Prayer & Fasting - Part 4
Pastor Gerald

Often in the Bible, God's people spend time in fasting and prayer immediately before a major victory, when a miracle was needed, or in response to specific answer to prayer. In short it prepared them for a blessing and kept them humble!

The Importance of Fasting and Prayer

  • Moses fasted before he received the Ten Commandments.
So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments. Exodus 34:28 NKJV

  • Jehoshaphat led the Israelites in fasting before a miraculous victory.
It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat. 2 Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is En Gedi). 3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. 2 Chronicles 20:1-4 NKJV

  • Daniel fasted as he prayed for guidance and waited for the answer.
3 Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.

21 yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering. 22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand. Daniel 9:3, 21-22 NKJV

  • Nehemiah fasted before beginning a major building project (the rebuilding of the wall around the city).
So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. Nehemiah 1:4 NKJV

  • Jesus fasted during His victory over temptation.
Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. Luke 4:1-2 NKJV

  • The first Christians (believers in the Antioch Church) fasted during decision making times.
2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. Acts 13:2-3 NKJV

Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ and producer of The Jesus Film, made the following observations about fasting and prayer.

Receiving God's best blessing from a fast requires solid commitment. Arranging special time each day with God is absolutely crucial in attaining intimate communion with the Father. You must devote yourself to seeking God's face, even (and especially) during those times in which you feel weak, vulnerable, or irritable. Read His Word and pray during what were mealtimes…. Focus on your Heavenly Father…. Your motive in fasting must be to glorify God, not to have an emotional experience, and not to attain personal happiness. When your motives are right, God will honor your seeking heart and bless your time with Him in a very special way.