Reasons to Fast and Pray

Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD. --JOEL 1:14

The Bible teaches that there are times for feasting and banqueting, but there are also times for fasting. Biblical reasons for fasting are national peril (Joel 1:2; 2:12); mourning (2 Samuel 12:16?17); protection (Esther 4:16); revelation (Daniel 9:3); and power in the personal life (Luke 4:1?2).

Certainly we are in a time of national peril and should be mourning for the moral condition of our country. With fasting and prayer, we plead for protection and fresh revelation from our holy God. As Christians, we need the power of the Holy Spirit in our personal lives on a daily basis.

The Christian practice of fasting tells God (and us) that we are serious. History teaches us that the early church fasted twice a week: Wednesdays and Fridays. Our sincere confession tells God that we are serious about change. While fasting, John Knox prayed, "Give me Scotland or I will perish." We fast and pray for God to stop the flood of evil and invoke His goodness into our situation. The Lord has promised to hear our cry. "He may come and shower righteousness" down upon us (Hosea 10:12, NLT).

When we fast, we must remember that it is to God that we are fasting. Fasting isn't just starving ourselves. Nor is it a hunger strike to twist God's arm. Also, there must be prayer with our fasting. True fasting is taking mealtime and using it for time on our knees in serious prayer. God will hear us when we fast and come to Him saying, "Cleanse us, O Lord. We're sorry, and we mean business with You."

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

As lighthouses for Jesus Christ, we need to fast and pray for ourselves, our nation, and those in our neighborhoods. When we do this, God will hear us and act on our behalf.

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