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THE SEVEN TYPES OF

BIBLICAL FASTING
Excerpt from the book, “The Rewards of Fasting:
Experiencing the Power and Affections of God”
written by Mike Bickle, co-authored by Dana Candler
1. Fasting to experience the power of
God in personal ministry
■ We can fast for a greater release of God’s power in our ministry. There
are many biblical examples of this type of fast. When the disciples
could not set a demonized boy free, Jesus told them that the demon
involved was the kind that would not go out except by prayer and
fasting (Matt. 17:21).
2. Fasting for prophetic revelation of the
End Times
■ We are living in the generation in which God will raise up men and women of
unusual prophetic insight. There will be an unprecedented release of prophetic
revelation in the Church before Jesus returns (Acts 2:17-21). Daniel prophesied that
in the End Times God would raise up “people with prophetic understanding” who
would teach multitudes (Dan. 11:33-35; 12:4, 10). These prophetic people will
stand in the very counsel of the Lord with mature understanding of what He is doing
in the time of judgment.
3. Fasting for the fulfillment of God’s
promises to our city or nation
■ Scripture is full of examples of men of faith used by God to usher in the completion
of His promises. For example, God had said that He would restore the Israelites from
their horrible 70-year captivity as slaves in Babylon (606-536 BC). When the
Persians conquered Babylon, Daniel prayed and fasted for the fulfillment of God’s
promises. As a result, Israel was released from captivity and allowed to return to its
land and rebuild its nation (Dan. 9:1-3; 10:13).
4. Fasting to stop a crisis

■ Fasting to avert a national or individual crisis was often practiced in Old Testament
times. Time after time God reversed the Israelites’ desperate situation when they
turned to Him in corporate prayer and fasting. In the prophet Joel’s day, Israel faced
several divine judgments. First, locusts and drought brought on an agricultural crisis
(Joel 1). Then the Babylonian army prepared to invade the land (Joel 2:1-9). Joel
called for a national solemn assembly, proclaiming that God might reverse His
decision to judge them if the people humbled themselves and repented with fasting
and prayer (Joel 1:13-14; 2:12-15).
■ The principle of humbling oneself with fasting during a time of crisis is also seen on
a personal level throughout Scripture. Hannah, the mother of Samuel, was so
distressed by her physical barrenness that “she wept and did not eat.” God
answered her cry and lifted the crisis of her barrenness by giving her a son who grew
up to become a mighty prophet (1 Sam. 1:7).
5. Fasting for protection

■ When Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den, King Darius and Daniel fasted and
prayed for Daniel’s protection. In response, God sent an angel into the lions’ den to
shut the mouths of the lions (Dan. 6:18-23). Daniel’s life was spared as a result of
prayer and fasting. Esther, a Jewish woman in the Persian court, called the Jews in
Persia to fast for three days after a wicked man named Haman set into motion a
plan to annihilate all the Jews and take their possessions (Esth. 3:13; 4:7). Esther
first needed divine protection when she came before King Ahasuerus (Xerxes)
without a royal summons. The penalty for doing what Esther did was death. Many
cried out in prayer and fasting (Esth. 4:3, 16). The Lord spared Esther’s life before
the king (Esth. 5:1-6) and then reversed the situation facing the Jews and saved
them from Haman’s evil plan (Esth. 9:1).
6. Fasting for direction

■ Jesus prayed all night to receive direction before selecting His twelve apostles. “He
went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when
it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom
He also named apostles” (Luke 6:12-13).
7. Fasting for encounter and intimacy
with God – the Bridegroom fast
■ “The disciples of John came to Him, saying, ‘Why do we and the Pharisees fast often,
but Your disciples do not fast?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Can the friends of the
bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come
when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast’” (Matt.
9:14-15).
■ God has promised to reveal the depths of His heart to us (1 Cor. 2:10). Just a small
taste of His love makes us insatiably hungry for more, and fasting accelerates the
rate at which we receive revelation from God. As we enter into a Bridegroom fast, our
sins are mourned, our hearts are stirred with longing for Jesus, and our spiritual
capacity to freely receive from Him is increased.
Take Aways:

■ Fasting is not for the strong. It is not for the solid. It


is not for the perfect. Fasting is for the common,
weak, frail, ordinary individual who realizes his or
her lack and has a desperate need for more of God.