Sometimes, when we are fully fasting, we are eager to pray with others.
Here are two prayer meetings designed just for you.
Friday, January 26th at 12pm at the Prayer House
Saturday, January 27th at 12pm at the Prayer House
It will be an amazing time as we come to the conclusion to our fasting.
Tomorrow, if you choose, you could begin a last three-day fast to grasp as much time as possible with Jesus, as you complete your 21-day journey.
I would suggest fasting as much as you feel comfortable with. You may be doing a Daniel Fast of fruits/vegetables only so far, or maybe you have added a one-meal-a-day fast. Hopefully you are off of junk food, junk beverages, and sugar. Your body is most likely ready for a total fast, or you might want to drop to two meals a day. Whatever God leads you to do, seek to spend as much time with Him as possible these last three days.
Yesterday we talked about praying effective, “Thy-Kingdom-come” prayers, rather than petitions to try to get something out of God.
Today we want you to consider a purpose for the last three days of your fast. This is tricky ground. Fasting to get God to do something is foolish. Fasting to draw near, listen to God's heart, and be empowered to obey is a different subject altogether. Elmer Towns wrote a book some years ago titled, Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough. In his book, he listed out ten fasts practiced in the Bible for ten different reasons.
Let me caution you. Again, we don't fast to get something from God, but we certainly could be driven to fasting because something has overwhelmed our lives, and the only thing we know to do is to draw closer to Christ.
Reasons for Fasts:
1. The Chosen Fast—to gain Yahweh's heart to set the burdened free (Isaiah 58)
2. The Disciples Fast—to gain Yahweh's heart to set the demonically-oppressed free (Matthew 17:20-21)
3. The Ezra Fast—to gain Yahweh's heart for His way through problems and difficulties (Ezra 8:21)
4. The Samuel Fast—to gain Yahweh's heart to repent and turn and fully follow Him (1 Samuel 7:1-6)
5. The Widows Fast—to gain Yahweh's heart by denying a meal or several meals to give to God's Kingdom (1 Kings 17:12)
6. The Elijah Fast—to gain Yahweh's heart in breaking the grip of depression and fear (1 Kings 19:3-9)
7. The Esther Fast—to gain Yahweh's heart to know how God wants us to face and speak to evil (Esther 4:8-16)
8. The Daniel Fast—to gain Yahweh's heart in how to be in the best physical, mental, and spiritual condition (Daniel 1:12-20)
9. The John the Baptist Fast—to gain Yahweh's heart in seeking to fill us with Holy Spirit fullness and power for ministry (Matthew 3:4; Luke 1:15)
10. The Paul Fast—to gain Yahweh's heart in understanding His will and direction for our lives (Acts 9:9-19)
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After He had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. Then the tempter approached Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” He answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:1-4 CSB
After Jesus was baptized, Matthew wrote that Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Mark states something a bit more forcefully: "The Spirit drove Him." In essence, Jesus was commanded by the Holy Spirit to go face the devil after His baptism. The struggle with the devil appears to have become so intense that Jesus ate nothing during those days. I am certain it was a day the devil hated as the Son of God was driven by His Father to go and confront Him head on.
From those forty days, just after the baptism by John, the Kingdom of God suffered demonic attack. The devil sought to stop Jesus every step, every advance. The kingdom of God in the person of Jesus was suffering attack after attack, as the devil violently sought to take the kingdom back from Him (Matthew 11:12). One of the weapons Jesus used to face violent attack and satanic temptation was fasting. Jesus’ temptation was a monumental moment in history, when God in the person of Jesus began to break into the realm of evil and win. Jesus used the gift of fasting to draw near to His Father and resist the forcible attack on the rule of God through temptation. The same gift is awaiting us, so in our wilderness we can confront and win, as we resist and continue advancing God’s will in our lives.
Here, without a doubt, we find Jesus’ encountering serious temptations, and, without a question, Jesus faced those assaulting temptations by not depending on Himself but on His Father.
Imagine, the Son of God, all God and all Man, did not seek to encounter and defeat serious temptation from the devil without intensely drawing near to His Father and depending upon Him for strength and wisdom.
We have no idea what all the devil was tempting Jesus with; we can only imagine by discerning what things are common to people. Jesus was most likely assaulted in ways common to us all.
Whatever the temptations, Jesus refused and defeated them all. He resisted the devil at every point of temptation, right up to the very last day of His fast.
The devil's last three temptations are recorded in Scripture.
All three temptations were aimed at seeking to derail the purpose of Jesus' fast. Jesus was fasting to gain closeness with His Father so He could resist every temptation as He went out to confront the devil. Right at the end of the fast, when Jesus went hungry, the devil ceased trying to get Jesus to do something vile and decided to allure Jesus into a vexing religious stumble.
The devil wanted Jesus to turn His fast into getting something from His Father in exchange for the fasting. Essentially, the devil tempted Jesus to coerce His Father into an exchange, “Let Me use some of My divine powers for some personal needs in exchange for the last forty days of fasting and beating up on the devil.”
The devil was seeking to get Jesus to use His powers for:
a) self-preservation (Matthew 4:3)
b) self-importance (Matthew 4:5-6)
c) self-promotion (Matthew 4:8-9)
The devil is ever seeking to get us to turn something that looks like a sacrifice into an obligation for which we want God to pay us back.
Do not let what we are suggesting you do today play a trick on you and tempt you to exchange with God—a need met for a sacrifice made. There may be something driving us to fast, but we are not fasting to obligate God to do something we desire.
Look over the list below. Is there something driving you to fast deeper, driving you to get closer to Yahweh because you need Him, His presence, and His Word to know how to be victorious as you face your future?
Do you need Yahweh’s help in:
1. Becoming a forgiving person?
2. Overcoming some demonic stronghold in your life?
3. Discerning how to go through a difficulty you're facing?
4. Turning fully to Christ?
5. Becoming more compassionate toward hurting people?
6. Dealing with depression and despair?
7. Facing someone evil in your life who has power over you?
8. Becoming mentally, emotionally, and spiritually stronger?
9. Becoming filled and anointed by the Holy Spirit to do some ministry you are being called to do?
10. Understanding and even discovering God's call for your life?
Remember, this is not an exchange: “God, I did this for You, so You must do something for me." This is being honest about a need in your heart and telling Jesus you want to spend more time with Him, so you can be taught and trained what to do and how to respond.
Be careful; the final thing the devil wants to do is to make you feel like God owes you.
Resist the devil, quote Scripture, and let it be known that you want Yahweh's will and presence before you pray for what you think you might need.
Daily Journal Thoughts
On your "Prayer and Fasting Commitments” page, write down the date.
Next, write your commitment. It might be worded something like this: “Jesus, I am going to deepen my fast for the next three days because I need You in …" (fill in the area of need you are seeking Jesus to come and help).
Then, go to your "Daily Journal," and write the date at the top of the page.
Write out the need you are fasting to address and then write down as much as you can about why you need Jesus in that area. Watch what you write; see if you are desiring a need met more than His presence and His will. Let your need stir your heart not to want what you want but to want Jesus.
Open your weakness to Jesus, and then as you read Scripture and meditate over the next three days, watch Jesus reveal Himself and His Word.