FRIDAY 7TH APRIL, 2017 READ – Day: Phil 2; Night: Deut 5-6
THEME: BENEFITS OF FASTING AND PRAYER
TEXT: MARK 9: 14 – 29
HYMN: EMHB 491 – Christians, seek not yet repose;
Many people have argued that prayers alone are enough. They ignorantly say there is no need to add fasting. In the passage we read, the disciples asked Jesus why they could not heal a lunatic boy. He answered that it was because of their unbelief. Faith needs prayers to develop and it also needs fasting. it is, therefore, very sad that some Christians today don’t want to fast. Rather unfortunate!
Fasting does wonders when used in combination with prayers and faith. To fast is to abstain from food and other pleasures of life. It is also to humble oneself and soul before God. It is to chasten the soul and crucify the appetite and deny them so as to give entire time and body to prayers.
Fasting is a sign of obedience and earnestness before God. It helps one to attain a higher level of power in the Spirit which enables us to overcome trials, temptations, and powers of darkness. It develops faith, crucifies unbelief and gives one the access and burden to pray.
Some conditions that could lead to fasting and prayers are:
• When one is in spiritual conflict with his/her creator:
• When one is in trouble or danger. (Acts 27: 9, 33; Esther 4: 16).
• When one is in need (Ezra 8: 21).
• When one is under judgment – (Kings 21: 27).
• When one is embarking on a mission, journey, business, etc. (Ezra 8: 21 – 23; Acts 13:2 -3).
Men and women that did exploit for God were those who spent much time to fast and pray. Moses fasted for 40days and nights – (Deut. 9:9, 18, 25-29). Elijah fasted for 40days and nights – (1 Kings 19:7 – 18). Jesus fasted for 40days and nights – (Matt. 4: 1-11).
Great men and women who made impact in their time did not achieve their giant strides by the flesh; rather they did so by fasting and prayers. May the Lord give all Methodist members the spirit and the burden to follow in the steps of these great men in Jesus’ name. Amen.
MEMORY VERSE: Matt. 17: 21: “Howbeit, this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” (KJV)
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, give me the grace to stand in the gap through fasting and prayers for my family, community and nation. Amen.