HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
We live in a fallen world, so we need a lot of help, sometimes even just to make it through the day. God offers us that help by asking us to pray and fast. The verses I mentioned below showcase the variety of what prayer and fasting make possible for Christians:
- Praising God (Nehemiah 9); Granting courage (Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. Esther 4:16)
- Loving your enemies (They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul. 13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom. 14 I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother. Psalm 35:12-14); Reconciling yourself or your country to God (Daniel 9; Nehemiah 9)
- Remembering God’s promises (And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; 37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. Luke 2:36-38);
- Granting wisdom (And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed. Acts 14:23)
Prayer is great and fasting is fantastic, but the discipline of using them together can help us make life in a sinful world more bearable by connecting us to God and drawing on His power instead of our own.