The true way to fast in accordance to the scriptures is without food and without water, which is called an “absolute fast” or a “dry fast”. There is no such thing as a “Daniel fast”. Eating vegetables and drinking water was what the prophet Daniel already ordinary ate and drank. It wasn’t a fast. When Daniel did fast and said he “drank no wine” and “ate no meat” he was giving us examples of what he didn’t eat nor drink in the context of an absolute dry fast, not that these were the only things he avoided, for the true fast of the men of God and the prophets of old was no food and no water. And if only “no food” is mentioned in any fast in scripture, then “no water” is also implied, because that is what a true “fast” is. A true fast is not just abstaining from certain foods, nor drinking only fruit juices, nor even just drinking water. A true fast is absolutely no food and absolutely no water. Absolutely nothing can enter your mouth, nothing solid and nothing liquid. A “dry” and “absolute” fast. Why is this important? Because without a true fast you cannot accomplish what a fast is truly intended to do, to come closer to God. At best you are just dieting if you go on “vegetable only fasts” or even “water only fasts”, which are not true fasts at all. Certainly these are good for the body, but they do not achieve the goal of a true fast, for God to finally hear your prayer when you do fast. The absolute dry fast is the true way for God to hear your prayer, because this type of fast moves God, because not only are you taking away something that gives the body pleasure, which is food, but you are also taking away the two things your body needs to live, food and water. Now you are not just relying on food and water to live, but also on obedience to the word of God. And that is why the body becomes skinny and weak with fasting, in accordance to a Psalm, because you are removing food and also water.
So he was there with Yehovah forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.Exodus 34:28
And Yeshua, full of the set-apart airflow, returned from the Jordan and was led by the airflow in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry.Luke 4:1-2
And he lowered you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of Yehovah.Deuteronomy 8:3
But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”Matthew 4:4
Then Ezra withdrew from before the house of God and went to the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib, where he spent the night, neither eating bread nor drinking water, for he was mourning over the faithlessness of the exiles.Ezra 10:6
“Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”Esther 4:16
But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my master the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.” Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.Daniel 1:8-16
In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a word was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar. And the word was true, and it was a great conflict. And he understood the word and had understanding of the vision. In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks. On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, that is, the Tigris. I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude. And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves. So I was left there all alone to see this amazing vision. My strength left me, my face grew deathly pale, and I felt very weak. Then I heard the sound of his words, and as I heard the sound of his words, I fell on my face in deep sleep with my face to the ground. And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and lowered yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.” When he had spoken to me according to these words, I turned my face toward the ground and was mute. And behold, one in the likeness of the son of man touched my lips. Then I opened my mouth and spoke. I said to him who stood before me, “O my lord, by reason of the vision pains have come upon me, and I retain no strength. How can my master’s servant talk with my master? For now no strength remains in me, and no breath is left in me.” Again one having the appearance of a man touched me and strengthened me. “Do not be afraid, you who are highly precious,” he said. “Peace be with you! Be strong now, be very strong!” As he spoke with me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my master, for you have strengthened me.” Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? But now I will return to fight against the prince of Persia; and when I go out, behold, the prince of Greece will come. But I will tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth: there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince.Daniel 10:1-21
In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans, in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of Yehovah to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. Then I turned my face to the Master God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to Yehovah my God and made confession, saying, “O Master, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. To you, O Master, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you. To us, O Yehovah, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. To the Master our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him and have not obeyed the voice of Yehovah our God by walking in his Torot, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. All Israel has transgressed your Torah and turned aside, refusing to obey your voice. And the curse and oath that are written in the Torah of Moses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against him. He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us and against our rulers who ruled us, by bringing upon us a great calamity. For under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what has been done against Jerusalem. As it is written in the Torah of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the favor of Yehovah our God, turning from our iniquities and gaining insight by your truth. Therefore Yehovah has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us, for Yehovah our God is righteous in all the works that he has done, and we have not obeyed his voice. And now, O Master our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have made a name for yourself, as at this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly. O Master, according to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, your set-apart mountain, because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a byword among all who are around us. Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Master, make your face to shine upon your set-apart place, which is desolate. O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy. O Master, hear; O Master, forgive. O Master, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.”Daniel 9:1-19
Then the disciples came to Yeshua privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little belief. For truly, I say to you, if you have belief like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”Matthew 17:19-21
My knees are weak through fasting; my body has become lean, with no fat. I am an object of scorn to my accusers; when they see me, they wag their heads.Psalm 109:24-25
And fasting is not optional, it is required, because fasting is how we actually “lower” and “humble” and “afflict” ourselves before God, to then receive mercy and forgiveness from God, or whatever other thing we are seeking to receive from God, and ultimately to receive the anointing from God, which is the set-apart airflow. We have all sinned, so we must lower ourselves in this way, and Yeshua our Master who we must imitate fasted to lay an example for us, so we must certainly also fast. And fasting must be accompanied with obedience to the commands of the Torah, which includes doing good works. Without obedience and good works a fast is useless, which is why Isaiah explains why the fast of some was being ignored by God, because they lacked good fruit and continued doing evil. The good work that God wants from us to feed the homeless. And that is why when the men of old fasted, they also stopped sinning, and wept, and did good works, and prayed, and then God was moved by what they did and heard their prayers. These are the most essential things in a true fast, which are obedience, good works, weeping, praying, no food, and no water. And in addition to these essential things the men of God did in their fasts they also tore their clothes, wore sackcloth, sat on ashes, didn’t anoint themselves with oil, didn’t change their clothes, and didn’t wash themselves during their fasts. These are certainly good ways to make a fast more noticeable to God by afflicting yourself more, but they are not required, which is why God said, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, with mourning, and tear your hearts and not your garments”. And that is also why Yeshua said, “anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret”. The mere deprivation of food and water, which is what you need to live, is sufficient to move God. And when the Ninevites fasted, they also put away all evil to seek the mercy of God to not destroy Nineveh as he had decreed he would do, and because of what they did God relented and did not destroy the city. It is one of the greatest examples in the scriptures of the effectiveness of fasting, in combination with obedience. And Ahab, who was incredibly evil and was also decreed to be destroyed by God, when he fasted God relented to not bring destruction to his house during his years, which is another example of the effectiveness of fasting in seeking the mercy of God. And even Daniel, after his long 3 week fast, then an angel appeared to him to give him a special revelation of prophecy. And when the men of old wanted God to protect them, or to answer a question for them, or to give them something they wanted to receive from God, they fasted, because they knew fasting was effective in moving God to answer their prayers and give them what they were seeking.
And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.” When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.Jonah 3:5-10
Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” He answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of Yehovah. Behold, I will bring disaster upon you. I will utterly burn you up, and will cut off from Ahab every male, servant or free, in Israel. And I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the anger to which you have provoked me, and because you have made Israel to sin…. There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of Yehovah like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited. He acted very abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom Yehovah cast out before the people of Israel. And when Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh and fasted and lay in sackcloth and went about meekly. And the word of Yehovah came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “Have you seen how Ahab has lowered himself before me? Because he has lowered himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; but in his son’s days I will bring the disaster upon his house.”1 Kings 21:20-29
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might lower ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods. For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.” So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our supplication.Ezra 8:21-23
‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we lowered ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to lower himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to Yehovah? Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of Yehovah shall be your rear guard.Isaiah 58:3-14
Then you shall call, and Yehovah will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And Yehovah will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in. If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the set-apart day of Yehovah honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in Yehovah, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of Yehovah has spoken.”
Then the word of Yehovah of armies came to me: “Say to all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth month and in the seventh, for these seventy years, was it for me that you fasted? And when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves? Were not these the words that Yehovah proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous, with her cities around her, and the South and the lowland were inhabited?’” And the word of Yehovah came to Zechariah, saying, “Thus says Yehovah of armies, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the Torah and the words that Yehovah of armies had sent by his airflow through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from Yehovah of armies.Zechariah 7:4-12
…I wore sackcloth; I afflicted my soul with fasting…Psalm 35:13
When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting, it became my reproach. When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them.Psalm 69:10-11
Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek Yehovah, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah assembled to seek help from Yehovah; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek Yehovah. And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of Yehovah, before the new court, and said, “O Yehovah, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you. Did you not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it aeonially to the descendants of Abraham your friend? And they have lived in it and have built for you in it a sanctuary for your name, saying, ‘If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before you, for your name is in this house, and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.’ And now behold, the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade when they came from the land of Egypt, and whom they avoided and did not destroy, behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit. O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” Meanwhile all Judah stood before Yehovah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. And the airflow of Yehovah came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says Yehovah to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeruel. You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of Yehovah on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and Yehovah will be with you.” Then Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before Yehovah, worshiping Yehovah. And the Levites, of the Kohathites and the Korahites, stood up to praise Yehovah, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.2 Chronicles 20:3-19
David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against Yehovah.” And Nathan said to David, “Yehovah also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned Yehovah, the child who is born to you shall die.” Then Nathan went to his house. And Yehovah afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he became sick. David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. On the seventh day the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us. How then can we say to him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm.” But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” They said, “He is dead.” Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate. Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows whether Yehovah will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”2 Samuel 12:13-23
When Mordecai learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry. He went up to the entrance of the king’s gate, for no one was allowed to enter the king’s gate clothed in sackcloth. And in every province, wherever the king’s command and his decree reached, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and many of them lay in sackcloth and ashes.Esther 4:1-3
Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel at Mizpah, and I will pray to Yehovah for you.” So they gathered at Mizpah and drew water and poured it out before Yehovah and fasted on that day and said there, “We have sinned against Yehovah.” And Samuel judged the people of Israel at Mizpah.1 Samuel 7:5-6
Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son and for the people of Yehovah and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.2 Samuel 1:11-12
“Yet even now,” declares Yehovah, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to Yehovah your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.Joel 2:12-13
While they were worshiping the Master and fasting, the set-apart airflow said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.Acts 13:2-3
And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Master in whom they had believed.Acts 14:23
As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.Nehemiah 1:4
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.Luke 2:37
“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.Matthew 6:16-18
And ultimately Paul received the anointing, which is the set-apart airflow, after his 3 day fast. So, after we have come into the belief in Yeshua and obedience of the Torah of Moses and begun to do good works, then we must fast, and that is when the anointing will be given to us, which always comes with a manifestation of power.
Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank. Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Master.” And the Master said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Master, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your set-apart ones at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” But the Master said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Master Yeshua who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the set-apart airflow.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened. For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus. And immediately he proclaimed Yeshua in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”Acts 9:8-20
As such, a fast can be as little as a full day, or at most 40 full days. A “full” day is one evening and one morning, which is a Jewish day, so it is best to time your fasts according to a Jewish day, so you can say, “I fasted for 3 days and 3 nights”, and so on, but fast according to whatever schedule God has put it in your heart to do. If you want to start fasting at noon, till noon the next day, then do so. And never fast beyond 40 full days, otherwise you put your body at risk of death. Absolute dry fasts are very serious, so make sure you are in complete obedience to make your fast worthwhile and true. And don’t let people scare you into not doing an absolute dry fast, there are plenty of other people that have done it safely in our current times, and not for religious purposes at all. I generally recommend 1 day fasts for believers that have never fasted, which would be 24 hours. These fasts are certainly effective. And you could perhaps do two of these in one week if you wanted to, as we see mentioned in one scripture, “I fast twice a week”. Two fasts is better than one, even if they are little ones. And a 2 day fast could be a next step after successfully completing your first 1 day fast. Anything more than 2 days of fasting should be approached with caution, although 3 day fasts are very effective in accordance to what we see in scripture. And of course, longer fasts, like 21 day fasts and 40 day fasts, are very serious but bring tremendous rewards, but approach these with caution if God has put it in your heart to do one of these longer fasts. And if God has commanded you to fast for a certain amount of time, then you must obey. During a fast you must also abstain from anything that gives the body pleasure, because that is also the purpose of a fast, to not only abstain from the pleasure of food, but to also abstain from all the pleasures of the body. So, if you love hot showers, then take a cold shower, or don’t shower at all. If you love music, then don’t listen to music. If you love putting aromas in your house, then don’t put aromas in your house. If you are married, then refrain from having sex. And if you are married your entire fast will also need to be with mutual consent since it also involves depriving each other of sex. And typically your prayer will be heard during or at the end of your fast, but if not, then fast again. Persist in prayer and fasting until God grants you what you want, which is the lesson of the parable of the persistent widow Yeshua gave us.
I fast twice a week…Luke 18:12
Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by mutual agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.1 Corinthians 7:5
Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him. Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live aeonially! My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.”Daniel 6:18-22
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Master said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find belief on earth?”Luke 18:1-8
Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Yehovah, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”1 Kings 19:3-8
And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel Yehovah came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.
And finally, aside from praying and doing good works during a fast, you can also devote time for reading the scriptures and the Torah, which is true food for the soul, the word of God.
Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads. And the Israelites separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Torah of Yehovah their God for a quarter of the day; for another quarter of it they made confession and worshiped Yehovah their God. On the stairs of the Levites stood Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani; and they cried with a loud voice to Yehovah their God. Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Stand up and bless Yehovah your God from aeon to aeon. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. “You are Yehovah, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you. You are Yehovah, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham. You found his heart faithful before you, and made with him the covenant to give to his offspring the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite. And you have kept your promise, for you are righteous. And you saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and heard their cry at the Red Sea, and performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for you knew that they acted arrogantly against our fathers. And you made a name for yourself, as it is to this day. And you divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on dry land, and you cast their pursuers into the depths, as a stone into mighty waters. By a pillar of cloud you led them in the day, and by a pillar of fire in the night to light for them the way in which they should go. You came down on Mount Sinai and spoke with them from heaven and gave them right rules and true Torot, good statutes and commandments, and you made known to them your set-apart Shabbath and commanded them commandments and statutes and a Torah by Moses your servant. You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger and brought water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and you told them to go in to possess the land that you had sworn to give them. But they and our fathers acted presumptuously and stiffened their neck and did not obey your commandments. They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them. Even when they had made for themselves a golden calf and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,’ and had committed great blasphemies, you in your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud to lead them in the way did not depart from them by day, nor the pillar of fire by night to light for them the way by which they should go. You gave your good airflow to instruct them and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst. Forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell. And you gave them kingdoms and peoples and allotted to them every corner. So they took possession of the land of Sihon king of Heshbon and the land of Og king of Bashan. You multiplied their children as the stars of heaven, and you brought them into the land that you had told their fathers to enter and possess. So the descendants went in and possessed the land, and you subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hand, with their kings and the peoples of the land, that they might do with them as they would. And they captured fortified cities and a rich land, and took possession of houses full of all good things, cisterns already hewn, vineyards, olive orchards and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate and were filled and became fat and delighted themselves in your great goodness. Nevertheless, they were disobedient and rebelled against you and cast your Torah behind their back and killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you, and they committed great blasphemies. Therefore you gave them into the hand of their enemies, who made them suffer. And in the time of their suffering they cried out to you and you heard them from heaven, and according to your great mercies you gave them saviors who saved them from the hand of their enemies. But after they had rest they did evil again before you, and you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they had dominion over them. Yet when they turned and cried to you, you heard from heaven, and many times you delivered them according to your mercies. And you warned them in order to turn them back to your Torah. Yet they acted presumptuously and did not obey your commandments, but sinned against your rules, which if a person does them, he shall live by them, and they turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck and would not obey. Many years you bore with them and warned them by your airflow through your prophets. Yet they would not give ear. Therefore you gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands. Nevertheless, in your great mercies you did not make an end of them or forsake them, for you are a gracious and merciful God. Now, therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love, let not all the hardship seem little to you that has come upon us, upon our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until this day. Yet you have been righteous in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly. Our kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers have not kept your Torah or paid attention to your commandments and your warnings that you gave them. Even in their own kingdom, and amid your great goodness that you gave them, and in the large and rich land that you set before them, they did not serve you or turn from their wicked works. Behold, we are servants this day; in the land that you gave to our fathers to enjoy its fruit and its good gifts, behold, we are servants. And its rich yield goes to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins. They rule over our bodies and over our livestock as they please, and we are in great distress. Because of all this we make a firm covenant in writing; on the sealed document are the names of our princes, our Levites, and our priests.”Nehemiah 9:1-38