A People of Prayer and Intercession
Worship, Warfare, Word, Warm Fellowship, Works of wonder, World Mission
Fasting and Prayer at Artos Zaho Global Vigil is a visionary lifestyle. We are called to be a house of fervent prayer for all nation, we are a people of intercession expecting the supernatural move of the hands of God through manifestation of miracles, signs and wonders. We fast three times per year; in line with Deuteronomy 16:16, ‘bring the people out 3 times per year’; each fast is for a duration of 50 days. Why 50 days? Because Pentecost serves as a reminder that God grants his Holy Spirit to the first fruits of His spiritual harvest. It also called the Feast of Weeks (Exodus 34:22), with this name coming from the seven weeks plus one day (50 days in all, from Passover (resurrection) that are counted to determine when to celebrate this festival (Leviticus 23:16).
Prayer calendar will be issued ahead of each fast; this reflects what we are praying for each day.
What is Fasting?
As Christians, we fast which means to abstain from physical nourishment (food). We do this in order to concentrate on the Lord or obtain a response to various situations and circumstances. Biblical fasting encompasses confession of sins, weeping and lamenting in the process of praying whilst making our request known to God. In Matthew 6:16-18, 16 “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth that is the only reward they will ever get. 17 But when you fast, comb your hair[a] and wash your face. 18 Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” (NLT) Here we see Jesus Himself gives clear instructions to believers regarding fasting. In Matthew 4:2, we see that Jesus Himself fasted. “And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.”(NKJV) According to Corinthians 6:4-6, But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watching, in fastings;6 By pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,…” (KJV). Fasting must be part of the lifestyle of all practicing Christian.
Why Should we Fast?
In Leviticus 16:29-30; “This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall [a]afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who [b]dwells among you. 30 For on that day the priest shall make [c]atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord.” These verses demonstrate that fasting was originated by God as a commandment to mankind. Fasting was to be a designated time when man would not work but seek God with a repentant heart and ask forgiveness for ones sins. It was only after God has granted ones forgiveness that individuals could go to God with a personal request. Likewise, when Artos Zaho Global Vigil Ministries call a fast, we collectively, corporately and personally repent and ask God for His forgiveness, before we seek His direction and guidance throughout the year.
Joel 1:14, “Consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land Into the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord.”(NKJV)
Prayer is the foundation of our vision as set out in Isaiah 56:7 “Even them I will bring to my holy mountain, and I make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My Altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
How to Fast?
It is very important to ensure that when you fast, God is your focus. A typical fasting day begins 6am -6pm. A half day would finish at 12 noon. A guide for prayers times throughout your fasting day could be 6am, 12 noon, 3pm and 6pm. The fasting day can be divided into the following parts: Prayers, Confession of sins – Nehemiah 9:1-3; Daniel 9:3; Prayer, including weeping together with making your request to God – 2 Chronicles 20:3-4; Psalms 35:13; Joel 2:12; Matthew 17:21; Luke 2:37; Separation from worldly activities (this does not include your secular work or domestic responsibilities required of you) – Isaiah 58:3; Joel 1:14; Joel 2:15. We appreciate that not everyone will be able to abstain from food. However, there are alternatives which you can commit to as part of your fast. For example, A Word Fast – Refusal to speak any words which, when spoken, cause injury, fear, gossip, doubt, anger or guilt; A Media Fast – refusal to watch TV, Videos, DVD’s, to listen to the radio or to use the internet (unless work related)
Physical results of Fasting.
Your body will respond to the fact that you are eating less in terms of salt, sugar, carbohydrates, protein and other nutrients. You are likely to feel weak, hungry, tearful, nauseous and irritable. You may find it difficult to absorb information mentally. This is all part of the internal processing of your body as it breaks up toxins. These toxins will be released from the body via sweating –increasing in body odour; Urine – becomes darker in colour; tongue –becomes darker; bad breath; acne; increase mucous from the nose; constipation – drinking prune juice / herb teas is helpful; cold hands and feet. All the above are a normal reaction to the fast.
The Spiritual Results of Fasting (Isaiah 58):
Scripture shows that fasting humbles the soul (Psalm 35:13)
Chastens the soul (Psalm 69:10)
Loosens the bands of the wicked (Isaiah 58:6)
Individuals fasted for many reasons (Isaiah 58):
The needs of others (Acts 13:3)
Mercy for the approaching death of a loved one (2 Samuel 12:15, 16)
Deliverance from the enemy (Esther 4:16)
Revelation to understand scripture (Daniel 9:2,3
Remember! Fasting is intentional and Spirit led.
(Daniel 1:8 & 9:3 -4)
Fasting also brings (Isaiah 58):
The appearance of angels (Daniel 9:3,21)
Answers to Prayers (Deuteronomy 9:9)
Destruction of enemies (Judges 20: 26,28)
Personal encouragement (2 Chronicles 22:3,15; Acts 13:2)
Revelation of God’s will (Ezra 8:21,23)
Healing (1 Samuel 30:11.12; Isaiah 58:6,8)
Outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Joel 1:14; Jonah 3,5,10; Acts 9:9,17; Acts 10:30,45)
Types of Fast
Liquids (fruits juices, herbal tea or water)
Absolute (no food, liquids or water)
Daniel (eat only ground provisions –no salt, no oil, no
Partial fast (start 6am finish 12noon or 3pm / or you
could skip one meal or two meal per day and replace
your meal time with prayer)
Do’s and Don’ts of Breaking Your Fast Each Day
Drink plenty of water , herb /bush teas
Fruit juices e.g. apple orange, cranberry etc.
Dark green vegetables such as broccoli, greens, spinach (can also
boil to drink). Good for purifying the blood / gives energy
Natural juices such as carrots, cucumber, apple, pears, celery,
beetroot (using extractor / blender)
Honey or brown sugar for sweetening
Potatoes, boiled or jacket without butter or dairy product topping
Green bananas, yam, sweet potato (small potions)
White meat e.g. chicken, pork (optional) with excess fat removed
Oats porridge, corn meal porridge, plantain porridge, banana
porridge preferably with Soya milk, Oat milk or Almond milk
Pinch of salt and black pepper to taste