Fasting and prayer: Understanding its fundamentals by Bishop David Oyedepo
Welcome to your year of Breaking Limits! I believe every one of us must have had definite encounters with God via sanctification in the course of the month of December, 2019. I pray that each of us will keep telling the story of our diverse encounters for life! Amen. This month, we shall focus on: Understanding the fundamental blessings of Prayer and Fasting!
We understand from scriptures that prayer and fasting is God’s commandment and a big time business for high level profiting. Among others, it commands the flow of signs and wonders which covers all areas of human need. However, it is important to recognise that understanding is of utmost importance in accessing the blessings inherent in it.
That is, it is impossible to make any more out of any venture beyond our spiritual understanding of it. This is because understanding is what makes outstanding and the deeper our spiritual understanding, the greater our command in life.
For instance, we saw the catalogs of benefits of fasting and prayers listed in Isaiah 58:6-8, 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 rearward.
Nevertheless, the aforementioned benefits of fasting can only be potent at the instance of our understanding. Jesus set an example of One who understood the purpose of prayer and fasting during His time on earth. As a result, He commanded such great signs and wonders (Matthew 13:54).
Similarly, Paul the apostle who also understood the purpose of prayer and fasting said, …in watchings often… in fastings often… (2 Corinthians 11:27; see also 2 Corinthians 6:5). As a result, he was a man inbuilt with God’s power. No wonder it was said concerning him, …The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men (Acts 14:11). Thus, it is very important that we know the benefits prayer and fasting holds for us as believers and how to use them to our utmost advantage, so as to enjoy a victorious life.
What, then, are the Blessings Embedded in Prayer and Fasting?
- We Spiritually Transfer our Battles over to God: Judah waited on the Lord in a fast for three days and transferred their battle to God. As a result, God took over and all their enemies were destroyed. Likewise, when our battles are transferred to God, our victory is eternally guaranteed because He never loses any battle (2 Chronicles 20:5-17, 22-24).
- Fasting Engenders Divine Health: Among others , these happen in two ways:
- Revelation: Revelation is a veritable tool for our desired transformation. The altar of prayer and fasting is the altar of outbreak of revelation which culminates in our transformation, including healing. When we engage in a fast, there is a breaking forth of light and because infirmities are forces of darkness, when light breaks forth, they also bow out. However, when revelation graduates to illumination, authority is conferred and our dominion over sicknesses and diseases becomes unquestionable (Isaiah 58:6, 8, 60:1; John 1:5, 9).
- The Word of God: God’s Word is the Balm in Gilead. That is, God’s healing power resides in His Word and every encounter with the healing Word sets us free from every harassment and torture of sickness and disease. Furthermore, when the Holy Ghost explodes the truth of the Word in our hearts (revelation), our health springs up supernaturally (Job 33:21-25; Psalm 107:20; Jeremiah 8:19-22; Luke 5:17).
- Access to Continuous Guidance: Divine guidance is one of the greatest assets in the Kingdom because it is the highway to greatness. However, it is prayer and fasting that facilitates our access to continuous guidance, which is the mystery behind our change of levels (Isaiah 58:6, 11). For instance, Abraham excelled by divine guidance.
- Moses was addicted to fasting and according to scriptures; he fasted for forty days thrice. Thus, he was constantly guided by God. Apostle Paul was also given to fasting as a lifestyle and he triumphed by divine guidance. Therefore, our son-ship can only be manifested by divine guidance (Genesis 12:1-3, 10, 13:1-2; Exodus 7:1, 14, 19, 8:1, 16; Numbers 19:15-23; Acts 16:8-9; Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 6:5, 11:27). However, we must recognise that until we are in the Spirit, we cannot hear from God and fasting helps us to be in the Spirit, which makes hearing from God automatic. Therefore, we must be in the Spirit and walk in the Spirit to be led by God (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:25; Revelation 1:10).
In conclusion, by our understanding of these benefits, I believe we shall begin to succeed where others fail, conquer the obstacles others fear and generally do the impossible. We should all expect our open rewards in return for our faithful engagement all through the course of this prayer and fasting season, both as individuals and as congregations.
Nevertheless, to see these blessings fulfilled in your life, you must be born again. Are you born again? If you are not, this is an opportunity to do so. Simply say the following prayer: Lord Jesus, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me of my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood. Today, I accept You as my Lord and personal Saviour. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me! Now, I know I am born again!
For further reading, please get my books: Winning Prayer, Satan Get Lost and Born to Win! I invite you to fellowship with us at the Faith Tabernacle, Canaanland, Ota, the covenant home of Winners. We have four services on Sundays, holding at 6:00 a.m., 7:50 a.m., 9:40 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. respectively. I know this teaching has blessed you. Write and share your testimony with me through: Faith Tabernacle, Canaanland, Ota, P.M.B. 21688, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria, or call 01-4548070, 01-4548280, or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook: David Oyedepo Ministries International, Twitter: @DavidOyedepoMin.