Faith Messages to build your faith

Thursday, March 30, 2017

#102 Jesus Said We Would Fast: Level 4

Dr. Wesley L. Duewel: Jesus, speaking of you and me, said, "Then they will fast" (Matt. 9:15). He was referring to His followers during the period between His ascension and His return. 

   Jesus expects all His children to fast. Why? It is an even higher level of intensity of prayer, level four. Ask, seek, knock, fast. (Google image, Jesus teaching His disciples).

   John Wesley preached many sermons on fasting and prayer. He said, "The man who never fasts is no more in the way to heaven than the man who never prays."  (John Wesley, sermon on Causes of Inefficacy of Christianity).

    When prevailing in prayer for needs that are very urgent or resistant, fasting is often used by the Holy Spirit to give the extra power to bring Satan's defeat and Christ's victory into view.

   Since Jesus expects us to fast, He set the example for us, just as He set the example in prayer. His forty days of prayer after His baptism were days of fasting prayer.

   The early church, following Christ's example, put great emphasis upon fasting. We know that at least for four hundred years after Christ, the faithful Christians everywhere fasted twice each week.

   Epiphanius, the writer of perhaps the first Christian encyclopedia on the Bible, asked rhetorically, "Who does not know that the fast of the fourth and sixth days of the week (Wednesday and Friday) are observed by Christians throughout the world?"

   Since fasting was a part of normal Christian devotion, it naturally was the next step in intercession after asking, seeking, and knocking.

   The great leaders of the Reformation, in their spiritual warfare to restore purity to the church, naturally made great use of the biblical means of fasting.

   Martin Luther not only maintained the spiritual discipline of fasting one day a week but additionally fasted so often along with his three hours' daily prayer that he was often criticized for fasting too much. But he blessed the whole evangelical church and impacted the world for God by his prayers, fasting, and holy boldness.

   John Calvin was called an inveterate faster—and lived to see God's power sweep Geneva. The Moravians fasted, as did the Hussites, Waldensians, Huguenots, and Scottish Covenanters. Except for prevailing prayer that included fasting, we would have had no Reformation and no great awakenings over the centuries.

   John Knox impacted the whole of Britain and moved the world toward God as he wrestled day and night in payer and fasted regularly... Charles G. Finney, probably the greatest and most anointed soul-winner since the apostle Paul, fasted every week.

   Whenever he sensed the work of God slowing down or less of the power of God on his ministry, he would spend another two to three days in fasting and prayer, and he testified that the power was always renewed.

   From the time of Moses to our own century, great prayer warriors have regularly intensified and empowered their prevailing prayer by fasting. No one boasts of one's prayer life, and all hesitate to reveal the details of their personal walk with God.

   Heaven's record will reveal how again and again the great victories of the church have been won by prevailing prayer intensified by fasting. 
Used by permission of the author and Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana (With Jean's impressions added)

Mighty Prevailing Prayer
#102 Jesus Said We Would Fast
by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

(pp. 180 -182) Zondervan

Prayer warrior

Let's pray-

   Father, as Jesus expects us to fast, and set the example for us, and, as the early church followed it, may we today get into the habit of fasting so we can begin to see amazing results, too!
   Because we sense the power of the Holy Spirit isn't as effective as You want it to be in our churches, may we begin to take fasting seriously, and to start seeking Your directions on our part in fasting, and to make a difference!
   We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Today's Bible verses-

(Ps. 5:8 KJV) "Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies, make thy way straight before my face."

(Is. 65:24 KJV) "And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer, and while they are yet speaking, I will hear."

(Ps. 33:18 KJV) "Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy."

Today's quote-

Jennifer Eivaz- "There are great rewards to fasting—spiritual, emotional and physical rewards. Through fasting, we subdue the voice of our flesh and increase our spiritual sensitivity. We hear the voice of God better and begin to discern the spirit realm more accurately." (Taken from p. 131 of her book, THE INTERCESSORS HANDBOOK).

Today's popular post-

   C. Peter Wagner"I believe intercession for Christian leaders is the most under-utilized source of spiritual power in our churches today..."

Upcoming posts-

White Robes
4/1- Saturday's post by Lee Forbes

#103 Fasting as Self Denial
4th- Tuesday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

#104 In the Path of Prayer
6th- Thursday's post by De. Wesley L. Duewel

Begin Where You Are
8th- Saturday's post by David Roper


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Sample verses from p. 35-

God Will Reveal
from Time to Time

"Confess to God you understand
When once you see your need.
Ask Jesus now to take command
So that you can be freed.

You'll find God's love begins to flow
As hindrances do leave.
Study His Word so you will know
His Spirit you won't grieve."

(Published by Lighthouse Publishing 
                         of the Carolinas. Used by permission).

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