I can’t tell you why fasting is so powerful. I just know it works. Last week marked the end of our 21 Day Fast for Pastor Saeed Abedini. Naghmeh is convinced that doors were opened for her unexpected meeting with President Obama through the fasting and prayer of thousands around the world.
The Bible describes different kinds of fasts. Fasting can be abstaining from food, as when Jesus’s fasted in the wilderness. It can also include prayer and action on behalf of the oppressed, the hungry, and the poor as we find described in Isaiah 58.
Fasting helps us break through long standing bondages. But there are also practical benefits. I shared may own top ten takeways. Some of you are telling me about yours. I love hearing stories of what God has revealed to you during these days of fasting.
My friend Jan describes the encouragement she received from her “fast journey.” A Bible teacher, prayer warrior, and one of the godliest women I know, Jan joined in the 21 Day Fast. She fasted and prayed faithfully for Pastor Saeed and others. But she also experienced some unexpected personal benefits. “I was fasting to make better life choices with my eating habits, ” she writes. “I fasted from sweets, junk snacks, sodas and wine.” She adds, “The Lord has really taken my desire for sweets away. I’ve missed my diet cokes (but not enough to go back to the one per day I was drinking). This morning I had lost six pounds! I saw a weight on the scale that I haven’t seen in a year or more!! Could not believe it! It meant so much to know others were in this with me!” Jan plans to continue her good habits. I feel sure she’ll see other unexpected breakthroughs and become even more effective in her ministry to those around her.
Maybe that’s how fasting works. It clears our vision. Lightens our load. Increases our focus. Helps us break through the “stuck” places in our lives. And although I still can’t tell you exactly how or why, I am certain: Fasting works. So I plan to keep practicing. I’ll be on the alert. I’m eager to watch for signs of God at work, both here and around the world. I hope you’ll join me.
Remember: Be self controlled and alert for the purpose of prayer (1 Peter 4:7).