Followers

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

PRAYER AND FASTING - Part 1

  • Prayer and Fasting -Sowing to the Spirit
Fasting is probably the greatest avenue for enabling us be sensitive and responsive to the Spirit of God. God is always speaking to us in one way or another. However, only those who are sensitive and responsive enough to him can effectively hear him.

Our Lord Jesus said fasting would be necessary for his disciples after he ascended. “The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast,” (Matthew 9:15)

The early disciples remembered the words of their master and thus they made fasting vital. The outstanding work God accomplished through them speaks for itself. They could easily hear God speak to them in their moments of fasting. “While they were worshipping and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set a part for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them,’ ” (Acts 13:2). Thus the ministry of Paul started after a period of fasting and praying. “So after they fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off,” (Verse 3).

  • Nature, Role and Purpose of Fasting
Fasting, that of abstaining from food can become legalistic and ritual oriented when taken out of context. It can become a religious activity performed in order to influence God. Fasting is not a tool to win God’s audience. God is always ready to speak to us and to help us. It is for our sake to tune ourselves to his wavelength in order to hear from him and effectively walk with him.

In his audio sermon on fasting, Ron Gartner makes an important point. He says fasting is not giving up meals and making a sacrifice so that God can speak to us or bless us. It is not an exchange of a sacrifice in order to obtain blessings.

He says, it is moving into a spiritual realm of faith and power by putting down (denying) our flesh desires. The Holy Spirit and the spirit part of us then take dominance in moving in an area of prayer (communion with God) that we cannot get into through any other way. It is moving into the spirit, praying in the spirit and being in the spirit. This does not mean being foolish and turning our reasoning off. It is being wise with the mind of Christ while being submissive to the Holy Spirit.

Fasting may be unpleasant since our bodies are conditioned to be our masters. When they cry for food we quickly feed them. When they’re denied food they scream louder and louder at us. Common body reactions include extreme thirst and hunger (of course), weakness, fatigue, headaches, and occasional dizziness. In the early stages of attempting to fast these reactions are more intense. They fade and fasting becomes easier as the body becomes more conditioned.

With more regular fasting our bodies become less “unruly.” God also helps us in our natural weakness of finding it difficult to fast. He always makes his grace abundant on his children that are sincerely willing to obey his word. “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work,” (2 Corinthians 9:8). Regular fasting cannot kill the body. We may lose weight and strength during prolonged fasts but the spiritual breakthroughs in moving closer to God are too precious compared to anything we can lose.

*To be Continue...

Have a Blessed Day! It's ASH Wednesday! Happy Fasting!

With Love,
Little Rose

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