Summary: Are you a woman who prays? If your answer is yes, praise God, but if you are not or you feel in your heart that you do not pray/talk to the Lord as much as you should, my prayer is after this series, you will be fired up to open that communication line wi
There is a saying "Prayer is the Key, it is the Master Key" meaning it opens up the door to your blessings, breakthrough etc. Today we are going to dwell on the first part of this series, looking at how we can incorporate fasting with our prayer and the benefits of doing so.
Definition of Prayer
Prayer, according to Merriam Webster’s dictionary is a Silent or spoken petition made to God or a god and another dictionary refers to it as a Spiritual communion with God or an object of worship, as in supplication, thanksgiving or adoration.
Well, for us believers, Prayer is simply a two way communication with God. We speak to Him and He replies or talks back through a number of ways e.g. His divine word (scriptures), a still small voice, prophecy, word of knowledge, dreams, revelation etc.
Definition of Fasting
Fasting refers to abstinence from some or all foods (including liquids), according to Merriam Webster’s dictionary. It is the act of denying one’s self the pleasures of food for a specified period of time. However the principle of fasting can also apply to other daily activities in our lives, for example, the Internet, watching television, sexual intercourse with spouse as in 1 Corinthians 7:5, telephone, basically some type of daily routine that consumes a lot of your time. Sacrificing that time for God brings about a change in one’s life.
From the time of old i.e. going back to biblical times, the Old Testament to be exact, fasting was a common practice. The children of Israel were always aware of the benefits of fasting and prayer to God because each time, they fasted; they saw the awesome move of God in their circumstances as individuals and as a nation. A few examples come to mind beginning with Moses, in Exodus 34:27-28, it revealed that he waited on the Lord for 40 days and 40 nights while receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. In Judges 20:26-28, when the children of Israel were in battle with their kindred of the tribe of Benjamin, who rose up against them. The children of Israel were consistently losing the battle until they fasted and sought the Lord for directions and after a 1 day fast, God gave them the victory. Another example is also in II Chronicles 20:3, when King Jehoshaphat declared a fast throughout all Judah when their enemies, the Moabites and Ammonites rose up against them and as they fasted and offered praises to the Lord, He gave them a great victory. Who can forget the beautiful and bold Queen Esther whose people, the Jewish nation was going to be completely wiped out as a result of hate and in Esther 4:16, she declared a 3 day and 3 nights absolute fast and left the rest to the Lord saying "If I perish, I perish" and what did the Lord do? He caused Esther to find favor in the King’s sight and God gave her and the Jewish people a great victory, while at the same time destroying their enemies’ i.e. Haman and all the enemies of the Jewish people. There are more examples throughout the OT alone of how God delivered His people from harm when they repented of their sins and earnestly cried out unto Him through prayer and sometimes with fasting. It proves the Lord Jesus's words in Matthew 17:21 when He stated that "However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting" KJV. Even speaking about the Lord Jesus, He also fasted for 40 days in the wilderness before officially starting His ministry, Matthew 4:1-2 and this practice continued throughout the early church, which relied on fasting and prayer when seeking God’s guidance. Acts 13:2, 14:23
Types of Fasting Unto the Lord
There are only three types of fast mentioned in scripture.
I). Partial Fast - Daniel engaged in a partial fast according to Daniel 10:2-3 to seek the Lord’s wisdom. He fasted for 21 days and didn’t eat any pleasant food, neither meat nor wine. These verses confirm it was a partial fast because he only abstained from pleasant, exotic foods such as what was served on the King’s table. This type of fast is usually called the "Daniel Fast" and it can involve just consuming fruits or vegetables with water. I believe this is the most common type of fasting today.
II). Normal Fast - This type of fast is usually with liquids (i.e water) only for a specified number of days. An example of this fast is what Jesus did in the wilderness where He fasted for 40 days and 40 nights with no food, but it appears that He had only water because scripture only mentioned that He was hungry and Satan came to tempt Him with food only. Matthew 4:1-2.