08/16

Prayer and Fasting

“Is this not the fast I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?” Isaiah 58:6

Prayer and fasting is more about what you are doing than what you are not doing. You are praying while you are not eating. If you are not eating and not praying, you’re just dieting. It’s about prayer and fasting, not one without the other. Why fast? The purpose of fasting isn’t to sacrifice, or go without, as if to earn God’s approval. The purpose of Biblical fasting isn’t to do good works, to do penance, or discipline your body, as if to manipulate God into action. The purpose of fasting is to pull away from the natural aspects of life to give spiritual focus to God and His will. The separation includes a temporary cessation of the preparation and consumption of food.

God is a spirit. You are a spirit. Prayer is a spiritual thing. When we fast, we are not only separating from food; we also are making a consecration of our time, our energy, our attention, and our resources. When we set ourselves apart from the world around us, and when we put forth a spiritual effort to seek God, we give God an open door to move supernaturally in our life or in the lives of the people we are praying for.

Fasting is often done when a breakthrough is needed. For example, Esther called for a three day fast, and the king relented from his intention, saving the Jewish race. A natural event was changed through the spiritual operation of prayer and fasting. Another example is when the disciples failed to cast a demon out of a boy, but Jesus was successful. When the disciples asked Jesus why their attempts had failed, He replied, “…this kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”

Ezra called a fast when Israel needed protection (Ezra 8:21-13), Daniel fasted to hear from God (Daniel 10:3-13), Cornelius fasted to seek God on salvation (Acts 10:30-31), Moses fasted to change God’s mind about destroying the people of Israel (Deuteronomy 9:25), Jesus fasted to set Himself apart for God before starting His earthly ministry (Luke 4:14), and the early church leaders would fast and pray for guidance on leadership (Acts 13:3, 14:23). These are examples of men and women who consecrated themselves to seek God in the spirit and received a supernatural breakthrough in their lives. The same can happen for you when you are spiritually active, putting your dependency in God, and praying that His will be accomplished. Miracles happen!

Application: Do you need a breakthrough? The answer is to seek God in the spirit. Separate yourself, fast to pursue God, and see what He will do!

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