Prayer & Fasting
Prayer is the heartbeat of a Christian’s life. If one does pray, they are not obeying or abiding in Christ.
1 Thess 5:17 “Pray without ceasing”
Luke 18:1-8 The Parable of the Persistent Widow
Luk 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Luk 18:2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
Luk 18:3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
Luk 18:4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
Luk 18:5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
Luk 18:6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
Luk 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
You must be obedient(not sinning) for God to even hear you:
Psa 66:19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
1Jn 3:19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
1Jn 3:20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
1Jn 3:21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
1Jn 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
Prayer can be anytime but there also should be time alone with the Lord(time devoted with prayer)… your needs, cares and reflecting on the Word, thanksgiving, etc:
Mar 1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
You want to make it a habit to pray, daily. Paul walked instead of taking a ship to be alone with the Lord. You want to constantly praise the LORD. It’s right to reflect on God’s faithfulness.
Act 20:13 And we went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos, there intending to take in Paul: for so had he appointed, minding himself to go afoot.
Heb_13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
Psa 134:1 A Song of degrees. Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD.
Psa 134:2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.
Psa 134:3 The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.
Psa 92:1 A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:
Psa 92:2 To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,
Psa 92:3 Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.
Psa 92:4 For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.
Psa 92:5 O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.
Luk 22:39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.
Luk 22:40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
Luk 22:41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
Luk 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
Luk 22:43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
Luk 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Luk 22:45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,
Luk 22:46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.
Pray when an answer is needed quickly:
Luk 6:12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
Luk 6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;
When is it appropriate to fast?
Deep repentance, need direction urgently, etc:
Ecc 3 (There is a time)
James (Written to afflicted Christians)
Jas 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Jas 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Jas 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Jas 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Jas 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Jas 1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Jas 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Study the prayers in the bible. There are a lot of lessons one needs to learn before they can be saved so just praying to someone does not simply lead that person to true repentance… They have to be awakened to their own condition…
Ex: Psa 9:19 Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight.
Psa 9:20 Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.
Php 1:8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.
Php 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
Php 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
Jas 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
Jas 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
Jas 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Jas 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Elijah understood the power of prayer and that Israel at the time was so given to Baal worship that they would not even consider that God was angry with them lest they were given a severe drough(know what to pray):
Jas 5:17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
Jas 5:18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
Prayer can also be publicly in the right situation as there are many examples in the bible. It’s the Pharisees that were rebuked as they prayed in public, why? because they were showing off!
“Be quick but don’t hurry” when you pray in public… Same in the church… It does not need to go on and on in public for the things that we can pray for to God alone.
Overly loud prayers in public is not of God…
The Lord’s Prayer:
Mat 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Mat 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Mat 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Mat 6:8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Mat 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Mat 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Mat 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Mat 6:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Mat 6:17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
Mat 6:18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
Wrong way example:
Isa 58:4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
Satan wants to get Christians away from Jesus abusing true holiness:
1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Ti 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
1Ti 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
1Ti 4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
1Ti 4:5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
There are times when Jesus was with the disciples teaching, healing people, etc and fasting was not appropriate. Don’t try to regulate or plan fasting as a rule (God may specifiaclly tell you to fast a certain day a week, etc but never put that on anyone else).
Mat 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
Mat 9:15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
Mat 9:16 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.
Mat 9:17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
The point is a land where the princes food is the 1st priority.
Ecc 10:16 Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning!
Ecc 10:17 Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!
You don’t want to create an environment where people are competing with each other. If you could fast for 41 days would you be more spiritual than Jesus. NO!
Someone who won’t fast at all is not a Christian.
Seek God earnestly:
Heb 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
Col 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
1Co 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
1Co 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
1Co 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
1Co 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.