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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2736
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Fast of Words

Fast Of Words: A Different Kind Of Fast

Time and again God brings me to my knees over my heart attitude expressed out of my mouth. More than once, God has led me to fast of negative, critical, judgmental, and complaining words. Why a fast of words? Is that a legitimate application of fasting? The Hebrew word fast means to cover the mouth. For me, it is harder to fast from words than from food. Abstaining from negative words may be as powerful as fasting from food, because it is a particular battlefield for most of us.

A fast of words is one of the fasts in Isaiah 58. Isaiah 58:9b lists not pointing fingers in judgment and no wicked words as conditions of great blessings listed in verses 10b-12.

I remember the first time God led me to fast for 40 days of all negative, complaining, critical, and judgmental words. At first, it was one of the hardest experiences of my Christian life. The problem is not my mouth but my heart. Proverbs 4:23 says "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life

About two weeks into my fast, I was treated haughtily at a store. As I left the store, I said to myself, "I'll just take my business elsewhere. That is the second time she has had an attitude with me." Immediately I heard in my spirit, "No, you are the one with the attitude." I wanted to fall to my knees on the sidewalk, crying out, "I am so sick of me!" I know how Isaiah felt when he told God, "Woe is me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips" (Isa. 6:5). O God, take a coal from the altar and purge this wicked heart of mine. God showed me that He was dealing with a root of pride (Isa. 57:15, 1 Peter 5:5-6). I was puffed up, with no sense of my own spiritual need.

I struggled for a while in this fast of words in what felt like hand-to-hand warfare, but God softened and sweetened my heart. After that season, I felt like a dog in a yard with an invisible electric fence. Every time I opened my mouth to say anything critical, I would get a zap from my loving Father. I reviewed my prayer notebook and was amazed at how many Scriptural insights God gave me during that time. God was being faithful to reveal more of Himself.

For several months I have been keenly aware of living with a grateful heart, thankfully noting God touches great and small. Recently I read a devotional on a thankful heart. The author set up a contrast between thankfulness and negativity. He quoted Paul, when he said "And do not grumble, as some of them did and were killed by the destroyer" (1 Corinthians 10:10). That puts the choice all of us have in very stark contrast: choose thankfulness in all things or choose sides with destruction.

Ask God if He is leading you to do a forty-day fast of critical, judgmental, negative, complaining, gossiping words. You may be amazed what God will do through it. At the very least, your family and friends may be amazed at the change in you, from destruction to blessing.

-author unknown

Ron Halverson

 2012/8/15 20:47Profile

Joined: 2009/11/7
Posts: 1449

 Re: Fast of Words

This is rubbish. You don't fast from sin, you repent. True fasting is as unto the Lord so you gain no glory for yourself. The self righteous attitude that God called this writer to repent of is expressed in the very article itself by the attitude that says, "Look at me!" the author should be praising God that He has not struck them down as He did the Israelites that grumbled and complained against Him in the wilderness. For those who are quick to speak, Jeremiah 23 is a sober account of the Lord's approval of such behavior.

Your post was posted on InFocus which makes this reference to the source of the article:

From Prayer Essentials for Living in His Presence, Vol. 1 by Sylvia Gunter

 2012/8/15 23:59Profile

Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4499

 Re: Fast of Words

Still, this is a good exhortation and reminder of the need to fast!

I am reminded of this often. The "fast" in the Bible wasn't just depraving a human body of food. It was much more than that! It was setting aside all of the things of this world...from the spirit, soul and body...out of desperation for an answer from the Lord.

Jesus -- God in the flesh -- separated Himself and went to the wilderness.

Today, people simply skip a few meals and call it a "fast." It is almost a "hunger strike" thinking that we can urge God to move by our lack of eating. While I can't judge the dedication or rationale behind this, I do think that the "fast" as depicted in Scriptures is much more than that.

It would be so good to separate ourselves from the things of this world (food, companionship, responsibility, interaction, etc...) and desperately shut ourselves in with God as we seek an answer. This could even mean separating ourselves from the "good things" that life offers us...and even interaction with other believers.

Thank you for this reminder!


 2012/8/15 23:59Profile

Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057

 Re: Fast of Words

As I read over this thread the LORD showed me just how often I use these kinds of words with out even thinking. I can be a grumbler and complainer. It is something I have felt convicted on in the past and have been praying much on.

I think this could be good reminder to take every thought captive and not to give room to these kinds of thoughts. I may find myself still not liking the gray, rainy days but instead of complaining in self I can look to HIM and by HIS strength give thanks for the beautiful lush, green grass and trees.

I don't see this so much as a fasting from this attitude though, more the need to die to self in this. I am thankful to the LORD for showing me these things in my heart so that I can repent of this grumbling attitude and with HIM over come this sin in my life. Thank you for sharing it was still a very good reminder to rejoice in the LORD in all things, and situations.

God Bless

 2012/8/16 8:53Profile


Somewhere the Holy Spirit has testified to let your words be few. For God isin heaven and you are on earth. I saw much of myself in the post that opened this thread. Would that God give me the grace to fast from words and say only those things that build up and edify.. Something for me to apply in the forum here.


 2012/8/16 9:08

Joined: 2010/5/17
Posts: 1175


This is rubbish. You don't fast from sin, you repent.

I don't see this so much as a fasting from this attitude though, more the need to die to self in this.

Couldn't agree more with both of you. Fasting is not "taking a break from sin".

 2012/8/16 9:18Profile

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7471



" to let your words be few. For God is in heaven and you are on earth."

This is what I understood the OP to be talking about.

Maybe others are better at it then I am but some of us are quick to speak and we speak inappropriately. Brother James talks about it.

Yes, we do need let our words be few and in the process learn to listen, putting yourself in the other person's shoes.

God bless.

Sandra Miller

 2012/8/16 12:09Profile

Joined: 2012/7/12
Posts: 185
Southeast USA

 Re: Fast of Words

Beloved Saints,

This short 8:00 min. video struck a chord in my heart. As a soul who has experienced the damaging devastation of hurtful words, my prayer is for the gift of encouragement to others.

This message reminded me of the necessity to pray for our Lord to mold and control the hearts from which our words are born. As, this site is a beacon of constant communication.

The revelation of the power which our Master has infused into words is what convicts me to rely on the Holy Spirit to control my heart and guide my tongue in all utterances, whether spoken or written. The easiest, yet worst persecution I can inflict is to hurt His beloved with my words and language. Such offenses and attacks are launched from the "kingdom of self" -

I hope that my words here are ALWAYS written in the spirit in Christ's love for you all. I will be quick to repent and apologize if it is otherwise.

Like the time I wrote to BrotherTom about my disdain over our disagreement regarding the impact of a fellow saint's life. Most of what I wrote in that post was driven out a passion to defend one brother at the expense of offending another. BrotherTom's response reminded me that it doesn't have to be that way. Our words transmitted from a transformed heart should bring life to those who are in Him. In this case it did not and it was up to me to repent.

If you have the time, this link below is well worth it:



 2012/8/16 13:37Profile

Joined: 2012/7/12
Posts: 185
Southeast USA

 Re: Fast of Words

Not at all rubbish!


Oh, are correct in your devotional!

I found this website below:

And I remember how the negative and ungrateful "attitudes expressed out of the mouths" of the Israelites in the wilderness brought about the tragic destruction of some of them.

Yet, you are also in truth when you state that the source is the heart, for out of it "come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander" (Matthew 15:19).

The only cure for a clean tongue is a clean heart. Open heart surgery with Christ as the physician.

Thank you for this convicting reminder,



 2012/8/16 13:46Profile

 Re: Fast of Words

"Ask God if He is leading you to do a forty-day fast of critical, judgmental, negative, complaining, gossiping words."

I think this was the only part that caused me a pause.

Can't we just make a 'conscious' effort to just Stop these 5 things?

James says basically - The one that has control over their tongue, the same is a "perfect man". Right? No! A person can use all of the poise and etiquette in the world and be the perfect PR person - even unsaved people can watch their tongue closely. I know so many Very Nice old people, that grew up knowing how to use their tongue properly.
I think that James was only covering one part of our Christian walk.
Many watch their tongues and don't even post here anymore - but what good is it, if they feel they're better than the rest of us here and can't lower themselves to post with us anymore?

Hm? Perfect?

I think some are missing from the wall that should be here.


I'd rather have someone be here and not be "so perfect" with their tongue than not be here for reasons that are not in line with HIS definition of "The Body of Christ" ... being ONE.


 2012/8/16 14:17

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