As a pastor and marriage coach/mentor, I often get asked, “Can you say
prayers for my marriage?” The answer is of course yes, but what I’ve noted is that the toughest marriage challenges, require fasting—sometimes even long-term fasting.
I’ve done three 40 Day fasts during my life in ministry. I always get a kick out of people’s reaction when they find out I’m not eating for 40 days. “FOURTY DAYS???!!!” they often say, “NO FOOD FOR 40 DAYS??”
It’s really not as bad as they think.
After about 4 days, the body shuts down and you don’t really feel hungry. Oh, you’ll feel a pang here and there and you do get weak, but it’s amazing what a glass of juice will do at one of those moments—“WHAAAAAAAHOOOOO!”
So why do it?
I think there are a lot of reasons. The biggest is that when we’re weak, God is strong in us (see 2 Cor. 12:9). When fasting, I have more time with the Lord and I’m more sensitive in the spirit. I find that I’m less tempted by sinful desires, more patient, ready to pray, etc.
But perhaps the most powerful benefits of a long term fast are the intangible, spiritual things we don’t always see. I’ve noted, and scripture supports the idea, that spiritual strongholds are often broken only through fasting. I’ve seen that somehow, in the supernatural realm, God does things while we’re fasting that just don’t happen when we’re less dependent on Him.
Couples often find that fasting can help with forgiveness and reconciliation since both husband and wife will be humbled in the process. The power of fasting separately and then coming back together can be intense (I Cor. 7:5). If nothing else, it can improve a conflict resolution dialogue immensely.
So while I wouldn’t recommend a 40 Day fast to everyone due to work requirements, health concerns, etc.; I WOULD recommend fasting from all food for a period of time. It produces amazing results—even health and cleansing benefits—for most people.
For more information and great tips on fasting, I recommend Bill Bright’s thoughts at–