A Call to Fast and pray…

Fasting, a Christian discipline –

fast

Each year, as I seek the Lord, there comes a time, when I deliberate fast and pray – a time to let go of agendas, offences, even daily disciplines, that are not bearing any fruit in my life. Time to reflect, receive fresh vision and direction, to replenish, and then launch out again in His plan and destiny of my life. Hear the words of Jesus:

MATTHEW 6:16-18

  1. Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
  2. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
  3. 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.,

As a Rhema Graduate, I have heard Kenneth E Hagin teach on many subjects, but his book, ‘A Common Sense Guide to Fasting’ has been a great help to me over the years.. I encourage you to read it: http://www.rhema.org/store/a-commonsense-guide-to-fasting-book.html

fasting Kenneth

As I prepare to do my particular yearly fast of ‘no pleasant food’, I am encouraged by this quote from brother Hagins book:

“Remember how Daniel fasted 21 days? He ate no “pleasant bread.” We need to realize there is more than one way to fast. Daniel didn’t eat anything he wanted, but he did eat a little something. That is harder to do some­times.

You see, it’s a matter of keeping the flesh under; keep­ing the body under and not letting it dominate you. You dominate it instead.

If you wanted to go a step further, you could fast things other than food. You might say, “Now, Lord, I’m going to leave off watching television and spend that time pray­ing.” (Daniel said he gave up eating pleasant bread. So why wouldn’t it be all right to leave off other things that might be pleasant to us?)

A well-known evangelist when he was pastoring decided to give God 10 percent of his time in prayer. He began to pray at night after his family was in bed. He prayed two hours and 40 minutes each night. To do that he had to sacrifice his television time. God has given him an internationally known ministry.”

Over the years, I have been drawn repeatedly back to these verses of Scripture as I fast:

fast 58

Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward.

Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:

11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

So, for the record, I am going to go through these verses for you, and explain the ways I have used them in my own particular journey of faith:

Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

As I fast and pray, I recognize that we have spiritual enemies that if not directly preventing our success, always try to at least contain us in some measure to their control. I am believing for God Almighty to break their bands of wickedness, to remove their heavy burdens, to let me go free from all demonic oppression, and oppression by ungodly people. A yoke is something you harness an animal by. Forces that are driving and prodding me into pathways other than the glorious liberty of the Spirit of God, must go, be broken, by the power of Jesus!

break curse

Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

These verses are a ‘heart check’ for me. I should already, always, continually be feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for those less fortunate. Yet, here I check myself as to how well I am actually doing this as a man of God. Do I have clothes I can give away? Can I provide shelter for someone who can never repay me? Am I actually living and walking in the love of God?

‘and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?’

In the Amplified Bible it says:

‘and that you hide not yourself from [the needs of] your own flesh and blood?’

Here is where the rubber meets the road. How well am I exemplifying the love of Jesus to my own family members? ,

Fasting is hard on our pride and selfish natures – seems it is easier to love stangers, than family members who are not living the way WE think they should. God loves them, and if we are to represent Him, we must too, no matter what they have done, or are doing…. Maybe a simple telephone call, card, or birthday gift will break the ice on relational walls of bitterness, grudges held generationally – rationalized because: ‘that’s just the way we are’” Nope, there is a cross for our sin, and our lack of love towards family, is one that must die….We are called to love…

fast1

Back in college, I took a couple courses in computer programming. We would write modules in Pascal (I know, for all you ‘C++’ programmers it is a dinosaur), where we would tell the computer  IF (this condition is met), THEN (this must happen). In the previous verses, God was telling us to DO certain things in both prayer, in attitude, and action.

IF we do these things, then we qualify for THEN He will do these things:

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward.

Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.

The true purpose of fasting is to seek God, who is life, love, purity, power, strength, purpose, direction, power, holiness, healing and prosperity. God is love!

Light speaks of revelation to me: Psalm 119:130

The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

Here we see revelation being imparted, healing from the throne of God, justification before our enemies, the glory of God deposited in our lives, and intimacy, the thing we desperately need, the innermost needs of our heart met by the Lord Himself – we call, and He answers! Sometimes the greatest miracle in life, is to be granted supernatural understanding of a situation!

Back to another ‘IF’

If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity.

My translation? Stop gossiping, wasting your precious conversations with words empty of substance and power, judging, pointing fingers at others – your life has never been about them anyway, it’s about you and Jesus! Change your words, change your life – SPEAK THE WORD OF GOD! Words of power!

10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul;

fast v10

In my life: ‘drawing out my soul to the hungry’ is to pour my love out in teaching, preaching, encouraging, instructing people with the bread of life, the Word of God. People are hungry for love, the greatest need of all, the only thing that will meet the true hunger of every heart, is Jesus! He will heal the afflicted soul! Yes, we work and supply physical food, but what about loving and injecting life into our particular world? Money will not do this, unless used in love to alleviate human suffering, and meet legitimate needs…If we do these things

THEN

then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:

11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

Much can be said here, but this speaks of the result of our work and effort. Jesus walks with us, and does signs, wonders and miracles, and others lives are changed. They catch the vision, and move in His love and power, and the result of their work is foundations of many generations being raised up, and we become repairers of the breach, restorers of the way, the one true path, the pathways of purpose, the straight and narrow path, the walk of faith with Jesus! Notice here that it is those whose lives we touch that build up the waste places, raising up the foundations of many generations…

and make fat thy bones:

These simple words have great depth and meaning. Medically, we know that in the marrow of our bones, is where our blood cells are actually produced. Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: Seems that as we fast, God does a deep, deep work in our bodies, strengthening our bone marrow, to infuse us with  His life.

fast v11

Isaiah 58:11 (CJB)

11 Adonai will always guide you; he will satisfy your needs in the desert, he will renew the strength in your limbs;

Isaiah 58:11 (NIRV)

11 I will always guide you.     I will satisfy your needs in a land baked by the sun.     I will make you stronger.

Isaiah 58:11 (NLT)

11 The Lord will guide you continually,     giving you water when you are dry     and restoring your strength.

Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)

11 The Lord will guide you always;     he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land     and will strengthen your frame.

One day when I was fasting, struggling to become stronger in my weight training program, these words jumped off the page at me: and will strengthen your frame.

I saw that by fasting, I could literally become physically stronger.

Check this out:

Yeshayah 58:11 (OJB)

11 And Hashem shall guide thee tamid, and satisfy thy nefesh in drought, and strengthen thy atzmot; and thou shalt be like a gan raveh (well-watered garden), and like a motzah mayim (spring of water), whose mayim fail not.

I am no Hebrew Scholar, but I needed to know what ‘atzmot’ was.

Best definition I found is the one by Dr. Rachel Adelman, Jewish scholar.

She states: atzmot – Opening the Ibn Shoshan dictionary to the word ‘atzma’ut, one finds the following definition: “ability to stand on one’s own; independence from others; autonomy.” 

I remember some years ago reading a Body building article, as I was (and still am) trying to combine a decent cardio fitness routine, with strength training. In the article, the author spoke about how, in heavy lifting, you literally tore the deep interskelatal muscles that attached to your bones, and that it was these deep muscle tissues that allowed us to handle heavy weights…

‘I will strengthen your frame!’

13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
    and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
    and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
    and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the Lord,
    and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
    and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

I notice again my old computer training kicking in again: IF…THEN.

If we serve God, THEN He will give us joy, He will give us victory.

Psalm 92:13 (NIV) 13 planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.

planted

In short, FAST IN FAITH!

Faith only comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. God is love, and He is not looking for a hunger strike from you and I, but as always, that we draw near to Him, meet with Him, and let Him direct our lives for good.

Struggling to make something happen?

Consider fasting and praying – it works!

Jesus is Lord!

Author: chrisaomministries

Chris Walsh is a missionary, the President of AOMMinistries. This blog now reaches over 100,000 people each day! Chris is the author of three books: Parable of the Sower, Worship - Not Just a Song, and now 'Welcome to the Grand Illusion, a prophetic prayer strategy to take America back!' The Walsh family has completed over 20 missions trips since April 2014, and is committed to bringing the Word of God to the nations, by every available media.

2 thoughts on “A Call to Fast and pray…”

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