Title: Prayer and Fasting
Text: Matt. 17:14-21
[Mat 17:14] And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying,
[Mat 17:15] “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.
[Mat 17:16] So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
[Mat 17:17] Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.”
[Mat 17:18] And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.
[Mat 17:19] Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”
[Mat 17:20] So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
[Mat 17:21] However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
- There is a kind that does not go out except by prayer and fasting
- There is a kind that goes out by prayer
- There is a kind that goes out by prayer and fasting
- So, there are some things prayer alone will not do
- We need to add fasting to our prayers
What is fasting?
- Fasting is abstinence from food for a specific period of time in order to focus more on God.
- [Zec 7:5] “Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests: ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months during those seventy years, did you really fast for Me—for Me?
- [1Co 10:7] And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND ROSE UP TO PLAY.”
- Do not be like idolaters, whose flesh were their gods
- Fasting brings the flesh under subjection and elevates the spirit of man
- Fasting makes the presence of God to be closer
- Fasting makes our prayers to be more potent and more powerful
5 Things to know before fasting
- Is it God led or God ordained?
- What are the motives?
- What specific need are you fasting for?
- What result are you looking for?
- Are you determined to minister unto the Lord while fasting (Acts 13).
[Isa 58:1] “Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins.
[Isa 58:2] Yet they seek Me daily, And delight to know My ways, As a nation that did righteousness, And did not forsake the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; They take delight in approaching God.
[Isa 58:3] ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’ “In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, And exploit all your laborers.
[Isa 58:4] Indeed you fast for strife and debate, And to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, To make your voice heard on high.
[Isa 58:5] Is it a fast that I have chosen, A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, And to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the LORD?
[Isa 58:6] “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?
[Isa 58:7] Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
[Isa 58:8] Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
[Isa 58:9] Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ “If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
[Isa 58:10] If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
[Isa 58:11] The LORD will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
[Isa 58:12] Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
The several benefits of fasting listed Isaiah 58:
- Loose the bands of wickedness
- Undo the heavy burdens
- Let the oppressed go free
- Break every yoke
- Deal your bread to the hungry
- Bring the poor that are cast out to your house
- Cover those that are naked
- Your light shall break forth as the morning
- Your health shall spring forth speedily
- Righteousness shall go before you
- The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard
- When you call, the LORD shall answer
- When you cry, He shall say here I am
- Draw out your soul to the hungry
- Satisfy the afflicted soul
- Your light shall rise in obscurity
- Your darkness shall be as the noonday
- The LORD shall guide you continually
- He shall satisfy your soul in drought
- He shall strengthen your bones
- You shall be like a watered garden
- You shall be like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail
- Your own (people) shall build the old waste places
- You shall raise up the foundations of many generations
- You shall be called the repairer of the breach
- You shall be called the restorer of streets to dwell in
Different Types of Fast (Individual/Corporate)
- 3 day fast for crisis (Corporate)
- [Est 4:16] “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”
- [Act 9:9] And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
- 21 day partial fast (Individual)
- No bread, no flesh, no wine
- [Dan 10:2] In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. [Dan 10:3] I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
- [Dan 10:14] Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.”
- For revelation.
- Another fast in Dan 9:3,23
- [Dan 9:3] Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.
[Dan 9:23] At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision:
- 1 day fast for atonement (day of atonement) – (Corporate)
- For consecration and spiritual re-examination
- [Psa 35:13] But as for me, when they were sick, My clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting; And my prayer would return to my own heart.
[Lev 23:27] “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.
[Jer 36:6] You go, therefore, and read from the scroll which you have written at my instruction, the words of the LORD, in the hearing of the people in the LORD’s house on the day of fasting. And you shall also read them in the hearing of all Judah who come from their cities.
- 1 day fast for battle/deliverance – (Corporate)
- Ezra – Ez 8:21-23
- [Ezr 8:21] Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions.
[Ezr 8:22] For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.”
[Ezr 8:23] So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.
Children of Israel – (Corporate) – Jdg 20:18-35
- [Jdg 20:18] Then the children of Israel arose and went up to the house of God to inquire of God. They said, “Which of us shall go up first to battle against the children of Benjamin?” The LORD said, “Judah first!”
[Jdg 20:19] So the children of Israel rose in the morning and encamped against Gibeah.
[Jdg 20:20] And the men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin, and the men of Israel put themselves in battle array to fight against them at Gibeah.
[Jdg 20:21] Then the children of Benjamin came out of Gibeah, and on that day cut down to the ground twenty-two thousand men of the Israelites.
[Jdg 20:22] And the people, that is, the men of Israel, encouraged themselves and again formed the battle line at the place where they had put themselves in array on the first day.
[Jdg 20:23] Then the children of Israel went up and wept before the LORD until evening, and asked counsel of the LORD, saying, “Shall I again draw near for battle against the children of my brother Benjamin?” And the LORD said, “Go up against him.”
[Jdg 20:24] So the children of Israel approached the children of Benjamin on the second day.
[Jdg 20:25] And Benjamin went out against them from Gibeah on the second day, and cut down to the ground eighteen thousand more of the children of Israel; all these drew the sword.
[Jdg 20:26] Then all the children of Israel, that is, all the people, went up and came to the house of God and wept. They sat there before the LORD and fasted that day until evening; and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
[Jdg 20:27] So the children of Israel inquired of the LORD (the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days,
[Jdg 20:28] and Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days), saying, “Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of my brother Benjamin, or shall I cease?” And the LORD said, “Go up, for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand.”
[Jdg 20:29] Then Israel set men in ambush all around Gibeah.
[Jdg 20:30] And the children of Israel went up against the children of Benjamin on the third day, and put themselves in battle array against Gibeah as at the other times.
[Jdg 20:31] So the children of Benjamin went out against the people, and were drawn away from the city. They began to strike down and kill some of the people, as at the other times, in the highways (one of which goes up to Bethel and the other to Gibeah) and in the field, about thirty men of Israel.
[Jdg 20:32] And the children of Benjamin said, “They are defeated before us, as at first.” But the children of Israel said, “Let us flee and draw them away from the city to the highways.”
[Jdg 20:33] So all the men of Israel rose from their place and put themselves in battle array at Baal Tamar. Then Israel’s men in ambush burst forth from their position in the plain of Geba.
[Jdg 20:34] And ten thousand select men from all Israel came against Gibeah, and the battle was fierce. But the Benjamites did not know that disaster was upon them.
[Jdg 20:35] The LORD defeated Benjamin before Israel. And the children of Israel destroyed that day twenty-five thousand one hundred Benjamites; all these drew the sword.
Never go to battle without fasting
1 day fast for deliverance. The Lord fought for them.
Fasting to avoid judgment – (King Ahab – Individual) – 1 Kings 21:25-29
40 day fast for dominion (Individual)
- Jesus fasted 40 days – Luke 4:1-2,14,18-19
- [Luk 4:1] Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
[Luk 4:2] being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
[Luk 4:14] Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region.
[Luk 4:18] “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE HAS ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR; HE HAS SENT ME TO HEAL THE BROKENHEARTED, TO PROCLAIM LIBERTY TO THE CAPTIVES AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET AT LIBERTY THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED;
[Luk 4:19] TO PROCLAIM THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”
- Moses fasted 40 days
- Elijah fasted 40 days
- This is a supernatural fast for dominion
- Make sure you are led by God
- Don’t make fasting a bondage
- Luk 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. Luk 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
Mat 6:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Notice Jesus said “when ye fast”, not “if ye fast”. So, fasting is required in the life of a believer.
- Fasting humbles the soul before God
- Fasting denies and masters the appetite
- Fasting manifests an earnest desire to seek God
- Fasting gives us power over demonic oppression
- Fasting helps our prayer life
- Fasting helps us to be more spirit conscious