Day 4 of 21 • This day’s reading

Day 4: Why Should We Fast?

As prayer and fasting come with various challenges, being able to articulate the reasons behind your endurance can help sustain your journey. As discussed in previous days, the preeminent motive for prayer and fasting is to grow closer to Jesus and be more like Him. Yet, there’s a tension that we all need to manage during this Closer season: we fast knowing that there’s a reward if our motivations are righteous, but we’re not fasting for the reward.

God is interested in the purity of our hearts. It’s in our imperfect nature to stumble, but God blesses righteous motivations. In this season, frequently return to the reasons that led you to begin the fast. If some of these motives require a heart-check, then do so. But don’t miss God’s purpose and blessings for your life because you’ve approached this season with the wrong motives. Ultimately, just experiencing Jesus more tangibly is the greatest reward.

There are seven Biblical foundations related to prayer and fasting.

First, fast to receive greater anointing for ministry, wherever God places you. Prayer and fasting also bestow power and authority to deal with spiritual forces.

Second, fasting can unlock spiritual direction and insight into the future.

Third, fasting is the physical positioning for the fulfillment of God’s promises. We need to spiritually grow to carry the weight of the promises upon our lives.

Fourth, fasting can stop crises. God always responds to humble prayers of repentance. Like Esther, God can intervene in the nation’s affairs for the sake of righteousness.

Fifth, we can fast for breakthroughs in personal problems. Just as Hannah believed for a son, we can intercede for personal things beyond our control.

Sixth, fasting calls upon protection through the spiritual realm.

Seventh, and most applicable to our season, is fasting for intimacy. While you’re wrestling with physical hunger, don’t underestimate the impact of your spiritual hunger. Remember the reasons that lead you to pray, fast, and expect for greater experiences in your relationship with God.

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