Is Prayer and Fasting Still Relevant Today?
Often times when we are called to embark upon a fast, immediately we begin to focus on what we won’t be allowed to eat, instead of focusing on seeking God. We tend to bombard our mind with “Am I going to be able to do this?” We start to get nervous and we find ways to cram in as much food as possible, because we feel that we are about to miss out on something. So instead of rejoicing and anticipating on hearing more clearly from God, we enter our time of prayer and fasting feeling defeated with a negative thought pattern. So before the fast even begin, our mindset is already off course. Needless to say, many have lost the desire to fast and pray because they have not seen any results. Therefore, fewer people engage in time of prayer and fasting.
The more and more I hear people talk about fasting and how they feel stressed about it, the more concerned I became that we are losing this battle and something was not right. It's not that prayer and fasting is wrong, it's the way we go into it. Usually it is our perspective and how we view fasting that has made this lifestyle less desirable.
In previous years of participating in 21- days of praying and fasting, I did not receive the desired results because I was too busy focusing on what I would eat on the 22nd day. Needless to say, I did not commune with God as much as I should have. So instead of praying and fasting, I embarked upon a 21-Day diet and began to complain and murmur.
As I hear people talk today, I hear all types of reasons why they won't or can't pray and fast. People often say that they want to engage in prayer and fasting, but their work schedule is too hectic and they just can't work 10-12 hours without eating some type of food. So rather than feeling like a failure, they opt to not participate at all. In addition to these reasons, I have heard others who have health challenges whoe have stated that they want to participate as well, but because they are on medication, they just can't. In the meantime, the devil is whipping the saints butt.
As churches throughout the country embark upon a "church-wide" 21-Day corporate fast, less than half of its congregation are able to participate due to fear, stress, work schedules and illnesses. Therefore, the desired results are not received corporately or individually, and many have lost their hope, their joy has faded and their expectations have dwindle. So instead of drawing closer to God, more believers withdraw from God because they feel defeated.
I am a firm believer that prayer and fasting is important and is relevant for today. The bible says in Mark 9:14 - 29, when the disciples could not cast the demon out of the boy, they asked Jesus why couldn’t they do it, and Jesus said because this kind only comes out through prayer and fasting.
The reason why there are so many demonic forces in our society today, and the reason why we rarely see any signs, wonders and miracles taking place is because we have fewer people praying and fasting. Yes, our churches are full, and yes our congregation size is steady increasing. But the devil doesn’t care about that. He doesn’t care if people go to church, he doesn’t care if we shout, dance, run and sing, because he knows that doesn’t cast out demons. He knows that as long as we neglect prayer and fasting, we will not see change. What will cast out demons and set people free from their sin and inner struggles? Prayer and fasting! The devil doesn’t want the church to pray and fast because he knows that when we do, all demons must flee and they have no choice but to come out.
So while the church is growing, and more and more people are receiving the gift of speaking in tongues, the devil is still having a field day because he has kept us ignorant about prayer and fasting. He wants to keep us locked up in fear, thinking about all that we can’t do, instead of focusing on the good that will come about as a result of consecrating ourselves. There is power in praying and fasting.
After hearing so many people complaining and walking in fear as it relates to praying and fasting, God spoke to me and said 6:00 to 6:00. He strategically gave me the following:
6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Eat and drink whatever you want. But No Bread and No caffeine.
6:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m.
WATER ONLY (No food of any kind)
And no flavored water. H2O ONLY
From 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Most people are working during this time, and on this type of fast, they can eat and drink whatever they want with the exception of bread and caffeine. Not only will they be praying during this time, but they will also receive the nutrients and vitamins that are needed to keep them energized and alert in order to recognize the enemy when he comes to attack.
Many saints are under attack and they don’t even know it. But this is what prayer and fasting will reveal. Times today are not like before. Parents today are working two and three jobs to make ends meet, so they feel that they cannot participate on an all liquid or Daniel Fast. So they opt out in participating at all.
From 6:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m.
The only intake will be water. Reason being is because during this time, we are more open to receive. We have fewer distractions, and we are more susceptible to hear God more clearly. Often times we like to have that late night snack between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. And when we start to eat that late, we get sluggish and our bodies shut down. And when that happens and God makes the attempt to speak to us during the 4th watch (3:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m.) we cannot hear him because our bodies are too tired and exhausted from the intake of food and sugar. He revealed to me that not eating during this time period, will cause people to go to bed early and rise early, giving them time to commune with God before going to work. In addition, more people will have an ear to hear.
Join me and One In Christ Ministries on our 21-Day Fast from January 6th - 27th, 2014.
For more information on how you can make your time of prayer and fasting more productive, email Bishop Everett at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you as we come together to kick the devils butt.