“THE PASTOR’S DESK – OCTOBER 2018”
“Fasting, prayer and God’s purpose”
Greetings and blessings be upon to all who love the Lord Jesus Christ. Our church ministry theme for this year has been primarily based upon the following scripture:-
John.3:16-17. “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”
“God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.”nlt.
In both the Old and New Testaments there are good examples of the purpose and circumstances when prayer and fasting are closely linked together to achieve the will of God, by placing emphasis upon the important theme of “FASTING AND PRAYER”, and results that can achieved by spending time in deep relationship with the Lord as may be seen in the following examples.
Nehemiah.1-2. These chapters reveal to us one of the methods God uses to accomplish His will through FASTING AND PRAYER. Nehemiah a Jewish captive held a senior trusted position in the Persian King’s court at Sushan, never able to leave without the King’s permission. At this time Jerusalem and its walls were in total disrepair, the Jews who had previously been released from cap-tivity had done little or nothing to restore the walls and gates of their city. God knowing there was need for a man to take control, encourage and lead the people of Jerusalem into action, to rebuild the walls laid burden upon Nehemiah
1:1-11. The Lord also knew in Nehemiah he had the potential leadership qualities to be that man. After Nehemiah had heard that the situation in Jerusalem was after was desperate, Nehemiah began to seek the Lord with FASTING AND PRAYER, he first intercedes before the Lord for His peo-ples sins to be forgiven, reminding the Lord of the great deliverance from their captivity in Egypt. v.11. Nehemiah secondly prays for himself stating that he is the Lord’s servant, reminding the Lord that he is available and ready if the Lord will give him favour with the king and asking that the Lord would cause the king of Persia to grant him permission to return to Jerusalem.
2:1-8. Approximately 5 months later Nehemiah is now outwardly showing the signs of his long pe-riod of intensive prayer: the king noticed the change in Nehemiah, asking after his welfare, taking advantage of the kings enquiry he explained that he has been praying to God of Heaven about Jeru-salem’s condition and asked the King for permission to return to Jerusalem, with the specific pur-pose of rebuilding the city walls. The king responds positively granting Nehemiah permission to return to Jerusalem with letters of authority to carry out the task. It is was due to his intercessory fasting and prayer, that the King’s heart had been softened, that he was willing to allow Nehemi-ah’s request!
Under Nehemiah’s leadership despite opposition and problems the walls were completed
And city gates replaced in 52 days.
Jeremiah.33:3. “Call unto Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you know not”
n.b. Believers need to understand that sincere “Prayer and Fasting”, can change circumstances in their favour, providing we ask according to His will. Secondly do not expect instant answers, the Lord determines the time to answer, Nehemiah waited 5 months before his request was granted. The Lord had already prepared the King, giving Nehemiah, the right time to ask for the king’s per-mission.
Acts.13:1-4. “Prayer and Fasting” is connected with the selection and sending out ministry from the Church at Antioch, as per Acts.1:8.
v.2. One day as these men(leadership)were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Dedicate Barnabus and Saul for the work to which I have called them”
v.3—4a. After more “FASTING AND PRAYER” for confirmation by the Holy Spirit, the men laid their hands upon them and sent them on their way. So Barnabus and Saul were SENT OUT BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.
This teaches a very important lesson that should be applied to anyone who is called into the minis-try, that no man or woman can appoint themselves as pastors or ministers, the only true and effec-tive calling is when the Holy Spirit selects His candidates for full time ministry, and the of the call of God, was confirmed through “FASTING AND PRAYER” of the church leadership.
1.Timothy.5:22. “Never be in a hurry about appointing a church leader! nlt
Acts.14:23. “Paul and Barnabus appointed elders in every church. WITH PRAYER AND FAST-ING” nlt
The early church sought the mind of the Holy Spirit, with FASTING AND PRAYER prior to ap-pointing anyone into church leadership, sadly in many of todays churches, men have been ordained into leadership positions that have frequently resulted in problems.
The reason and purpose for fasting and prayer should always be primarily designed to bring us closer to God through denial of our fleshly desires and above all restoring our personal relationship with the living God and the promotion of His Kingdom.
Jesus warned His disciples that fasting and prayer must be with the right motives to further the gos-pel, never for the purpose of bringing any attention to oneself as many of the religious community of His day sought to be both seen and heard.
Matthew.6:16-18.”And when you fast, don’t not make it obvious as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get! But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice you are fast-ing, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father who sees everything ,will reward you”. nlt
Many blessings Pastor Terry Brinded