Prayer and fasting for spiritual breakthrough

					Prayer and fasting for
spiritual breakthrough
• “Therefore also now, says the Lord, turn
 to me with all your heart, and with fasting
 and with weeping, and with mourning.”
                  Joel 2:12
        Prayer and Fasting
     How to Survive in the Slum

• Prayer and fasting is vital to all slum ministry for three main
  A) The welfare of the Trainer/Leader
     Prayer and Fasting is essential for the strong spiritual life of the
     slum worker.
  B) The welfare of the workers/trainees
     Intercessory prayer and fasting is essential for the well-being of
     the workers you are training especially as they face spiritual
     opposition and attack.
  C) The development of spiritual discernment
     The leaders and the workers in the slum need keen and sensitive
     spiritual discernment as they face a myriad of deceptive forces.
   James 5:16 b
Those burdened with cares in
ministry need……effectual prayer
• James 5 verse 14 -16 tells us that
  “effectual prayer offered in faith restores
  the sick and heals the wounded”………
• In our Urban Mission to the poor our
  workers will often be wounded and sick..
• As leaders we need to be effectual in
  prayer for those we have pastoral
  responsibility for.
Testimonies of effectual prayer?
• Can you share with us
    one example of effectual
    prayer you have been
    involved in personally?
•   Can you share one
    example of effective
    prayer you have observed
    through the ministry of
    another or others…..?
Fasting and prayer is a key to the
growth of our personal lives and
commitment to Christ.

 See Acts 10:9,30; 21:5; 22:17-21
  Cornelius answered: “Four days ago I was in
   my house praying at this hour, at three in the
   afternoon. Acts 10:30
          WHY PRAY AND FAST?
• The early Christians "devoted themselves to prayer"
    Acts 2:42.
•   Prayer was a key element in
    discipleship and pastoral
    care of new believers.
    1 Thess. 1:2
•   Throughout the Book of Acts,
    prayer and fasting is
    emphasized again and again:
Fasting and prayer is a key to our
ministry to others.
• Acts 6:6; 8:14-15; 9:40; 13:3; 14:23; 20:36;
  …They presented them to the apostles, who
  prayed and laid their hands on them. Acts 6:6
• Empowerment by the Spirit for ministry
 came through prayer and the laying on
 of hands… and act of presbytery or
• And when they had
 ordained them elders in
 every church, and had
 prayed with fasting, they
 commended them to the
 Lord, on whom they
 believed. Acts 14:23
Prayer is a key to our survival in
persecution and spiritual attack.
• After further threats they let them go…1 After
  they prayed, the place where they were meeting
  was shaken. And they were all filled with the
  Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly..
  Acts 4:2, 31; 16:22-26.
• The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and
  Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be
  stripped and beaten. About midnight Paul and
  Silas were praying and singing hymns to God,
  and the other prisoners were listening to them.
  Acts 16:22, 25
People question the need for fasting
and prayer
Why is prayer so necessary?
Why is fasting necessary?
Is God a sadist who needs us
 to suffer before He shows
 compassion for others?
If God is all-knowing and
 all-powerful, surely He would
 answer our needs without us
 having to tell Him about them.
Three Vital Functions of Fasting and
• Fasting and Prayer fulfills three vital
    functions in our relationship with
•   1. Communication with God
•   2. A joining together or unity
       in purpose
•   3. Allowing ourselves to be
       an intercessory vessel
       for the Spirit to pray

In any relationship, whether it is between
  husband and wife, parents and children, or
  between friends, there has to be meaningful
  conversation. Without dialogue, a
  relationship will soon die.
We must have daily relationship
with God
 The two parties need to share their desires and
  frustrations, and find the answers together.
 It is the same with our relationship with God.
 How can we really love Him unless we share our
  heart with Him, and how can we begin to think
  like Him unless we ask Him what He thinks about
  the situations we face each day
 Jesus said “He was the vine, and we need to
  abide in Him” The life is in the sap from the root.
  John 15: 1-15
Prayer is the basis of our
relationship with God
Prayer, for the believer, is NOT a
 religious duty, but an act of love.
It's part of our fellowship with a
 personal God - our loving Father.
The more time we spend with God
 in prayer, the closer our
 relationship will become,
 and the more like
 Christ we will become.
Prayer is an evidence of our love
for others….
• An Encarnação facilitator needs to show his/her
    love for others by praying for each trainee each
•   Reminding the “Enemy of our Souls” that this
    person belongs to the Saviour of mankind is an
    act of spiritual warfare.
•   Making a prayer list and updating it regularly is
    an act of love.
•   Depressed or burdened trainees need special
•   Our act of love makes us more like Christ the
 A joining together
     or unity
          in purpose

We are living in the days when God is
 bringing everything He has purposed to
God's plan is coming to a point of closure,
 and though the future looks bleak, God will
 still fulfill His plan by empowering His
 servants. Prayer and fasting empowers us as
 His servants.
Partner with God in His great plan
for the redemption of all things

He has actually gone as far as limiting Himself in
 His plan and waiting until we pray.
As we pray, we join with Him in His purposes
 and have the thrill of seeing Him work. This
 action develops a unity between God and
We are His treasure in earthen vessels.
The importance of prayer and
fasting in spiritual victory in
our personal lives….

• Prayer and fasting enable us
    exercise power over the temptation
    of the seven deadly sins:
•   Greed                Slothfulness
•   Envy                 Lust
•   Pride                Gluttony
•   Anger
Are you struggling with any of
these sins ?
• Together in unity we can minister to one
    another and help each other to find the power
    of God’s victory over temptation. 1 John 1:9
•   Together our prayers have great power. Acts
•   United we stand, divided we fall. Luke 22:40
•   We all need to learn to extend grace to each
    other so we will find grace in our time of need.
    1 Peter 3:7
Three Deadly Dangers
• But give attention to yourselves, for fear that
    your hearts become over-full of the pleasures of
    food and wine, and the cares of this life,
    and that day may come on you suddenly, and
    take you as in a net:
•   For so it will come on all those who are living on
    the face of all the earth. But keep watch at all
    times with prayer, that you may be strong
    enough to come through all these things and
    take your place before the Son of man.
    Luke 21:34-36
Are you struggling with any of
these dangers ?
• Food obsessions or, gluttony?
• Addictions? Drugs or drink?
• Lustful desires?
• Financial worries?
• Wrong affections?
• Ungodly ambitions?
God’s power can set you free from these dangers
  and change the affections of your heart!
A post-modern spirit of compromise

• In these days many believers have compromised
    their standards and suffer the consequences.
•   The Biblical standards of godly living are
    timeless and wise.
•   Compromising our standards of godly living
    weakens the power of our life.
•   A sacrificial life is an act of love for God and our
    fellow man.
Three righteous duties
• In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus speaks of the
    three righteous duties of Christians: Giving (Matt.
    6:2-4)、Prayer (Matt. 6:5-8)、Fasting (Matt:
•   Jesus did not say, If you desire to do so, you can
    give, pray or fast. Rather he said, (When you
•   He assumed that every Christian would do these
    three things.
Our motivation for the three
righteous duties should be the same
as for ministry
When we perform these three righteous duties,
 we must be careful of our motivation. (Matt. 6:1)
The motivation of many is not pure. It is only to
 cause others to look on them with admiration or
 some other selfish motivation or envy.
Such people will not receive the reward from the
 Lord, and are called hypocrites.
Even so, these scriptures clearly tell us a proper
 fast that purifies our motives will be rewarded
 by God.
Throughout the world
countless numbers die
everyday through
starvation. Christians are
blessed by the Lord, in
order to save these lost
souls, and have
compassion on them by
fasting and pray. These
sacrificial acts move the
Spirit of God to mobilize
men and women to
ministry among the poor.
 Our motivation for servant-hood
 comes from a new attitude

• You were taught, with regard to your former way
  of life, to put off your old self, which is being
  corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new
  in the attitude of your minds. Eph 4:22-23.
 Fasting is Contrary to our natural

• "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor
 are your ways My ways," says the LORD. "For
 as the heavens are higher than the earth, so
 are My ways higher than your ways, and My
 thoughts than your thoughts”. Isaiah 55:8-9
People who fast can enjoy God’s

• “Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'The fast of the
  fourth month, ….., Shall be joy and gladness and
  cheerful feasts for the house of Judah. Therefore
  love truth and peace”. Zechariah 8:19
Fasting and Prayer was not
only for Biblical times

• Then John‘s disciples came and asked him,
  “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but
  your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered,
  “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn
  while he is with them? The time will come when
  the bridegroom will be taken from them; then
  they will fast. Matthew 9:14 -15
Faith increases through fasting

• If we want to be sensitive to messages
  from God, one method is through fasting.
  This is like finely tuning a sensitive radio.
• When Jesus taught his disciples about
  increasing faith, He said fasting and
  prayer is the key to this kind of faith.
• However, this kind (demon) does not go
  out except by prayer and fasting. Matthew
 Through fasting you will
 experience an open heaven

• So Cornelius said, "four days ago I was
  fasting until this hour; and at the Ninth
  hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a
  man stood before me in bright clothing,
  Acts 10:30
• So when they had appointed elders in
  every church, and prayed with fasting,
  they commended them to the Lord in
  whom they had believed. Acts 14:23
    Fasting will make you sensitive to
    the Holy Spirit
• The spirit of those who fast is sensitive to both
    the Holy Spirit an other spirits. However, if your
    motivation is right, you are very safe.
•   “And she [was] a widow of about fourscore and
    four years, which departed not from the temple,
    but served [God] with fastings and prayers night
    and day And she coming in that instant gave
    thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him
    to all them that looked for redemption in
    Jerusalem.” Luke 2:37-38
Short periods of fasting and prayer and
the leading of the Spirit
• If the Holy Spirit leads you, even in a short fast
    you can grow very close to God. Whether it is a
    few days, one, two or three weeks, you will be
    amazed at the close communication you have
    with the Lord.
•   “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the
    wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Matt 4:2
    And when he had fasted forty days and forty
    nights, he was afterward an hungered.”
    Matt. 4:1-2
Three Types of Biblical Fasts
1. Standard Fast – You only drink water, not
     other solid or liquid nourishment.
2.   Absolute Fast – You neither eat nor drink.
     This type of fast usually is just for a day.
     Because after 2-3 days, the body will
     dehydrate and it will cause damage. Moses
     and Elijah both fasted for 40 days without
     water. This was a supernatural event.
3.   Partial Fast – You abstain from certain foods
     or all food and only take liquid nourishment.
     (Dan. 10:3)
 How long should you fast?
• 1. Until we finally know that God has heard
  our prayer. For this you have to get the
  assurance whether to have a short (1-10
  days) or a longer (20-40 day) fast.
• 2. As long as our health and physical
  condition permits, without resulting in
    The reasons for fasting
• 1. For Personal Needs
  a. Repentance and holiness 2 Sam. 12:16
  b. To buffet the body, for God to hear prayers
   Isa: 58:3-5
  c. For salvation and deliverance from difficulty.
   Ezra 8:21, Isa 58:6
a. Repentance and cleansing. 2 Sam 12:15
• Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the
    children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in
    sackcloth, and with dust on their heads.
    Nehemiah 9:1
•   And in every province where the king's command
    and decree arrived, there was great mourning
    among the Jews, with fasting, weeping, and
    wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
    Esther 4:3
b. To buffet the body, for God to hear prayers

 • But as for me, when they were sick, My clothing
     was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting;
     And my prayer would return to my own heart.
     Psalms 35:13
 •   When I wept and chastened my soul with fasting,
     That became my reproach. Psalms 69:10
 •   My knees are weak through fasting, and my
     flesh is feeble from lack of fatness. Psalms
 •   Then I set my face toward the Lord God to
     make request by prayer and supplications, with
     fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. Daniel 9:3
    Banishing of Natural Desires
•   Man has four different desires:
•   1.     The spiritual desire, the longing for God.
•   2.     The desire for food.
•   3.     The sexual desire.
•   4.     The covetousness for possession, power
    and luxury.
•   All these needs can be justified to a certain degree.
The first desire does not take any effect at all in
 most people because it is suppressed by the other
The second and third desires degenerated into
 major vices in ancient times, of which Paul warned
 severely in 1. Thessalonians, chapter 4:
"abstain from fornication..." also, "that no man go
 beyond and defraud his brother in any matter:
 because that the Lord is the avenger of all
 such.“ 1 Thess 4:5 – 6
The fourth, covetousness for improvement of
 one's life, degenerates into greed for money,
 possession, power and luxury.
It is a modern trump card in satan's hand.
However, with fasting, a miracle occurs:
 first of all, the second desire - hunger -
After approximately 10 days of fasting the
 weakness is gone.
Thereafter the sexual desire disappears
 If the person who is fasting continues in
 fervent prayer to be united with God, the
 fourth desire - covetousness, is taken from
 him; or at least so much diminished, that
 it is hardly noticeable.
To the same degree, as fleshly lusts
 decrease through fasting, the spiritual
 longing for God is increased:
"As the hart panteth after the water
 brooks, so panteth my soul after thee,
 O God." PSALM 42:2
It is the Holy Spirit who is working by His
 moving force.
Now, the spirit of prayer becomes alive
 and an inner urge to pray arises, wherever
 you are.
c. For salvation and deliverance from difficulty.

• [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? Isa. 58:6
•   And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek
    the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all
    Judah. 4 And Judah gathered themselves
    together, to ask [help] of the LORD: even out of
    all the cities of Judah they came to seek the
    LORD. 2 Chr. 20:3-4
• "Go, gather all the Jews who are present in
  Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor
  drink for three days, night or day. My
  maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will
  go to the king, which is against the law;
  and if I perish, I perish!“ Esther 4:16
• Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river
  of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves
  before our God, to seek from Him the right
  way for us and our little ones and all our
  possessions. Ezra 8:21
 Fastings as a ministry
• a. To seek God’s will, that His will shall be
  done. Dan. 9:3; 9:21-22
• b. seek power for deliverance. Matt. 17:21;
  Isa. 58:6
• c. to begin a new ministry – Acts 14:2-3
• d. to ordain ministry Acts 14:23
    To fast for revival
• Ask God to forgive the sins of the people, to
    return to God, to bring the power of deliverance-
    Joel 1:14; Joel 2:15-17; Jonah 3:5
•   Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly,
    gather the elders [and] all the inhabitants of the
    land [into] the house of the LORD your God, and
    cry unto the LORD Joel 1:14
•   Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a
    solemn assembly.Joel 2:15
Gather the people, sanctify the congregation,
 assemble the elders, gather the children, and
 those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom
 go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her
 closet. 17 Let the priests, the ministers of the
 LORD, weep between the porch and the altar,
 and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD,
 and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the
 heathen should rule over them: wherefore
 should they say among the people, Where [is]
 their God? Joel 2:16-17
So the people of Nineveh believed God, and
 proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the
 greatest of them even to the least of them.
 Jonah 3:5 .
A spiritual person is a person who fasts
and prays often
• “Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not
    blamed: But in all [things] approving ourselves as the
    ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in
    necessities, in distresses,5 In stripes, in imprisonments,
    in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;” 2 Cor.
•   “[In] journeyings often, [in] perils of waters, [in] perils
    of robbers, [in] perils by [mine own] countrymen, [in]
    perils by the heathen, [in] perils in the city, [in] perils in
    the wilderness, [in] perils in the sea, [in] perils among
    false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in
    watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often,
    in cold and nakedness.” 2 Cor. 11:26-27
Our challenge:

 In Bible times, men and women changed the
 course of history through intercession.
 Now, in these crucial days when God is
 completing His glorious plan, the challenge
 comes to us:
 "And I searched for a person among them
 who should build up the wall and stand in
 the gap before Me for the land . . . but I
 found no one" Ezekiel 22:30 .