Jesus Christ Apostolic Ministries International
Sunday, 18 June 2006
Why Pray? Why Fast?
Mood:  happy
Topic: Prayer & Fasting




WHY FAST? Well, first of all, WHY NOT? There is something about prayer &
fasting that rub the flesh the wrong way! First thing the flesh says is..
DO I GOTTA?

ANSWER: YES! Well, that is if you want to be successful in God! If
you want to be a spiritual failure...No you don't have to Pray & Fast.
We will assume that since your here, you want to make it!
PRAYER & FASTING ARE NOT OPTIONAL FOR A CHILD OF GOD!
These are issues of Spiritual discipline... they are a must: HERE'S WHY:

#1. IT IS YOUR MOST POWERFUL WEAPON:
Mark 9:25- 29 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he
rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, [Thou] dumb and deaf spirit, I
charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. And [the spirit]
cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead;
insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and
lifted him up; and he arose. And when he was come into the house, his
disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said
unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
(we'll come back later)
Acts 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without
ceasing of the church unto God for him. (AND HE WAS SET FREE)
James 5:15- 16 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord
shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven
him. Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that
ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth
much.
Many battle you will face will be coming from Satanic forces & Devils. But
by prayer & fasting you will overcome!

#2. WE ARE TOLD TO PRAY:
I Timothy 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy
hands, without wrath and doubting.
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and
supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Romans 12:11- 12 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the
Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in
prayer;
Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted
worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand
before the Son of man.
Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them [to this end], that men ought
always to pray, and not to faint;
I Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober,
and watch unto prayer.
Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with
thanksgiving;
HOW TO PRAY WILL BE COVERED IN NEXT WEEKS SESSION: However, NOTICE:
Matthew 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites
[are]: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners
of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They
have their reward.
Note that Jesus said WHEN you pray... not IF you pray. Prayer was
expected. But Jesus taught us to pray with sincerity... not for show like
Pharisee.
ALSO: DON'T PIDDLE AROUND, PRAY MEANING BUSINESS ===> BELIEVE!
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye
pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have [them].
AS A YOUNG CHRISTIAN, YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT A PRAYER LIFE IS WHAT
BUILDS YOUR FOUNDATION: EVERYTHING RISES OR FALLS UPON YOUR ABILITY TO
TOUCH HEAVEN.

*** You must have a relationship with Jesus Christ.. Not just the church!

#3. WHAT SHOULD WE BE PRAYING FOR?

A> Leaders... both spiritual & secular...

I Timothy 2:1- 3 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications,
prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be made for all men; For
kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and
peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this [is] good and
acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;
Did you notice that you don't start by praying for self? Gimme Gimme... We
should be praying for those in authority, not just bashing them verbally!
*** YOU SHOULD DAILY PRAY FOR YOUR PASTOR & HIS FAMILY & YOUR CHURCH ***
I Thessalonians 5:11- 13 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify
one another, even as also ye do. And we beseech you, brethren, to know
them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish
you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. [And]
be at peace among yourselves.

B> That your counted worthy to escape...

Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted
worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand
before the Son of man.

C> For the lost...
Matthew 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send
forth laborers into his harvest.

D> To overcome Satan...
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have
peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I
have overcome the world.

Romans 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. <<<
Tell story of Daniel chapter 10 briefly >>>

E> To be spiritually minded & overcome the flesh...
Romans 8:5- 9 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the
flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to
be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and
peace. Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not
subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in
the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the
Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have
not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
II Corinthians 10:4- 5 (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal,
but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down
imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the
knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the
obedience of Christ;

F> To maintain a forgiving humble spirit...

Matthew 6:14- 15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly
Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses,
neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD [is] to hate evil: pride, and
arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

G> To keep from fainting...

II Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward
man perish, yet the inward [man] is renewed day by day.
Proverbs 24:10 [If] thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength [is]
small.
START PRAYING & DON'T STOP FOR ANYTHING!
*** PEOPLE OF PRAYER ALWAYS HAVE THEIR REWARD!
Cornelius found salvation: Peter was freed from prison: TO NAME A COUPLE!
________________________________________________________________
A FEW WORDS ABOUT FASTING:

Matthew 6:16 Moreover 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. (NOT IF!)
Like prayer: fasting must not be done for show... mean business!
First of all, fasting is always linked with prayer... fasting with out
prayer is a diet... Nothing wrong with that... but it won't have SPIRITUAL
PUNCH! *** YOU CAN PRAY WITH OUT FASTING, BUT NOT VICE - VERSA
Matthew 9:14- 15 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we
and the Pharisee fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? And Jesus said unto
them, Can the children of the bride chamber mourn, as long as the
bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall
be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
Jesus said there will be plenty of time for spiritual battle &
heaviness... But while I'm here, I want you to enjoy it! (OH WE NEED THOSE
TIMES!)

*** FASTING'S GREATEST WORK: = To help us subdue our flesh & be sensitive
to the holy Ghost... Notice God's direction came after fasting...
Acts 13:1- 4 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain
prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and
Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the
tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy
Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work where unto I have
called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid [their] hands
on them, they sent [them] away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy
Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
FASTING IS CONNECTED WITH MOURNING:
Esther 4:3 And in every province, whither soever the king's commandment and
his decree came, [there was] great mourning among the Jews, and fasting,
and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
Psalms 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing [was]
sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into
mine own bosom.
Psalms 69:10 When I wept, [and chastened] my soul with fasting, that was
to my reproach.
FASTING MOVES GOD:
Ezra 8:21- 23 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that
we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for
us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance. For I was ashamed
to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against
the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The
hand of our God [is] upon all them for good that seek him; but his power
and his wrath [is] against all them that forsake him. So we fasted and
besought our God for this: and he was entreated of us.
Look at what Fasting will do:
Isaiah 58:5- 6 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to
afflict his soul? [is it] to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread
sackcloth and ashes [under him]? wilt thou call this a fast, and an
acceptable day to the LORD? [Is] not this the fast that I have chosen? to
loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the
oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
_____________________________________________________
SOME COMMON QUESTIONS ANSWERED
____________________________________________________

A> HOW OFTEN SHOULD I FAST?

No set amount in Bible... But should be regularly. Paul gave a hint...
II Corinthians 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in
hunger and thirst, in fasting often, in cold and nakedness.

B) ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF FASTS? Many. Here are 3 basic types.

1. Partial: Fasting certain things of enjoyment but not total food.
Daniel 1:8- 12 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile
himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he
drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might
not defile himself. Now God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love
with the prince of the eunuchs. And the prince of the eunuchs said unto
Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your
drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children
which [are] of your sort? then shall ye make [me] endanger my head to the
king. Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set
over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, Prove thy servants, I beseech
thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.

2. Normal: Jewish fast was water only... for 24 hour periods.

3. Absolute: No water or food. This is not recommended for long.

Even in the Bible, the longest fast of this type was 3 days... except for
occasions when supernatural strength was given.
*** REMEMBER: you are not fasting for ego, or to appease God.
Your fasting to draw close to God. If you fail during a fast, and slip,
don't let guilt destroy you... get back in it! If you come to a situation
of complete weakness... eat some raisins or light fruit or honey. Then
keep right back on it. You will notice how after 3 days fasting becomes
simple after you get over the hump.
LET'S GET STARTED INTO SPIRITUAL VICTORY WITH FASTING & PRAYER!
I Corinthians 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except [it be] with
consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and
come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinence.
We need to give ourselves to prayer & fasting...
It will kill out this old man, and open doors to the spirit for us.

*** IF THE FIRST CHURCH NEEDED IT, HOW MUCH MORE SHOULD THE LAST? ***


Posted By. Bishop Michael Neal, D.D. PhD
JCAMI

Posted by J.C.A.M.I. Staff at 8:47 PM CDT

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