Importance Of Fasting and Prayer

WINNERS

The 21 days prayer and fasting of Winners Chapel and the 50 days prayer and fasting of The Redeemed Christian Church of God commenced today. From Monday, 11th January till Sunday, 31st January the Winners family worldwide will be engaging themselves personally in a prayer and fasting session daily. Every Winner is expected to break their fast with a communion at the various Zonal Fellowship Centers, Monday to Friday – 6-8 pm and on Saturday at our Winners’ Satellite Fellowship Centres – 5-6 pm.

The 50 day fasting and prayer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God is expected to last till the end on 29 February. Every true and committed member of the church is expected to observe the 50-day fasting and prayer this year.

For prayer points, click HERE to download the prayer points for each.

 

WHY PRAY?
Praying to our Heavenly Father, in the Name of Jesus Christ, using God’s Holy Word (scripture) in prayer is the most powerful thing we can do for ourselves and others. The heart of prayer is the will of our Heavenly Father. Part of that will is simply coming to Him. He desires us, as His dear children to know Him. He desires your love, your attention, your fellowship (more than just being related to Him through Jesus), He also desires a time of communion, an intimate time of personal exchange and involvement, and finally a release of His will and manifest Presence in the earth through prayer. Prayerlessness is a sin according to 1 Sam. 12:23

 

HOW TO PRAY by Bishop Thomas Aremu:
1. Repent from any known sin, God heareth no sinner. The praying vessel must repent from any known sin.
2. You must approach the throne of grace with a forgiving heart. Go there with a Heart that has forgiven all.
3. Go before Him joyfully. You don’t go before God mournfully, otherwise you return empty.
4. Pray with the Word. Dialogue with God on the basis of His Word. If God will not hear your voice, He will hear the voice of His words. (See 1 John 5:14-15)
5. Pray with faith. (Anything done without faith is sin. Romans 14:23B)
6. Pray with desperation: Heaven is too busy to be attending to casual prayers.
7. Pray with expectations. Proverbs 23:18

BA
WHAT IS FASTING?
As Christians, we fast which means to abstain from physical nourishment (food and/or water) for a particular period of time. We do this in order to concentrate on the Lord or to obtain a response to a particular matter. Biblical fasting involves confession of sins, weeping and mourning in the process of praying whilst making our request known to God. In Matthew 6 vs 16—18, Jesus himself, gives clear instructions to believers regarding fasting. In Matthew 4 v 2, we see that Jesus, himself, fasted. According to 2 Corinthians 6 vs 4—6, fasting must be part of the lifestyle of a practicing Christian.

 
WHY SHOULD WE FAST?
1. Because Christ Expects it of Christians: Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:16-18 are not words of a command. He does not tell us that we have to fast. However, He expects that we will. He said, “when you fast…” He was making an assumption that a Christian would fast. Moreover, when He said these words He followed it with a bit of explanation that a fast should be personal and private. Your focus should be on your relationship with God and not on letting the world know you are fasting.
2. For Guidance: And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed. (Acts 14:23) We see in the above verse that Paul fasted about some decisions he made in leading the churches he started. The Israelites sought the Lord through fasting when they had been defeated in battle by the tribe of Benjamin. They were asking for guidance on what they should do and how to proceed (Judges 20:26-28).
3. For Intensity in Prayer: Ezra prayed for God’s protection over his countrymen as they journeyed back to Jerusalem. He could have entreated the king for soldiers and cavalrymen, but he had already proclaimed that God would care for them. Now he was asking God to show Himself strong on behalf of the Israelites and to help raise a good testimony before the enemy (Ezra 8:21-23).
4. To Show Humility in the Presence of God: The man after God’s own heart, King David, said that he fasted for the purpose of humbling himself before God (Psalm 35:13). He certainly seems to be the person who could have walked into the throne room of God and made his request boldly as we are invited to do in Hebrews 4:16. There is a difference between boldness and arrogance. David knew how to humble himself in prayer through fasting.
5. For Worship: “… fasting without the right attitude does not touch the heart of God.” Along with humility before God, fasting can be a way to worship God. David said in Psalm 51 that God is more interested in a humble and contrite heart than He is in fasting and sacrifices. This is not saying that we don’t need to fast; rather, it is saying that fasting without the right attitude does not touch the heart of God.
6. For Spiritual Strength: While Jesus faced the temptation of Satan, He fasted for 40 days. There is a principle of spiritual strength that is demonstrated in fasting in the life of Christ (Luke 4:1-11). Mark 9:29 shows that the disciples needed a power from God that comes only through fasting. Matthew 17:20 and 21 say that fasting and prayer coupled with faith in God can work spiritual miracles.

 

TYPES OF FAST:
1. Daniel Fast: No meat, sweet foods, or strong drinks (see Daniel 10:2-3). This can be done for an extended period of time, this could also be considered a vegetarian diet because there is no meat intake.
2. Partial Fast: This would be not eating one main meal you would usually eat on a daily routine, such as breakfast, or lunch, or dinner. This meal
would be skipped until the fast was over.
3. Complete Fast: This would require you to abstain from all solid foods, liquids only. When Jesus fasted in the desert, the Bible says, “After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry.” This verse does not mention Jesus being thirsty. (see Luke 4:1-2)
4. Total Fast: This is a full and complete fast, no food or drink. Acts 9:9 describes when Paul went on a full fast for three days following his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. Esther also called for this type of fast in Esther 4:15-16. This type of fast should be done with extreme caution and not for extended periods of time.
5. Juice Fast: This is a fast where only fresh fruits and vegetables are juiced in a juicer. If you can’t juice your own fruits or veggies try buying juices without sugar or additives. When using fruits that are acidic, such as lemons, oranges, and even tomatoes dilute them with water for your stomachs sake.

NOTE: Total fast is recommended but complete fast is advised. Be wise.

 
LENGTHS OF FAST:
1. Half Day: This is the typical fasting which commences from 6am to 6pm. However, food intake is not allowed from anytime between 12am and 6am when the fast commences. see Judges 20:26, Acts 10:30.
2. Afternoon fast: This fast is usually from 6 am to 12 noon (for children and nursing mothers) or 3 pm (for people who can’t go till 6 pm).
3. One Day
4. Three Days: see Acts 9:9, Esther 4:15-16
5. Seven Days: see 1 Samuel 31:13
6. Fourteen Days: see Acts 27:33
7. Twenty One Days: see Daniel 10:3
8. Forty Days: see 1 Kings 19:8, Luke 4:1-2
The length of the fast should be dependent on three factors – 1. Your health, 2) God’s leading, and 3) Type of fast.

NOTE: Half day is recommended but afternoon fast is advised for children, nursing mothers and those that can’t make it till 6 pm. Use wisdom and please don’t kill yourself.

 
TEN GUIDELINES TO FASTING:
1. Starving: The difference between fasting and starving is spirituality. It indicates “fasting and prayer” not just “fasting”. Fasting alonbe without studying the word of God and prayer is starvation in disguise.
2. Plan Your Fast: For this fast, we are advised to observe total fast for half day.
3. Tell Only the People You Must: Your spouse will need to know you are fasting. Beyond that, you would be better off not telling many people that you are fasting. Fasting is meant to be a private act between us and God. We are warned by Jesus Himself not to be proud of or boast to others that we are fasting in the hope they will think we are ‘spiritual’ and close to God (Matthew 6:16 – 18).
4. Avoid Media: Disconnecting from TV, radio, newspapers and the Internet can help you stay focused on your purpose for fasting. You will be less tempted by the constant bombardment of advertising as you become physically and emotionally challenged. Avoiding media will give you more time to focus on the Lord and His Word.
5. Disconnect from people: Fasting is not necessarily a vacation, though dedicating time off and away from people during your fast can help you get the most benefit out of this precious time.
6. Beware of Your Emotions: Some people experience vast mood swings during a fast. One moment they are totally focused on God and the next they are wallowing in pity. Knowing that this is likely to happen will help you react properly. Learning to refocus on God and His goodness during this tough emotional time will help when your fast is over and you experience similar emotions.
7. Rest: Laziness is a problem that the Bible speaks against, but most of us today suffer from being too busy and not getting the rest we need. If you disconnect from the media and other people you will have extra time allowing you to get a full night’s sleep. During your fast you will be forced to slow down since you won’t be needing long meal breaks. A fast will reveal to you that you have too many activities and busyness in your day-to-day routine.
8. Stay Physically Active: You should take time to rest but this does not mean you should do nothing. Enjoy a walk in God’s creation. Outside of His Word, His creation is one of the best ways that God has revealed Himself to us.
9. Be Still and Focus on God: Fasting is a time to study God’s Word, meditate and pray. To help with this, plan a specific Bible passage or topic you want to study during your fast. Look for verses you want to memorize and meditate upon. Fasting by Jesus and the disciples was always accompanied by prayer. Spend time talking to God and allowing Him to reveal Himself to you in His Word.
10. After breaking your fast each day: The picture below explains what and what not to eat after breaking your fast.

FASTING

 

PHYSICAL CONSEQUENCES OF FASTING:
1. Hunger: One could go a full day without eating but as soon as you make up your mind to fast, that’s when your nostrils would pick up scents of food from a mile away. The devil is a liar so please resist him and he will flee.
2. Weight loss: as a result of lack of food intake (good news for those thinking of shedding some weight but not so much good news for people like me)
3. Saves money: Helps save money which could have been spent buying food.
4. Increases giving: Money saved not eating should be spent on the needy.
5. Body reaction: Your body will respond to the fact that you are eating less in terms of salt, sugar, carbohydrates and proteins. You are likely to feel weak, hungry, nauseous and irritable. You may find it difficult to absorb information mentally. This is all part of the internal processing of your body as it breaks up toxins. These toxins will be released from the body via sweating/increase in body odour; Urine becomes darker in colour; Tongue becomes darker; Bad breath; Acne; Increase in mucous from the nose; Constipation—Drinking prune juice/herb teas is helpful; Cold hands or feet. All the above are a normal reaction to the fast.
Lastly, as you fast, may your all your heart desires be met in Jesus Name. AMEN.

 
REFERENCES:
1. http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/7-good-reasons-christians-should-fast/
2. http://www.biblestudy.org/basicart/what-is-fasting-and-why-should-we-do-it.html
3. http://ruachcitychurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/FASTING-PRAYER-GUIDELINES-1-week.pdf
4. http://www.lighthouseassembly.tv/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/21-Day-Devotional-FASTING-and-PRAYER-GUIDE.pdf

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: