Prayer and fasting seems old-fashioned.
Many modern Christians have never experienced the power prayer and fasting provide. However, there is much to be gained by this ancient practice.
If you’re like most Christians…
You read God’s Word.
You listen to godly family, friends and mentors.
Sometimes, though, something comes up that stops me dead in my tracks:
- Bad news.
- Big decisions.
- Questions that need answers.
- Processing through hurt and pain.
When the need is intense, the consequences great, and I absolutely have to hear from God, I stop, drop and fast. Here’s how to implement prayer and fasting for spiritual breakthrough:
- Stop: Activity is the enemy of contemplation. Cutting through the clutter of “noise” in my life requires me to stop. I can’t stop forever, of course. I can’t disappear into a monastery. I have a wife, 4 kids and a ministry. I live in this world. But stopping for a moment, or an hour, or an afternoon? If hearing from God is important, I will find a way to make it happen.
- Drop: I cannot hold my hands open to God while holding onto my own will. A long time ago I told God, “not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) I gave Him permission to do whatever He wanted to do with my life. On a routine basis He reminds me of that commitment, and calls me to live it out. That means I have to drop my own will, lay it down at His feet, and re-surrender to Him.
- Fast: This may be the most under-used spiritual discipline in the church today. Fasting from food, technology, or other activities accomplishes two things.
- Prayer and fasting eliminates distractions, making space for God. It’s easier to hear from God when you’re not doing 15 other things. Imagine watching 5 streaming videos at once. It doesn’t work.
- Prayer and fasting focuses attention. Physical hunger is an immediate reminder of my spiritual need. Every time my stomach grumbles, I am reminded of Jesus’ words. “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
Do you NEED to hear from God today?
Work through this process. Pray. Read His Word. Listen to the godly others in your life. If necessary, stop, drop and fast. The great thing about prayer and fasting is that it focuses your greatest desires on the God who has all the answers. It will amplify His voice in your life.
(I’d love to hear how God has been speaking to you in the Comments below.)
Who are the “godly others” in your life? Read “Don’t Tank: Teammates Tell the Truth” to develop this in your life.