1 day GROUP fasting
– came as a commandment in the Old testament. The Day of Atonement (an annual observance of animal ritual for atonement of sins) in the old testament was accompanied with a COMPULSORY fast in order to ensure their SINS were forgiven. (Lev 23:26-29). The CEV Bible calls it ‘…the GREAT DAY OF FORGIVENESS…’ This no longer applies in the New Covenant of Grace. Our Great Day of Forgiveness happened at the CROSS! To argue this shows a lot about how much religion has eaten deep in your spiritual system. I recommend a quick personal study on Hebrews 10:1-14 for your spiritual cleansing. (suggested version for starters: NLT)
3 days GROUP fasting
– okay with scriptural pattern. Esther declared a group fast of 3days when she was to take a big risk that could take her life, same as the government of Nineveh when they were mourning for their sins. However, In the New Testament, we have Holy Spirit for our guidance and we don’t mourn for our sins; we rather rejoice at our forgiveness and in thanksgiving for what Christ has done, abstain from sinful actions. (1John 2:12). Please note: Every fast with number of days recorded in scriptures, targeted at supplicating God concerning any issue were maximum 3days.
7 days GROUP fasting
– not so bad, but was only applied in scriptures when mourning a national or family hero. For example, when Saul and his sons were killed in a war, the Bible said ‘…Then they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and they fasted seven days…’ (1Sam 31:11-13). Another example was when Joseph was to bury Jacob, he led a large procession from Egypt to the place Jacob chose ‘…and there they mourned with a great and very sore lamentation: and he made a mourning for his father seven days…’ (Genesis 50:10). Can a group/church choose to fast for seven days? If in a bid to focus on the study of God’s word and prayers, this could be cool – as long as it is not a do or die affair, and people are free to break the fast when they feel ok to do so.
21days GROUP fasting
– no scriptural backing. Only applied INDIVIDUALLY and in the only instance it was mentioned, the answer was released on the first day. It is also important to note that the fast was for ‘mourning’ too. (Daniel 10:2,12) The coming of Jesus for us both translated us from the kingdom where a prince of Persia could attack and also ended mourning by fasting. (Col 1:13, Mark 2:19-22)
40 days GROUP fasting
– no scriptural backing. Only done by 3 people in scriptures who were to lead 3 specific dispensations. Please note: they were NOT hungry all through the 40days of the fast. It was supernatural, hence, not typical. It was supernatural. ‘do not try this at home’.
70days GROUP fasting
– no scriptural backing.
120days GROUP fasting
– no scriptural backing.
In summary: Fasting is not wrong. But it can be abused. Fasting can be cool, but Fasting also has the potential to bring people into a kind of self righteousness that seriously IRRITATES God. (Luke 18:10-14). A careful study of scripture shows that any group fast that exceeds 3days or at most 7days has the tendency of leading people into serious religious bondage. They start thinking the anointing is tied to fasting instead of simply being Jesus-conscious. They start bragging about the days of fasting and linking the good things of their lives to fasting instead of the power of the Gospel. On a long run, they get filled with dead works and some filled with bitterness when stuffs they expect don’t show up.
The danger of unguarded declaration of GROUP fasting is RRR (risky religious rituals). God does not need your fasting to anoint you. God does not need your fasting to bless you. God does not need our fasting to purify you. All you need is fresh revelation of Jesus via the Gospel of His Grace.
‘…So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into his glorious image…’ (2Cor 3:18 NLT)
Fasting is NOT a commandment in the New Testament. Prayer is the commandment. It is prayer God answers; not fasting.If you must fast, the advice is to stay within normal scriptural timeline….to avoid RRR.
‘…So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law…’ (Gal 5:1 NLT)
Keep enjoying Jesus.