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Does Fasting and Prayer Work?
We, Americans are an undisciplined lot. We want everything yesterday. So, I am writing this article to resurrect some ancient yet wise advice. The scriptures tell us that if we want to inquire of the Lord we should pray and fast. Do you want something from God? Do you want to know something from God? Are you in need of direction or healing from God? Pray and Fast! Do not simply pray and do not simply fast but prayer with fasting will bring you what you need from God.
I have recently discovered the joy of fasting and prayer. It's actually difficult to admit this but I haven't spent much time fasting in my life and my prayer life could always use some improvement. I started doing a juice fast for a day here and there, sometimes I was successful but more often I was not. Part of the problem was that I didn't combine it with prayer. I just wanted to feel better. The other problem was that I always gave myself the option of breaking the fast. It wasn't until I combined my fasting with prayer and mentally decided that I was going to do the fast no matter how much I wanted to eat that I had success. I have to tell you, the first day is the worst. If you can get through the first day, the following days are not nearly as difficult.
The benefits of prayer and faster are huge. I found that after the first day my mind was clearer, my prayer life had an extra zip that wasn't there before and I felt great physically. The hunger pains decreased as the fast went on and I did drink juice smoothies consisting of banana, orange juice, apples, blueberries, carrots, pineapple and strawberries once or twice a day. I found that when I woke up in the morning I had loads of energy and not only that but the cravings for food diminished completely. I still felt hunger pains for maybe an hour or so each day but I then went and had my fruit smoothie or just ignored it and they went away.
I used the time that I would normally eat or prepare meals to pray, read the Bible or worship God. I have to tell you it is a wonderful feeling to know that you are doing something that is pleasing to God and feels good too.
I have to say that as I was fasting I was given a lot of negative advice. In fact all of the comments and advice given to me was negative. Some said, it will slow down your metabolism, others just seemed to want to tempt me to break the fast sooner than I had planned. I cannot help but wonder if this isn't some sort of spiritual warfare from the enemy considering the power of prayer and fasting.
I also would like to comment that after the initial hunger pains I actually felt great. I only have done a maximum of three days but other than the occasional hunger pains I felt really good physically. In fact, after breaking the fast with an egg and toast I noticed that I didn't feel as good as I did before.
In closing, I would like to say that anything that the Word of God encourages us to do cannot be bad for us. Jesus said “when you fast” insinuating that we would fast. He did not say “if” you fast. Jesus fasted for 40 days and he survived I would think a day or several days of fasting would not hurt us physically. Spiritually, the Word says that fasting gives us added power. In this desperately fallen world I can't think of why we would not use a tool that God has given us in order to have more power against the principalities and powers of this age.
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