We are an organization that serves Women and their families through our Teaching, Intercessory Prayers, Missions and Outreach ministries.

Statement of Faith

We believe in:

1. The Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and the person of the Holy Spirit as one. 1 John 5:7

2. Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Acts 1:5

3. New testament biblical practices of the Holy communion, washing of the feet, sprinkling of the Blood. John 13:3-8, Acts 19:11-12, John 13:3-8.

4. The manifestation of God's power through signs and wonders, Luke 9:1, 1 Corin 2:4, Isaiah 8:18.

5. The deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, the virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His atoning death through his shed blood, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of God, the Father and in His personal return to earth in power and glory.


6. The Infallibility of the Holy Scriptures, the Bible as the final authority in all matters of doctrine, conducts relative to daily living.

7. The administration of spiritual gifts led by the Spirit for the edification of the church of God. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7


8. The personal return of Jesus Christ, the eternal damnation in a literal hell for the wicked and everlasting life with the living God for the righteous.

"Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold i come and I will dwell in your midst, declare the Lord" Zechariah 2:10.








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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Benefits of Fasting, with Prayer

 













 


Scripture Texts: Isaiah 58:3-14,
Matthew 6: 16-18
 
By Kemi O.





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 with the Lord and see how it transforms your life. 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 look at how we can incorporate fasting with our prayer and the benefits of doing so.

    
Definition of Prayer

What is 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

What is 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
 
What are the types of fasting that are mentioned in scripture?
 

According to the Bible, there are 3 different types and they are:
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.

 III). Absolute (Dry) Fast- This is when no food and no liquids are consumed. This type of fast is rarely practiced and is only mentioned a few times in the Bible.  Moses in Exodus 34:28 who fasted for 40 days and 40 nights as mentioned earlier.  Also, there is the Apostle Paul, during his Damascus Road experience "was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. Acts 9:9 and Queen Esther in Esther 4:16.  I personally, have never tried this kind of fast before but my husband has, a couple of times in the past and it’s amazing the results he encountered both spiritually and physically.


A). How Are We to Fast?

In Matthew 6:17-18, Jesus states how we are to fast and that is, by anointing our head, washing our faces so that no one will know that we are waiting on the Lord.  In a nutshell, our appearance should not attract the attention of others, we should dress up and look the way we normally do when we are not fasting. Jesus warns us to not be like hypocrites, trying to receive praise from others because that will be the only reward we will ever get.  Matthew 6:16.  

 
B). When Are We to Fast?

i).  We can fast anytime i.e. There are no restrictions on how often you are to fast. You do not have to wait for your church or fellowship to declare a fast for a specific purpose.  For the benefit of  personal spiritual growth, you can fast anytime you are led to.  Not too long ago, I made a commitment to myself to fast at least twice a week for my own spiritual growth, sometimes we also fast as a family in my house which is always good too.

ii).  As you are led by the Spirit of God

iii). When there is a burden in your heart that refuses to go away even after just praying. (i.e. anything disturbing your peace) Sometimes it could be attack from the enemy or a burden put there by God.

iv). When you are facing all kinds of storms or challenges (i.e. financial distress, marital problems, relationship issues with family, friends, sickness etc. In situations like that, it never hurts to step up your prayer with fasting, especially when you feel you are under spiritual attack.

v).  When you take the burdens of others upon yourself (intercessory prayer, which we will look at in Part 2 of our series). Psalm 35:13, Isaiah 58:6-7.

vi). When you are about to embark on an important assignment for God or a complex project in your life. Matthew 4:2



C). Who Should Fast?

      Every child of God regardless of their age (with the exception of children under the age of 13) should fast at one time or the other in their prayer lives. I believe 13 according Jewish customs,  is referred to as the age of accountability.   I am always amazed to see the elderly, both Men and Women well into their 80s and 90s’, faithfully serving the Lord and loving every minute of it.  Regardless of their age, health etc,  they don’t let it get in the way of doing God’s work. It makes me always think that if these ones can still have that passion or zeal in their latter years, how much more we, the younger ones.   Look at Billy Graham today, who is 93 years Old , Dr. Charles Stanley who just turned 80 last September and many more people of God like that in their late 60s’ and up around the world, still going strong by the strength of God, Isaiah 40:31, and we see an example of such in Luke 2:36-37, Anna, a prophetess of God, who was about 84 years of age and had lost her husband only after 7 years of marriage, It was said of her that "she never left the temple,  but served God with fastings and prayers night and day, you begin to wonder at that age, what is she fasting for again? Well it is between her and God, but I believe this religious act or practice was enriching her life in some way, who knows maybe "long life" and I also believe it became "second nature" to her to do so.

    Having said this, a bit of caution to those with some kind of medical condition, I would encourage you to seek professional or medical advice before attempting to fast.   Also, if you have never fasted before, not because of any medical condition, I will advise you start small, for example, you can begin with a 1 day fast for at least 6 hours and then as you faithfully pray, the Lord will help you to take it a step further. Do not attempt a 3-7 day full day fast  if you haven’t fasted before for it can lead to dizziness, headaches and weakness, low blood sugar etc. which are usually normal side effects, but it causes you to lose your focus on why you are waiting on the Lord and lead you to focus on the flesh instead.   Always start slowly. Also remember that the principle of fasting also applies to anything in your life you are willing to sacrifice or give up in a specified period of time to seek the Lord. You do not necessarily need to start out with food for whatever type of fast you choose. It could be anything that you usually cannot do without on a daily basis as mentioned at the beginning of the message.

Before we look at the benefits of fasting with prayer, let me first of all state that it is important that we are fasting for the right reasons or else, it would have all been for nothing. Isaiah 58:3-4. Remember God sees the heart of Man and knows when our motives or intentions are wrong. Genuine Fasting is for the purpose of breaking the power of flesh in our lives and with the right intentions; it is always effective when seeking the Lord for youself or on behalf of others.


D). The Benefits of Fasting with Prayer

    Now the benefits of combining fasting, along with prayer are many and so we will look at some of them.

 i).  Receive divine guidance Judges 20:26-28

 ii).  Receive victory over temptation Matthew 4:1-11 (Jesus, because He was in human     flesh was prone to temptation just like us. With the help of the Holy Spirit, He resisted).

iii).  When fasting is done with the right motives, reward is given from God Matthew 6:16-18.

iv).  Abundance, Prosperity would be your portion Isaiah 58:8, Job 11:17.

v).  Restored Health, Divine Health Isaiah 58:8, Jeremiah 30:17.

vi). When you call upon Him, He will answer Isaiah 58:9, Psalm 50:15.

vii). When you fast and pray for those in need, the poor, etc., the Lord promises to guide you continually, satisfy your heart’s desire and bless you with good health. Isaiah 58:11.

viii). Genuine fasting and prayer brings fruitfulness, radiance and God’s goodness in your life.

 ix).  Receive restoration, promotion and God will use us to impact the lives of others.

 x).   Able to discern more clearly the will of God for our lives through our spiritual eyes and ears.

 xi). As a church group, community or nation, when we genuinely fast and pray, God can move on our behalf, causing a change to occur to align with God’s plan. 2 Chronicles 7:14.

 
Beloved, let me just conclude by saying that it is not too late to incorporate fasting with your prayer, once you start slowly and then begin to advance gradually to longer periods of fasting, you will begin to see it as second nature and not only that, you will experience a significant growth in your walk with the Lord. As we have seen, it has been done throughout biblical history by both men and women, young and old alike, with testimonies of God’s greatness in their lives and even today, that greatness is still being seen as men and women of prayer all around the world today are seeking the Lord through the act of prayer and fasting. I have been a witness to some powerful testimonies of God’s awesomeness when His people pray and I encourage you today to become a Woman of Prayer, taking that extra step with prayer and fasting unto the Lord and that divine encounter you have been waiting for, you shall receive as you allow the Lord to take you higher in your prayer life.

Shalom.
 



 

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great Message my dear sister. Thank you for sharing. The Lord will continue to fill you more and more with His words to impact more lives around the world in Jesus name.

Omotola W.
Queens, NY

Anonymous said...

Glorious message sis, the heavenly wisdom will fill you more by the day in Jesus Mighty name(amen)


Kemi said...

Thank you very much beloved and I pray that the good Lord who has directed you to locate this message will bless you richly this Christmas season and meet you at the point of your every need in Jesus name.

Remain blessed.