Fasting for Freedom

Introduction: Are you distracted? Does your mind wander? Is it difficult to concentrate? When PRAYING do other things consume your thought processes? Why? What can you do? Is there help? How can this lack of concentration be overcome? Have you ever tried PRAYER and FASTING? If this was not important, then Jesus would not have
emphasized it. Do you agree?

1. For starters, WHAT did Jesus teach about FASTING in the context of PRAYER? (Matt 6:16)

“16Moreover 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.”

Speaking to His disciples about “HOW” and “WHAT” to PRAY, Jesus gives similar instructions on FASTING. Notice He said, “WHEN you FAST,” not IF you FAST!

This is in the context of that great model PRAYER:

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11Give us this day our daily bread. 12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. ” (Matt. 6:9-14)

It becomes abundantly clear that PRAYER and FASTING go together. Check out all the biblical saints who practiced PRAYER and FASTING including our Lord Jesus. My conclusion… it must be important.

2. Next, HOW did JESUS instruct His disciples to FAST? (Matt 6:17,18)

“17But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18That 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.”

The believer’s motive for FASTING is exactly the same for PRAYING. Do it in secret! Of course this does not negate public PRAYING. Our Lord Jesus did that as well. But the point is do not do either one for “show” or the approval of men.
Instead, spend TIME with our FATHER in secret, and He will REWARD you. By the way, the PURPOSE for PRAYER and FASTING is not just to get what we NEED but to get in FELLOWSHIP with our CREATOR… in tune, in step, and in touch with Him.
How are you doing in this area? Do you need to re-evaluate your motives?
Conclusion: As mentioned in the introduction, when we FAST and PRAY with the right motives, things happen that would not happen ordinarily. Try it. You will like it. But more importantly, Jesus will like it and BLESS it!
Love y’all,
Dr. Randy Reese