FASTING (2)                                                        Deuteronomy 9:18

“And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all your sin which you committed in doing wickedly in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger. (v18)

Jesus not only taught about fasting, he also practiced it. Luke says that when Jesus was already “full of the Holy Spirit’ (Luke 4:1) he was then let out into the desert where he prayed and fasted through an encounter with Satan. Then “he returned in the power of the Spirit’ (Luke 4:14) He started out “full of the Spirit and in part as a result of his prayer and fasting, he became ‘empowered’ by the Spirit. Having exemplified it in His own ministry, Jesus went on to stress its necessity to achieve spiritual breakthroughs when prayer by itself proved inadequate (Mark 9:29)

The Pharisees of the day fasted, as did the disciples of John the Baptist. Onlookers were surprised when they noticed Jesus’ disciples weren’t fasting. He defended them by equating his presence with that of a bridal celebration, but clearly inferred that following his departure, his disciples certainly would fast (Mark 2:18-20) In the early church, prayer and fasting were the means by which the first missionary personnel were identified  and commissioned, (Acts 13:1-3; 14:21-23) The Apostle Paul also resorted to these twin spiritual resources immediately upon his conversion and prior to his commissioning and  commencement of his own ministry (Acts 9:9) Later he referred to testify as a sign of the legitimacy of his missionary ministry (2Corinthians 6:3-10; 11:23-27) According to Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis, in the fourth century, fasting was still the universal, habitual practice of all Christians on Wednesdays and Fridays of each week. (Stuart Robinson)

PRAYER LINE: Father, I know when I fast and pray my enemies will turn back. They shall fall and perish at Your presence (Psalm 9:3)

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Fasting and fasting attract God’s favour.

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