Rain transforms the thirsty ground in an arid, drought-ridden climate. This reality serves as a symbol of the transformation that results from Spiritual Water washing through the soul. When God pours down rain from heaven on our dry, parched land, we can expect restoration, well-being and joy to follow.
Prayer brings reviving rain.
Last year’s drought turned me into one discouraged gardener, but this spring’s abundant rains provided a prolific, unending thrill that dramatically changed the landscape. The phlox bloomed early. The verbena, snapdragons, cat mint and lavender all came on the scene in time for beautiful Easter photos. Soon after, the native roses popped and the entire area filled with a variety of butterflies. Amazing!
I dedicate one day each month—usually the first Friday—to prayer and fasting. I began this practice about ten years ago while a member of the servant’s team for Community Bible Study. Why do I still continue? Dedicated prayer days can serve as personal retreats that hold so much value for readying the mind, the emotions and the will for renewal. During these sacred times, Christ Jesus strengthens weaknesses and heals discouragement or fear. He applies a salve to injuries. His caregiving helps me to remain joyful in this lifetime.
Why add fasting to prayer?
There are no biblical laws that bind Christians to fast. However, biblical fasting is a means of God’s grace that can lead to breakthroughs in the spiritual realm. The blessings of fasting can be so astounding. Wow! Could I tell many stories of guidance, deliverance, revelation! During fasting, negative things inside me–things I tend to soothe with food—surface. Fear, anger, anxiety and/or pride may show themselves. I often experience spiritual breakthroughs as I pray through these revelations. We are all free to take advantage of this opportunity whenever we decide.
The primary purpose of fasting, however, is to glorify God. It must be God-centered and bound with prayer. When questioned about fasting, Jesus indicated that there is a time for feasting and a time for fasting (Matthew 9:15). As I await the coming of the Bridegroom, fasting shows God my desire to draw close to him now and my intention to walk more intimately with him in this present age. If I mistakenly seek fasting as a route toward my own good and prioritize the success in prayer, spiritual insight, or even the physical benefits of fasting, I will surely love the blessing more than the One Who Blesses my devotion with spiritual rain.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water. Isaiah 35:6b-7a
If dedicated prayer and fasting days are not a typical practice for you and you decide to try this, I’d love to hear about your experience. When I fast, I deny myself food, omitting breakfast and the evening meal prior. I drink tea with honey to stabilize my blood sugar. Feel free to ask any questions you might have and I will do my best to answer them. All joy and blessing to you on your journey!