The Necessity, Purpose, and Power of Fasting: Part Two

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Yesterday I began to talk with you about the importance of fasting and how it creates intimacy with God and changes you! If you didn’t read it, you can read it here.  I finished by saying I would share a story with you about one of my fasts with God.

Every January our church begins the year with a 21 day fast. Last January, as I thought about this fast, I prayed and asked the Lord, Lord, what do you want me to fast about?  The answer from God was swift! The Lord began to deal with me saying, I want you to fast politics. Turn off all political media. Your love walk has been poisoned. You are seeing society in “political sides.” It’s affected how you see people and how you love people. And so I want you to fast all political media. And then I want you to fast and pray also using your eating time to fast and pray for the leadership of those in authority in all places across every state and the nation. And then the Lord reminded me of the verse, Psalm 75:6 (TLB) “For promotion and power come from nowhere on earth, but only from God. He promotes one and deposes another.” And then the Lord reminded me of 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 (NIV) that says, “…pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored… and pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith.” These two verses became the launching point of my fasting and prayers. 

Then the Lord led me to listen to some great Pastors that  had recently ministered on this very subject. I was convicted and spent time repenting to God every time my thoughts went to political anger. I truly needed God to do a work in my heart.  I was obedient and loyal to this fast knowing God wanted to help me.

When the 21 days were over, I knew God had done a great work in me but I also knew that God didn’t want me to end the fast. He spoke to me saying, I need those who will pray for all walks of leadership. I want you to continue to fast and pray.  Normally  I don’t talk to people about when I fast and pray because Jesus told us to do so in secret! But I know that it’s okay for me to tell you this so that you might also consider fasting as God leads you!

I continued fasting intermittently all the way through this year and am still fasting now. I am not praying for what I want or think should happen. I am praying for revival in this nation and for God to do a work in the leaders of this nation–helping those who will yield to Him, and praying that God will tear down and replace corrupt leadership within our nation with moral, godly, and ethical, leadership.  And I have begun to see it happen!

There is a moral vacuum in this nation that is unlike anything I’ve witnessed in the past 40 years. And there is a hatred and division over racism and political and moral thought. Christians are forgetting that everything begins and ends with the love of God. Just as nothing can separate us from the love of God, so we are to not let worldly things separate us from loving others with the love of God.

This world has never needed God’s love, word and direction more! You have probably never been more exposed to profanity, sexual immorality,  or pornography and perversion, including the confusion over genders than you now see everywhere.  And you probably have never felt more powerless to do anything about it. The fact is, these are issues God wants us to resolve through fasting and prayer because only God Himself can bring about the changes He desires in the nations!  And that only through the fasting and prayers of His people. This is the life Jesus lived on this earth! The fasted life.  And it changed the world! And now God is calling out to those who will answer the call!

2 Chronicles 16:9 (NKJV)
says, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him…” Will you be like Isaiah when he heard the Lord saying “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And Isaiah said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Fasting and praying has increased my intimacy with God and it has changed my heart, my mind, my prayers, and my world.  That is what fasting and intimacy with God will do for a person and why it should be a regular part of our life—not legalistically, but in the pursuit of intimately with God and because of your desire to see impossible changes in society happen. This is how they happen. It’s a consecrated and precious time to be focused on our love for the Lord by reading His Word, praying, and reflecting on how we are walking out our life and God-given influence before Him.  Fasting and praying helps His thoughts become our thoughts and His prayers become our prayers. And it prioritizes our world and our personal life!  Next time: Practical suggestions for how to fast! 
Daniel, 9:3 “So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting…”  

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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