When we enter a new year, many believers look for ways to deepen their relationships with Jesus. Taking steps to grow in your prayer life are a key to spiritual growth.
One step we can take is to begin practicing the spiritual disciple of fasting. Over the next two Prayer Hacks we will look at this powerful practice that can bring real depth to your spiritual walk.
This week, I mostly want to share from a past issue of Prayer Connect that was all about fasting. (See entire issue here.)
Today, I quote from the article “For Such a Time as This,” by Pastor Richard LaFountain. He shares some scriptures that show times of fasting in the Bible. I highly recommend that you spend some time looking up each of the scriptures. Let the Holy Spirit minister to you as you dig into God’s Word.
Here is snippet of what Pastor LaFountain said:
“Fasting is never to be an attempt to get God’s attention, twist His arm, or bribe Him with personal sacrifice or suffering. Fasting isn’t going on a hunger strike to get God to do things your way. Fasting is giving up food (or anything you treasure) so that you can seek God’s face more than anything else. Fasting is about focus. It is about paying attention to God and His voice rather than the cravings for food or anything that distracts you from seeking God’s presence.
In the Old and New Testaments we find that men and women of God fasted when they had a problem they didn’t know how to solve. Fasting usually involved food, but isn’t limited to food alone. It also served as a “time-out” to set aside time to focus on God for a predetermined purpose. In other words, it was a designated time to seek the Lord for His voice and direction.
- Esther fasted when Mordecai heard the Jews would be exterminated (Est. 4:16).
- David fasted and prayed all night for his dying child (2 Sam. 12:16).
- Israel fasted for direction and victory when they had to war against Benjamin at Gibeah (Judg. 20:26).
- Ezra fasted when raising funds for the rebuilding of the Temple (Ezra 8:21).
- Nehemiah fasted to know the mind of God for rebuilding the wall (Neh. 1:4).
- Jehoshaphat declared a fast when the enemy came in like a flood (2 Chron. 20:3).
- Joel called for the people to fast to avoid God’s judgment on the nation (Joel 1:14).
- Jonah and the people of Nineveh fasted in repentance and brokenness (Jonah 3:5).
- Daniel fasted to understand the vision God sent (Dan. 9:3, 10:2).
- Jesus fasted 40 days before beginning His ministry (Matt. 4:2).
- The church fasted and ministered to the Lord before Saul and Barnabas were sent out (Acts 13:3).
- Jesus said His disciples would fast (Mark 2:20).”
I know in my own life fasting has always been a special experience that brought me closer to Jesus. It can be for you, too!
(Note: If you are a member of love2pray, your login to love2pray.com will also give you access to all issues of Prayer Connect at prayerleader.com/magazine. Simply login there to read our entire issue on Fasting.)
–Jonathan Graf is the president of Church Prayer Leaders Network and the publisher of PrayerShop Publishing and Prayer Connect.
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