‘Fasting for Miracles’: How a National Fast Will Bless America

“If the church is praying and fasting, if America is praying and fasting, I believe God will give us strategies and insight, whispering revelation to know how to move the chess board in a way that would defeat our enemy,” says Tammy Hotsenpiller.

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AMERICAN FAITH INTERVIEWS TAMMY HOTSENPILLER:

Why emphasize fasting and not another spiritual practice?

Because Jesus put such an emphasis on it. When he spoke to his disciples, and they couldn’t cast out the demonic, he said that some things only happen by prayer and fasting. So he combined the two: prayer and fasting. We all know the discipline of prayer. It’s a spiritual discipline to learn how to communicate and talk with God. But when you combine that with fasting, like Jesus said, I believe there’s something supernatural about that.

And I would ask, What is your something? What is that thing? Some things only happen by prayer and fasting. Everyone has a something. Something they’ve battled possibly their whole life. Maybe it’s an addiction, maybe it’s a habit, maybe it’s a behavior. Maybe there’s something that’s preventing you from your next breakthrough.”

I believe fasting is how you will break through.

And the reason I believe that is because it’s a physical as well as a spiritual discipline. God knows our flesh. God knows we battle the flesh. So when you have to discipline yourself to choose to suppress the flesh, to submit the flesh, to battle with your flesh every day. And through a fast, you’re learning spiritual warfare. You’re learning every time your stomach grumbles, every time you have a craving, every time you have a desire, it’s teaching you how to say ‘No.’

What is the difference between a healthy self-image and an unhealthy one?

I’ll use an illustration: When a woman walks into a room with arrogance, you feel it. When a woman walks into a room with confidence, you also feel it. There’s a difference between arrogance and confidence. A healthy self-image means you feel your self-worth from God and understand that you are stewarding a body that God has given you.

You’re stewarding everything from your flesh to your body, your gifts, your talents. When I walk in confidence, I know that I have something to do, something to say. It’s a calling from God, but I’m the one stewarding it. So everything he’s given me, every opportunity he’s given me, every ability he’s giving me—it’s my job to steward that. And I do that with a sense of confidence that I’m doing it under the leadership and direction of the Holy Spirit.

When we say, “I personally have really worked hard at this. I put my whole life into this,” that’s different from, “I’m stewarding what God’s given me with the grace and the knowledge he’s given me to do that.”

Can we do a “partial” fast?

Yep! And in the book, I walk through different fasts and explain that a successful fast starts with the Holy Spirit—God showing you what to fast from. But you’ve got to ask him first. “God, show me what to fast.” Maybe someone should fast from alcohol. If they have a tendency to need to have a glass of wine every night, the Holy Spirit might say, “I want you to give this up for 21 days just to show you that you can lean on me.” So if you have an area in your life where you might have some lack of discipline, that might be an area where God prompts you to fast. So maybe it’s sugar or carbs or wine.

I do what’s called a partial fast, as you mentioned. I do sun up to sundown. So I just don’t eat during the day. And then I have an evening meal. Some people will do the “Daniel Fast,” which we read about in The Book of Daniel, where Daniel fasted from meats and wine and bread and ate more vegetables instead. Some people only eat fruits when they fast, some people do a liquid fast involving maybe juices, maybe shakes, but they don’t eat any food for 21 days. There are definitely different types of fasts.

Some people do a social media fast or a TV fast or just abstain from something they feel they need to stay away from for a while. The Hebrew word for fast means to shut your mouth. In Greek, it means no food at all. So strict biblical fast, I think is literally abstaining from food. Although fasting now just means abstaining from something.

I just like to tell people I don’t want to become too legalistic. This is a spiritual encounter you’re having with God. And I want you to start to prompt your spirit to hear from him and talk to him and ask him. He will be the one who leads you through what type of fast and how long your fast should be.

What are the benefits of fasting?

I mention in the book the difference between intermittent fasting and spiritual fasting. We’re living in a day when intermittent fasting is immensely popular. Every third post on social media is teaching about intermittent fasting for good health. And I do believe that’s one reason we fast: to get healthy.

That’s the very reason Daniel did. If you remember, Daniel was trying to show the king that they could be healthier by not eating the quote choice foods of the king, which were fattening, delectable foods. So it was definitely for a physical reason, but it was for a spiritual goal. It was to show God was leading them and directing them.

When I talk about how fasting will actually make you healthier, I mean, as an example, when I finish fasting, my body feels cleaner and my thinking is more clear.

What’s different about your teaching process?

I record coaching videos every morning for about 10 to 12 minutes. I’m your fasting coach. I don’t know of any fasting program out there where you literally have a morning fasting coach that’s leading you through a 24-hour period to keep you accountable and focused. And I coach you and I say, “Listen, the benefits of this are physical for sure.”

Why is fasting important in today’s cultural moment?

I’m gonna take it back to a spiritual discipline: I believe if the church and believers and followers of Jesus would practice truly prayer and fasting we’ll see repentance and we’ll see revival. Because I’m going deeper into these two disciplines. Fasting takes me deeper into the supernatural, spiritual realm where I think differently. I behave differently. I have a supernatural power given to me by God.

I can get so angry when I look at all the political things happening in the world, to be honest with you. But when I go on a prayer walk and I’m disciplined to fast, God gives me insight, wisdom, and revelation. Just like he did to Daniel. He gives us strategies, he gives us supernatural secrets. He shows us the times.

If the church is praying and fasting, if America is praying and fasting, I believe God will give us strategies and insight, whispering revelation to know how to move the chess board in a way that would defeat our enemy.

We need to be political leaders. Just like in the Old Testament, when we find ourselves in a terrible predicament with the same evil leaders, the same bad behaviors, we call on God to give us strategies to beat our opponent. That’s why we need to do it. We need to know how to beat our opponents. And we’re not gonna do it with the wisdom of the world. We’re gonna do it with the strategies of the Kingdom. God once told me that until I can love people with different politics than I believe in and preach to them and pray for revival for everyone, I can’t be his spokesperson.

Why do a national, corporate fast? Because we have to love the nations of the world. Even those who oppose God. We’re believers. We love Jesus, we love our world. We can say ‘We’re Republicans. We’re kind. We’re gracious. We’re pro-life.’ But God says, ‘Your righteousness is like filthy rags.’ It’s got to be those supernatural strategies that God gives us. Not because we’re better, but because we seek him and love our neighbor.