WHY PRAYER AND FASTING?
Pastor Bob Willis
I am often asked, “Why do I need to fast and pray?” The answer is really rather simple – because Jesus told us to!
Jesus said in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7):
“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. 17 But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18 Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. (Matthew 6:16-18)
Notice what Jesus said; “when you fast”. Jesus expects His followers to practice this ancient and modern spiritual discipline.
Fasting is a common discipline practiced throughout the Old Testament, the New Testament, Church history, and still today by men and women who earnestly desire to obey, know and receive from God Almighty.
In A GUIDE TO PRAYER, by Rueben Job and Norman Shawchuck it says:
“Fasting, perhaps as much as anything else, helps us to go into our ‘inner room,’ the space within ourselves. Fasting helps us shut the door of our inner selves to the outside attractions which crowd in and dissipate our prayer times and energies.
Fasting is the act of temporarily giving something up something that is very important to us in order that we may use the time normally given to that thing for prayer and reflect upon the pain of temporary ‘sacrifice’ to better understand the mystery and meaning of Christ passion and sacrifice for us.
Intercessory prayer can be greatly strengthened by fasting…”
In short, fasting helps us connect with God in a way that we otherwise would not. It is making a sacrifice of something we enjoy, or is habitual, and replacing it with time spent in prayer. We can fast things such as food/meals, entertainment, habits, media, sports, working out, alcohol, tobacco, etc. replacing that time with seasons of worship, Bible study, prayer and even quiet contemplation.
When our prayers are accompanied by fasting there is an increase of the power of those prayers both in our own lives and in the lives of those we are praying for.
Although prayer and fasting is a time of submission to God and a time to grow closer to Him, it is also a time to pray for those things and people that are important to us.
- Esther fasted and prayed and her nation was spared.
- Daniel fasted and prayed and he received direction from God.
- Jesus fasted and prayed before entering His earthly ministry.
- The 1st Century Church prayed and people were set apart for ministry.
Prayer and fasting changes people, circumstance and can even save people from danger, disease and judgment.
- Does your life need to be changed?
- Do you have loved ones who need a miracle in their lives?
- Do you have questions that remain unanswered or problems that remain unresolved?
- Do you need healing in your life?
- Do you need, want, or desire to be closer to God?
Then please, consider joining us on this 21 day adventure of obedience.