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The Grace To Pray And Fast, Matt. 6:7, 16-17


OCTOBER 15, 2020

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Kaykay Fellowship

August 2019

Ministration

Theme:  The Grace To Pray And Fast, Matt. 6:7, 16-17

 

Grace is favour, the favour of God to man. It is totally undeserved as exemplified by Christ’s sacrifice for sinful humanity in order that man might be reconciled to God, Rom.  3:23-25.

 

Man does not have the capacity to pray, consistently or effectively, I Tess 5:17. You need divine grace not just to pray but to fast too, in view of the discipline and personal sacrifice required.

 

Just as your mind may be assailed by fear and doubt, even in the place of prayer, your senses of sight and smell may very well undermine your focus during the period of fasting unless, by Grace, you are able to resist satanic enticements as Jesus did, forcing the devil to flee, at least for a while, Matt. 4:13.

 

Why should the believer pray? Because prayer works wonders and those who pray earnestly are aware of its power. God is a listening and merciful Father. Our prayers tap into the compassion in His heart, especially when we are confronted by challenges well beyond our control. The children of Israel prayed at the peak of their anguish in Egypt and God responded positively and decisively, Ex. 3: 7-10.

 

When you call on Him He answers, Job 14:15, Ps. 50:15. He even encourages you to pray rather than wallow in your problems, sitting back, mourning, when you can seek His face, Luke 11:9-10. He wants you to call on Him believing that He will answer.

 

However if you live in disobedience He will not respond to your prayer, I Sam. 28: 5-6.

 

How about fasting?

 

Fasting makes it easier for the believers to have access to divine mercy. It also empowers those who may embark on special assignments to prepare themselves for the tasks ahead.  When Jesus was to begin His Ministry it was the Holy Spirit, His earthly companion, that led Him to the wilderness to be tested by satan, Matt. 4:1. He fasted for 40 days and 40nights during which He was, as might be expected, very hungry. The three issues raised by the evil one were designed to destroy the very foundation of His Ministry even before implementing His missionary plan, Lk. 4:18. But the fast had prepared Him for any such encounter, at the human or spiritual level. He was focused. He was determined. He was not going to surrender His crown to a crafty impostor even before the fight that satan was bound to lose, I John 3:8. That is what you achieve when you fast in accordance with divine will.

 

When Moses went to Mount Sinai to collect the Ten Commandments he fasted for 40 days and forty nights, Ex. 34:27&28. You don’t work with God, as Moses the “Law Giver” did, without seeking to be in top shape spiritually, for which fasting prepares you.

 

During the reign of King Darius in Babylon Daniel prayed earnestly and fasted for 3 weeks, Daniel 6:10-11 and Daniel 10:2-3 and the heavens opened unto him. In the New Testament Era the Apostles regularly fasted even as they prayed for divine guidance and protection against satanic roadblocks as they served the Lord, Acts 13:1-2, 2 Cor.11:27.

 

The Purpose of Fasting

1.    When you have a problem that will not go away, even when you have prayed your heart out you add fasting. For women, in particular, who have delay in child bearing, fasting may be a way out, to persuade God to open their womb as He had promised those who steadfastly obey and serve Him, Isaiah 54:1; Ex. 23:25&26.

2.    Fasting enables children of God to discipline the flesh, to ensure that the believer is not dominated by a life of lust and luxury as these provide the entry points to satan, Gal. 5:16-17.

3.    It enables you to hear regularly from God. When you fast you seek the face of God, in the knowledge that He is never really far away from you, Isaiah 55:6.

4.    Moreover God would empower you afresh as He knows that you can confront the devil and he will flee from you, James 4:7; I Cor. 9:26-27.

5.    Yet there are christians who fast and do not achieve results most likely because they play the Pharisee, seeking to impress man rather than God, Matt. 6:16; Isaiah 58:3-5.

 

What then is required of you when you fast? Sacrifice, humility and compassion. Then you can expect answer to your prayer.

 



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