Fasting and Prayers
Bible Text: Matthew 17:21 | Preacher: Apostle Busola Jegede
Fasting and prayer is a necessary Spiritual exercise for every believer. Fasting is not optional and as believers we are to embark on fasts regularly as a lifestyle. When we take time to fast and we do it properly according to Isaiah 58 v 6, heavy burdens are removed from our lives, oppression comes to an end and long standing yokes are broken.
There is the need to embark on long fasts at times to help us birth new things in our lives. Remember that before Jesus started His Ministry He fasted for 40 days in the wilderness. So if you have been struggling with a new project or vision, plug into this fasting and prayers to get the divine push to help your vision manifest.
Fasting and prayer also help us to receive divine healing as stated in Isaiah 58 v 8. If you are sick in your body or your mind please join this fast and you will receive your healing in Jesus name.
OUR CONDUCT DURING FASTING
Isaiah 58 v 6-7, gives us a guide as to what our conduct should be during fasting:
Show love to others not wickedness
Undo heavy burdens we place on others – this is a good time to forgive your debtors and let go of the debts. (you will be mightily blessed if you do this).
Give out to the poor or needy in cash and kind.
Show hospitality to the less privileged.
Help your extended family.
Do not keep malice or have grudges, or hold people in unforgiveness.
Be of good social behavior, do not break traffic rules, or curse people, be patient and live a Spirit filled life obeying the Word of God at all times.
Please note that your fast is not complete when you do not take time to pray. You must pray daily especially in the morning and before you break your fast. We have compiled a prayer manual titled, “PRAY WITHOUT CEASING”, please avail yourself of this book as the prayer points were Holy Spirit inspired, and sure to be a blessing to you.
You should also compile your own personal prayer requests which you will take to the Lord on a daily basis during the fast. Take time to also intercede for your family members that are not saved, so that their salvation can come speedily.
If you are a married woman there are some peculiar issues you need to address before you start fasting. The first one is that you need to get permission from your husband. 1 Corinthians 7 v 5 says, “Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer and come together again so that satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control”. When you have your husband’s permission then you can easily abstain from sexual intercourse for the period with HIS consent. BUT if a situation arises where your husband allows you to fast but does not allow you to ABSTAIN from sexual activities PLEASE SUBMIT TO HIM JOYFULLY WITHOUT COMPLAINING God will still answer your prayers because you are in obedience to HIS WORD that wives submit to your husbands (Ephesians 5 v 22). Even if he allowed you to abstain at first and then during the course of the fast he demands for sex PLEASE GIVE HIM DELIGHTFULLY.
Another issue we need to address is that of people with medical conditions like ULCER, etc or people on medication. You can have a peculiar pattern of fasting or break the fast earlier either by 12 noon, 1pm or 3pm. Also if you cannot fast of food, you can live a fasted life or go off something you like or would normally do, generally deny yourself of something.
During this fasting period, spend more time in God’s presence, studying the Bible, worshipping and praying, reduce social activities and focus more on God. According to Matthew 6 v 16, when you are fasting, do not go about looking sad or depressed. It is wrong for you to announce to people that you are fasting in order to look righteous in their sight. The bible says when we do such things then we have already received our reward. Rather than show off, we should sow in secret and get our rewards openly.
The time you are setting apart to fast and pray is a seed time, your harvest time will surely appear in Jesus name. I prophesy into your life that as you wait on the LORD, He will renew your strength in Jesus name.
Pastor Busola Jegede