Fasting… A Great Path to Prayer

Fasting… A Great Path to Prayer

Fasting…a great Path to Prayer

Two eminent psychiatrists, one 40 years old, the other 70, occupied offices in the same building. At the end of a long day, they rode down in the elevator together. The younger man appeared completely done in, and he noted that his senior was still quite fresh. “I don’t understand,” said the younger, “how you can listen to patients from morning to night and still look so happy and alert? “The older psychiatrist shrugged his shoulders and replied, “Who listens?”

Sadly, so many believe that God is not really listening, when the very opposite is true! God desires to commune with all of His creation. The problem is that we have many misunderstandings about Prayer. That is why spending time in a Fast is so helpful! When you Fast, no matter what the fast is; Limited foods, only liquids, denial of activities, or even sleep, i.e. getting up earlier than usual to spend time with God, when your flesh feels that tug of desire for whatever your Fasting, your spirit consciously reminds you why you are Fasting, and then you talk to the Lord about the items that are so important to you that you are investing this time of denial (fasting) to intensify your prayers concerning these issues.

The pressures of this world causes so many to worry and be gripped by fear, that is what anxiety is! This is why it is so important that we understand what prayer is for: Paul gives us a clear admonition concerning our struggle with Anxiety.

Philippians 4:6–7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

[A] First, we must understand what prayer is for! This passage is not how to solve your problems, but how to approach your problems! When we make a list of issues that we want to bring before God, fasting enables us to be more intentional and fervent.

Prayer is not an easy way of getting what we want but the only way of becoming what God wants us to be.

[B] Second, the “problem” is not the issue with God; He is more concerned with teaching us how to handle the problem!

To be Anxious means to be divided or distracted.

When we are anxious it exposes several problems we are experiencing with our Faith.

{1} We don’t believen God is Sovereign, really in control.

{2} We fear God is mean, not wanting us to have our desires.

{3} We fail to believe that Rom 8:28 is true.

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

* All means ALL! Even when we cannot see it we should Trust God.

[C] Third, we must understand what prayer is! It is NOT telling God what to do! God wants you to believe that He can and will do anything, BUT – He does not want you to demand it. Even in the garden Jesus made it clear He did not want to go to the cross, BUT He did make one thing even more clear, God’s will be done!

As you Fast consider the words used in this passage:

* Prayer is not a monologue, but dialogue. As you pray and read God’s Word He will commune with you.

* Supplication is bringing your urgent needs, like a child to their Father. Fasting helps you focus with God on how important these issues are.

* Thanksgiving, not only for what God is going to do, but for the situation that brought you to this! This kind of humility is very attractive to God and He honors that. Fasting empowers you to become master over the old nature. Controlling any appetite builds a healthy discipline in your life. The more you commune with God the stronger you become.

[D] Lastly, we need to understand what the true answer is! This helps us if the Lord knows that something other than what we wanted was for our best! The goal of prayer is not a yes for everything we want, the goal is possessing God’s peace, no matter the circumstances. Many people have money, power, fame, yet do not enjoy because they lack peace. As you fast, your heart aligns with God’s and He brings a clam to your life and the situation you are in. Then your desires become His desires and you will see how generous and giving God is.

In closing a true story: When I Pastored in Virginia a very good friend of mine was a Chaplain and was on the front lines of the war with Iraq. My secretary had a nephew that was a solder on the same front, but was not a child of God. We brought both men before the Church for fervent prayer, both were named Charles, and we told God that we believed He would do a powerful work of protection. Several weeks later during a time of testimony my secretary tearfully stood up to share. She held in her hand a letter, written by her nephew Charles as he described being in a fierce firefight and found himself sharing a foxhole with an Army Chaplain name Charles! In that foxhole he committed his life to Christ! Both returned home safe, one entered the family of God in a way that only a miraculous God could perform it!

The So What? What is your attitude toward your problem? What if God does not give you the solution you desire? If you have gained any new understanding about prayer today, what is it?

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Nathan Leigh

Nathan Leigh has been ministering alongside CCF since 1996 and is a missionary with Gate Way Ministries along with his wife, DD. Having returned to the USA due to health, they are now working with internationals and lead a CCF Dgroup in Virginia. To know more about his ministry, visit http://gwministry.org/

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