By Dorald Bell Whitlock
The Word of God teaches and commands us to fast. God promises results beyond all that can be asked or thought to those who give themselves to genuine Bible fasting and prayer. You can turn judgment into deliverance today, if you will learn God’s will in fasting and prayer and do it!
"Then shall they fast in those days," said Jesus (Mark 2:20). This was Jesus’ answer to the people who questioned why His disciples did not fast as did John’s followers. When the Bridegroom is taken away, then they will fast, Jesus told them.
It was the will of God that the Church fast. And they did do it in the early Church. The Church at Antioch fasted and prayed concerning missionary work: "As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away" (Acts 13:2-3).
They fasted for the persecuted Christians and the ordaining of Church leaders. Paul and Barnabas visited the churches where they had been before, exhorting and encouraging the people. "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). Paul, in referring to his ministry, mentions "in fasting often" (2 Cor. 11:27).
Fasting Is for Today
We are still in "those days" spoken of by Jesus when He said His disciples would fast. We shall be in those days until the end of the church age. All that Jesus commanded and taught His followers while He was here on earth is for us today.
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matt. 28:19-20). The "all things" that Jesus taught includes fasting with prayer – "Then shall they fast in those days."
Reasons for Fasting
There are reasons for fasting with prayer that make it a necessity in our Christian lives. Fasting helps us to become broken up in our hardened hearts. It helps to put a concentration and wholeheartedness into our prayers that enables us to prevail with God. "Turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping" (Joel 2:12).
"I Humbled My Soul with Fasting" (Psalm 35:13)
Fasting helps to humble the soul and brings to us a spirit of repentance. "And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting…And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession…We have sinned…and have rebelled, even by departing from Thy precepts and from Thy judgments" (Dan. 9:3-5).
Faith Operates When We Fast
Fasting also brings us into harmony with God in such a way that faith operates in a more perfect degree. The disciples could not cast the demon out of the boy who was brought to them. Jesus came upon the scene of defeat. He spoke the word and the boy was set free. The disciples asked, "‘Why could not we cast him [the devil] out?’ And Jesus said unto them, ‘Because of your unbelief’ .... ‘Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting’" (Matt. 17:19-21). This shows that some things will not happen unless we do fast!...
Fasting and Prayer Go Together
As a rule fasts should be arranged at times when one can give as much time to prayer as is possible. The Bible nearly always mentions prayer in connection with fasting. "That ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer," writes Paul (1 Cor. 7:5). The results which the Bible records were made possible by genuine Bible fasting and prayer are both amazing and challenging….
To read more of this article on the necessity of biblical fasting to aid in repentance and in walking in subsequent victory, as well as to help you become an intercessor for revival in these desperate end-time days, you are invited to write to Herald of His Coming for the full article of "Bible Fasting." It is printed as Newsletter #6. Send your request, stating the number of copies desired (up to ten copies) to:
Herald of His Coming
P.O. Box 279
Seelyville IN 47878 U.S.A.