The watchman was led to fast the Esther fast, no food and no water, for three days towards the end of March. He gathered all those who regularly go to the Prayer House and two families who come to his Bible reading house class weekly, urging them to start preparing for the fast. He knew it would be a major task for all concerned as they had never done this before. Some young people may not have the spiritual stamina to last it.
He was however encouraged when the respective heads of the two families purposed in their hearts to obey the Lord’s calling. One man started immediately on the eve after the Saturday Bible reading house meeting together with the watchman. Another couple started on the following Tuesday evening (on which day they had a Bible reading meeting in the couples’ house).
The fasting training for the first group was Yom Kippur style, no food and no water, from sundown to sundown (24 hours). The two have had some experience in fasting before so they did not feel much discomfort. The only problem with the watchman was that he had to fast coffee and water at the same time. He could live comfortably without food but the dryness of his throat was uncomfortable. On the following Sunday morning he was required to share the words of God for about one and half hours, during which he talked naturally and without any hindrance. Toward the later part of the following afternoon he could feel the heaviness on the side of his head. He regretted and repented his taste for coffee. (sigh)
The other brother reported that he was alright. This was his first time of complete fasting without food and water. He held well as he was not a coffee lover. He merely had to overcome not drinking water.
On a lighter side, the day the watchman announced to his own household (and guests) the fasting training, he was surprised to find that a family of three generations (a grandma, daughter and a grand-daughter) who are currently staying in his house decided to fast one meal (lunch). The 70 years old grandma stayed in her room and had her own quiet time and rest through out the day. The daughter (who is the aunt to the little nine-years old girl) and the 9 years old girl (60kg in weight) stayed in the lounge and argued with each other. The little girl was grumbling and said she was dying of hunger. The aunt said the trouble was that the little one did not believe that drinking water and feeding on God’s word would keep her well fed.The aunt said, “she is all flesh/carnal. It is time she toughens up and be spiritual and prepares for end times!” (Of course, the overweight child soon forgot all about food and happily ran into the garden to play with the watchman’s newly acquired yellow Labrador puppy, Grace, after the watchman gave her permission!)
The watchman promised his class that he would give them more information on how to prepare for the Esther fast. For a start, he advised them to progressively practice as follows in various combinations and stages, as led by the Holy Spirit, each according to his or her level of faith:
1. fast one meal a day, progressing to fasting two meals a day.
2. fast all meat: take vegetables and fruits and water.
3. fast all solid food. Take only liquid drinks and soups.
3. fast all food except drinking water.
4. fast all food and water.
5. fasting hours:
6am to 12pm same day ; 6am to 6pm same day; 6am to 12am same day; 6am to following day’s 6am; 6pm from sundown to the following day’s 6pm.
6. Activities: light physical activities. read Bible, meditate on God and His word, pray (in the Spirit and in understanding as led by the Spirit). Conserve water if one is fasting water as well.
7. Food before and after: light meals with little salt; avoid processed food or drinks; stop coffee.
8. On the actual Esther Fast three days (29th March-1st April 2012 from 6pm to 6pm):
a. Take leave from work.
b. Gather together in small groups (can include family as a unit) to worship, fast and pray together.
c. Stop unnecessary world ‘connection’/communication (e.g. mobile phone calls and messaging, internet, games, entertainment and social activities). Stop looking at the ‘windows’/screens (TV, hand phone, computer, gaming device).
d. Focus on building God connection: led by the Holy Spirit. Let the Holy Spirit anointing break your strongholds in the mind and emotion, your soul ties, your ‘connections’ to the second heaven (through the above mentioned windows that link your souls with the evil spirits/forces).
e. Focus on the goal of fasting: For your nation (just as Esther and the Jews in Sushan).
f. Assemble and hold a solemn meeting together before and after the fasting.
Esther 4:15-17 (NKJV)
15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”
17 So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.[a]
- Esther 4:17 Septuagint adds a prayer of Mordecai here.