Blessed Through Fasting and Praying
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.
I believe, based on personal experience with the Word of God and the Spirit of God, that fastingappropriately (according to scripture) coupled with praying appropriately (according to scripture) is a nuclearbomb ready to explode into gigantic blessings.As indicated repeatedly throughout this book, I am a blessed man and a living testimony to the goodness of God. Recently, just in the last ten years, I discovered the blessings God has for His children through fasting. Ibelieve there are many believers who know and have experienced the power and blessings that come throughprayer, but have yet to discover the blessings that come through fasting. Most believers know that prayerchanges things, and prayer changes people. We are familiar with the cliche, "No prayer, no power; littleprayer, little power; much prayer, much power." God says inMatthew 6:6(KJV) that if we pray as He hastaught us to pray we will be rewarded.
"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."
Divinely sandwiched betweenMatthew 6:1-7, which speaks to us concerning the blessing of praying right,andMatthew 6:16-18, which teaches us concerning the blessing of fasting right, is the model prayer Jesustaught us to pray called "The Lord's Prayer." Also, these scriptures are a part of a larger scripture narrativereferred to as Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount" which includes the blessed teaching of the "Beatitudes." I think the setting and the background of these scriptures are significant because they reinforce the truth that Godreally wants us to know, that we can be mightily blessed through fasting and praying. These inspired wordsare from the lips of Jesus. Jesus is saying read my lips, "I want to bless you."
A Personal Challenge and Formula for Being Blessed throughFasting and Praying
I want to offer a personal challenge to every reader of
How to Be Blessed
to indeed be blessed throughpraying and fasting. I dare you and even double dare you to try this simple formula for being blessed for justten days in three consecutive months. To assure you are praying according to scripture, choose a biblicalmodel prayer. I am suggesting three to choose from. First, you may choose the "Lord's Prayer" as recorded inMatthew 6:9-13(KJV):
"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."
Or you may choose to pray Paul's prayer found inEphesians 3:14-19(KJV):
"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth,and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."
Finally, you may choose to pray the simple, but powerful prayer of Jabez, couched in the Old Testamentbook of 1 Chronicles 4:9,10(KJV):
"And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. And Jabez called on the God of Israel,saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me,and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested."