FASTING (1)                                                                           Deuteronomy 9:9

“When I went up into the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant which the LORD made with you, then I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights. I neither ate bread nor drank water. (v9)

For our purposes it may be defined as the voluntary deliberate abstinence from food for the purpose of concentrated prayer. It was a spiritual exercise known and practiced from Israel’s earliest times. For example:

(1) Moses fasted for forty days, twice (Deuteronomy 9:9,18) (2) Joshua fasted after defeat at Ai (Joshua 7:6)  From its historical experience, Israel knew that prayer within the context of fasting wrought particularly potent spiritual victories which impacted upon the realm of the physical. For example: king Jehosaphat won a large battle without engaging in physical combats (2 Chronicles 20:1-30) Ezra obtained safe passage (Ezra 8:21-23) Esther was used to transform potential genocide into national salvation (Esther 4:16) Pagan Nineveh was spared while Samaria was destroyed. (Jonah 3:5-9) In the New Testament, Jesus teaches about fasting for those who would become his followers. In the famous Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:1-18) Jesus refers to three related responsibilities – giving, praying and fasting. On these religious responsibilities Jesus presents them more as an assumed obligation rather than an option. He did not say “if you give… pray… or fast” but rather When you give… when you pray… when you fast.” (Stuart Robinson)

PRAYER LINE: Father, when I cry out to You, Then my enemies will turn back. This I know because You are with me (Psalm 56:9)


God hears us when we fast and pray.

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