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Prayer and Fasting

I just finished a long response to one of the visitors to The Daniel Fast weblog. I wanted to pass it on, because others may have similar questions about prayer and fasting — and fear and unbelief.

Hi Justin, Thanks for your question. Before I answer, please understand that I am not a pastor, physician, or theologian. I am a “sold out for Jesus” Christian and in that position give my thoughts about your question

I think the best thing we can do above everything is seek God. I mean really go after Him. I hope you are spending time in His Word each and every day. You know the saying, “There’s power in the Word?” Well, it’s true. There is supernatural power in the Word of God but the only way you can access that power is by spending time reading, praying the Scriptures, and studying.

I encourage you to create a “Secret Place,” where you meet with the Lord every day. Read Psalm 91 and claim every verse that is in it. Pray through it and ask the Lord to meet you and minister to you. I promise you, He longs for a deep and loving relationship with you.

The writer of Hebrews explains in detail about Jesus being our High Priest. That means He is a minister to us and for us. The High Priest’s whole purpose is to be for the people He serves. Jesus wants you whole and completely well.

Now here is the sticking point. Throughout the New Testament, we learn that if we are to receive the abundant blessings the Lord has for us that we need only to believe. We need to totally trust our lives into the hands of God and believe that He will do everything He says in His Word. If you are like most Christians today (and like I was not too long ago) you have a lot of doubt in your heart. Doubt and fear cancel out faith and hope.

So what is the solution? You need to “grow your faith.” And how do you do that? “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Spend time with God and His Word. Take EVERYTHING to Him in prayer, including any doubt and unbelief you may have.

Entering the Daniel Fast “as unto the Lord” is a perfect way for you to devote yourself to the Father. Keep Him at the forefront of your mind and in all you do. Tell Jesus you want to know Him as Lord and Healer. Don’t feel self-centered about wanting to be healed. Jesus wants you healed. The truth is, He already healed you on the cross . . . just as He provided everlasting life to anyone who will receive Him when He died once for all . . . He also provided healing. “By His stripes we WERE healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 Again, it goes back to trust.

I received the Lord’s healing after suffering for many years with a chronic disease. It was not an instantaneous healing, but rather one that took place gradually. Why gradual? For me it was because my belief grew gradually. I am now completely healed!

One more thing that might help you as you work through to your healing: read Matthew 17:14-21.

“And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” 
 Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.  Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”  So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

When Jesus talks about “this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting,” most people think He is referring to the demons in the boy the disciples were praying for. But if you examine the context carefully and compare it to other passages about this same situation along with the whole of Scripture, you will see that Jesus was talking about unbelief. Prayer and fasting is the antidote for doubt and unbelief. So study this scripture, then get a mustard seed . . . you might have some in your spice cabinet. If not, invest a few dollars (spiritual learning aid) and buy a bottle at the store. Jesus says that even with faith the size of a mustard seed . . . that we can move mountains! My guess is that you have faith the size of a mustard seed – but the unbelief is canceling it out.

So, back to the beginning . . . this is a perfect time for you to enter the Daniel Fast.

I hope this helps and please feel free to contact me again. I love talking about the Lord!

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Francesca #

    I was skeptical about even attempting a fast until I read your post. Now I have a set purpose. Just a reason to increase faith…or move the obstacle blocking my mustard seed faith. Thanks for the post that helps alot.

    April 13, 2009
  2. Darnell #

    Thanks so much! This is just what I needed. I have some personal issues that I need the lord to assist me with. I truly believe with the Daniel fast and prayer I will receive my answer and blessing.

    February 19, 2009
  3. Hi Vanessa,

    Sometimes the Lord will nudge us toward a fast, but usually one fasts when there is a specific spiritual need. For example, I am on a 7-week fast right now for a business and financial breakthrough. Others might fast corporately with the church body, Bible study or family.

    Fasting seems to generate a focus within us toward prayer and devotion to the Lord. It’s a time that is “set aside” for a concentrated period. So if you have an important prayer need, then that is great time to fast.

    I hope this helps.

    April 15, 2008
  4. vanessa walton #

    how do you know when god wants you to fast

    April 12, 2008
  5. Laurie #

    Thanks for this post Susan. I have been praying about my unbelief and you give me hope that my faith WILL grow. Thank-you!

    February 8, 2008

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