Fasting And Prayer…
Power, Communion, Supplication, and Edification
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“And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;”(Daniel 9:3-4)
MULTIPURPOSE TOOL OR WEAPON?
In my study of Scripture both Old and New Testament fasting and prayer appear to be used as a tool that our Heavenly Father has provided for the believer, or even a weapon against the attacks of Satan. “Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” (1 Corinthians 7:5) They are congruent terms prominently displayed throughout the Bible; identified as spiritual avenues to talk with God. Additionally, I find a common prerequisite in this act of worship: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)
REWARD OR CURSE?
“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”(Matthew 6:5, ) Absolute fervent and effectual prayer has one major requirement: Believe! “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (Mark 11: 24) This means prayer is now; It is always in the present, and not the future. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) This Scripture admonishes the beleiver to beleive while in the very act of prayer and not after the prayer has been answered or has manisfested. In conclusion, “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”(Matthew 6:16) Is there a specific time limit allocated for fasting? “And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,”(Acts 10:30) The Bible speaks of fast as full day and night encounter, as well as in some cases two, three and even four days. Jesus fasted for forty-days and nights. Ultimately, when we worship God, we should delight ourselves; I beleive the amount of days is not as important as the common denominator was fasting always lasted all day and all night. “Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.”(Isaiah 58:2-3)