“Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” – 1 Corinthians 7:5
Fasting is abstaining from food for a period of time to gain more of God through prayer. Like almsgiving and prayer, fasting must come from the right motive or it loses its value.
I remember some years ago when I was teaching, I had just finished cooking breakfast – as I turned off the stove, the voice of God spoke to my soul: “Go on a fast for three days.” Immediately, my desire for food left me. It was so strange; one minute I was hungry, the next completely filled and not even worrying. No reason was given for the fast.
Daily I came into contact with a number of children and at the time quite a number of them were absent because of the chickenpox. About a week later, I noticed two or three bumps appeared on my hand. However, after a day or so, they went away. It was then that the Lord spoke to my spirit and said, “The fast was for your health.” I gave thanks to God, even though I was vaccinated.
There are many who scoff and scorn when you say “The Lord spoke or revealed something to me” or “I was led to go on a fast.” But until you have had a close encounter with the Almighty, then what is revealed is utter foolishness and nonsense.
There are two categories of fasting – the proclaimed fast and the personal fast. A proclaimed fast comes from the leader – whether it be pastor, prayer band leader, or prophet of God for the purpose of bringing believers into a place of hearing from God. It is effective because it causes unity and singleness of purpose. We see examples of a proclaimed fast in 11 Chronicles 20:1-6 and Acts 13:1-2.
Leadership is no plaything, especially when it comes to a nation and all the complexities that come with it. Leadership goes beyond legislation and reaches into the depths of wisdom for solutions to chaos. No leader is faced with national problems that were not experienced by leaders of old.
The Bible tells us in 2 Chronicles 20 that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them, the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. Some messengers came and told the king that a large army from Edom had come from the other side of the Dead Sea to attack him and they had already captured Hazazon-Tamar. Jehoshaphat was frightened and prayed to the Lord for guidance. Then he gave orders for a fast to be observed throughout the country.
From every city of Judah people hurried to Jerusalem to ask the Lord for guidance, and they and the people of Jerusalem gathered in the new courtyard of the temple. King Jehoshaphat went and stood before them and prayed aloud, “O Lord God of our ancestors, you rule in heaven over all the nations of the world. You are powerful and mighty, and no one can oppose you. You are our God. When your people Israel moved into this land, you drove out the people who were living here and gave the land to the descendants of Abraham, your friend, to be theirs forever.”
In order for any nation to be exalted, the Word of God tells us that it has to be done through righteousness. More and more as I see global turmoil, disaster, wars, the killing of innocent people, no reasoning for the good of the people and the people in power have usurped the power of the people, healing and peace can only come if the heads of nations are themselves righteous. The priest, or prophet, is not in charge of the land. They are to declare the eroding moral and spiritual state of the land. It is the elected leader to send forth a proclamation to call the nation to prayer/fasting before Almighty God. When Jonah declared that God was about to destroy the city, the king believed the prophet and ruled that from him down, must get down in sackcloth and ashes and repent. Then and only then will there be peace in the valley.
What we are faced with in this nation, which became more potent with the bearing down of Dorian upon two of our islands, has created another kind of Dorian in our capital, and it is no time for guessing. We are not worried nor fearful, for the eyes of God are even upon the tiny sparrow and could he not see us mortals in earthly flesh and come to our aid? The answer is yes.
• E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or write to P.O. Box 19725 SS Nassau, Bahamas with your prayer requests, concerns and comments. God’s Blessings!