How To Be Successful With Prayer and Fasting

Prayer and Fasting at the beginning of a year is not some powerless resolution but can result in a personal reformation.

Prayer and fasting is not a gimmick to change God’s mind but a resolve to discover His heart as one contends for personal and corporate breakthrough.

So many God opportunities and decisions have come as a result of extended times of prayer and fasting.

I remember being approached and asked to merge with another church while on a 21 day fast.  This unexpected blessing resulted in a substantial blessings for our church.

I cannot overemphasize the opportunity that awaits anyone who decides to pray and fast at the beginning of each year. I urge you to take the leap.

5 Things to Do to Make Your Prayer and Fasting Successful

If you are considering entering into an extended time of prayer and fasting, here are a few things that I have learned, through trial and error, that will be helpful to you.

1. Realize that you are fasting from something and toward something. 

If we are fasting food, move toward spending more time with God.

We fast from to move towards.

Another way to say this is; we fast from something to feast on something.

If you are fasting several meals a day, then feast on God’s Word. If you are fasting from all media then feast on His presence in worship.

Feast while you fast.

2. Pursue encountering God and knowing Him more intimately.

Going after breakthrough is fine. Asking God for an answer is commendable. These requests should draw us into an encounter with God that deepens you at the heart level.

It is vital that we grow in the first commandment to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength while we pray and fast.

3. Embrace the refining fire that prayer and fasting produces.

So many want the Acts 2 fire falling on them but resist the Malachi 3 fire coming under them. The refining fire under us actually creates a greater capacity for His fire falling on us.

Mal. 3:2-4 … For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness,and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.

The refiners job is to heat the gold so the impurities rise  to the top and are then removed. The refiner successfully finishes the job when he sees his image on the surface of the metal. The goal of refining is to reflect an image.

Heaven is not the goal of believes, the image if Jesus is.

Rom. 8:29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son,”

If the Lord points out areas in your life that need refining, do it. Our Heavenly Father wants us to reflect the image of His Son.

4. Reduce the noise around you.

Take intentional time to rest and to hear His voice.

A season of prayer and fasting is not a time to ramp-up on tons of projects, rather it’s a time to slow down to better hear his voice.

In these special seasons, God might not speak any louder; we just hear Him better.

5. Contend with faith to go after what you are praying and fasting for.

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Whether it’s a situation that needs resolution, a problem that needs solving or a lack that needs provision, go after it, believing it will happen.

Download the Free Worksheet

I have provided a step-by-step worksheet to help you clarify your fast. Generally, the clearer you make your fast on the font-end the more successful the fast.

Click Here to Download the Prayer and Fasting Worksheet

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  1. Child of God Jan 8, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Hi Greg,
    Great post on fasting!
    Father has placed on me a lifestyle of fasting and praying. For 6 years now, I have been fasting and praying as He leads. I have a lifestyle of twice weekly fasting and have done many 40 days fasts. I think the best advice I could give would be when you are weak, hungry and tired, (considering this is a food fast) and the irritability rises up don’t get upset with yourself. Acknowledge this as the impurities bubbling to the surface, repent and walk into the Joy of the LORD. Forgive yourself quickly and don’t let Satan get a foothold because he would just love to bring you down and make you quit. You quoted Malachi 3:2-4 and this is just what I am talking about, the refiners fire. Another great comparison is when you are boiling chicken bones for soup. Usually there is a lot of scum that bubbles to the surface and this scum needs to be removed and with each removal more comes up until there is nothing left to skim off and only the good nutrients are left to cook. Think of the short temper outbursts as bubbling up scum that just needs to be skimmed off and chucked away.

    Blessings on this fast. 🙂

    1. Greg Jan 8, 2013 at 7:48 pm

      In my book, there has to be special grace given to people who can do “many” forty day fasts. I’m sure many things have shifted from heaven to earth as a result of how the Lord has moved you to pray. Thanks for obeying His voice.

      Thanks too, for the practical analogy regarding Malachi 3. Next time me or Wendi boil chicken I am sure what the comment said here will come to mind. 😉

      Thanks for sharing.

  2. Charis Jan 9, 2013 at 4:04 am

    Wow…. I am greatly inspired by this message: 5 things to do to make your prayer and fasting successful. I now know better. Thank you.

    1. Greg Jan 9, 2013 at 5:51 am

      Charis, I am glad this helped you.

  3. Dean Deguara Jan 9, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Great insight! In December I discovered this verse, Isaiah 58:14 NIV

    then you will find your joy in the Lord ,
    and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
    and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
    For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

    The fast the Lord has chosen should lead us to feasting on His promises. Do a study on the Heritage of Jacob…our heritage too!

    1. Greg Jan 9, 2013 at 7:44 am

      Great verse. I will need to take some time out and look over the Heritage of Jacob. Never studied this.

      Many folks get so focused on their fast that they never enter into their feast. Eat good during your fast. 😉

      Thanks for sharing.

  4. Nesa Jan 9, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Rightly said……discover God’s heart. That’s what I been asking open my eyes so I can see Him. And oh how marvelous He is…He has been exactly doing this in a way I would have never imagined.
    Thanks for initiating this time of fasting and praying.


    1. Greg Jan 9, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      Nesa, love your testimony of how you are encountering Jesus by discovering His heart! The discovery is so worth it.

      I think it’s so right to begin each year by creating an intentional 21 day focus of prayer and fasting as an offering to the Lord. Glad you jumped in. 😉

  5. JASON Feb 17, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    i would like to pray and fast for a particular thing that is hurting my life from my birth. And i dont want to take it anymore further in my life…. So could u suggest me what kind of fast and how I should take for a problem i had been having from my birth…

    1. Greg Feb 18, 2013 at 8:13 am

      Jason, choose any length of time you need. Ask the Holy Spirit for the kind of fast and the length of it. Also, the types of things you mentioned might need to be handled through a Spirit led Sozo (deliverance) team. Since I am unaware of what specifically is the problem, I would start there. Blessings and thanks for sharing!

  6. kim Jan 16, 2019 at 11:56 pm

    I would like to fast for a new begining for my family and i.we would like to move to another country hence i want to fast and pray for things to go well and all to be in order.Please pray for my family and i.

    1. Greg Simas Jan 17, 2019 at 5:38 am

      Hi Kim. Sure thing. Just prayed for you and your new beginning.


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