Prayer & fasting gives us the opportunity to express ourselves in a manner that we are intensely devoted to the Lord regarding the concerns of our spiritual life and the world. This is a dedicated moment of abstaining from our natural food for the purpose of desiring to gain clearer access to the presence of God and to knowing His will.
Prayer and fasting must be an essential part of our walk with God. It shows our deep intentions to be closer to God and it portrays a greater act of seeking Him.
What does the scripture tells us about prayer and fasting:
1. It led Jehoshaphat to Victory (2 Chronicles 20:1-4)
” After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites, came against Jehoshaphat for battle. Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar” (that is, Engedi). Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah assembled to seek help from the Lord; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.“
“Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed…” And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say,
“Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. For the men of Ammon and Moab rose against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, devoting them to destruction, and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another.
When Judah came to the watchtower of the wilderness, they looked toward the horde, and behold, there were dead bodies lying on the ground; none had escaped. “
THEIR PRAYER & FASTING LED THEM TO EXPERIENCE THEIR VICTORY WITHOUT EVEN FIGHTING THEIR BATTLES!
2. It led Ninevites to Repentance (Jonah 3:5-9)
“And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”
Prophet Jonah came to declare their destruction. Nineveh was a great city and along with their greatness is the weight of the sins they have committed against the Lord. However, though being a sinful city, the king and the people feared God and they acknowledged His Word of rebuke against them.
THEIR PRAYER & FASTING LED AN ENTIRE CITY TO REPENTANCE.
It led the whole Ninevites who almost became a desolated city to being forgiven. It spared people’s life from the point of physical and spiritual death to life.
3. It led Jesus to the fulfillment of the Father’s will (Matthew 4:1-2)
Jesus had forty days of prayer and fasting, fully dedicating Himself to denying the desires of the flesh into desiring the will of God. The success of Jesus’s ministry started with an intense spiritual preparation.
After those 40 days, Jesus started His ministry. SIGNS, WONDERS & MIRACLES followed Him. People got healed. Demons were cast out. People found their hope in God. People were led to repentance & their salvation.
PRAYER & FASTING LED JESUS TO FULFILLING THE FATHER’S WILL!
At the current crisis the world is experiencing now, many people around the world are turning into prayer to experience their miracle and salvation. But the question is:
1. To whom are they praying to?
With all the religion around the world, people are calling to different gods. We can pray as much as we want, but only the prayer that is addressed to Jesus will be heard.
The scripture tells us in John 14:13 ” Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.“
2. Are they praying with the right motives?
“And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.” James 4:3
3. Are they praying for the will of God?
” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39
4. Do they really believe that God can do miracles?
” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
Thoughts to Ponder:
A. Prayer & Fasting is not done to manipulate the will of God.
B. Prayer & Fasting works if we have a greater revelation of who our God is.
IF OUR FAITH IS FIRM THAT GOD CAN DO EXCEEDINGLY AND ABUNDANTLY MORE THAN WHAT WE CAN THINK OR IMAGINE, HE WILL BECAUSE HE CERTAINLY CAN!