“…This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
–Mark 9:29 NKJV
Have you ever fasted? While we often are required to fast from food and/or drink before a medical test or procedure, have you ever fasted voluntarily in association with prayer? During our Mayday! Mayday! A Distress Call for Prayer, I received quite a number of queries about fasting as it relates to prayer, which leads me to believe it may be an important spiritual discipline that needs fresh consideration.
When the disciples who had not drawn aside for a time of quiet retreat with Jesus on the mountain were faced with a difficult situation in Mark 9, they were unable to deal with it. When they asked Jesus why they had no power to make a difference, He responded that power to make a difference in some situations requires prayer and fasting.
So what is fasting? Traditionally fasting usually involves going without food for a certain period of time. Jewish tradition calls for fasting from food from sundown on one day until sundown the next day. In some unique circumstances, the fast can stretch to days and even weeks. But in a broader sense, fasting means to go without anything and everything in order to make the time to pray.
In prayer we turn to God. In fasting we turn away from everything else but God. While we associate fasting most often with abstaining from food, it can also be abstinence from business, emails, phone calls, ministry, entertainment, web surfing, meetings, housework, shopping, cooking, talking, television, technology—the list is unlimited.
One reason we fast is not to show God how pious we are. He already knows. It is not a “work” we are to add to our prayer effort in order to merit His answer. His answers are gifts of His grace, not rewards for our work. It is not to make God love us more or pay us more attention. He loves us completely, fully. He can’t love us any more. And He has already given us His undivided attention without our fasting. So why do we fast?
There are several reasons we fast. One reason is because Jesus expects us to fast. He told His disciples, “When you fast…”1 Not if you fast. For myself, fasting has helped to purify my motives in prayer. It sharpens my focus on heavenly things and clarifies my perspective on earthly things. It prompts me to pray more persistently and frequently. And perhaps most importantly, it reveals to me how sincere I really am as I seek the Lord in prayer.
I suggest that you start to build fasting into your prayer life if you haven’t already. Talk to God about it. Then decide what you will fast from. When you will fast from it. And how long you will maintain your fast. Then do it. What difference will it make? Why not find out?2
For His Glory,
1 Matthew 6:16
2 This article has been adapted from Anne’s new book, The Daniel Prayer, which will be released in April, 2016.
BLOWING THE TRUMPET
Anne’s Prophetic Messages Based on Joel 1&2 and Matthew 24
Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand…. –Joel 2:1
The prophet Joel looked at world events through a prophetic lens, and gave warning to God’s people before judgment fell. In this album of three DVD messages, Anne Graham Lotz looks at our world through the lens of Joel’s prophecies in Joel 1-2 and those of Jesus in Matthew 24. She describes today’s current events as harbingers, or warnings of impending disaster. But she also conveys from Joel the very real hope that if God’s people turn to Him, He may leave behind a blessing instead of judgment. These are serious messages for serious times.
Blowing the Trumpet DVD (three messages)
Blowing the Trumpet CD (three messages)
The time between the Ascension of Jesus and the Feast of Pentecost are Biblical and traditional days of prayer and fasting for revival. This year Anne issued a MAYDAY! MAYDAY! A Distress Call for Prayer during those days, May 15-23. She was joined by over 43,000 people who came to our website to register for her daily prayers, which were then distributed to tens of thousands of others. Please continue to pray with us until revival comes. Visit here to access these prayers, download our free MAYDAY! eBook, listen to the audio versions, and read testimonies of those who participated.
Daily Light for Daily Living & Living in the Light
Approximately once a month, Anne records both of her radio programs in our small studio. Ava Zettel captures Anne’s voice on the computer, and Tim Turner times each segment. The recordings are then sent to Ambassador Agency for distribution. Daily Light for Daily Living is now heard on 648 outlets in 49 states and 9 countries, including throughout Great Britain. Living in the Light is heard on 188 stations in 31 states.
To listen to any of these programs on-demand, or find a station that broadcasts Daily Light for Daily Living or Living in the Light near you, please click here.
Your favorite Anne Graham Lotz content is more easily accessible than ever on your preferred mobile device. Our newly updated Mobile App includes:
- Two daily devotionals, Joy of My Heart and Daily Light
- Two radio programs, Daily Light for Daily Living and Living in the Light
- A variety of videos and other resources that will help you develop your relationship with God.
Click here for more information on our Mobile App.
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