and nation, for the world’s unreached millions, for your family or for special needs.
- Get alone for an unhurried time of “seeking His face.”
- If others are fasting with you, meet together for prayer.
- Avoid television or any other distraction that may dampen your spiritual focus.
When possible, begin and end each day on your knees with a brief time of praise and thanksgiving to God. A dietary routine is vital as well. Dr. Julio C. Ruibal — a nutritionist, pastor and specialist in fasting and prayer — suggests a daily schedule and list of juices you may find useful and satisfying. Modify this schedule and the drinks you take to suit your circumstances and tastes.
5 a.m. – 8 a.m.
Fruit juices, preferably freshly squeezed or blended and diluted in 50% distilled water if the fruit is acid. Apple, pear, grapefruit, papaya, watermelon or other fruit juices are generally preferred. If you cannot do your own juicing, buy juices without sugar or additives.
10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Fresh vegetable juice made from lettuce, celery and carrots in three equal parts.
2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Herb tea with a drop of honey. Avoid black tea or any tea with caffeine.
6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Broth made from boiling potatoes, celery and carrots with no salt. After boiling about half an hour, pour the water into a container and drink it.
Tips on Juice Fasting
Drinking fruit juice will decrease your hunger pains and give you some natural sugar energy. The taste and lift will motivate and strengthen you to continue.
The best juices are made from fresh watermelon, lemons, grapes, apples, cabbage, beets, carrots, celery or leafy green vegetables. In cold weather, you may enjoy a warm vegetable broth.
Mix acidic juices (orange and tomato) with water for your stomach’s sake.
Avoid caffeinated drinks. And avoid chewing gum or mints, even if your breath is bad. They stimulate digestive action in your stomach.
Next: Breaking Your Fast
When your designated time for fasting is finished, you will begin to eat again. But how you break your fast is extremely important for your physical and spiritual well-being.
Begin eating gradually. Do not eat solid foods immediately after your fast. Suddenly reintroducing solid food to your stomach and digestive tract will likely have negative, even dangerous, consequences. Try several smaller meals or snacks each day. If you end your fast gradually, the beneficial physical and spiritual effects will result in continued good health.
Here are some suggestions to help you end your fast properly:
- Break an extended water fast with fruit such as watermelon.
- While continuing to drink fruit or vegetable juices, add the following:
- First day: Add a raw salad.
- Second day: Add baked or boiled potato, no butter or seasoning.
- Third day: Add a steamed vegetable.
- Thereafter: Begin to reintroduce your normal diet.
- Gradually return to regular eating with several small snacks during the first few days. Start with a little soup and fresh fruit such as watermelon and cantaloupe. Advance to a few tablespoons of solid foods such as raw fruits andFasting is about sincerely humbling yourself before the Lord. It provides time to repent, pray, seek God’s face and meditate on His Word. As you do this, you will experience a heightened awareness of His presence (John 14:21).The Lord will give you fresh spiritual insights. Your confidence and faith in God will be strengthened. You will feel mentally, spiritually and physically refreshed. You will see answers to your prayers.A single fast, however, is not a spiritual cure-all. Just as we need fresh infillings of the Holy Spirit daily, we also need new times of fasting before God. A 24-hour fast each week has been greatly rewarding to many Christians.It takes time to build your spiritual fasting muscles. If you fail to make it through your first fast, do not be discouraged. You may have tried to fast too long the first time out, or your may need to strengthen your understanding and resolve. As soon as possible, undertake another fast until you do succeed. God will honor you for your faithfulness.I encourage you to join me in fasting and prayer again and again until we truly experience revival in our homes, our churches, our beloved nation and throughout the world.
Your Personal Guide to Fasting and Prayer
Fasting is the most powerful spiritual discipline of all the Christian disciplines. Through fasting and prayer, the Holy Spirit can transform your life.
Fasting and prayer can also work on a much grander scale. According to Scripture, personal experience and observation, I am convinced that when God’s people fast with a proper Biblical motive-seeking God’s face not His hand-with a broken, repentant, and contrite spirit, God will hear from heaven and heal our lives, our churches, our communities, our nation and world. Fasting and prayer can bring about revival—a change in the direction of our nation, the nations of earth and the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
The awesome power can be released through you as you fast through the enabling of the Holy Spirit.
Fasting is one of the most neglected spiritual admonitions. In fact, it has been ignored for so long that it is difficult to find information on the “how-to’s” of this life-changing experience. When I first undertook an extended fast, I had a difficult time finding information on the nature of a Biblical fast, how to start, what to expect physically and spiritually, and how to terminate a fast.
These pages are designed to answer your practical questions about fasting and ease any concerns you might have. In this series, you will learn:
- Why you should fast
- How to fast safely
- How long and what type of fast is right for you
- How to prepare yourself spiritually and physically
- How to manage your schedule while fasting
- How to deal with the responses of friends and loved ones
- How to make your spiritual experience the best it can be
- How to maintain nutritional balance and health from beginning to end (including specific juice and broth recipes)
- What physical benefits to expect
- How to finish your fast and return to your normal schedule in a HEALTHY way
I want to be of help to you so I will be speaking to you from these pages at various points in the study. I have completed five 40-day fasts. I want to share with you what I have learned and what has helped me. Whether you hold a 1-day fast or an extended 40-day fast, I pray that our Lord’s most wonderful love and blessings will be poured out on you as you take this exciting step of faith.
Why You Should Fast
If you do not already know of the power and importance of fasting, here are some very important facts:
- Fasting was an expected discipline in both the Old and New Testament eras. For example, Moses fasted at least two recorded forty-day periods. Jesus fasted 40 days and reminded His followers to fast, “when you fast,” not if you fast.
- Fasting and prayer can restore the loss of the “first love” for your Lord and result in a more intimate relationship with Christ.
- Fasting is a biblical way to truly humble yourself in the sight of God (Psalm 35:13; Ezra 8:21). King David said, “I humble myself through fasting.”
- Fasting enables the Holy Spirit to reveal your true spiritual condition, resulting in brokenness, repentance, and a transformed life.
- The Holy Spirit will quicken the Word of God in your heart and His truth will become more meaningful to you!
- Fasting can transform your prayer life into a richer and more personal experience.
- Fasting can result in a dynamic personal revival in your own life—and make you a channel of revival to others.
- Fasting and prayer are the only disciplines that fulfill the requirements of II Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
If you fast, you will find yourself being humbled as I did. You will discover more time to pray and seek God’s face. And as He leads you to recognize and repent of unconfessed sin, you will experience special blessings from God.
How to Fast Safely
As you begin your fast, you may hear from concerned loved ones and friends who urge you to protect your health. And they are right. You should protect your health. But I assure you, if done properly, fasting will not only prove to be a spiritual blessing, but physical blessing as well.
By all means, consult your doctor before you begin your fast. But, be aware that many doctors have not been trained in this area and so their understanding is limited. Even so, it would be wise to ask your doctor for a physical exam to make sure you are in good health. You may have a physical problem that would make fasting unwise or dangerous. Also, if you are under any type of medication, make sure you talk to your doctor before changing your regime. Prudence and caution are in order.
When you are assured that you are in good health, you are ready to begin your fast. Follow the guidelines in the Physical Preparations and Maintaining Nutritional Balance and Health parts of this website.
In spite of the absolute safety and benefits of fasting, there are certain persons who should NEVER fast without professional supervision. For example:
- Persons who are physically too thin or emaciated.
- Persons who are prone to anorexia, bulimia, or other behavioral disorders.
- Those who suffer weakness or anemia.
- Persons who have tumors, bleeding ulcers, cancer, blood diseases, or who have heart disease.
- Those who suffer chronic problems with kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, or other important organs.
- Individuals who take insulin for diabetes, or suffer any other blood sugar problem such as hyperglycemia.
- Women who are pregnant or nursing.
How Long and What Type of Fast Is Right for You
If you have never fasted before, I applaud your present interest! Fasting has been a major emphasis in the lives of many of the great spiritual leaders throughout history. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist denomination, fasted every Wednesday and Friday and required all of his clergy to do the same. Effective ministers of God from the apostle Paul to Martin Luther to John Calvin made it a continual part of their walks with God.
None of those men had a “formula fast” that was the only “right” way. Fasting is about the condition of the heart, not the number of days. Each time that I have fasted for forty days, it was because I felt impressed by God to do so.
So, start slowly. Fast for one meal a day, or one day a week, or one week a month. Build up your spiritual muscles so that you will be prepared in a period of several months to fast for an extended 40 day period.
How to Prepare Yourself Spiritually and Physically
In preparation for this special time with God, I strongly urge you to examine your heart, and detect any unconfessed sin. Scripture records that God always requires His people to repent of their sins before He will hear their prayers. King David said:
“Come and hear, all of you who reverence the Lord, and I will tell you what he did for me: For I cried to him for help, with praises ready on my tongue. He would not have listened if I had not confessed my sins. But he listened! He heard my prayer! He paid attention to it!
Blessed be God who didn’t turn away when I was praying, and didn’t refuse me his kindness and love.” (Psalm 66:16-20)
In your prayers, confess not only obvious sins, but less obvious ones as well. The sins of omission as well as the sins of commission experiences. These may be experiences leaving your first love for our Lord: worldly-mindedness, self-centeredness, spiritual indifference, and unwillingness to share your faith in Christ with others, not spending sufficient time in God’s Word and in prayer, a poor relationship with your spouse, your children, your pastor, or other members of your church.
Another great way to prepare for your fast is to practice what I call “Spiritual Breathing.” The concept is simple, but it has changed my own life and that of millions of others.
Like physical breathing, Spiritual Breathing is a process of exhaling the impure and inhaling the pure. If you knowingly sin, breathe spiritually to restore the fullness of God’s Holy Spirit in your life. You exhale by confessing your sins immediately when you become aware of them, and you inhale by inviting the Holy Spirit to re-take control of your life. As an act of faith, trust Him to empower you. During the fast, spiritual breathing—constant reliance on the Holy Spirit—will enable you to resist temptation, not only to sin but to abandon your fast.
Although fasting is primarily a spiritual discipline, it begins in the physical realm. You should not fast without specific physical preparation.
If you plan on fasting for several days, you will find it helpful to begin by eating smaller meals before you abstain altogether. Resist the urge to have that “last big feast” before the fast. Cutting down on your meals a few days before you begin the fast will signal your mind, stomach, and appetite that less food is acceptable.
Some health professionals suggest eating only raw foods for two days before starting a fast. I also recommend weaning yourself off caffeine and sugar products to ease your initial hunger or discomfort at the early stages of your fast.
How to Manage Your Schedule While Fasting
How long you fast, the kind of fast you undertake, and how you adjust your work schedule depends mostly on your occupation. Persons with office jobs, pastors, or homemakers may find it easier to continue their duties and fast for longer periods of time. In fact, on the basis of my personal experience, worldwide travels and the many letters, which I have received, I am confident that many, many thousands of pastors and lay men and women have already completed a 40-day fast!
Though there are many who engage in strenuous physical labor and have enjoyed their extended fast, if you are so engaged, you may wish to fast only one or more days of the week, limiting yourselves to partial fasting if you are so engaged. Or you may look to weekends as the prime time to abstain from food. Remember, too, fasting during major holidays is not always a good idea. Families may be inconvenienced, and temptations to eat can be overwhelming.
Reasons for schedule adjustments, especially during an extended fast, are two-fold…
The first is physical. Throughout your fast, you may feel somewhat weaker than normal. During the first few days, you may feel tired and irritable. Lightening your workload and cutting down on strenuous exercise would be a very good idea to maintain your health and your morale.
The second reason is spiritual. Fasting is not just denying yourself food. It is exchanging the needs of the physical body for those of the spiritual. Long times of prayer and reading God’s Word will be very essential if you are to enter into a more intimate communion with God to maintain your fast to its completion. While fasting, if you dissipate your energy on numerous errands or busy-work to the neglect of spending special time with God, you will starve both physically and spiritually. You will find yourself becoming discouraged and frustrated with your fast instead of being benefited and uplifted and blessed. I don’t want that to happen to you.
The more time you spend with God in fellowship, worship, and adoration of Him, and the more you read and meditate upon His Word, the greater your effectiveness will be in prayer and the more meaningful your fast will be. So I encourage you to arrange your schedule accordingly!
Dealing with the Responses of Friends and Loved Ones
Many people are reluctant to tell others that they are fasting so they will avoid the sin of the Pharisees: fasting just to gain recognition for themselves. I strongly believe that attitude is a result of a wrong interpretation of our Lord’s teaching and that it is a trick of the enemy who does not want us to fast, nor to share with your loved ones, neighbors and friends the benefits of fasting.
By isolating ourselves from the support of other Christians, we will be more susceptible to doubts and negative influences (both human and demonic). We need the prayer shield of our Christian friends and family members to help us continue when we feel alone and when the enemy tempts us to give up Our Lord as he did Jesus Christ. Eventually, people will notice you are not eating.
However, I have found that unless you see them daily, they do not consider your skipped meal much of a concern. If you are asked, nonbelievers may be satisfied by such a brief answer as, “I have other plans for lunch today.” Or Christians should be satisfied when you answer that you are fasting today.
If friends and family express concern for your health, ease their fears by telling them that you will stop fasting the moment you feel you are harming your body or if the Lord leads you to end your fast. Tell them you are fasting under your doctor’s care, which I urge you to do if you have any question concerning your health.
There is usually no reason for telling strangers or casual acquaintances that you are fasting. If you do, they may subject you to a lot of questions that you may not want to answer. But in any case, use your best judgment and the Lord’s leading in telling people about your fast.
How to Make Your Spiritual Experience the Best it Can Be
Receiving God’s best blessing from a fast requires solid commitment. Arranging special time each day with God is absolutely crucial in attaining intimate communion with the Father. You must devote yourself to seeking God’s face, even (and especially) during those times in which you feel weak, vulnerable, or irritable. Read His Word and pray during what were mealtimes. Meditate on Him when you awake in the night. Sing praises to Him whenever you please. Focus on your Heavenly Father and make every act one of praise and worship. God will enable you to experience His command to “pray without ceasing” as you seek His presence.
As you enter this time of heightened spiritual devotion, be aware that Satan will do everything he can to pull you away from your prayer and Bible reading time. When you feel the enemy trying to discourage you, immediately go to God in prayer and ask Him to strengthen your resolve in the face of difficulties and temptations.
The enemy makes you a target because he knows that fasting is the most powerful of all Christian disciplines and that God may have something very special to show you as you wait upon Him and seek His face. Satan does not want you to grow in your faith, and will do anything from making you hungry and grumpy to bringing up trouble in your family or at work to stop you. Make prayer your shield against such attacks.
My major reason for fasting is for personal revival, revival for our nation, for the world and for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. But praying for our own needs and interceding for others are also important reasons to fast and pray. Bring your personal needs before the Lord, intercede for your loved ones, your friends, your church, your pastor, your community, your nation, and the world. By your prayers of humility, as you fast, you will help the Great Commission be fulfilled.
However, do not become so caught up in praying for yourself and others that you forget about simply reverencing and praising God. True spiritual fasting focuses on God. Center your total being on Him, your attitudes, your actions, your motives, desires, and words. This can only take place if God and His Holy Spirit are at the center of our attention. Confess your sins as the Holy Spirit brings them to your attention and continue to focus on God and God alone so that your prayers may be powerful and effective.
A renewed closeness with God and a greater sensitivity to spiritual things are usually the results of a fast. Do not be disappointed if you do not have a “mountaintop experience,” as some do. Many people who have successfully completed extended fasts tell of feeling a nearness to God that they have never before known, but others who have honestly sought His face report no particular outward results at all. For others, their fast was physically, emotionally, and spiritually grueling, but they knew they had been called by God to fast, and they completed the fast unto Him as an act of worship; God honored that commitment.
Your motive in fasting must be to glorify God, not to have an emotional experience, and not to attain personal happiness. When your motives are right, God will honor your seeking heart and bless your time with Him in a very special way.
How to Maintain Nutritional Balance and Health from Beginning to End
I know the prospect of going without food for an extended period of time may be of concern to some. But there are ways to ensure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs so you can remain safe and healthy during your fast.
For an extended fast, I recommend water and fruit and vegetable juices. The natural sugars in juices provide energy, and the taste and strength are motivational to continue your fast. Try to drink fresh juices, if possible. Off-the-shelf juice products are acceptable, as long as they are 100% juice with no sugar or other additives.
If you are beginning a juice fast, there are certain juices you may wish to avoid and certain ones that are especially beneficial. Because of their acid content, most nutritionists do not advise orange or tomato juice (these are better tolerated if mixed with equal portions of water). The best juices are fresh carrot, grape, celery, apple, cabbage, or beet. They also recommend “green drinks” made from green leafy vegetables because they are excellent “de-toxifiers.”
Fruit juices are “cleansers” and are best taken in the morning. Since vegetable juices are “restorers” and “builders,” they are best taken in the afternoon.
I usually dedicate a portion of my 40-day fast to a special liquid formula, which I have found to be effective over many years. A few recipes and my comments are on this page, as well as a helpful schedule.
- One gallon distilled water
- 1-1/2 cup lemon juice
- 3/4-cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4-teaspoon cayenne pepper.
The lemon juice adds flavor and vitamin C, the maple syrup provides energy, and the cayenne pepper — an herb — acts to open small blood vessels which, I believe, helps the body as it cleanses itself of stored toxins. (A word of caution: although I use this formula with no ill effects, cayenne pepper could cause severe physical reactions in persons with a specific allergy to this herb.)
My favorite juice is a mixture of 100% pure white grape juice and peach juice. The juice is available in frozen cans under the Welch label. Most knowledgeable nutritionists recommend:
- Watermelon — just put it in the blender without adding water
- Fresh apple juice
- Green juice — blend celery, romaine lettuce, and carrots in equal proportions. (Vegetable juices like this one are important, for they supply the electrolytes necessary for proper heart function!)
Some nutritionists recommend warm broth, especially if you live in a colder climate. You may find their recipes helpful:
- Boil sliced potatoes, carrots, and celery in water.
Do not add salt.
After about a half-hour, drain off the water and drink.
- Gently boil three carrots, two stalks of celery, one turnip, two beats, a half head of cabbage, a quarter of a bunch of parsley, a quarter of an onion, and a half clove of garlic
Drain off the broth and drink up to two or three times daily.
You may find the following daily schedule helpful during your fast. I recommend you print it and keep it handy throughout your fast.
- 5:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
Fruit juices, preferably freshly squeezed or blended, diluted in 50 percent distilled water if the fruit is acid. Orange, apple, pear, grapefruit, papaya, grape, peach or other fruits are good.
- 10:30 a.m. – noon
Green vegetable juice made from lettuce, celery, and carrots in three equal parts.
- 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Herb tea with a drop of honey. Make sure that it is not black tea or tea with a stimulant.
- 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Broth from boiled potatoes, celery, and carrots (no salt).
I suggest that you do not drink milk because it is a pure food and therefore a violation of the fast. Any product containing protein or fat, such as milk or soy-based drinks, should be avoided. These products will restart the digestion cycle and you will again feel hunger pangs. Also, for health reasons, stay away from caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, or cola. Because caffeine is a stimulant, it has a more powerful effect on your nervous system when you abstain from food. This works both against the physical and spiritual aspects of the fast.
Another key factor in maintaining optimum health during a fast is to limit your physical activity. Exercise only moderately, and rest as much as your schedule will permit (this especially applies to extended fasts). Short naps are helpful as well. Walking a mile or two each day at a moderate pace is acceptable for a person in good health, and on a juice fast. However, no one on a water fast should exercise without the supervision of a fasting specialist.
What Physical Effects to Expect
Although fasting can be an indescribable blessing, it is not always easy for everyone. In this time of discipline, self-sacrifice and reflection, do not be surprised if you experience mental and physical discomforts.
To begin, you may experience some inner conflict when you deny yourself the pleasure of eating delicious food. Any sort of fast may sometimes leave you feeling impatient and irritable. During a 3-day fast, this struggle can intensify toward the end of the second day. That seems to be a favorite time for the “self” to rise up and say, “This is as far as I want to go. I have done enough.”
Hunger Pangs: These are greatest usually during the first three days of the fast. Your body is adjusting from using the food in your digestive tract (which remains about three days) to consuming stored fats.
Psyllium Bulk: Help eliminate hunger pangs and also aids in cleansing the body. Several capsules can be taken throughout the day with plenty of water.
Silymarin tablets may also be helpful, for they are believed to protect and enhance the cleansing of the liver.
Coldness, bad breath and heightened body odor, changes in elimination (constipation or diarrhea), light-headedness, changes in sleeping and dreaming patterns, aches and pains.
A white-coated tongue at the beginning of a fast may be a part of the body’s pattern of throwing off toxins.
Also expect to go the the bathroom often (you will be drinking lots of water!)
After the first two weeks of an extended fast, many of these symptoms subside. Continuing aches in a certain area of the body usually means elimination of fatty tissue is going on in that area, which is not harmful. However, any extensive pain should be examined immediately.
YOU SHOULD STOP FASTING IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING SEVERE PAIN OR SWELLING.
Headaches or stomachaches may be a result of salt, sugar, or caffeine withdrawal.
Eliminating those items from your diet prior to fasting is the best way to avoid these pains.
Lower back pain may indicate that you are dehydrating
Drink more fluids
Dizziness may be caused by a sudden change in position, such as rising suddenly from a chair.
Stop for a second or two, then recover. Move slowly. (A word of caution: these conditions may be symptoms of other problems requiring medical attention).
Minor fasting discomfort
Take one teaspoon of psyllium seed powder morning and evening. Mixed in lukewarm water, it becomes like Jell-O. This powder will hasten the elimination of toxins from your colon and help to prevent headaches and dizziness for most healthy people. Alfalfa tablets can help control bad breath and cleanse the system. Two tablets at a time can be taken several times a day.
In my desire to be absolutely faithful to my first 40-day fast, I stopped taking my usual vitamins and minerals. However during subsequent fasts, I have felt strongly impressed to continue my vitamin and herbal therapy and also using psyllium. I do this to keep my “temple” healthy while continuing to deny myself the pleasure of eating solid food.
During your fast, you may have your struggles, discomforts, spiritual victories, and failures. In the morning you may feel like you are on top of the world, but by evening you may be wrestling with the flesh-sorely tempted to raid the refrigerator and counting how many more days are left in your fast. This is especially true if you are new at fasting. To counteract temptations like these, take extra time with the Lord to spend with God. Step outside for fresh air and a moderate walk of a mile or two, and talk to the Lord as you walk along. And in the process always keep on sipping water or juice frequently during your waking hours.
How to Finish Your Fast in a Healthy Way
All the experts agree that “breaking the fast” is the critical phase of fasting. While your body is in the resting mode, your stomach shrinks and your intestines become idle, so solid food must be re-introduced very slowly to avoid kidney failure or digestive distress. In fact, after a 40-day fast, you should make a careful transition for at least three days before returning to eating meats or fats or normal foods.
Further, if you end your fast gradually, the beneficial physical and spiritual effects will linger for days. But if you rush into solid foods, you may lose much of your deep sense of peace and experience physical problems such as diarrhea, sickness, fainting, and frankly even death in some cases, due to shock!
Dr. Paul Bragg and his daughter Patricia have conducted fasting clinics for many years. Their book, The Miracle of Fasting, gives a specific daily food plan for breaking a 7-day fast that could be adapted and stretched out over several more days for a 40-day fast.
Breaking a Seven-Day Fast
5 o’clock as you end your 7th day of the fast
- Peal four or five medium-sized tomatoes – cut them up, bring them to a boil and then turn off the heat. When they are cool enough to eat, have as many as you desire.
Morning of the 8th day
- Salad of grated carrots and grated cabbage, with half an orange squeezed over it.
- Bowl of steamed greens and pealed tomatoes (spinach, Swiss chard, or mustard greens). Bring the greens to a boil, then turn off the heat.
- You may eat two slices of 100 percent whole-wheat bread, which has been toasted until it is thoroughly dry—this is called “Melba toast.” After it has been cooled, the toast should be so dry that it would powder if you squeezed it in the palm of your hand. As I have stated, this first food should be in the morning.
- During the day, you may have all the distilled water you wish to drink.
- For dinner, you may have a salad of grated carrots, chopped celery and cabbage, with orange juice for dressing. This will be followed by two cooked vegetables, one such as spinach, kale, shard, or mustard greens, and one such as string beans, carrots, steamed celery, okra, or squash. You may have two pieces of whole-grain “Melba toast.” These meals are not to contain oils of any kind.
Morning of the 9th day
- You may have a dish of any kind of fresh fruit, such as banana, pineapple, orange, sliced grapefruit, or sliced apples. You may sprinkle this with two tablespoonfuls of raw wheat germ, and sweeten it with honey, but not over one tablespoonful
- At noon you may have a salad of grated carrots, cabbage, and celery, with one cooked vegetable and one slice of “Melba toast.”
- At dinner you may have a salad dish of lettuce, watercress, parsley, and tomatoes, and two cooked vegetables.
Most experts agree that breaking a fast with vegetables, either steamed or raw, is best. Your stomach is smaller now, so eat lightly. Stop before you feel full. Stay away from starches like pastas, potatoes, rice, or bread (except for “Melba toast”) for at least a week. Also avoid meats, dairy products, and any fats or oils for a week or more. Introduce them very slowly and in small amounts.
Extended fasts are not the only fasts which need to be ended with caution. Even a 3-day fast requires reasonable precautions. It is wise to start with a little soup — something thin and nourishing such as vegetable broth made from onion, celery, potatoes, and carrots — and fresh fruits such as watermelon and cantaloupe.
In terms of resuming any sort of exercise routine, the advice is the same. Start out slowly, allowing time for your body to re-adjust to its usual regime.