We Win Through Fasting and Praying Featured
“True prayer is neither a mere exercise nor a vocal performance. It is far deeper than that – it is a spiritual transaction with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.”
- Charles Spurgeon
There are times within our individual contexts of life that we encounter extraordinary circumstances that require the intervention of the Good Hand of the Lord in our lives. There are moments in life that demand influence, fortitude, or strength that exceed our capacity. I firmly believe, however, that in these moments of our most exhaustive extremity that the conditions are perfect to engage the power wrought from fasting and praying. More than merely going without food, fasting and prayer reflect a humbled and submitted posture of the heart as illustrated in the story of Nehemiah.
The story of Nehemiah begins with many of the Jews having returned from Babylonian captivity. God had been faithful to His promise to return them to Jerusalem but the city was still a far cry from its former glory. A group of returning Jews had rebuilt the temple 12 years prior to Nehemiah’s involvement but the walls of the city had not been rebuilt leaving Jerusalem vulnerable to enemy raiders. The word came to Nehemiah that Jews who had returned to Jerusalem from captivity were in distress, that the walls of the city were broken down and that the gates had been burned with fire. When this news came to Nehemiah, who was serving as the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes of Persia, he was greatly burdened and distressed. In his distress, however, he recognized that there was great value in fasting and praying before the Lord.
What do you do when you hear devastating news? How do you handle things when the strength of your humanity isn’t enough to overcome the winds of adversity in your life? Where do you turn when you need solutions to problems for which you do not have answers? I encourage you to model after Nehemiah and turn to God by way of fasting and prayer.
Nehemiah engaged the spiritual disciplines of fasting and praying to rightly align himself with the purposes of God and to draw on the grace of God to go beyond his limited capacity. Thereafter, when Nehemiah was before the king with a sad countenance, he was given room to present his concerns regarding the city and Jerusalem and because the Good Hand of the Lord was upon him he found favor in the sight of the king. In the tradition of those days it was a death sentence to appear before the king with a sad countenance, but in response to Nehemiah’s fasting and praying, God allowed favor to be aroused from the king rather than fury. The king granted Nehemiah’s petition for a leave of absence, provided guards and letters of authorization to ensure his safe passage through various regions to Jerusalem, and issued what could be construed as the equivalent of a federal grant for timber to build the city walls, the Temple fortress, and a home for himself. What could have been a deadly situation for Nehemiah had been transformed into one of access, favor, and influence because he brought his requests before God with fasting and prayer.
The same can be true for us. It does not matter how dark and dismal the circumstances of your life may seem, they are not powerful enough to withstand the power and influence of the Living God! When we engage the spiritual disciplines of fasting and prayer we gain access to accelerated grace that releases the supernatural in our lives. When we fast and pray with intentionality we make a spiritual transaction with our Heavenly Father exchanging our weaknesses for His strength that empowers us for service. When we set our hearts to seek Him through fasting and prayer we step outside the confines of our limited capacity and put on the unlimited capacity of the Omnipotent God of the Universe!
I admonish you today to understand that fasting and praying does not manipulate God into doing our bidding, but, rather, it places us in a posture to discern His direction and releases His favor in our lives. Whatever your unique context of life may be, position yourself to WIN through fasting and prayer!
Leave a comment
posted by Monique Banner
Monday, 13 March 2017 00:42
Thank you Pastor! Very encouraging..and motivating!Report Comment Link
posted by Leeritta Christian
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 10:26
Thank You Dr. Oliver for leading and encouraging us. God bless you, your family and the entire EBC family as well.Report Comment Link
posted by Willie Anthony
Tuesday, 07 March 2017 10:25
Thank you Pastor Oliver for sharing with us how true fasting and prayer will bring the favor of the LORD into our lives. JESUS said abide in me and I in you. John 15:4. We win mReport Comment Link
posted by Mark Linton
Tuesday, 07 March 2017 06:41
Amen. Thank you.Report Comment Link
posted by Kristen Carnegie
Monday, 06 March 2017 21:28
Amen Pastor Thank you for your encouraging words!Report Comment Link
posted by Catrina Willingham
Monday, 06 March 2017 21:20
Thank you, Pastor, for such an awesome and encouraging word!Report Comment Link
posted by Katherine Morrison
Monday, 06 March 2017 16:41
Lord! I surely need to pray on this one because Fasting is an area for which I need to become more discipline in doing on a regular basis. Thank you!Report Comment Link
posted by Lisa Childers
Monday, 06 March 2017 13:32
My quiet troubles require decisions that have been answered when I fast and pray "no matter how dark it is!" So thankful for how He speaks to me.Report Comment Link
posted by Shipley Allen
Monday, 06 March 2017 13:30
Thank you Pastor for continuing given us words of encouragement. Even when we are discouraged we can always shake it off and get back on track knowing God is a God of a second chance. Thanks again!Report Comment Link
posted by Cachetne
Monday, 06 March 2017 10:08
A light just went off for me I have been trying and crying asking God where have i fallen short and I just figured it out just by reading this. Thank you Pastor.Report Comment Link