Fasting & Prayer: Creating a Climate for Breakthrough
While they [the early church] were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. Acts 13:2-3
In the context of ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit spoke. That moment was a launching pad to the missionary journeys of the early church. Above all other positive aspects of fasting, I think hearing God’s voice and receiving direction are preeminent. We all need wisdom and direction, and fasting is a biblical way to seek God.
I’ve dedicated March 11-17 to fasting and prayer for St. Louis Family Church. We have some big things up ahead and we need to set some time aside, filter out distraction, and seek God. Fasting is one of the biblical ways to seek breakthrough. “Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke?” (Isaiah 58:6). In fasting, we can loose yokes and break sin patterns in our lives.
Fasting is sowing to your spirit. When you fast, you’re saying, “Flesh, you’re not the boss.” It humbles the soul (Psalm 35:13b) and addresses the pride we all think we don’t have. Paul wrote: “I discipline my body and make it my slave” (1 Corinthians 9:27a). Ninety-nine percent of my fasting isn’t all that exciting, but it sows seeds that may not be visible immediately and will yield amazing fruit. You may not sense the breakthrough at the time of your fast, but know that you will walk into blessing and clarity.
Then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday. And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. Isaiah 58:10b-11
Approach fasting prayerfully. Don’t get legalistic. God may be calling you to fast just one meal. Daniel in the Bible fasted everything but vegetables (Daniel 1:12-18). Or you might fast media: King Darius fasted entertainment while Daniel was in the lions’ den (Daniel 6:18). Use wisdom; if you have blood sugar or medication issues, don’t just stop eating. The point is, ask God what kind of fast He is calling you to. As we jumpstart our year by fasting and seeking God, we will see breakthrough and we will receive direction.
I’m excited to see what God will do!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®
Copyright © 2012 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.