Greetings in Jesus’ Name,
Today we continue with the subject of prayer and attempt to answer the question, is prayer and fasting a requirement?……
The Word of God does not specifically command believers to spend time in prayer and fasting, however, we see a good example that we must emulate from our Lord Jesus. So, prayer and fasting is definitely something we should be doing. Far too often, though, the focus of prayer and fasting is on abstaining from food. Instead, the purpose of Christian fasting should be to bring our bodies to subjection and be more sensitive to the things of the Spirit. Fasting should always be limited to a set time because not eating for extended periods can be damaging to the body. It is not to be used as a “dieting method”. We are not to spend time in prayer and fasting in order to lose weight though it also helps, but rather to gain a deeper fellowship with God.
By taking our eyes off the things of this world through prayer and biblical fasting, we can focus better on Christ.
Matthew 6:16-18 declares, “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
What does Prayer and Fasting – Accomplish? Spending time in prayer and fasting is not automatically effective in accomplishing the desires of those who fast. Fasting or no fasting, God only promises to answer our prayers when we ask in faith according to His will. The book of
1 John 5: 14-15 tells us, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.”
In the prophet Isaiah’s time, the people grumbled that they had fasted, yet God did not answer in the way they wanted (Isaiah 58:3-4).
Isaiah responded by proclaiming that the external show of fasting and prayer, without the proper heart attitude, was futile (Isaiah 58:5-9).
How can you know if you are praying and fasting according to God’s will? When you are praying His Word, and when God has led you to fast. God is not obligated to give us what we ask for, whether we fast or not if it’s not in His Word. How can we know God’s will? It’s in His Word. Look for what He has promised and that’s His will. There are times when God’s will is not expressly in His Word, for example, where to go and plant a church. This is where understanding different kinds of prayer is necessary. Prayer of consecration, prayer of commitment and others that are not in His Word.
Where we don’t know His will, then the insertion “if it be your will” can be applied. But it is never applied where the will of God is known. Check out in your SPREADING THE LIGHT BULLETIN NEXT
Week for different kinds of prayer. Till then, we love you.
ITS IMPORTANT TO BELONG SOMEWHERE. WORSHIP TEAM, GREETERS, USHERS, HOSPITALITY, HOUSES OF JOY (CELL GROUP) ETC. IF YOU DO NOT BELONG, MAKE SURE YOU DO. YOU ARE SPECIAL AND LOVED.