Fasting And Prayer
Why do we Pray & Fast ?
Fasts as described in the Bible are spiritual and never for the purpose of losing weight.
We pray and fast for the following reasons:
- To express the depth of feeling: (1 Samuel 31:13). At times when we want to express our deep sense of sorrow over loss or defeat.
- In times of deep trouble- When we need God’s intervention in a significant way during personal (2 Samuel 12:16-22, Daniel 9:3-19, Nehemiah 1:4) or national (2 Chronicles 20:1-29; Jeremiah 36:1) emergencies.
- As sign of honest repentance (1 Kings 21:27, John 3: 5–10, Joel 2:12-15
- To get our focus back on God: When our flesh seems to be drowning the presence of the Holy Spirit, we pray and fast to get the flesh out of the way.
- To hear God more clearly: During prayer and fasting we are more likely to be more attentive to God’s voice and hear His answers to our prayers. Luke 12:47.
- Increased Faith: As we hear God more clearly and more often, our capacity to believe increases - Romans 10:17
- More of God’s power is released: As we humble ourselves during prayer and fasting God releases more power to us to accomplish His purpose and to overcome the enemy. 1 Peter 5:5-11.
- Spiritual alertness: Jesus had been praying and fasting for forty days so He was fully prepared and ready to confront and overcome Satan when tempted. That victory was significant for the future of the ministry of Jesus and for all of us. Luke 4:1-11.
Practical Steps for Fasting
The points below describe the way in which you are to go about during the fasting period.
- Reduce your food intake
- Increase your water intake in the week before
- Preferably come to the prayer meetings at 7.30 pm with a light refreshment
- Don’t eat too much during the daily breaks of fasting
- Focus on God (constant communication, reading the word and positively confessing the word)
- Have short accounts with God and others (deal with hurts almost immediately)
- Be strong and spiritually-minded throughout
- Don’t be pious - appear healthy and nice
- Fast from things like T.V and chocolates
If you are not born again in Christ you cannot become a champion over the world. If you are not saved you are not safe. This is the diagnostic question: If God should ask, why should He let you go to heaven what would you say? If among others your answer is “because I am a good person, I go to church, I was born a Christian or I am not sure about what to say then this is your golden opportunity to become born again before you can understand and enjoy all the good things that God has for you. Follow the following steps now to become a champion child of God.
Acknowledge that you are a sinner and turn away from selfish living, because the bible says that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
Acknowledge that God loves you and has made a provision for our sins by giving us His son Jesus Christ as a sin offering on the cross.
Accept that Jesus took your place on the cross and rose again as a confirmation of God’s acceptance of His sacrifice.
Confess Jesus as Saviour and Lord of your life and receive him into your life by saying this prayer: “Lord Jesus, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. But I thank you that You died for me on the cross and took my place. I now accept You as my Saviour and Lord. Come into my heart by Your Holy Spirit and help me live my life as Your child. Amen”
Declare boldly: Thank you Father in Heaven, that today I am a child of God!
The following are a few examples of when prayer and fasting is needed.
- When that which is rightfully yours is stolen from you.
Under the Law of Moses, if someone stole an ox or sheep, it was not sufficient for him to restore the animal he had taken. He had to pay back five oxen or four sheep (Ex.22:1). Have wicked people stolen from you? Look up to God for restoration like David did. (1 Sam 30)
- When you suffer loss as result of Satanic onslaught
When God restored all the damage and suffering that Satan brought in the life of Job, He gave back to him twice everything he had lost except the wife (Job 42:10-12). You may feel like Job the enemy of our souls has brought so much suffering into your live just like in Job’s case. You need God’s restoration
- When you suffer injustice
When Joseph suffered injustice in the hand of his brothers because of envy and sold him as a slave, God ensured that his dream was fully restored with honour and favour. The second highest position is created for foreigner in the greatest and the most advanced nation at the time. We may be suffering through unjust and inhumane treatment from others like Joseph. We need a Joseph’s kind of restoration from the Lord.
- The Church is in apostasy needs restoration.
The whole redemption story is filled with God’s plan of restoring man (both Jew and Gentile) to his original relationship with Him. And it is set for a climatic ending when in the “day of the Lord” God’s people ( the Church) through our Lord Jesus is restored to its rightful place as the bride of Christ ( Acts 3:18-20). In between these two points we have seen the Church turn its back on the Lord from time to time and then facing God’s judgement and discipline. God in His love has always used His servants to point His Church back to himself – a place of restoration. The Church today, more so in the UK needs the restoration of God’s “refreshing times” of power and favour for the end time gathering of souls as we get ready for His return.
- Israel feels neglected because it has turned its back on the Messiah, it needs a restoration.
In between the beginning and the ending of the redemption story we read the story of Israel, God’s special people. Israel is God’s vessel to bring the Messiah into the world through whom the “the nations of the world are blessed. Time and time again Israel rebels and is disciplined by God. The Lord, through His prophets will show Israel how to return to Him and be restored (Joel 2:18-27). The Church has not replaced Israel, it still has role to play with the Church to create the conditions for God’s glory, power and favour to be restored. Today, God’s people- Israel – just like the Church need God’s restoration.
- If we are under God’s discipline as a result of our sin, we need restoration.
As individual believers we may be experiencing a season where we may have rebelled against the Lord and are under His hand of discipline like David. We need the restoration of the “Joy of the Lord”.(Ps 32,51)