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Why should I Pray and Fast?

Updated: Jan 15

Every Year at View Church our lead pastors encourage us to participate and experience a journey of 21 days of prayer and fasting. What are the benefits of prayer and fasting and why do we fast and pray?

As a Church do it (Fast & Pray) as a way to discipline ourselves and worship God, but more importantly as a way to put God first by choosing to seek God in the first month of the year as we set aside time to prioritise God.

A fast, that is rooted in biblical principles, can be a transformative spiritual discipline that shapes one's life in various ways. While individual experiences may vary, here are some general ways a 21-day fast can impact and shape your life:

1. Spiritual Discipline and Dependence on God:

- Biblical Reference: Matthew 4:1-4 (NIV) - The Temptation of Jesus

- Jesus fasted for 40 days, setting an example for spiritual discipline and reliance on God.

- Impact: A 21-day fast fosters discipline, humility, and a deeper dependence on God as you deny yourself physical comforts.

The fact that Jesus was led to the Wilderness to fast and pray by the Holy Spirit at the launch of his ministry is evidence that beginning the year or beginning a new venture or chapter through prayer and fasting is something not to be sniffed at.

Jesus began his ministry through 40 days of Prayer and fasting. He in effect was declaring that the foundation and the development and success of his ministry depended on God. Through his ministry Jesus kept the discipline of Prayer as a habit that outlined the importance of letting God lead in whatever we do.

2. Spiritual Sensitivity and Clarity:

- Biblical Reference: Daniel 10:2-3 (NIV) - Daniel's Vision of a Man

- Daniel fasted for 21 days, seeking understanding and receiving a profound vision.

- Impact: Fasting can enhance spiritual sensitivity, bringing clarity and insight into God's purpose and direction for your life.

As you begin the year what better way to glean spiritually and sharpen your clarity and vision through engaging in prayer and fasting. Like Daniel who fasted for 21 day we can also expect God to respond to our hunger for him through receiving instruction and communication through The Holy Spirit who responds to the hunger we display and the priority we set in our stance of Prayer and fasting.

3. Breaking Chains of Addiction:

- Biblical Reference: Isaiah 58:6-7 (NIV) - True Fasting

- Fasting is described as a way to break the yoke of oppression and set the oppressed free.

- Impact: A 21-day fast can be a powerful tool to break the chains of addiction, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual, bringing freedom and restoration.

While the goal of fasting is to get closer to God the result of fasting is that the closer you get to God the more your chains of oppressing and bonds of addiction are broken because God is the God of absolute freedom. He does not delight in us being bound and so because in his presence there is freedom, the closer we get to him the more we experience His true freedom. No bonds and yokes of bondage and addiction can stand the presence of almighty God.

I have personal testimonies of how I have managed to conquer in areas that I had previously struggled in and found healing or deliverence just by determining that I would focus on seeking God and making Him my priority and decalring a time of prayer and fasting.

As a Church we encourage believers to seek God and as you seek God whole heartedlys he will respond unreservedly with Freedom and Power made available to you in amazing ways.

4. Repentance and Spiritual Renewal:

- Biblical Reference: Joel 2:12-13 (NIV) - Return to the Lord

- Joel calls for fasting, weeping, and repentance, promising God's compassion and renewal.

- Impact: Fasting provides an opportunity for sincere repentance, leading to spiritual renewal and a restored relationship with God.

5. Cultivating a Heart of Worship:

- Biblical Reference: Acts 13:2-3 (NIV) - Barnabas and Saul Sent Off

- The early church leaders fasted and worshiped, seeking God's guidance for their mission.

- Impact: A 21-day fast can deepen your worship experience, fostering a heart that seeks God's presence and guidance in every aspect of life.

6. Developing Self-Control:

- Biblical Reference: Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) - Fruit of the Spirit

- Self-control is listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit.

- Impact: Fasting requires self-control, and practicing it can lead to the development of this crucial aspect of Christian character.

7. Prayer Intensity and Intercession:

- Biblical Reference: Ezra 8:21-23 (NIV) - Fasting and Prayer for Protection

- Ezra called for fasting and prayer for protection during a dangerous journey.

- Impact: Fasting amplifies the intensity of prayer, especially when interceding for personal needs, others, or broader concerns.

8. Physical and Mental Detox:

- Biblical Reference: Daniel 1:12-15 (NIV) - Daniel's Resolve Not to Defile Himself

- Daniel abstained from the king's food and wine, choosing a diet of vegetables and water.

- Impact: Fasting can detoxify the body and mind, promoting a healthier lifestyle and increased mental clarity.

Remember, the effectiveness of a fast lies not merely in abstaining from food but in seeking God's presence with a humble and repentant heart. Always consult with a healthcare professional before undertaking an extended fast, especially if you have health concerns.

As we begin this year and engage with God in Prayer and fasting let us be expectant that God will respond because His word is clear and his word is true when He declares that we should draw near to him so that HE can draw nearer to us.

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