When we are about building a relationship with God, we often think about spending time in His Word and in prayer. But one thing we are more resistant towards is fasting, which is incredibly important. I would argue that it is even more important today, as we get closer to Christ’s return. As a matter of fact, when we combine prayer and fasting, there is great power.
Prayer alone is our main method of communication with God. When we pray to God, we open our hearts to Him and become transparent about our emotions, troubles, desires, needs, and struggles. God loves it when we come to Him in prayer. It is both a privilege and a necessity for us to pray. By spending time in prayer, you can come into the “sunshine of Christ’s presence” and be transformed. Prayer is about building intimacy with God. ***An Intimate Relationship With God
Although prayer alone is powerful, Jesus himself told us that some things require prayer AND fasting. Following his baptism, Jesus was led by the Spirit into a desert where the enemy would eventually tempt him. For forty days, he fasted. Though he was physically somewhat weakened, he was mentally strengthened. By overcoming his temptation for food, Jesus was able to overcome all three temptations of the enemy. Spiritually, Jesus gained far more strength than he had before, being able to remember the Word of God and use it as a weapon against the enemy. Indeed, the power of fasting lies in our ability to overcome various temptations through controlling our mind and body.
Breaking down strongholds
Fasting can help us break down strongholds in our lives. Since we are fighting a spiritual war, we must use mighty, powerful weapons, not carnal ones (meaning not the weapons of this world). We need weapons that can demolish the things we have allowed the enemy to build in our lives that are the cause of continuous struggle. For instance, if you are dealing with lust, you need to be fasting to rid yourself of this evil spirit. There are some strongholds, some spirits in your life and some sins, which can only be broken or overcome by praying in faith and fasting.
Remember the story of the dumb spirit that the disciples could not cast out of a young man in Mark 9:14-29. Jesus made a point to let his disciples know that “[some things] can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting” (verse 29 KJV). No matter how much the disciples prayed they could not achieve their desired result. This spirit was strong; they too needed to gain spiritual strength and connect with God like never before to position themselves for a breakthrough. Perhaps you might be looking for a breakthrough in your emotions, eating habits or other personal habits. By combining your prayers with fasting, you will see God move in greater ways in your life, in ways that may have seemed impossible before. The power of prayer and fasting is undeniable.
Tapping into power
Fasting is the vehicle that allows you to tap into the power of God. In 2 Chronicles 20, when King Jehoshaphat learned of the great army that was coming against him and the people of Judah, he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. This is how the king and his people were able to seek God’s face, present their prayers, and received an answer from God. All the people heard the powerful response of God and followed His instructions. Not once did they have to engage in battle. Ahead of the army of Judah were the singers and praise teams of the Lord. As they sang and praised, God’s power came down on the enemy armies and not one man was left standing. What a mighty God! The people of Judah truly tapped into the power of praying and fasting, and by doing so they saw the evidence of God’s power. Wouldn’t you like to see God act powerfully in your life like that when you need Him?
How do fasting and prayer relate to my singleness?
As you journey through your singleness, you may be wondering how prayer and fasting will help. In addition to what was mentioned above, incorporating fasting into your prayer life can help you to seek God and know more clearly His will for your life. When you begin to date and certainly before you commit to a lifetime with someone, you will need to know that the person you have chosen to walk with is someone that God approves of. And believe me, you are going to want God’s seal of approval on that relationship. Before you commit, pray and fast. If you seek God with all your heart and humility, you will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13) and He will make His will known to you.
A personal testimony
When I began to truly bring everything to God, I would not even agree to a date with a man without asking God in prayer. If God said no, I didn’t go through with it even if I had already said yes. If God said yes, then I moved forward. Whenever major decisions needed to be made or I was just confused about something, I took it to God in prayer and fasting and asked Him to reveal His will to me. The ways that God has revealed Himself to me are absolutely amazing. To tell you just how powerful prayer and fasting can be, I will share with you an experience of mine.
I was in Florida for the holidays in 2015. I had just lost a major relationship and I didn’t really know why. Nothing about my conversation with the person made sense. So one morning, I woke up early, grabbed a glass of water, went by the pool while everyone else in the house was still sleeping and I began to pray. I begged God to tell me what was really going on. All day, I prayed and fasted (and by the way no one knew I was fasting). By the evening, I came back to the pool once more, this time with my prayer journal and started to pray. Just as I was writing, God revealed to me that my ex’s new girlfriend was pregnant (and this was confirmed three months later). Wow, talk about intimacy with God, praise God! Until this very day, I believe God wanted me to know the truth and God saw just how deeply I was searching for Him and seeking the truth. For weeks, I had been praying to know the truth, for a breakthrough, for a revelation but nothing happened. Only when I combined fasting to my sincere prayers, God revealed to me what was really going on. Can you shout with me POWER! So if you want spiritual growth, strength, breakthroughs, and revelations from God, start incorporating fasting to your prayer life. There is power in prayer and fasting!