Once a year our congregation observes a 40 day period of fasting and prayer. When we fast and pray we are expressing our deep longing for God. In a sense you could say that we are putting aside the good gifts God gives us in order seek Him. Sometimes during the fast abstaining from food, especially for me, will reveal an area that the God puts his finger. It may be that I taking comfort from food rather that the Lord, or the weakness will put me in mind that God is my strength. I’m grateful for the conviction that God places upon me. Strength always follows when He does. One of my favorite choruses includes the line, “He gives strength to me as I worship Him.”
Moses, Anna, Daniel, Paul, and the early church fasted and prayed. Those are positively great examples to follow. They earnestly sought the Lord.Our Lord Jesus fasted for 40 Days before he began his public ministry. Jesus said, that we, his followers, would fast, according to Matthew 6:16 and 9:15. Jesus’ teaching on fasting though included prayer, which is worshipful conversation with God. He was tempted to break His fast early. Out of that temptation, He taught us that we do not live by bread alone.
When we fast, we shower and dress, and do our best not to appear to be fasting. Our purpose is to follow the examples I mentioned above, seek the Lord, and see bondages broken and burdens removed. “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?” (Isaiah 58:6, ESV)
As you fast and pray dream!
- Dream big as you read the Bible. (Isaiah 58)
- Dream that you are being used of God for a burden removing ministry.
- Dream what the results of our fast will be if the money we save by our fasting is given to benevolence ministries, world missions, Bread of Life, BGMC, STL, or any of the other ministries we support at Woodland Church.
- I encourage you to calculate your savings and let’s pool it together each week over the next 40 Days to see what can be given in the name of Jesus. If you like you can give at Woodland Church, or give to someone you personally know who is in need.
Fasting and Prayer is key to a yoke breaking and burden removing ministry. We are joined with Christ as we fast and pray together to see the effects of the gospel remove the chains and set the oppressed free. We are not fasting to become pleasing to the Lord, we fast because it is pleasing to the Lord!
Please let me know if you will join us in our 40 Days of Fasting and Prayer. Also please tell me what you are fasting. Almost 100 people have responded so far. If you are one of them, I promise that I am praying for you and with you as well.