Devotional for Day 6 – September 6, 2013
Marilyn Rowsome, Billion Souls Revival Prayer Call Team
Prayer with fasting is an expression of repentance.
“However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:21 NKJV)
“Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.” (Joel 2:12-13 NKJV)
In 1996, American founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International, Bill Bright, wrote,
“I strongly believe that America and much of the world will experience a great spiritual awakening. This Divine visit of the Holy Spirit of heaven will kindle the greatest harvest in the history of the Church. But before God comes in revival power, the Holy Spirit will call millions of Christians to repent, fast and pray for 36 days in the spirit of 2 Chronicles 7:14.”
The word “fast” in the Bible refers to the practice of self-denial, especially of food. Some translations use the word “afflict” for fasting (Isaiah 58:3,5 KJV). It means “weeping and mourning”. We do not think about eating in an emergency or the death of a loved one. Fasting is an expression of anguish and repentance before God. Food becomes secondary to broken people. The people of Israel were called together in Solemn Assemblies, often for long periods, in order to search their hearts, confess their sin and repent (Joel 1:14).
Why do people fast? They “afflict” themselves to pray more earnestly. They say “no” to our momentary needs, selfish desires and pride and put God first in their lives; they ask Him to reveal hidden sins that have crept into their lives just like termites creep into a house and destroy it. Then they confess, grieve and repent.
Charles Stanley, American writer and speaker says, “The greatest thing a church could have is leaders who fast and pray – not when the church burns down, but in order to get the church on fire….Fasting brings about a supernatural work in our lives.” How often does your church leadership pray and fast and call the church to do likewise?
We also grieve over sin in our societies and cry out to God for transformation. Arthur Wallis in his book on fasting says “…when exercised with a pure heart and a right motive, fasting may provide us with a key to unlock doors where other keys have failed; a window opening up new horizons in the unseen world; a spiritual weapon of God’s providing, ‘mighty, to pulling down strongholds.”
Let us take a firm hold of this key.
Pray this Prayer:
God, we confess we have not taken seriously the discipline of fasting as individuals and churches. We have not cried out to You with true anguish of heart. Forgive us Lord. We want to live a new way.