If God has put it on your heart to fast for the first time, you will have questions. My first serious fast was preceded by evenings online, searching for everything I could find on things to do, and not to do, when you fast. Most of the information back then was from secular outlets, where fasting was part of stringent health protocols for detoxing and other health benefits.
I wish that Fasting for Breakthrough & Deliverance by John Eckhardt was around back then. It is a thoroughly helpful and jam-packed volume, in the form of a compact book, that will make anybody’s first fast much more spiritually-focused. You will still need to go online or to another book for advice on the physical side of fasting, however. Mr. Eckhardt only dedicates about a page or two to this side of fasting, with rather general advice.
If you are simply thinking about fasting, that’s usually a hint that God is starting to put an upcoming fast on your heart.
This book has separate chapters on each of many obstacles that fasting has the power to overcome. Here are some chapter titles;
Fasting to Overcome the Spirit of Fear (Chapter 5)
Fasting to Break the Spirit of Poverty (Chapter 7)
Fasting for Victory Over Anxiety and Depression (Chapter 12)
Fasting to Break Generational Curses (Chapter 19)
Fasting for Breakthrough in Marriage (Chapter 25)
Fasting to See Salvation Come to Unsaved Loved Ones (Chapter 28)
Each chapter explains in detail how fasting contributes to victory in each area. There are several pages of declaration prayers from Scripture for each chapter theme. The book is rich with Scripture and is informative and very encouraging.
For some reason, very little is said from today’s pulpit about fasting. Everybody can fast something, even if it is not a dietary fast. I hear much more about why people don’t fast than about the breakthrough that was experienced as a result of a successful fast. “I don’t fast because (fill in the blank)” is heard before a final statement that “It’s just not for me.” This is sad because it's a bit like hearing, "I'm not open to being blessed by a fast. It's not for me." It's a wonderful thing to be called to reconsider this limiting assumption. It's exciting when the Holy Spirit begins to prompt someone to be open to a first, simple fast, in any capacity.
For some reason, very little is said from today’s pulpit about fasting.
This book shows what some of us may be missing out on. One of the biggest breakthroughs in my life came after a three week Daniel Fast. As many people will say, you can eat, but it's still a challenging fast. I have since been a fasting cheerleader. When I learn that someone is fasting and am privileged to be able to pray for my friend as he/she fasts, I am so excited for them. I know that God will do great things in their lives. I always share with a prayer partner when I fast and suspect that their prayers have been key in the success of some fasts.
While Jesus tells us to fast in humility (see Matthew 6:16-18), testimonies from successful fasts should be commonplace in our churches and fellowships. Fasting should be more normalized, and this book does that. It sees fasting as the effective spiritual discipline that it is and recommends it whole-heartedly.
Fasting is powerful.
Fasting is an incredibly satisfying spiritual experience. Your fast need not be dramatic and long. It may, in fact, be unconventional and creative. But if you make a sacrifice that requires your flesh to submit to spiritual discipline, and you act in humility, there will be benefits. God bless you as you begin your journey of fasting for breakthrough and deliverance!
Quotes from Fasting for Breakthrough & Deliverance
by John Eckhardt
“Anytime you are full of pride, being legalistic and religious, you can fast and pray all you want, but you won’t see many miracles. The Pharisees didn’t have any miracles come as a result of their prayer and fasting. They had no power.”
“Stand up and say, ‘No, devil, “this kind” will leave. I will pray and fast until I get a breakthrough. Because I will not allow anything to stop me from doing what God has assigned for me to do.”’
“You must eliminate every excuse that stops you from doing what you have been called to do….Winners don’t allow excuses to stop them from winning.”
“Fasting takes the power away from the belly and strengthens the spirit.”
“Fasting can help restore your joy, your strength, your victory, your power, your health, and your anointing. If you have lost your joy, your zeal, your passion, your victory, then I encourage fasting.”