We have a post on this blog written by Marcello Newall about the importance of fasting in animal welfare. You can read it here.
Also, Greg Boyd’s sermon 11/8/98 (here) is a good resource on the subject. These are highlights of what I gleaned from the sermon – hope it will be helpful for those who decide to practice this Spiritual discipline.
Fasting (outline taken from notes I wrote on the sermon):
- Fasting is a discipline of revival (Matt 6:2), revival is about taking authority over evil (we do have the authority to do that, part of what happened in Christ’s work on the cross was to give us the Holy Spirit so that we are able to take authority over evil, it is part of what we do as disciples of Christ);
- So that we are a blessing to others;
- Fasting is a form of prayer, though we can also pray (speak to and with God) as we fast (Paul urges us to pray continuously; prayer is part of Spiritual Warfare, Eph 6:10-20)
Allow the Holy Spirit to impassion us in our prayer life –prayer to be urgent, persistent – things hang in the balance on us praying according to God’s will, the larger the stronghold Satan has (his stronghold on us over proper shepherding of creation is huge), the more persistent we need to be, the more of us praying about the stronghold (corporate prayer) the better – it is God’s will that we not harm animals, that we live non-violently toward the animal kingdom, and that we take back His Kingdom in this regard on earth as it is done in heaven;
- Fasting is about passion – we are hungry for God and God alone, for His Kingdom to be displayed on earth;
- The discipline of fasting: put the Lord’s ordering in place in our lives – “Lord, Spirit, Mind, Body;” at the fall, this ordering got flipped upside down (the world orders life and all we do in it according to body, mind, spirit – this is our flesh, the perverse state of being), and the Lord Jesus has been left out; when we fast, we train our body (the flesh) to put it back in its place;
- Know who we are, Who our *boss* is, Who defines us, know what salvation brings;
Fasting is an act of worship – we are telling Him we are serious and we want nothing to come between Him and us;
- We get *aligned* with the Lord, we get right with Him; fasting can help us clear some of the static that clouds our hearing from God, what blocks our intimacy with God, we may hear from God more profoundly;
- Fasting intensifies prayer – a lot hangs on prayer, he made us moral responsible agents, fasting can increase our say-so in moving God in a given direction; it is a way we exercise moral responsibility, maximizes the power we have in Christ (Matt 17)
- Book reference: (the link is a PDF with the steps listed, recommend checking it out!!) – “7 Basic Steps to Fasting and Prayer” by Bill Bright.Lastly:
Pray about fasting, consider medical conditions, can find other pleasures to remove or give up during a fast other than food if food is not medically recommended to give up;
God wants to keep us free; fasting can help remove all that keeps us bound;
Objective of fasting is self-discipline and worship; it is good to have other reasons to fast, also – like for us on Friday, will be about the animal kingdom, asking God to remove strongholds – pray about all that you know that is going on in the world toward animals, ask the Holy Spirit to guide;
Set a regular schedule to fast – try one day a week, or one meal a week;
Enter/exit slowly, depending on how long you go;
Expect retaliation from Satanic forces, this is an act of warfare!!
Fasting done as a community around a subject is powerful!! Think of what we can do together to petition God to remove strongholds for the animal kingdom!!!
Isaiah 58:6, “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?”