Corliss Taylor, GFC Lutz
(2 Chronicles 20:1-30)
Are you looking for a way to see more power demonstrated in your life? Prayer is the answer. It seems so simple, yet it is often times so hard to consistently do. Whether you are praying with intense passion (effectual, fervent) or praying for someone else (intercessory), prayer brings power. When you add sacrifice to prayer (fasting) it certainly gets God’s attention. Fasting and prayer done simultaneously is another level of hunger to hear from God. Fasting and prayer shows God you desire Him more than you desire the thing you are giving up. Job 23:12.
Fasting is defined as abstaining from a certain thing. Most often fasting is associated with food, but it can be used with television, social media, and anything else that diverts your attention away from God. In the “Sermon on the Mount”, Jesus makes it clear that fasting is not a commandment, but a warfare tool to see results. Matthew 5:16-18. Fasting, when combined with prayer, can bring spiritual discipline, Biblical instructions, a closeness to God, health benefits, and even power to get others delivered (Matthew 17:21). When there is opposition or oppression, the combination of fasting and prayer, used as a weapon, helps to release God’s supernatural power in your life.
Look at what God did for Jehoshaphat when he and the children of Israel used fasting and prayer to protect a nation. In 2 Chronicles 20 we see the children of Moab, Ammon, and some of the Meunites coming against Jehoshaphat to do battle. Envision this, three countries with enormous armies coming to destroy Jehoshaphat. In the face of overwhelming conflict, Jehoshaphat’s attitude was an example for us today. The Bible says Jehoshaphat feared but he resolved to 1) inquire of the Lord (pray) and 2) proclaim a fast for all Judah (verse 3). In his prayer, (verses 6-10), Jehoshaphat poured out his soul. He finished by saying his eyes were on God for guidance (verse 12). In the world today we see wars, unrest, sickness, shifting of jobs, spiritual and emotional conflict. Creation is at a crossroad as the coronavirus pandemic, and its impact, attacks the global economy. If ever there was a need for God to speak, it is today. Like Jehoshaphat, we know we are not victims. We are soldiers armed for the battle through fasting and prayer.
When it seems as if we have no might against crisis, we must keep our eyes on Jesus. If you want to incorporate fasting and prayer as part of your spiritual armor, consider:
1) Deciding what you are physically capable of abstaining from (which may require a doctor’s approval). It could be fasting one meal, one food group like sweets, or something that is near to your heart like playing video games.
2) Setting aside a time to do the fast, prepare, and start. If necessary, tell key people who may be impacted by your fast like a spouse or aging parent. 1 Corinthians 7:5.
3) When you start your fast, keep a steady intake of the Word going into your spirit. You should read it, listen to it online, write it in your journal, etc. (Joshua 1:8).
4) Look for and expect an answer. God honors sacrifice (Isaiah 58:6).