Prayer and Fasting
EXPRESSION OF FAITH
PRAYER AND FASTING
The practice of prayer and fasting has been an important expression of faith by God’s people for thousands of years. Despite the historical practice of prayer and fasting, many in the church today have never participated in this spiritual discipline. Fasting is typically going without food for a set period of time in order to devote oneself to prayer throughout that period. It’s a recognition and declaration that we are dependent on God for everything, including our daily bread. It can be done on any day, even a workday. Every time the person fasting feels that hunger pang, it’s a reminder to pray and remember that it is God Himself who is in control and who ultimately meets our need. We remember that unless God acts to meet the need we are praying about, we truly are without hope. When done with the right heart attitude, fasting is not an attempt to manipulate God or earn anything from Him. It simply declares our dependence upon Him.
Every time the person fasting feels that hunger pang, it’s a reminder to pray and remember that it is God Himself who is in control and who ultimately meets our need. We remember that unless God acts to meet the need we are praying about, we truly are without hope.
For years I have practiced prayer and fasting before every major decision I have made whether it was deciding which university to attend, asking Wilma to marry me, planting The Fields, buying a house, appointing an elder, or any other major decision. During those times, I’m simply submitting myself to God and asking Him to guide the decision that must be made. We see this in Acts 13:2-3, “While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.” I have also practiced prayer and fasting during times of repentance and in praying for the salvation or healing of a loved one. And, of course, I have practiced prayer and fasting in times of great need, asking God to move on my behalf. Again, we are not attempting to manipulate God (which is impossible anyway), rather we are declaring our dependence upon Him. We know that it is not the power of prayer, but the one to whom we pray that makes the difference.
Jesus gives the following guidelines concerning fasting:
Here are a few links that you could check out that might also be of use if fasting and prayer is new to you:
May God richly bless you as you seek His face and may He hear our prayers and act on behalf of His great name and His people.