Summary: We sow what we reap so we need to be sowing good seeds and praying and fasting puts in in the right attitude to hear from the Lord.
This morning I have a clever title for the sermon called Sow Fast. Sow… not sew.
Sowing is talked about in the Bible as a process of planting something and watching it grow. Sowing seeds, you expect a crop of whatever seeds you planted.
You sow watermelon seeds, you cannot expect cucumbers.
Fasting in the bible is the going without food for a purpose. To put them together this morning, I am desiring to see in God’s Word what He says about sowing time and energy into prayer while abstaining from food and what can we expect to happen.
Is there a blessing for doing it?
Does it bring answers to questions we have about God and our relationship with Him?
Does this spiritual discipline bring answers to some of our prayers?
Or… is it a diet that we pretend to have some spiritual meaning?
The Bible talks about fasting and praying but we don’t hear much about it today. In fact, I have talked to people that thought Fasting was an Old Testament ritual not practiced anymore today.
The truth is, fasting and prayer are for today! In fact, now more than ever!
The combination of fasting and praying is not a fad or a novelty approach to spiritual discipline.
Fasting and praying are not part of a human-engineered method or plan. It is thought of by God and has spiritual benefits if done for the right reasons.
They are not the means to manipulate a situation or to create a circumstance.
You do not fast and pray so God will do what you want Him too.
Fasting and praying are Bible-based disciplines that are appropriate for all believers of all ages throughout all centuries in all parts of the world.
I have learned that many people in the church have never been taught about fasting and prayer, and many have therefore never fasted and prayed.
As a result, they don't know why fasting and praying are important.
They do not know what the Bible teaches about fasting, or how to fast.
Too many of us, fasting sounds like drudgery -- or a form of religious works.
Too some, fasting sounds extremely difficult. People tend to stand in awe at reports of those who have fasted for several weeks. When they hear about such fasts, no doubt they think: If I fasted that long, I'd die! I couldn't possibly do that!
Praying and fasting is not for every believer because every believer cannot for health reasons fast for extended periods of time. But every believer can pray and sacrifice of their time so God could use them to be a part of a solution instead of being maybe the problem.
Praying and fasting can be as little as one meal or for an extended period of time.
For the Lord to be involved in our prayer and fasting, the two are done together.
If you are just skipping a meal with no prayer, it is a diet. Nothing more.
Let’s look at God’s Word-
Matthew chapter 6- Jesus Himself is telling us about prayer and fasting-
(V5- 6-) Read from the Bible
When you prayer-
Don’t be standing in the streets and churches making a spectacle of yourself.
Don’t be a hypocrite and have people think more highly of you than they should.
Don’t draw attention to you but life changing prayer usually happens behind closed doors as you seek the face of God in certain areas.
There will be many prayer warriors in heaven that the world did not know but God used to make things happen.
There is corporate prayer but it never draws attention to the pray…er, but to the prayer offered up to God.
(V16 continued)- Jesus Himself says-
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen, and your Father, who sees what Is done in secret, will reward you.”
Do not disfigure your face and let everyone know what you are doing.
If you draw attention to yourself, you have received your reward.
For others, God says what is done privately will be rewarded.
When you pray- no longer just someone else but when you pray… make sure it is for the right reason and make sure you are one who prays and He gives them an example of pray called the Lord’s Prayer that we recite.
When you fast and pray- do it for the right reason, don’t be haughty or you receive your reward just because you are running around with sacrifice on your face- was the oil off, have it be between you and God and watch God do something amazing!