Every year in January, our church unites for one week of prayer and fasting. We do this for the simple reason that we want to clearly hear from God for direction for the coming year, in our personal lives as well as a church family, and to believe for God’s power to break off anything that holds us down or keeps us from moving forward in His will.
I call it physically, mentally and spiritually 'detoxing'...getting rid of whatever makes me sluggish, unhealthy or unproductive...while cleaning the wax out of my spiritual ears.
Actually, from what I have read in medical articles, we should all practice this once a week to maintain better health. Isn't it amazing how smart the human race thinks it is...as if we came up with this wise concept to promote healing and maintain health?
I think it's extremely important to know why we should fast and pray, and God’s Word makes it pretty clear, in both the Old and New Testaments.
In Matthew 6:16-18, and in Isaiah 58, the whole chapter talks about prayer and fasting. The prophet gives us specific goals: To loose the chains of injustice and untie its cords that are wrapped around people’s lives, and to set the oppressed free and break off every yoke.
As we fast (abstain from certain foods and habits), we become more aware of others needs instead of focusing on our own. We are moved to action to feed, clothe and find shelter for those who need it.
I love the fact that God lets us join Him in the process of setting people free and helping to meet their needs. He loves to remind us of the power we have against the enemy when we partner with Him and He promises to reward us for being obedient.
God’s love is unconditional, but I have found that His promises are conditional. They depend upon our obedience. His promises to us are clear as a result of our fasting and prayer in Isaiah 58:8-14, but there are a few ifs included in those promises.
If you stop pointing critical fingers at others and speaking unkind words that bring oppression on others, and if we put others before ourselves...God will guide us always! He'll keep us strong and provide for us! Wow! What more could we possibly need?
So, basically while I'm fasting and in prayer for others, I'm detoxing my life of poisonous thoughts and habits and unhealthily patterns by getting rid of my self-centeredness, self-preservation, fears and the biggest obstacle of all - ME! My will begins to submit to God’s and my life receives the benefits...I am healthier, stronger and wiser in every area of my life.
I don't share this to challenge you...but to encourage you. Isn’t it time to detox?