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Devotion Day 12

DAY 12

The Practice of Fasting

Acts 13:2,3

When we address the subject of the exceeding wonders of prayer, we can’t leave that subject without dealing with the power of fasting. Believers can become confused regarding fasting, as though it were done to operate energy created by our own exercise, as though fasting were a means of earning something from God.

But the dedication and devotion of spiritual disciplines (ie: prayer, fasting) never has anything to do with our “getting” from God or “forcing” God into action. Rather, prayer and fasting are means of aligning ourselves with His possibilities and promises.

There is the question that is raised about whether fasting is even relevant, or necessary, or important today. There are those who see fasting as archaic – like some long-ago legalistic tradition – some sort of penance or purging.

As you look at the response of Jesus regarding why His disciples did not fast in Matthew 9:14,15 He was saying “as long as I’m here, this isn’t the time for fasting, but when I am gone…yes.” He’s referring here to the season from His ascension until He returns. In plain words, Jesus not only “allows” but seems to “appoint” fasting as a Christian discipline.

The Apostle Paul encourages fasting as a vital part of the life of a servant of Christ. In describing his own practices “in fastings often” – 2 Corinthians 11:27, he verifies two things:

1. He made frequent applications of fasting, and

2. He didn’t fast according to a calendar.

In other words, he declares the rightness of fasting without it being a ritual. In short, the Holy Spirit can and will direct us to times and purpose of fasting!

At The Crossing, many of us choose to fast some meals every Tuesday in connection with Turn-Around-Tuesday, this is a day when we pray and fast for the prodigal. We have seen this practice (not ritual) stir our hearts for the lost and wayward. What is happening? We are aligning our hearts with the heart of God.

Fasting and prayer go together. As you reflect on the spiritual discipline of prayer and fasting in Daniel’s life, Daniel 10:1, you notice:

As Daniel sought the Lord, God’s purpose was released, and a prophetic promise fulfilled – the prophetic promise of the termination of Israel’s Babylonian exile.” – Jack Hayford

Can you imagine how many situations today are waiting for someone who will recognize the deliverance of God?

Prayer & fasting can make it happen.

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