Our fasting quote of encouragement today is from John Wesley. He said: “I desired as many as could to join together in fasting and prayer, that God would restore the spirit of love and of a sound mind to the poor deluded rebels in America. Is not the neglect of this plain duty–I mean, fasting, ranked by our Lord with almsgiving and prayer–one general occasion of deadness among Christians? Can any one willingly neglect it, and be guiltless?”
Our fasting devotional today is titled “7 BASIC STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL FASTING AND PRAYER” from Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ.
How to Begin Your Fast
STEP 3: Prepare Yourself Spiritually
The very foundation of fasting and prayer is repentance. Unconfessed sin will hinder your prayers. Here are several things you can do to prepare your heart:
1 Ask God to help you make a comprehensive list of your sins.
2 Confess every sin that the Holy Spirit calls to your remembrance and accept God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.).
3 Seek forgiveness from all whom you have offended, and forgive all who have hurt you (Mark 11:25 – And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.)
4 Make restitution as the Holy Spirit leads you.
5 Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit according to His command in Ephesians 5:18 which says “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” and His promise in 1 John 5:14,15 which says, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”
6 Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master; refuse to obey your worldly nature (Romans 12:1,2 – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.).
7 Meditate on the attributes of God, His love, sovereignty, power, wisdom, faithfulness, grace, compassion, and others (Psalm 48:9,10 – We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple. According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness.)
8 Begin your time of fasting and prayer with an expectant heart (Hebrews 11:6 – But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.).
9 Do not underestimate spiritual opposition. Satan sometimes intensifies the natural battle between body and spirit (Galatians 5:16,17 – This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.).