Daily Devotional for Wednesday February 2, 2005
He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. But this kind does not go out except by PRAYER and FASTING." (Matthew 17:20-21 NIV)
The Bible tells us in Ephesians chapter 6 that our battles are NOT of flesh and blood, but they are spiritual. Often in life, we face great hurdles, real life hurdles that are really spiritual. The group of 300 people Liveprayer is putting together, is going to allow the Liveprayer television program to expand into every major market in Florida and will be the last step in syndicating the program all over the nation. This program has proven in Tampa that the hope and love of Christ, the truth of God's Word can compete on secular television and be an incredible tool in reaching the hurting and lost for Christ.
It is satan's worst nightmare for a program like this to exist in "his domain." Are there 300 people that can make a one-time sacrifice of $10,000 to make this happen? ABSOLUTELY. Right now, 300 times 300 are reading this message who could do this in a minute. However, this group who will be responsible for helping take this unique "live" program to lost and hurting people throughout the nation on secular television will NOT come together easy, just like the amount we need each month to operate Liveprayer does not just flow in. It is a battle. IT IS A SPIRITUAL BATTLE!
I am asking that you set aside all or part of 72 hours from this Saturday (2/5) through Monday (2/8) and fast and pray for those God has called to be part of this group if 300 to come forward in the coming days and weeks. I will be giving you the first update on how many have responded on Tuesday February 9th. The things of God do not happen without a fight. Prayer and fasting are tools God has given to His children to fight with. They are tools you need to be using in the battles you face in your life. Fasting has been one of the most misunderstood and misused practices in the Bible. The basic premise of fasting is giving up a normal daily activity, as a sacrifice, to spend that time in prayer and seeking the Lord. It is NOT supposed to be a physical endurance contest to see how long you can go without eating. It is an act of sacrifice.
It can be as little as skipping one meal, or not eating for 24 hours, or even three days. Fasting does not always have to be food. You can "fast" by not watching television for a period of time, or giving up any number of others things that you may do during the day. There is no magic formula.
Let me warn you that fasting can be very dangerous to your health! Anytime you fast over 24 hours, you need to be very careful. I would strongly suggest that you contact your doctor to make sure you do it correctly.
The reason you fast is to sacrifice the nourishment to your body, and spend that time nourishing your soul. It is a way to focus solely on the Lord and to seek Him. Often fasting is done at times when there are major needs, and you need to really zero in spiritually on the Lord, seeking Him for answers.
I routinely fast one day a month, but during major events or times of great need, I will fast for 72 hours and try to spend much of that time just in prayer. I keep living my normal life, but use the time I would normally be eating to spend time with God.
Fasting does not make you more spiritual than someone who does not fast. It is not a way to prove how spiritual you are. Again, it is a simple act of sacrifice to spend that time in prayer with the Lord. It allows you to hear God more clearly. It is a time to really get serious about praying over a certain situation or circumstance. It is a sacrifice on your part to get closer to God.
I would suggest that if you never fasted before, start with one meal. Use the 20-40 minutes that you would normally be eating, go to a quiet place and just pray. Talk to God about those things in your life He needs to clean up. Talk to God about problems that only He can fix. One powerful way to use fasting is to fast and spend that time in prayer for someone else. Sacrifice that meal and spend the time praying for the needs of someone else. That is powerful!
I love you, care about you, and will always be here for you in your time of need. Fasting is a great way to make a minor sacrifice in our daily life to get closer to the Lord. One day, all of those who have accepted Jesus will spend eternity with Him. Fasting is a small way that we can take a few moments during this life to enjoy that special intimate closeness with our Lord.