In Celebration of Discipline, Richard J. Foster has a great chapter called ‘The Discipline of Fasting’. Here are a few highlights that keep me on track!
-Biblical fasting always centers on spiritual purposes.
-In most cases fasting is a private matter between the individual and God. There are, however, occasional times of corporate or public fasts.
-Fasting is not necessarily a commandment…but…in Matthew 6 Jesus does not say. ‘If you fast,’ neither does he say ‘You must fast’. His word is, very simply, ‘When you fast’.
-Fasting must forever center on God. If our fasting is not unto God, we have failed. Physical benefits, success in prayer, the enduing with power, spiritual insights- these must never replace God as the center of our fasting…Once the primary purpose of fasting is firmly fixed in our hearts, we are liberty to understand that there are also secondary purposes in fasting.
-Fasting reminds us we are sustained ‘by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’ )Matthew 4:4
-You will be engaging in spiritual warfare that will necessitate using all the weapons of Ephesians 6.
-Fasting can bring breakthroughs in the spiritual realm that can never happen in any other way.
In asking for a time of prayer and fasting for Kate, we are hoping to be a part of a movement that seeks God more passionately, knows Him more intimately and see’s His glory revealed on earth. Kate’s healing is important and we will continue to cry out to God that He will be gracious and grant our request. However, His glory is the ultimate goal and all of our efforts in prayer are to exalt Jesus! God gives us the unbelievable privilege to have access to Him in prayer and to trust that He actually hears us! So, with boldness we call out, with hope we know He is listening, and in fasting we withdraw from the cares of this world for a time to declare Jesus, You are LORD!
PRACTICALLY: We strive to saturate our times of prayer and fasting with…
Psalm 9:1-2 I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
Matthew 4:4 Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.