When Prayer Meets Fasting
Passage: Ezra 8:21–8:23
Prayer is a vital part of the Christian life because when God's people pray, they are personally communicating with the God of the universe who invites his children to come to him in prayer. Prayer with fasting is a unique expression of our deep desire for God to do something among us. Fasting is a means of seeking God’s unique blessing and expressing our hunger for his hand to move and intervene in our lives.
David Mathis, a Christian writer, defines fasting as "voluntarily going without food—or any other regularly enjoyed good gift from God—for the sake of some spiritual purpose.”
Another writer, theologian Wayne Grudem, adds, “Fasting expresses earnestness and urgency in our prayers…fasting says to God that we are prepared to lay down our lives that the situation [for which we are praying] be changed rather than it continue…Most western Christians do not [regularly] fast, but if we were wiling to fast more regularly—even for one or two meals—we might be surprised how much more spiritual power and strength we would have in our lives and in our churches.”
At The Brook, we believe God is calling us to step out in faith in our individual lives, families, and collectively as a Church. As a church, we believe God is calling us to multiply Real Communities and multiply our sending capacity to start more churches in the years to come. So we are calling the churhc to pray and fast asking God for clarity as we seek to obey his mission for our lives and for His church.
So we turn to Ezra 8, where we learn 7 Keys to true Prayer and Fasting:
- Prayer and Fasting, both public and private, should be consistent parts of the Christian life
- Prayer and Fasting are starting points, not bailout plans
- Prayer and Fasting make strong people weak, and weak people strong
- Prayer and Fasting restores the wonder of being face to face with God
- Prayer and Fasting aims for the glory of God, not simply the answering of my request
- Prayer and Fasting are inseparably to Feasting on God’s Word hungering for more of God
- Prayer and Fasting reminds us that our ability to see God’s hand often comes in our commitment to seek God’s Hand