Ministry Resources for Churches
PRAYER AND FASTING
of us find it difficult to fast especially when we feel we are denying ourselves. It is not easy when the flesh cries out for
something to satisfy its desires. Self wants the candy bar, the nice lunch, the donuts and smell of coffee brewing when you
walk into work Monday morning.
(Matt 16:24) “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Giving up
something and denying ourselves will help us better focus on God and the matter in which we are praying about. Somehow,
it helps give us a greater earnestness in praying about the matter when we are denying ourselves of something such as a
meal. “That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall
reward thee openly.” (Matt.6:18). Fasting is not something that we do for a great show or tell everyone that we are fasting. It is
something between us and God. We have examples in the Bible of fasting. Jesus fasted for 40 days when tempted by
Satan (Matt. 4:2). David fasted before God when his child was sick (II Sam. 12:16).
Fasting produces self-discipline in our lives. We live in a society today that everything we want is at our fingertips. We
buy it or if we do not have money we immediate use a plastic card. The practice of self-discipline is not part of our vocabulary.
vacations on credit. God wants us to practice self-discipline in all areas of out life.
There are different types of fast in which we can participate. Some may fast one whole day each week where others may
fast one only meal a week. Some may fast from sweets and another from caffeine. Some people go on a juice fast and
other may refrain from anything but water. Only you can judge what is best for you in how you fast. What is important is that
between you and God you feel clear on how you fast. He will guide you in this area. You may want to begin fasting for shorter
period to begin with until you become accustomed to fasting then try longer periods.
Practice Assignment: Set aside one day this week to give up one meal and fast for something that has been on your heart
for a long time. You have not seen the results that you would like to see and you feel at despair or that God will never change
the situation. Give God a chance and begin fasting and praying about this situation. Praise God for what He is doing in your
life, tell Him that you expect Him to answer this prayer and believe He will do it. Will you commit to this assignment?
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