Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day 10 ~ 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting

Fasting brings spiritual strength and help.

Today's Daily Reading: Daniel chapter 10

Todays reading is the portion of scripture where the inspiration came from for a 21 day season of prayer and fasting.  Many refer to it as the "Daniel Fast" because of the adjustment to our diet and the emphasis on prayer.  Daniel spent 3 weeks where he didn't eat any pleasant food or drink wine.  It wasn't to torture himself, but to create an environment where he could here God more clearly.

Daniel 10:2-3 says, "I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three whole weeks. All that time I had eaten no rich food. No meat or wine crossed my lips, and I used no fragrant lotions until those three weeks had passed." 

Our focus when fasting is not to convince God to finally bend his ear our direction but to bend our ear to His voice.  Fasting is a spiritual discipline.  Its removing natural distractions that cloud our spiritual ears and heart.  There also needs to be a focus to our fast.  If there is no Godly purpose or focus we are only on a diet.  We need to pursue God through prayer, Bible reading and reflection.

The powerful thing about fasting is that it brings spiritual strength and help.  We may not notice an immediate change, but we must know that God is at work behind the scenes on our behalf.  Look what an angel says to Daniel at the end of his 3 week time of prayer and fasting.

Daniel 10:12-13  "Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.  But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me."

What if Daniel would have stopped after a week?  What if he decided on day 13 that nothing was happening and fasting didn't work?  What if he gave up and quit on day 20?  I'm not saying I know the answer to any of those questions, but I do know that Daniel fasted and prayed for 21 days and the answer came on the 21st day.

Don't give up!  Don't quit!  Stay faithful day in and day out to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God.  God has heard your prayer and angels are working on your behalf to bring the answer to you.

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