Do you have a problem that just won’t budge? You feel stuck, no matter how much you pray and pray and pray. Perhaps you need a breakthrough. Originally a military term, breakthrough has come to mean sudden or dramatic success in an area where there has been repeated failure. In short, a breakthrough gets you unstuck.
Breakthroughs in the Bible often come after a period of fasting and prayer. Jesus explained this to his disciples after their repeated failures to heal a demon possessed boy. “This kind,” Jesus pointed out, “only comes out by prayer and fasting.” Daniel, Isaiah, and others discovered that fasting and prayer helped them get unstuck.
For the next 21 days, I’m joining Naghmeh Abedini as she fasts and prays for a breakthrough for her husband Saeed. Will you join, too? For over two years, Naghmeh and her children Rebekkah and Jacob have been stuck in the agony of missing Saeed. Each day, they live with the painful awareness of his suffering in an Iranian prison. They desperately need to get unstuck.
It’s time for Pastor Saeed to be released from prison and returned to his family!
Beginning on Tuesday, January 6th, Naghmeh and others will follow the example in the Bible of Daniel (Daniel 10:3), who abstained from “rich food” as he prayed 21 days for a breakthrough. Naghmeh is giving up coffee and chocolate. I plan to go gluten free. Others are fasting from social media or television. One friend intends to use this time to bridle her critical spirit and fast from judging others (ouch!). Be creative and do what works for you. Let your fast be a daily reminder to pray for Pastor Saeed.
While fasting and praying for Saeed, I’m also devoting this 21 days to seeking breakthroughs in my own life. I encourage you to do the same. Make a list of three or four areas where you need to get unstuck. I’ll post several blogs with helpful tips on prayer and fasting, along with stories from friends who have experienced some remarkable answers to prayer.
Breakthroughs require perseverance and strategy. Especially in the spiritual realm. But remember, nothing is too hard for God. He’s even referred to as the “Lord of the Breakthrough” (1 Chronicles 14:10).
Prayer: Lord of the Breakthrough, we thank you and praise you for your powerful Presence at work in the life of Pastor Saeed and his family, even while he has suffered in an Iranian prison. Lord, we cry out for his soon release! Amen.
January 6th, 2015 at 10:36 am
This past week in my prayer journal…..”Faith grows with use….Put it to work by reverent and faithful praying, and it will grow and become stronger day by day. Dare to trust God for something small and ordinary and next week or next year you may be able to trust Him for answers bordering on the miraculous.” AW Tozer. When you’ve seen the miraculous who wants ordinary. What a great time to become unstuck with our faith eyes! Waiting for the miraculous together with Naghmeh.
January 6th, 2015 at 10:50 am
Paula, The Tozer comment is perfect for me today. I bet others feel the same. Thanks for sharing. And I agree, when you’ve seen the miraculous, who wants the ordinary. I’m with you in prayer and fasting with you for Naghmeh as we get “unstuck” together! Love, Mar
January 9th, 2015 at 2:26 pm
i started the fast with Naghmeh, thank you for the tips . I plan to do them .
January 9th, 2015 at 3:39 pm
I am always amazed when fasting for others—what happens in my own life. Just this week at work I was in the middle of a conflict, I felt attacked and my first response was to go on the attack myself BUT I DID NOT!!! I felt peace and even joy in the middle of my storm. BEFORE I started work yesterday I had gotten a cup of coffee and sat outside in the bitter cold, coffee in hand and sun shining on my face—interceding for Saeed and a friend who is in a difficult situation, as well as listening to Him speak into my life. I sat there until I got a full sense that the Lord was done with me. I never got cold and felt totally warmed by my period of intercession. It was a wonderful time! I went inside and went to my meeting—Victory—God had the victory—I was at peace and I never once came back at this person —-tho’ she challenged me. Even if that business battle had not been decided on my behalf by our director, I was the victor because Jesus constrained me—He kept that bridle in my mouth. Yes as we pray for Saeed I believe that he will make us victorious for kingdom purposes in our own lives. God bring our brother home! Lord be his comfort at night! Lord bring to remembrance every verse of scripture for encouragement! Lord keep him warm—please Father, keep him warm in that Limestone building with that open window. Jesus please let him fellowship with another brother. Protect him Jesus! Be with his wife and children. Cause your warriors to rise up in great numbers and pray pray pray for Saeed our brother!
January 10th, 2015 at 12:45 pm
I have always struggled with smoking, Off and on I have tried to quit. I am giving this up in fasting to pay for Saeed and to break free from this addiction. It’s been It’s been 5 days since my last cigarette. Praising God for all victories in the name of Jesus.
January 10th, 2015 at 2:35 pm
Hi Christina, What a powerful way to fast. I’ve heard nicotine is one of the hardest things to quit, so good for you. Praying at this very moment for your strength. And together, we stand in prayer for Saeed and Naghmeh. Blessings, Mar
January 10th, 2015 at 2:37 pm
Eileen, What a powerful story. Can’t believe that you were praying in the cold and didn’t even feel it:) I took your words to heart yesterday, as I was dealing with a similar situation and I felt such piece. Thanks for sharing your experience. Together, Marilynn
January 12th, 2015 at 9:22 pm
Marilyn… I am so touched by your setting up a fast for Saeed for Nagmeh and the rest of us who are praying for his release! Please include the other persecuted Christians in the mid-east who are going through horrid trials. I believe also that HE is going to release Pastor Saeed to go home!
January 12th, 2015 at 9:31 pm
Dorothy, So glad to join you in praying for Saeed’s release. He seems to be the “face” of the persecuted Christian in the Middle East. And you are so right to remind us to pray for them all! You might like to see the latest World Watch List, which shows the top fifty persecuted nations.