“Fasting and Prayer? Didn’t those go out of style decades ago?” The woman who said this to me was a godly woman, a woman who had been in the church all her life, and a woman intent on obeying the Lord. She knew her Bible. She was very serious in her questions. Yet for some reason, she had concluded — at least subconsciously — that fasting and prayer were no longer intended for believers in today’s world. The truth is, fasting and prayer are for today! In fact, now more than ever!
The combination of fasting and praying is not a fad or a novelty approach to spiritual discipline. Fasting and praying are not part of a human-engineered method or plan. They are not the means to manipulate a situation or to create a circumstance. Fasting and praying are Bible-based disciplines that are appropriate for all believers of all ages throughout all centuries in all parts of the world. Jesus did not say if you fast: He said when you fast because fasting is a part of the Christian life. It is a part of our Christian walk.
KEY REASONS TO FAST AND PRAY
1. The Scriptures Teach Us to Fast and Pray
The Bible has a great deal to say about both fasting and praying, including commands to fast and pray. The Bible also gives us examples of people who fasted and prayed, using different types of fasts for different reasons, all of which are very positive results. Jesus fasted and prayed. Jesus’ disciples fasted and prayed after the Resurrection. Many of the Old Testament heroes and heroines of the faith fasted and prayed. Many people in the early church fasted and prayed. What the Scriptures have taught us directly and by the examples of the saints is surely something we are to do.
2. Fasting and Prayer Put You into the Best Possible Position for a Breakthrough
That breakthrough might be in the realm of the spirit. It may be in the realm of your emotions or personal habits. It may be in the realm of a very practical area of life, such as a relationship or finances. What I have seen repeatedly through the years-not only in the Scriptures but in countless personal stories that others have told me — is that periods of fasting and prayer produce great spiritual results, many of which fall into the realm of a breakthrough. What wasn’t a reality . . . suddenly was. What hadn’t worked . . . suddenly did. The unwanted situation or object that was there . . . suddenly wasn’t there. The relationship that was unloving… suddenly was loving. The job that hadn’t materialized . . . suddenly did.
Fasting and prayer breaks the yoke of bondage and bring about a release of God’s presence, power, and provision.