Friday, January 17, 2020

The Amazing Power of Fasting

By: Sarah Geringer 

“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get."

Matthew 6:16 NLT

Is fasting a part of your prayer routine? If not, you can supercharge your prayers with the amazing power of fasting.

I joined a new church in October. Every January for the past 10 years, they have held 21 days of fasting and prayer for all who want to participate. For almost two weeks, I've experienced amazing results from fasting.

Even though I've been a Christian for four decades, fasting hasn't been a regular part of my spiritual journey. I only started using it here and there as an adult. But each time I've used it, fasting helps me get closer to God and receive powerful answers.

Often, God uses fasting to clear out blind spots. The first time I fasted as an adult, God revealed an idol in my life. I was praying about something totally different, but God wanted me to deal with that sin first.

During fasting, you can hear the Holy Spirit more clearly.
If you have a sin standing in the way of your relationship with God, he will reveal it to you right away. Be prepared for this!

If a hidden sin isn't the problem, God can teach you new things through fasting. For example, when I took a sugar fast during Lent in 2017, God helped me increase mindfulness. I learned to appreciate smaller blessings that I previously overlooked. This longer practice of fasting helped increase my joy and dependence on God.

This year, fasting has taught me to focus on interceding for others. Right before the fast began, the Holy Spirit told me to use these 21 days in January to pray for others. Amazingly, he has put certain people on my heart and mind without their knowing it. When my stomach growls in hunger, it's my trigger to pray on their behalf. And I'm already seeing results from those prayers!

Fasting can take different forms, and you can pick the one suited for you. But for the rest of us, fasting can be a short-term or regular habit for mega spiritual growth. I am simply skipping one meal per day. Some people in my church are only eating supper. Others eat only fruits and vegetables on The Daniel Plan. 
If you are pregnant or have a health condition, it would be better for you to fast from something else, like social media or TV instead of food. Check with your doctor before starting a fast.

All of us can have more powerful prayers through fasting. Once these 21 days are finished, I plan to sacrifice lunch one day per week and use it for prayer. Remember that Jesus says "when you fast," not "if you fast." He assumes it will be part of our regular habits. If you haven't tried fasting yet, why not start this week?
Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the gift of communing with you in prayer.
I trust that fasting is good for my spiritual life.
Jesus, your words assume that fasting is part and parcel of my routines.
I confess that I'm more likely to choose comfort over sacrifice.
Lord, give me the courage to try fasting so I can have more powerful prayers.
I thank you in advance for the amazing things you will show me during a fast.
In Jesus' name,

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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,

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