Dec 29, 2008

Daniel's Prayer, and fast...

I included the following from my friend Pastor Michael Carl of the Greenwood Union Church because it is pertinent and good:

"Tomorrow is Tuesday.
This Tuesday is perhaps a bit more crucial than the others, for it's the final Tuesday of 2008. New Year's Day is this Thursday.

Normally I don't put much stock in New Year's Day, for it's largely a commemoration of our own scientific prowess. We're the ones who decided the location for the Prime Meridian and the location of 0 degrees longitude. These are the measures by which we determine time zones, and thus days, weeks, etc.

However, we're this much closer to the Lord's judgment if this nation doesn't turn back to the Lord.

A well-known pastor calls his church to 21-Days of Prayer and Fasting every New Year's Day. Due to the lateness of the hour and the ever-nearing approach of the Lord's wrath upon our land, maybe we should begin 2009 with 21 days of fasting and prayer.

Why fast? Fasting makes us more able to hear the Lord's voice and brings a greater reliance upon Him for strength. Fasting purges our systems of the toxins we've introduced by our abysmal diets and poor nutritional habits. This purging of our systems brings better physical health and thus, a greater ability to think clearly. When this happens, we're better able to read and understand God's Word.

Fasting trains our minds to be able to focus on the Lord more clearly. The discipline of submitting our flesh to a righteous hunger for more of the Lord brings us closer to Him and facilitates greater obedience to Him.

So, we have everything to gain by fasting.

So how? I suggest something like the Bible's Daniel Fast: This is a diet of fresh (hopefully organic) fruits and vegetables and whole grain cereals. We drink only water, tea and pure fruit juices. No chocolate, cake, pie or other sweets, no fruit punch or Kool-Aid, no sodas (pop), or milk shakes and ice cream. Or you can take one day a week to do a 24-hour, no-food fast. During the 21 days, do two, two-day fasts or start out the 21 days with a 3-day, liquid only fast.

I usually prefer one 24-hour, no-food fast or the fresh fruits, veggies and whole grain fast. Not only is my mind more in tune with the Lord, I simply feel better physically.

With fasting, there are also other things that take place. Let's look at Isaiah 58.6... 'Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?'

Fasting tears down 'strongholds', removes barriers, opens hearts and minds. Those who have resisted hearing the Gospel are more open. The hardest hearted of our nemeses are suddenly willing to listen. No, fasting isn't a 'hunger strike' where God changes others because we're denying ourselves food. What happens is that because our minds are clearer and we're more in tune with the Lord, we're better able to pray in line with what needs to happen. We hear God more clearly and are better able to listen to how He leads.

So the walls come down inside of us. We hear the Lord more clearly and we're able to pray more powerfully!

So tomorrow evening, let's join together in our weekly Tuesday at 8:45 Eastern prayer time. Yet, on New Year's Eve, let's resolve that we will enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise by allowing our bodies to pray by fasting.
Rev. Michael Carl
Greenwood Union Church

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