By Matt Brown
There is incredible power in the biblical practice of fasting and prayer. Jesus told a story about the power of fasting and prayer, and how it can help us find a spiritual breakthrough we’ve been seeking.
Mark 9:14-29 tells us about a time when the disciples were unable to cast a demon out of a boy. When Jesus arrived, he cast out the spirit and the boy was set free and healed. His disciples did not understand why they had power to do some miracles but not this one, and Jesus told him, “And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
God doesn’t need anything from us in order for Him move in the world – God can do anything. But for some reason God chooses to invite us to partner with Him – God calls us to fast and pray, and He moves on our behalf when we do. God moves in even greater ways as we fast, pray, and increase our faith.
1. When you are burdened by the problems in the world, fast and pray
When the greatness of the problems in the world overwhelms you, it is a call to fast and pray.
When you see the brokenness of the world around you, let the urgency lead you to a desperation for God to move. Let it lead you to seek God in a greater way through fasting and prayer.
2. When you are hungry for more of God, fast and pray
The amazing thing about the gospel is when you receive Jesus, you are satisfied like you have never been before, and yet you will always be hungry for even more of God.
Paul said these words, “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Philippians 3:8) He had a hunger to know God more every day. Sometimes you are so hungry for God, you will even fast, if it means you can experience Him more.
There is something about fasting and prayer that opens our hearts to experiencing and receiving more of God’s presence in our lives. It might not happen in the middle of your fast, because you will probably feel weak and frail. But either during, or after fasting – even in the months or years following your time of fasting, you will see the strong results of seeking more of God.
3. When you need a breakthrough, fast and pray
Ronnie Floyd writes that “Fasting is the gateway to breakthrough” in our lives. He shares in his book on Fasting about times he was going through personal trials, including finding out his wife had cancer – he set aside special seasons of fasting and prayer, and saw God do greater things than he had ever seen before – in both his own life and in his church.
There is something about setting ourselves to fasting and prayer that loosens and breaks strongholds over the things we have been praying for. God moves in a greater way when we set ourselves to fast and pray.
4. When you sense God is preparing you for something new, fast and pray
God will give you a greater desire to fast and pray when He is about to move in greater ways in your life.
Pastor Jentezen Franklin shares in his book on fasting that “God calls us to fast when He’s preparing us for something new He is about to do, something that’s ahead.”
We need a special grace from God to fast. The Bible tells us that God desires obedience from us, not sacrifice. He isn’t looking for us to be radical or intense, but obedient and faithful to what He is stirring in us to do.
Fasting seems to be a forgotten discipline for many believers, but I have seen a growing hunger and desire to Fast in the recent years, including in my own life. I believe God is giving His people a great desire to fast because He is about to move in greater ways in our lives, churches and world.
Matt Brown is an evangelist, author of Truth Plus Love, host of Think Eternity with Matt Brown, and founder of Think Eternity — a ministry dedicated to amplifying the gospel every day through podcasts, devotionals, videos, live events and more. Matt and his wife Michelle have three children.
This blog originally appeared at Thomas Nelson Bible Blog: https://www.thomasnelsonbibles.com/blog/. Used with permission.
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