Prayer and Fasting
But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. Mark 9:27-29 (KJV)
Fasting is often thought of as simply abstaining from food. But biblical fasting is a spiritual discipline that helps you be connected and empowered by God.
As we begin a fast we must approach God in humility with our hearts in the right place. Read Isaiah 58 as it explains about true and false fasting.
Benefits of Prayer and Fasting:
1- Builds spiritual intimacy
2- Open up your spirit to hear the voice of God
3- Brings clarity and direction
4- Breaks satanic strongholds
5- To get Godly wisdom
Throughout the old and new testament people prayed and fasted for a number of reasons.
Following are seven circumstances in the Bible in which believers sought God through this discipline.
Here are 12 circumstances in the bible in which believers sought God through prayer and fasting.
Moses fasted before receiving the 10 commandments. Deuteronomy 9:9-18
Esther fasted for the Safety of the Jews – Esther 4:15-17
David fasted to seek God’s healing for his sick child. 2 Samuel 12:14-16
Nehemiah fasted and prayed when he learned the walls in Jerusalem had been broken down, leaving the Israelites vulnerable and disgraced. Nehemiah 1:1-4
Darius fasted for the safety of Daniel. Daniel 6:18-23
Daniel fasted and prayed for understanding of a vision in Daniel 10: 2- 3
Jonah preached to the Gentile city of Nineveh, the whole city came together and fasted in an incredible act of repentance. Jonah 3:5-9
Jesus fasted before temptation by satan. Matthew 4:1-2
Anna served God with fasting and prayers night and day” as she awaited God’s promised Messiah. shows that fasting is an act of worship and service before God. Luke 2:36-38
Cornelius worshiped God with fasting. Cornelius faith opened the door for Peter to begin preaching to the Gentiles. Acts 10:30
Church Elders in Antioch fasted before sending out missionaries – Acts 13:1-3
King Jehoshaphat was afraid and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah for God’s guidance.
I would like to encourage you as you start your own personal prayer and fast to seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance as to when to fast, the type of fast and the duration of the fast.
Jesus said when we fast, not if we fast. This shows the importance of prayer and fasting.
As believers, we must discipline ourselves to prayer and fasting since it is a part of our worship to God. And we will see the benefits.