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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thoughts On Intercessory Fasting and Intercessory Prayer

ef·fec·tu·al

[ih-fek-choo-uhl]adjective
1.
producing or capable of producing an intended effect; adequate.
2.
valid or binding, as an agreement or document.

fer·vent

[fur-vuhnt] 
adjective
1.
having or showing great warmth or intensity of spirit, feeling, enthusiasm, etc.; ardent: a fervent admirer; a fervent plea.
2.
hot; burning; glowing.

"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" - James 5:16b.

Always pray God's Will, bearing in mind His Will is His Word. Otherwise the prayer is in vain.

Matthew 6:5-8:
"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.
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 . But when ye pray , use not vain repetitions , as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him."1 John 5:14-16:"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask , we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask , and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it."

True fasting is an act of intercession, just like true prayer is. The more we mature as Christians, the more we realize that prayer is less about getting our own needs met and more about interceding for others. Our Heavenly Father has instructed us to seek first His way of doing things and to maintain the right standing that we have already attained through the shed blood of Jesus. All the benefits of the inheritance that we have in Him will be manifested if we put Him first. We have been commanded to first get to know God and His ways and out of that obedience His blessings will flow. In spending time with Him we not only know His Heart but receive His instruction for our lives. That is Wisdom.
Through fasting, the change takes place in us so that we may rescue those who are bound. When we are free we can in turn lead others to freedom.

Matthew 6:16-18:
"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.
But thou, when thou fastest , anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 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."
"What is the reward in fasting?" One may ask. The major benefit is our faith increases (more on that in a future post). The other tangible benefit is it aids greatly in our spiritual growth. Fasting is a must for every believer--not "if" but "when." Natural food feeds our flesh. Our spirit grows by denying the flesh and bringing it under subjection to our spirit. Fasting and prayer are two keys in this area.


Isaiah 58:1-12:
"Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet they seek me daily , and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore have we fasted , say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge ? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.  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.  Is it such a fast that I have chosen ? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?  Is not this the fast that I have chosen ? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?  Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?  Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward . Then shalt thou call , and the LORD shall answer ; thou shalt cry , and he shall say , Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;  And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:  And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called , The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in."


The intercessor's concern is not for him/herself but for others. Fasting and prayer not only sets us free but allows us to see with His eyes and releases compassion for the lost.


Matthew 9:35-38:
"And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted , and were scattered abroad , as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest."

Pray without ceasing, and fast often as the Holy Spirit leads. There is a dying world that needs your light and your selfless devotion to see hell de-populated. Remember that someone prayed for you.

Be encouraged!

4 comments:

  1. Thanks, Betty! I appreciate you stopping by and leaving your comment. God Bless you.

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  2. Hey, Nigel....thanks for faithfully posting your thoughts from the Lord. I've been back in Isaiah 58 also, especially verses 6 and 7. After I studied that word 'flesh' in verse 7, it became more clear to me that He's not just talking about getting the victory over our unrenewed soul (although as you mentioned above, that is a prerequisite to helping free others). But the ultimate goal is having a heart condition that causes us to actually DO verses 6, 7, and 10, not just talk about it. In American church culture we desire to walk in an anointing to heal and deliver others, and that is good. But how common is it for Christians to bring the poor and outcast into our homes? Or share our food budget with neighbors in need? Do you know that in days of old Christians (although despised) were KNOWN in society for taking orphans into their homes? There is something deeper He is after in us. By all means, sacrificial fasting to help others get free spiritually and physically. But also taking practical ACTION on behalf of the poor and oppressed around us. The reason communism is growing so quickly in our nation is because the church has dropped the ball in ministering to the poor and oppressed around us. So the false god of government is filling that gap. Sharing your food, resources, and house with others is a place of death that I don't think we're quite walking in yet. But we will be, LOL.....

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    1. Thank you, Laura. I appreciate your feedback on this subject. Yes, indeed it is VERY necessary that we DO the Word and not just be hearers. Great insight! :-)

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