Q. Our pastor has taken up preaching about prayer and fasting lately rather than just prayer alone. He gave a passionate message on the power of fasting in conjunction with prayer citing several examples in scripture from the disciples who couldn’t cast a demon (where Jesus said that it was only by prayer and fasting that this demon be cast out) to the story of Jonah and the city of Nineveh.
We regularly see a call to prayer which is great, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a leader call a collective fast whether in government or in the church. Today, our pastor posted messages from past US Presidents who had called for a national day prayer and fasting, saying that we as Christians used to include fasting as a major portion of our worship and growing our faith.
I began to wonder if there is a correlation between your messages of faith healing and miracles and the type of worship that is unique in fasting. I’ve never seen anyone healed myself, but last year I fasted for the first time in my life and the Lord sent me on a 30 day journey to Jerusalem when I fasted about it. A couple of days ago I fasted for a single day for the Lords intervention in my business and the moment I committed to it, the Lord intervened and my request was granted even though I had to follow through and fast as I promised until the time I had chosen had expired. I know its not as simple as that, but could there be something to our lack of faith or our lack of fasting with our prayers?
A. In His only teaching on fasting, Matt. 6:16-18, Jesus began with “When you fast … “. Notice He didn’t say, “if” but “when” . When we fast, we’re denying our selves and focusing on God. In this self centered world of ours, it’s one of the few times when we do so, and it pleases Him. It can add emphasis to our prayers as well as our worship. I once read a book titled “God’s Chosen Fast” that gave me a good Biblical understanding of fasting, and believe that fasting before bringing something of great importance before the Lord is a Biblically sound practice . I don’t know if this book is still available, but if it is I’d recommend reading it.