The Power of Prayer and Fasting
Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me? And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. (Acts 10:29-31)
Peter was standing in a room full of Gentiles staring at him, and breaking the ice, he asked, “Why am I here?”
Cornelius responded and said that he was praying and fasting. Fasting is both in the Old and the New Testament. Many Christians don't understand what fasting is and why it is essential. It’s important to understand that Biblical fasting is not a diet plan. Today, intermittent fasting is popular as part of many people's weight loss journey, but fasting to lose weight is not what the Bible calls fasting. We are called to fast to draw closer to God.
We are to spend the time in prayer that we would otherwise spend preparing, storing, shopping, cooking, eating and cleaning up after eating. It doesn't just deny the flesh - it is taking a considerable amount of time to be with God and to listen to His voice.
When you purposely do this, your focus will be ten times better, and you will get more revelation because your spirit will be in control, not your flesh. When you commit time to listening to communing with God, you will hear Him more clearly. There is no magic in fasting. It’s not that being hungry will make you spiritually stronger but spending more time in prayer than in the refrigerator will.
Cornelius was praying while he was fasting, and God changed his life, and everyone connected to him with the message of the Gospel.
Practical Application – Have you fasted recently? Decide to fast at least one meal this week and take that time in prayer instead of preparing and eating food. Listen to what God says when you dedicate your time to being with Him.
Judges 20:26; Matthew 17:21