Friday, October 12, 2007

Sometimes It Takes Prayer AND Fasting

Matthew 17:21 "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."

There are many examples in the Word of God of men who fasted and prayed. Moses did for forty days. Daniel did for three weeks. Paul did for three days. The church at Antioch also fasted and prayed for the will of God. These are normal people who had a strong desire to see God's will done.

Fasting is a sacrifice that a person makes for prayer and seeking God and not for what the individual wants. It is our way of showing God that we're willing to sacrifice food for our bodies (or whatever God leads to sacrifice) in order to let God know what we're praying for is most important.

Fasting is not something that is preached about or encouraged much less being done in people's lives today. Usually when fasting is mentioned to someone they tend to think the person telling them about it is nuts. However...there are some prayer requests that will only be answered by prayer and fasting.

Fasting is a spiritual commitment that is more important to us than food.

Looking at the examples I gave at the beginning of the post we can see there are different length of time for fasting. It is also something that we don't just decide to do. Fasting is something that is led of God. God will tell a person how long and how to fast. There are complete fastings where the person fasts completely except for water. Our bodies need water so I don't believe God would ask that kind of fast where we give up water. But He can ask a person to fast all meals for a period of time.

Then there are different kinds of partial fasts. There are fasts that you might give up one or two meals a day. God may lead you to give up your favorite drink or food that you eat every day. He may ask you to fast your one thing you love to do each day whether it be computer time or your exercise time or something like that. During those times you would be doing those things you would get alone with God to pray and seek God.

Fasting is not just something a person decides to do. God places it on the heart of a person to do it. If it is a God-led fast then He will sustain and strengthen you no matter how long the fast is. If it is a self-led fast you will not stick with it. So if you are one that says you cannot can...if God is leading you to. And if He is leading you better do it or you may never see that prayer answered that God desires to answer as a result of that sacrifice you would be making.

So there is no must know that ANYTHING we try to do for God that the enemy will be right there trying to make things hard to do it and make you come away from doing as God has told you to.


Candy said...

So true. I had it pressing on my heart to fast & pray a few times before and you know prayers were answered!
Your right, its not something we just decide to do..we feel led to do it. And somehow its easy to do when you are led to do it..
Great post about fasting! :)


Julie's Jewels said...

sis. candy...I too have experienced this thing of fasting and seeing answer to my prayer as a result of being faithful as God led me.

Karen said...

Good post. I agree, there are those times that God wants us to fast and pray to see a thing through to the end. I experienced this in a very real way a few times over the last two years. I have seen the power and worth of fasting. I'm not sure that I agree that it's not led of the Lord if it's particularly difficult. I have had times of fasting where it was tough and other times where food hardly crossed my mind. I believe both experiences were led by the Lord. I think that if we are walking in the Spirit with no unconfessed sin in our lives and seeking God, our decisions and thoughts are from Him...especially in these areas that we KNOW he wants us to do, i.e. He does say, "WHEN you fast...", as though it is just a normal part of the believer's life and I would imagine with some regularity.

Have a good day, Julie!

Julie's Jewels said...

sis. karen...I didn't mean to imply that if a person has difficulty in the fast that it is not of God. I was just sharing what my husband's experience has been. He said he knew it wasn't of God due to the difficulty he was having. He was asking the Lord if it was of Him or of self...and the Lord showed him in the way that my husband asked Him to.

I do believe that anything we do for God that the devil will be right there trying to make it difficult for us. So I know that there will be times when it will be difficult because it is the enemy fighting it.

Bro Tim said...

Mrs Julie a tremedous post on fasting and prayer. I have had a couple of times that I tried and God was not in it and it didn't last. But I believe one reason people don't fast is because they don't get burden enough to give something up for God to answer them.

Bro Tim

Julie's Jewels said...

bro. tim...I agree.

Sharon said...

I stop by your blog fairly regular but don't always comment due to time issues.

This post was so good and so right. Several years ago I was praying for my husband's back surgery that was coming up and I felt led by God to fast meat only for 40 days. Now, I like to eat meat! However, I obeyed and marked my calendar to start the very next morning. I continued cooking meals (with meat) for my husband and daughter and never had a problem with not eating it! It actually surprised me that it was so easy to not feel tempted to sneak a bite. I completed the fast and my husband's surgery went very well. Even though he had to quit working, the Lord provided for us and things have worked out beautifully for us.

Julie's Jewels said...

sis. sharon...Amen!! Thank you for sharing your testimony. And thank you for leaving a comment.

Jimena said...

Thank you for directing me to this post. I was in Paris when this was posted and missed it! It was very helpful. It's so exciting that we can have such a relationship with the Lord :) thank you for sharing.


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