Guest Blogger: Luis Valenzuela, Graystone Elder
This Wednesday October 12th, Graystone Church will come together for a day of unified corporate prayer and fasting for awakening in our community. We can define awakening as a unique supernatural –yet very natural move of God’s presence and power, throughout lots and lots of people’s hearts, directing them towards God in repentance and salvation and with tangible evidences of such changes that no one –even the most skeptical, can deny it.
It can happen! It has happened! – several times in history. Now we are daring to ask God, “Would you do it in our community?” “Would you use us to bring the good news to everyone who hasn’t turned their hearts to you yet”?
We have seen God answering so many prayers through recent years and providing for so many needs for the growth of our local church. We have seen it; prayer works. God has answered our prayers. Now, we are preparing to do something that for some it might be a first time – certainly for many of us it is not a common thing: fasting.
Fasting is one of those disciplines that many people have ideas and opinions about and others don’t know much about what the Bible tells us of. As we invite everyone to join us in praying and fasting for revival in our community, here a few thoughts and references from the Bible, about fasting:
- Jesus expected us to fast in the same way we are to pray and to give. Matthew 6:16; Paul also encouraged it. 1 Cor 7:5
- Jesus gave us the example in fasting. Matthew 4:2
- The Apostles and the early church fasted. Luke 2:37, Acts 13:3, Acts 14:23
- Nowhere in the Bible – that I know of, are we commanded to fast in an specific way. What we can gather from all of these verses is that Biblical fasting is the voluntary choice to abstain from eating for a period of time in order to spend more time in prayer and communion with God
- Various Bible passages seem to indicate that fasting was often used to show repentance and mourning. Deuteronomy 9:18, Nehemiah 1:4, Ezra 10:6, 1 Samuel 7:6
- In other passages, fasting seems to serve as a way to humbly request favor from God. 2 Samuel 12:16-17, Ezra 8:21-23, Esther 4:16, Daniel 9:3, Daniel 10:3, Joel 2:12-27
- We are not to show ourselves down and tell the world that we are fasting, instead we are to show our best face and make it a joyful experience. Matthew 6:16, Isaiah 58:5
- It is useless and even offensive to God if we fast for our own pleasure, fame or power. Isaiah 58:3-5
- When we fast, somehow, spiritual chains are broken – in our lives and the ones we pray for. Chains of sin, habits and oppression. Isaiah 58:6
- Fasting somehow gives us an opportunity to suppress our flesh, grow our spirit and center our lives on others. Isaiah 58:7, Galatians 5:16-18
- Somehow, fasting brings about blessings, favor from God, answer to our prayers, direction, growth, and true joy from God. Isaiah 58:8-14, Acts 10:30-33, Acts 13:2-3
- Though most of the ‘great men of the Bible’ fasted individually, there seems to be a particular uniqueness, purpose and power when the people of God come together and agree in fasting united as one. Joel 1:14-20, Joel 2:12-27, Judges 20:26
This Wednesday, join us in asking God for our community and meet us at Graystone Church at 7pm to conclude an amazing day together.