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Charisma Magazine | Informing Christians from Spirit-filled Perspective.

Prayer and fasting
Prayer and fasting can help you defeat that voracious desire for sugar. (iStock photo )

Praying, fasting, seeking the Holy Spirit for instruction and building our faith will lead us into a life of victory and assist us in conquering the areas in our life in which we feel defeated. Living a life of prayer and fasting empowers us to break down and destroy spiritual strongholds that have built up over a period in our life.

When fasting, the first thing to do is decide the objectives of the fast. We know we fast to strengthen our faith, but we also fast to break down spiritual strongholds and bring forth the truth of God's Word to manifest in our lives. When we fast, it is a time to grow closer to God. 

Fasting can assist us in changing our eating habits and transition us into a healthy lifestyle. When people have emotional ailments and spiritual strongholds, eating is often a crutch they lean on for self-gratification. 

Seasonal times of prayer and fasting can break down the emotional comfort that food has built up. When you are in a time of fasting and prayer, the Holy Spirit will come in and be your Comforter. He will lead you to the truth of discovering the root causes of your emotional imbalances.

Fasting causes us to self-examine. As we crucify our flesh and don't satisfy it with the things we desire, we are making the Lord more important than food. We are sacrificing our wants and desires for His. We are submitting our will and our flesh to His will and purpose for our life.

In those moments of fasting, we receive glimpses of who He really is. We discover that the very heartbeat of heaven resides in us, and we can draw from His wells of refreshing. It provides a renewal of our soul. 

Prayer and fasting make us see inside our very soul the hidden things of the heart that we often don't want, but need to have exposed, (Ps. 51:6). When we invite the Holy Spirit in to search our inward parts and create in us a clean heart and renew a steadfast spirit within us (Ps. 51:10), it is then that we are changed. We allowed the Spirit to reveal things that needed to be changed.  

It can be difficult at times to see our faults and inadequacies. In Romans 8:1 it says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."

We need to make sure we allow the Holy Spirit to come in and convict us, but not allow the devil to leave us in a place of condemnation. When we are open to correction and conviction from the Holy Spirit is when we will discover the real freedom that we have been longing for. 

During your time of self-evaluation, the Holy Spirit may reveal that you eat for comfort, stress, boredom, loneliness; or because it's the only thing you can control. When you allow the Holy Spirit access to your life, you won't be bored, lonely, stressed or have the need to control or feel comforted by food.  

There are demonic spirits attached to extreme food disorders. Through your time of prayer and fasting, the Holy Spirit could lead and guide you to release the following evil spirits through healing prayer: disobedience, the lust of the flesh, the bondage of food, overeating, self-indulgence, self-gratification, anorexia, bulimia, purging, complacency, passiveness, or addictions to sugar, caffeine, carbs, or chocolate. 

As you pray, fast and yield to the Holy Spirit, He will co-labor with you over a season of time to assist you in breaking your cravings and changing your eating habits. You could discover that the things you once sought will no longer be appetizing to you. You will hear that gentle voice leading and guiding you to Him and away from food.

Our body is a temple of the Holy Ghost: "What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God, and that you are not your own? You were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Cor. 6:19-20, MEV). 

We must take care of what we put into our body. I don't want to be in a prayer line ministering and have to go and sit down because I'm too tired to continue to pray for people. I have a great desire to go to Africa and minister. In Africa, they worship for hours.

If my body is not in good physical shape, how will I be able to endure long prayer lines? I don't want to say, "Oh, I'm sorry. You are not going to get your healing or deliverance today because my body can't stand up any longer." As leaders in the church, we want our lives to be a testimony. "But I bring and keep my body under subjection, lest when preaching to others I myself should be disqualified" (1 Cor. 9:27).

Jesus came to set the captives free (Is. 61:1). If you believe that, then you can believe your freedom is near. He didn't just come to set the captives free; He came to set you free! Don't simply believe for another person's freedom—believe for your own.

Kathy DeGraw is the founder of DeGraw Ministries, a prophetic healing ministry releasing the love and power of God. She travels hosting conferences, teaching schools, and evangelistic love tours. Kathy enjoys writing and is the author of several books that educate, empower and equip people, including A Worship Woven Life, Time to Set the Captives Free, and Flesh, Satan or God. Connect with Kathy at www.degrawministries.org.

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