Fasting without prayer is nothing more than a diet. If you choose to abstain from foods for the purpose of losing weight then the focus is on self and not God. Likewise, if you choose a financial fast to “save a little money” then you’ll be disappointed in the end results. When the Holy Spirit leads you to fast, He’s leading you into deeper intimacy with God.
In his book Fasting For Financial Breakthrough, Dr. Elmer Towns identifies four truths about our financial obligations:
- It’s not our money but His.
- We are expected to manage our money wisely for the Lord.
- He will take it away if we mismanage it.
- He will reward us for proper management.
We become better money managers as we fast and pray. Fasting alone is not going to strengthen your finances or resolve your money issues. Through the act of prayer, as you communicate with God, you’ll learn what His will is for your money. Perhaps you already know the answer in your heart, and now you need a solution from God. The time to ask is not when you get a foreclosure letter in the mail, a stack of unpaid medical bills, or a lose your job on a Friday afternoon. Ask. Seek. Pray.
By now you’ve realized that through fasting, we learn self-control. Dr. Towns says, “…it’s really not about money; rather, it’s a discipline problem.” Whether fasting from food or spending, create a regular habit and seek insight from God regarding self-discipline. Ask God how you arrived at your place of need, and then ask Him for a solution to your problems. Keep a journal of your prayers, and look back at your spiritual growth. Continue fasting once a month, such as the date your mortgage or rent is due, or the birthday of a prodigal child, or your anniversary date. For example, if your anniversary is May 11th, then fast on the 11th of each month and pray for your marriage.
Financial Fasting and Discipline
As we learn financial discipline, it spills over into other areas of our spiritual lives. We learn to discipline our mouths from speaking gossip, negativity, curse words and insults. We learn to discipline our time and prioritize those things that have eternal value. We learn to discipline our health, by eating better, getting outdoors and exercise. We learn to follow Christ and walk inside God’s will.
While running errands today, I felt the consequences of poor time management. I missed the deadline to return a gift my daughter dislikes; like most teenagers she said “give me cash instead.” As a consequence to missing the 30-day return period, I had to pay extra shipping charges to make sure the package arrived quicker. Praying on this, I was convicted that poor time management costs money! Similarly, disorganization and stacks of junk in my home or office make it harder to see those items with deadlines or due dates. Does this happen to you?
Every aspect of a Christian life is faith-oriented, including your money.
Write out a budget and money management plan based on Biblical values. Seek God when you are deprived of spending or saving money. If you struggle with stewardship, listen to your church sermon archives or make an appointment to meet with your church pastor. Learn to prioritize both money and time. Dr. Towns recommends these expense priorities:
- Tithes and offerings
- Housing and utilities
- Education and Improvement
Financial experts have a different set of priorities, so be sure to search for more ideas. In my budget, I’ve set aside money for college funds, emergency funds, and also “wedding funds.” I’m a California Mom raising two daughters and from the time they were born, I started putting $25 per month into a wedding savings account for each child. If they choose to marry then I know we’ll have a little money set aside to celebrate their special day.
Some of the best financial books I read include: (As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)
- Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey
- Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
- The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley
- Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class by Keith Cameron Smith
I read these books to help me serve my clients in the California real estate market and years later I still remember the key concepts. After attending a Marriage Retreat by Focus on the Family and then reading “Your Money or Your Life,” we downsized our dream home, got rid of the nanny, housecleaner and gardener, and I became a stay-at-home mom. When the kids were older I started a home business and later started the Womens Bible Cafe™ ministry.
We move through seasons of life, and this includes financial seasons as well. You’ll have seasons of drought; seasons of sowing seeds; seasons of harvesting fruit. No matter the season, be faithful to God and to His Word.
Financial Fasting Bible Verses
It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. Hebrews 11:6 (NLT)
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 2 Cor. 9:7 (NLT)
Tip: using your cell phone, snap a photo of these verses so you can find them easily
Steps For Financial Fasting
- Fast and pray in faith believing God will answer your prayers. Fast in fellowship with other women or friends.
- Create a budget system and plan to implement by April 1st.
- Book: “Fasting For Financial Breakthrough” by Dr. Elmer Towns, read chapters 5 and 6 (optional)
I’ve been reading Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover since starting this fast and it’s really helped me to focus on my finances. I also started to budget with the You Need a Budget (YNAB) software. I’m happy to report that my spending is way down and my debt reduction plan is in place. Feeling blessed for this fast!
Wow, that is exciting news! Thank you for sharing this. God is working in your life…Praises for Him!
Dave’s Financial Peace University is very worthwhile. My husband and I went through it in 2007