Challenge for Prayer and Fasting
The CUMC Prayer team is inviting the congregation to consider participating in a time of prayer and fasting from November 4 through November 24. Information and materials about this event along with a sign-up sheet are available in the Welcome Center.
Benefits of Fasting
According to Alice Smith (Power Praying), the following benefits can be produced with fasting done in a proper attitude:
Begin by asking God what to sacrifice
- An Increase in Discernment—“Fasting sharpens our ability to discern the kingdom of light, and the kingdom of darkness. Discernment enhances our ability to see God’s perspective in a given situation (Consider Anna in Luke 2: 36-38).
- Fasting Enables Us to Hear God—“Intercession without the direction of the Holy Spirit is pointless and ineffective. It is essential to discover God’s direction for our prayers.” (Consider the elders of the early Church in Acts 13:2)
- Fasting Releases Spiritual Power—“As we humble ourselves, God gives us the spiritual power to carry out HIS plan. Spiritual power is not sought after as an ‘end to itself’. We are to seek the Lord. We are HIS vessels, and our motives must remain pure if He would empower us for ministry.” (Consider Jesus in Luke 4:1-2, and His victory in verse 14)
- Fasting Increases Perception—“One of the greatest hindrances to our hearing the Lord is our inability to focus on Him and His word. Fasting allows us to remove distractions that hinder our concentration. We can fast from any pleasure. The Lord may lead you into a fast from television, eating sweets or other specific foods, or activities. Abstaining from food and other things that have control over our physical senses, sharpens our spiritual senses. We can better see the Lord and His plans. When a believer covenants to deny his flesh in an act of humility before the Lord, that person is a threat to the kingdom of darkness.
- Fasting Increases Our Faith—“As we become single-minded through fasting and prayer, our spiritual vision comes into focus. Often the Holy Spirit tries to call us to himself, but we are slaves to our flesh. Our faith should not rest in the wisdom of men, but in the power of the Spirit. We want instant spiritual insight, but the Lord wants our faithfulness.”
- Fasting increases Humility—“Fasting enables us to express humility before God. When convicted of sin, we should humble ourselves.”
Above all, fasting should never be done legalistically or apart from the leading of the Lord. It should never be done out of a duty to perform or be seen and recognized by men. It should be done only to commune more deeply with the One who is our First Love.