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A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

While most people completely understand what it means to make adjustments for personal change, make proposals for widespread change, or boycott and strike for social change, few appreciate the value a sacrifice to God has for guaranteed change.  Yet, fasting and praying has been and continues to be the most effective way to demonstrate a confidence and consciousness in the presence and power of God, which always yields results.

A decision to sacrifice food or pleasure in order to get God’s attention is a demonstration of faith and assurance in the God who sees, hears, and answers the cry of His people.  I’m reminded of Cornelius in the book of Acts, chapter 10.  He was a devout centurion of the Italian regiment who always prayed and gave generous alms to the poor; yet, after a time of fasting, God instructed Peter to share the Gospel with him, so that, in the end, Cornelius’ whole family and friends heard the Gospel, received the Holy Spirit, and were baptized!  Theirs was an unlikely meeting that ushered change for and within both men.

The good news is, in the same way that Peter concluded that “God shows no partiality,” we can embrace the principle that what God has done for one He will do for another.  Literally, just as Cornelius’ time of fasting and praying demonstrated an act of faith in God’s ability to intervene, our time of fasting and praying will demonstrate the same.  Even more, just as Cornelius’ sacrifice was the precursor of salvation for his family and friends, our sacrifice could be the posture that evokes a change of heart and mind within those we love and care for, too.

Rather than relying on intellect, instincts, or ingenuity, fasting and praying is the best response to those unyielding, complex and tough situations in life; therein, God is invited to direct our steps, open our eyes of understanding, defend us where necessary, and lead us in the way that we should go. He’s always ready and willing to intervene in the affairs of man, especially when man conscientiously calls upon Him!

As an example, King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream in Daniel 2 that he expected the wise men to recount and interpret, or be killed. Shocked by the ultimatum, the wise men said, “There is not a man on earth who can tell the king’s matter…except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”  As true as this was, Daniel knew that our God would answer, so he banded together with his friends to begin fasting and praying; from that sacrifice, God revealed the dream and gave its interpretation.

The God we serve has not changed!  He is able to bring about change and give solutions to situations and circumstances for which we do not have the answers! When we begin fasting and praying, we’re showing dependence upon Him, and asking for His intervention in areas of concern and areas that offer false security.

Every opportunity given to join with others to fast and pray is an opportunity to see the change needed and desired in life.  Set your heart to make the sacrifice with diligence and expectation.  When you do, you’ll welcome God’s presence, experience His power, and see change!

Qwynn Gross
Ministry Fellow at Princeton