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A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

Dear friend in Christ,

Thanks a million for joining with me and hundreds of others in this 40-day endeavor to draw near the throne of God! The fast ends this Friday, February 21st, and it has been glorious! It's been greatly encouraging to interact with so many during this fast, including many who did not officially sign up but followed and participated in the fast via Facebook. Many have participated in liquids only up to this point and plan to end the fast that way on Friday. Others like myself have fasted liquids only and switched to one meal per day once they dropped below a certain weight.

This is what I did a week ago when my weight dropped below 160 lb., which is thin for a 6' 2" man! I was in J.Crew a few days ago trying on a shirt to wear for the annual benefit for The Bowery Mission here in NYC. I was trying on the slim fit shirt and the salesman said, "Hey man, I don't mean to offend you, but you're a really skinny dude. You should wear the extra slim fit." Yeah, especially these days at the end of the fast - I am a "really skinny dude". But (for my Mom if you are reading this), I'm still healthy! In the past during extended fasts, I've gotten checkups at the doctor at about day 30 or 35 and have always gotten the green light in regards to my health. I'm scheduled to get a checkup in a few weeks (the fast will be over), but these checkups help me ensure that I'm not damaging my health in any way. As you know, the purpose of a fast isn't to in any way harm ourselves (and many say that fasting is very healthful), but to self-humble ourselves to draw closer to God.

Others have participated in this fast by setting aside a few days a week for each of the six weeks to fast. My nephew, Jeremi (not my blood nephew, but son of close friends Scott and Lisa Gill), has been fasting on Sundays and Tuesdays. Many others participate in all sorts of different ways. To all of you, I want to extend my heartfelt thanks for your camaraderie and fellowship during this journey! It's really encouraging to seek the Lord together with others who desire to see Him work powerfully.

I've heard many encouraging stories during these days of God moving that have been specifically attributed to the fast. As you either knew beforehand or have learned from the daily devotions, fasting and praying doesn't earn us anything from God, but it does often help us gain a closer walk with God and His favor on our lives. When fasting, I often more quickly and easily experience the Spirit of God on my life. Ten days ago I was visiting our Harvard ministry and wept during the worship as the Spirit moved during the student meeting. Last week in my apartment as a group of us prayed for revival and outpourings of the Spirit, a spirit of praise came into the room and greatly blessed us. These experiences are typical for me when humbling myself through fasting.

You will continue to receive devotions for this 40-day fast through Friday!

"Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name." - 1 Chronicles 29: 12, 13

Every blessing to you in Christ,

Matt Bennett
Founder and President