Prayer and Fasting (Part 2)

Bob Bouwer

Read: Acts 13:1-3

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said . . . (v. 2)

People diet for various reasons but mainly to lose weight. In contrast, when Christians fast, one of the reasons they do it is to gain God. When I have used fasting and prayer as a spiritual discipline, I experience the wonderful benefit of a deeper relationship with God.

When I fast and pray, I discover how dependent I am upon God. I cannot live without God’s nourishment. Praying and fasting prompts my “spiritual antennae” to go up, allowing me to see and hear things more clearly. These practices also increase my desire for the things of God. To paraphrase John Piper, “We don’t fast, because we don’t hunger nearly enough.” Prayer and fasting tune our ears to the Holy Spirit’s promptings. Throughout life there will be times when you need help or need to gain clarity pertaining to a difficult situation. I have discovered I am more aware of what the Holy Spirit is saying to me when I fast and pray. Notice the phrase in our text “the Holy Spirit said . . . ” (v. 2).

I challenge you to fast and pray. Fasting is not merely denying yourself food, but rather it is seeking to draw closer to God by depending on him for his will, guidance, direction, help, strength, and deliverance. Do it discreetly. Do it wisely (check first with your physician). Do it for God’s glory, not your own. —Bob Bouwer

Prayer: Lord, teach me to pray and fast for your kingdom and your glory. Amen.