Fasting

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Sudsy
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Re: Fasting

Postby Sudsy » Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:43 pm

RZehr wrote:I’ve heard many people hold the idea that fasting gives your prayer extra oomph; or shows God that you are really serious. There may be some truth to this, and I am not completely dismissing it. However I wonder if perhaps what is going on more of a clearing of your mind in order to hear God, giving a chance for a clear small voice to penetrate mind.

I also wonder about the using of fasting as a tool to reach God. Is this correct thinking?
When Jesus says that His disciples would fast, was he saying that they would subscribe to fasting as a discipline? Or could it be that proper fasting is more organic than a discipline? Could He be saying that there will be trials of such magnitude for his followers that they will not be able to eat, that they will lose their appetite because of their distress? Is this organic fasting a byproduct of a heart crying out to God, and not a tool or discipline to get Gods attention? Or both? Your thoughts?

My friend recommended the book God’s Chosen Fast, by Arthur Wallis.


The disciples said (speaking about a demon they could not cast out) - "Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"" NIV

And Jesus replied - "He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."" NIV

Then Mathew 17:21 the verse in the NIV is deleted. In the KJV, for instance, Jesus continues " Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."

So, what do we make of this ? If they had the smallest amount of faith, then the demon should have come out as 'nothing will be impossible for you'. However, if the next verse is left in, is this not a contradiction and seems to say that even with the smallest amount of faith that can move mountains, in this case, they needed to pray and fast also ? From this KJV verse some have concluded then that there is special power in prayer if it is accompanied with fasting regardless of the seeming contradiction.

Thoughts ?
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RZehr
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Re: Fasting

Postby RZehr » Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:55 pm

Yes, I had intended to mention Matthew 17/Mark 9 and forgot. I believe this is where we get the idea that fasting has power. But must it be understood that way? Is it fair for me to propose that faith and fasting go together, with fasting being a natural consequence of faith and prayer and love and desperation over this child?

If a problem is big enough to drive us to God in a prayer of faith and make us lose interest in food etc., will God not honor that persistence? Luke 18:7.

Again, I’m not at all comfortable with saying there is no power in fasting or that God doesn’t notice. But I guess I do question the value of a general call for fasting, when the issue is not very real and personal and relevant to each participant. It can almost remind me of what the wicked attempted in 1 Kings 18:28-29.

We also see fasting in the appointing of elders in Acts 14:23, which to me doesn’t seem like such a heart rending experience that would drive one to fasting. It is an observation which to me sounds like a discipline that was employed by Paul and Barnabas, perhaps to clear their mind in order to hear the voice of God, and to be certain what they were about to do was the correct thing to do.

What about Matthew 6:17? Why do we Plain people anoint the sick with literal oil (James 5:14), but we don't literally anoint with oil when we fast? I really believe this is a fair comparison.
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ohio jones
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Re: Fasting

Postby ohio jones » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:24 pm

RZehr wrote:What about Matthew 6:17? Why do we Plain people literally anoint the sick with oil (James 5:14), but we don't literally anoint with oil when we fast? I really believe this is a fair comparison.

What he seems to be saying in context is that our appearance should not change when we are fasting, as a way for others to know about the fast. Groom yourself as you normally would. If you use Brylcreem or Dapper Dan when not fasting, use it when you're fasting also. Using it only when fasting, though, would be seen by others as a sign of fasting and we would have our reward (if oily hair can be considered a reward); just the opposite of the intent, I would think.
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silentreader
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Re: Fasting

Postby silentreader » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:41 pm

ohio jones wrote:
RZehr wrote:What about Matthew 6:17? Why do we Plain people literally anoint the sick with oil (James 5:14), but we don't literally anoint with oil when we fast? I really believe this is a fair comparison.

What he seems to be saying in context is that our appearance should not change when we are fasting, as a way for others to know about the fast. Groom yourself as you normally would. If you use Brylcreem or Dapper Dan when not fasting, use it when you're fasting also. Using it only when fasting, though, would be seen by others as a sign of fasting and we would have our reward (if oily hair can be considered a reward); just the opposite of the intent, I would think.


Or Pledge for those of us who are hirsute deficient?
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RZehr
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Re: Fasting

Postby RZehr » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:16 pm

I agree with the grooming understanding. But isn't that also what is being said in James?
Picture the sick person is disheveled, laying in bed; no reason or perhaps ability to wash, and comb his hair and face. After all, he isn't going anywhere!
And yet the elders are to anoint him. Isn't this simply instructing the elders to take an action of faith toward what was about to be? They are washing -anointing- him or preparing him to be healed. I think the anointing may have been simply an act of faith, and if so then I'm not sure we view it correctly. James clearly says that it is the prayer of faith that is healing, not the anointing with oil.
Let me be clear - I believe it is better to actually, literally anoint the sick with oil. I'd rather anoint the sick and the fasting, than drop both.
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ken_sylvania
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Re: Fasting

Postby ken_sylvania » Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:49 pm

I believe the anointing with oil spoken of in relation to healing the sick was more closely related to the anointing with oil commissioning someone for a special work of some kind. It seemed to symbolize the pouring out of power, wisdom, authority, etc.
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ShantyShaker
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Re: Fasting

Postby ShantyShaker » Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:04 am

The only teaching/reference to fasting that we've really had was growing up in the black bumper (Horning) church, it was customary to read Isaiah 58 at the preparatory services prior to communion. It was expected that all members would fast that morning as well. No commentary on that scripture reading was given though.
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RZehr
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Re: Fasting

Postby RZehr » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:01 pm

ken_sylvania wrote:I believe the anointing with oil spoken of in relation to healing the sick was more closely related to the anointing with oil commissioning someone for a special work of some kind. It seemed to symbolize the pouring out of power, wisdom, authority, etc.

Take a look at these two different words and how and where they are found in the NT.
https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/le ... rongs=g218
https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/le ... ongs=G5548

It looks to me that this anoint in James is the mundane aleipho and not the chrio word.
But we do see in Mark 6:12-13 that anointing the sick is also mentioned. So I'm for anointing the sick. But I'm thinking that we are not consistent here, whether that matters or not.....??
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MaxPC
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Re: Fasting

Postby MaxPC » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:12 am

RZehr wrote:
ken_sylvania wrote:I believe the anointing with oil spoken of in relation to healing the sick was more closely related to the anointing with oil commissioning someone for a special work of some kind. It seemed to symbolize the pouring out of power, wisdom, authority, etc.

Take a look at these two different words and how and where they are found in the NT.
https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/le ... rongs=g218
https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/le ... ongs=G5548

It looks to me that this anoint in James is the mundane aleipho and not the chrio word.
But we do see in Mark 6:12-13 that anointing the sick is also mentioned. So I'm for anointing the sick. But I'm thinking that we are not consistent here, whether that matters or not.....??

I agree about consistency and the need for it. Good thoughts.
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KingdomBuilder
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Re: Fasting

Postby KingdomBuilder » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:21 am

I don't mean to make things very shallow, but what about people who medically shouldn't fast?

If I were to skip a days meals, I'd probably be unconscious in a hypoglycemic episode. I guess that'd count as "clearing my mind" :)
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