FASTING AND PRAYING
What Is Fasting?
It is the voluntary and deliberate abstaining from food (or other activity) for the purpose of concentrated prayer.
Why Do Most Christians No Longer Fast?
Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge." Many Christians have simply abandoned the custom of praying and fasting, but many simply have no been taught, especially new converts. Older Christians know about prayer and fasting because it was more commonly taught and practiced years ago. Today, it is a neglected doctrine of the church.
What Is The Purpose Of Fasting?
A. The Need to Crucify the Flesh
Read Hebrews 12:11. If you can get your flesh out of the way, you will have more clarity and a greater sensitivity in the spirit of what to ask for and you will receive answers. When we are dominated by the flesh, we don't know what to pray for.
B. The Need to Hear the Voice of God
Read Acts 13:2-3. Prayer and fasting gives direction. It makes you sensitive to the voice of God. It enables you to hear His voice above the other voices around you. What could be more important? See Acts 13:1-3, 14:21-23, Matthew 7:7, Matthew 6:33.
C. The Need for Prayer
Read Luke 4:14. It causes more power. The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is being called back to the basics, to apply itself and the power of God that enables us to stand against the enemy. See Luke 4:1-2; Matthew 14:14, 15:32, 20:34.
D. The Need for More Faith
When the Word of God is not combined with faith, there can be no results. God's blessings are not automatic. Romans 1:17; Matthew 21:22. Biblical example of faith mixed with prayer and fasting: Hannah (1 Samuel 1:5-20)
E. The Need for Preparation
Read Matthew 7:24-27. To prepare means the process of making something ready beforehand for use. Preparation means getting something ready for a project. Often times, we want to be blessed, but we don't want to do what is necessary to get the blessing. So we serve God when we feel like it or when we need Him. When we are unprepared, our life is in danger. Let's get prepared!
F. The Need for a Healthy Lifestyle
Read Isaiah 58:8. It disciplines our spirits and physical body. While we bring the flesh into subjection to the Spirit of God and develop a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Father, we get the "side benefit" of a more healthy body.
When we fast, our system is cleansed from toxins. Uncontrolled eating does all sorts of damage to the body. Periods of fasting bring the body into balance and help to regulate the system so that things run more smoothly. Remember, if you are not eating and not praying, you are just on a diet. It is so important to fast and pray.