Archive for the 'Fasting' Category
3 Powerful Promises When You Pray and Fast
At Cross Church, we just finished a church-wide experience called 21 Days of Prayer. It was a phenomenal time for our church and these promises rang true. Consider how these promises can affect your personal life and your church.
There are many promises God makes in His Word in regard to the blessings we will receive through prayer and fasting. In my book The Power of Prayer and Fasting, I talk about seven specific promises. I want to mention three here that I trust will bless you as you read. I have seen each of these promises come true in my walk with God, and I’m confident they also can live in you, through you, and will be yours as you call on God to do His will in your life.
Promise 1: Prayer and Fasting Provides Freedom
When we pray and fast, God promises that He will liberate us. He will loose the chains of injustice. He declares that He’ll untie the cords of the yoke and will give the oppressed their long-awaited freedom. He will set us free from the bondage of what others think, making us realize that any comparison we make with others is a guaranteed fast track to misery. When we fast and pray, God steps in and frees us from the perceived alienation with Him that has kept us immobilized, fearful, and disobedient for so long. As you consider God’s call to fasting, perhaps for the first time, you may choose to start slowly, fasting and praying for only one day. Perhaps you’ll decide to fast and pray one day each week throughout the year where you declare that specific twenty-four hours as your time of obedience to be alone in the intimate presence of God. Some are unable to fast from food due to medical reasons. Choose something else to fast from – television, Internet, social media, etc. Take it to the level God would have you go. As you do, God will give you grace, comfort, and a new direction in your Christian walk. In the end, you will be set free.
Promise 2: Prayer and Fasting Teaches us to Share
When we fast and pray, God teaches us how to share with those who have physical and spiritual needs.
“Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” (Isaiah 58:7 NIV)
The book of Proverbs complements this passage by reminding us that when we give to the poor, we lend to the Lord. Fasting and prayer put your life in perspective. You are never more like God than when you give. Prayer and fasting can build within you the character to give. Giving is a joy – one that we experience when we learn to give like God does. We need to be willing to pour ourselves out to those who can do nothing for us in return, which means we are ready to give to anyone, anytime, anywhere. This is the heart of Jesus, and it needs to be our heart. Prayer and fasting build within you the power to give.
Promise 3: Prayer and Fasting Leads us to Answered Prayer
As you pray and fast, you will call on God, and He will answer you. Answered prayer is the quintessence of praying and fasting. If I were to share with you the five or six pages of the prayer journal I prepared prior to my first forty-day fast, and then walk you back through my journal since then, you would see one thing: My prayers were answered. They are still being answered. There is something to the disciplines of prayer and fasting. I could point you to every experience of long-term fasting where God has answered my requests before Him. This does not mean they were answered as I preferred, but it did not matter. He had worked in my heart, and I was released, fully confident that God was ordering my way. When we humble ourselves before the Father, and when God sees we are serious about giving Him our broken spirits, He begins to do things we have never seen before. It’s empowering. It sensitizes us to the needs of others at home and overseas as we suddenly find ourselves quietly praying for people, events, and situations with the knowledge that our prayers not only will be heard but that the Father will answer them.
Will you see these promises in your life? Take hold of them by fasting and praying.
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd
Parts taken from The Power of Prayer and Fasting by Ronnie W. Floyd. Copyright 2010. Used by permission of B&H Publishing Group. All rights reserved.
Pastors, Lead Your Church into Special Seasons of Seeking the Lord Seriously
There are moments in the life of the church where the pastor needs to lead the people of God to seek the Lord seriously. Through the years, Cross Church has chosen to do this in many ways.
We are in a season of seeking God as a church right now. We are calling our church to go on a spiritual journey with God for twenty-one days in the month of January. It is simply called 21 DAYS.
The Bible challenges us in 1 Peter 4:7, “Now the end of all things is near, therefore, be serious and disciplined for prayer.” I believe as we continue forward in these days, there are moments we need to resolve to take our spiritual life seriously. We do this by being disciplined in prayer.
The Challenge is Clear
We are challenging our people to be disciplined to pray for twenty-one days successively for their own spiritual life and development, for our church, and for our nation.
Relating to their own spiritual life and development, we are asking our people to determine a specific breakthrough needed in their life. The challenge is also to identify and pray for a family member or friend who needs Jesus Christ. Additionally, we are asking them to establish a spiritual goal for their life in 2016. As our people go on this journey, we believe if they pray about their own spiritual life for twenty-one days in a row, especially if they target these things, God will take them to a new level.
We have also extended a challenge to join us in praying for our church and our nation. We have defined three specific things to pray for our church and our nation. In fact, you can see exactly what we have enclosed in the 21 DAYS booklet. Please give attention to the heart of the book on pages 3-4.
Make it a Win
Through our preaching over the past few weeks, we have tried to make our focus a win for everyone. Our appeal has been: Just think what God could do if you focused on your spiritual life for twenty-one days in a row and joined thousands of others praying for our church and our nation at the same time.
We have challenged our people to establish some level of commitment by giving up something they love during this time. At the same time, it is a challenge for many to focus on praying about these specific matters for twenty-one days successively.
Therefore, our ultimate challenge has been: Find the level you believe God wants you to go to, and go on this journey with us. Everyone can find their level of commitment, even if they have to depart from it a few days due to travel or personal matters. Our goal is for everyone to take their spiritual life seriously enough to go on some kind of journey with God. You can see our commitment card here.
As a pastor or church leader, you may be wondering how we extended these challenges from the pulpit over the past couple of weeks. Two weeks ago, we spoke on 21 DAYS and this past week on How to Pray Through Your Problems.
My desire in making these sermons and other resources available is to be helpful and encouraging. If you do something like this for one day, seven days, or twenty-one days, you will need to adjust things for your situation and church.
Walking in Expectation
Many times, we do not walk in expectation. Journeys of faith move us to walk in expectation.
I can assure you, I am expecting great things from God for my own life and in the life of our church. I am looking for the Lord to do some powerful things in the lives of our people.
If we believe prayer really matters, then we will see the Lord do great things.
William Carey was a missionary to India. Among other things, he was known as the father of modern missions and this statement is credited to him: “Expect great things; attempt great things.”
Pastors, live your life, operate your ministry, and lead your church to expect great things. When you believe our God is able, you will not just expect great things, you will attempt great things.
This is why as spiritual leaders we need to lead God’s people to seek God seriously. Our God is able. Expect and attempt great things!
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd