Daily Devotional for Thursday December 18, 2008
Today is the Day Liveprayer is Observing as a National Day of Prayer and Fasting
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)
Today is the day Liveprayer is observing as a National Day of Prayer and Fasting for our economy. As each day passes, as more bad economic news comes out, as the latest "fix" fails, it should be evident to even those who are spiritually dead that this is not a problem which will be solved by human efforts, but only by God Himself. This is really not an economic problem, but a spiritual problem!
I had delivered early this week our petition to the President, to House Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Reid, asking them to declare a National Day of Prayer and Fasting for our economy. IF I ever hear from them, I will let you know. The political leadership of our nation has often called for a National Day of Prayer and Fasting in the face of great problems. This would not be unprecedented for the President and Congress to call this nation to prayer for the economy.
Liveprayer is still going to observe this day of prayer and fasting without the support of the President and Congress, but it would be nice to have them acknowledge at some point that we are a nation and people dependant upon Almighty God, and our blessings are tied directly to our relationship with our Creator. However, I am not going to hold my breath, expecting our political leaders to take such a bold stand.
I plan on doing all I can in the power of the Holy Spirit to help lead this nation back to God and His Truth without the support of those in political leadership, since these are spiritual issues, and these are men whose god is the institution of politics. Far too long men have looked to politicians to lead in spiritual matters. Now is the time for this nation to turn to those faithful men and women of God who don't care about their kingdom, only God's, to lead our nation back to our Creator!!!
I get asked often about the issue of fasting. So let me share with you today on this important spiritual effort all Believers should utilize in their walk with the Lord. 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 other 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.
Please be praying for our nation today. We are in a major crisis due to our economy. Pray today for God to intervene. Pray today for the people of this nation to repent, turn back to God, and allow God to bless us once again. The ONLY answer to this economic crisis is God. May we be faithful as we lead our nation today in prayer and fasting for His mercy and grace in the midst of our economic crisis!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller