|STEP THREE - FASTING & PRAYER
"Now therefore says the Lord, Turn to me with all your heart, with fasting with weeping, and with mourning." So rend your heart and not your garments; return to the Lord your God For he is gracious and merciful slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm." (Joel 2:12,13)
"And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?
And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.(Mark 2:18-20)
When Jesus was taken away from his disciples, they began to fast and pray. Are you a disciple of Jesus, then you need to fast and prayer. Jesus, knowing the importance of fasting and prayer, taught how to fast and pray.
Fasting is a means of humbling ourselves before God, letting Him know that we are willing to exchange physical comforts to seek Him for a spiritual feast! As a spiritual discipline, fasting is the act of abstaining from feeding the body in order to focus more fully on seeking God's face and feeding the spirit. This is a powerful discipline where God's Spirit is poured out upon us as we earnestly seek Him.
Fasting is the most powerful spiritual discipline of all the Christian disciplines. Through fasting and prayer, the Holy Spirit can transform your life.
If you do not already know of the power and importance of fasting, here are some very important facts:
- Fasting was an expected discipline in both the Old and New Testament eras. For example, Moses fasted at least two recorded forty-day periods."And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments." (Exodus 34:28).
Elijah fasted for forty days and forty nights "And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God"1 Kings 19:8). Jesus fasted forty days and forty nights "And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred"(Matthew 4:2). He reminded His followers to fast, "when you fast," not if you fast."Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast" (Matthew 6:16). These three people have a played a mighty role in the salvation plan of God. Moses stands for the LAW, Elijah stands for the PROPHETS and Jesus stands for GRACE All of them their bodies were not left on earth. Moses body was taken away by God after his death(Jude 9), Elijah did not die(2 Kings 2:11) and Jesus died and rose again(Matthew 28:6). These three met at the transfiguration of Jesus "And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias" (Matthew 17:1-4)
This tells us that fasting and prayer is very important in our walk with the Lord
- Fasting and prayer can restore the loss of "first love" for your Lord and result in a more intimate relationship with Christ.
- Fasting is a biblical way to truly humble yourself in the sight of God (Psalm 35:13; Ezra 8:21). King David said, "I humble myself through fasting."
- Fasting enables the Holy Spirit to reveal your true spiritual condition, resulting in brokenness, repentance, and a transformed life.
The Holy Spirit will quicken the Word of God in your heart and His truth will become more meaningful to you!
- Fasting can transform your prayer life into a richer and more personal experience.
- Fasting can result in a dynamic personal revival in your own life-and make you a channel of revival to others.
- Fasting and prayer are the only disciplines that fulfill the requirements of
II Chronicles 7:14: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." If you fast, you will find yourself being humbled as I did. You will discover more time to pray and seek God's face. And as He leads you to recognize and repent of unconfessed sin, you will experience special blessings from God.
It is better for you to fast than God to make you to fast. God made two people to fast in His own way to use them for His work. These are Jonah and Saul who is also known as Paul. Jonah fasted three days and three nights in the belly of the whale. "And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly" (Jonah 1:17-Jonah 2:1)
Saul fasted three days and three nights with his eyes blind "And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink". (Acts 9:9)
Click here for other Scriptures on fasting and prayer
It is important that you fast and pray or else you will be left behind when the trumpet sounds. At least you can fast once a week. I do fast every Friday
Your Personal Guide to Fasting and Prayer