TIME TO LAY A SOLID FOUNDATION FOR 2017: LET'S PRAY AND FAST
Welcome to Year 2017, a year that has been declared by our father in the Lord, Daddy E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the The Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG Worldwide, as a year of “Surprises”. I pray that it shall be a Year of Pleasant Divine Surprises and Complete Restoration for you and your entire household in Jesus name. (Amen). 40 days prayer and fasting has also been declared which commenced on Wednesday 11th January, 2017 to end on Sunday 19th February, 2017.
The theme for the month of January 2017 is, ‘Prayer and fasting’’. The Bible in the book of Ezra 8:23 says “So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and He heard our prayer’’.
God is still in the business of hearing our prayers. For our prayers to be effective, we need to at times combine it with fasting.
Matthew 17:20-21 “ And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Prayer is the act of communing with God by the help of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ. Fasting on the other hand involves denying ourselves of food and various material things to be able to focus on the Spiritual.
There are certain basic rules to be observed when we are fasting and praying.
- We must not make our fasting to be obvious to other people or boast about it. It is also not for competition. Matthew 6:17-18, But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. See also Luke 18:9-12
- It must be done with a right motive. The next morning a group of Jews got together and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. Acts 23:12. Fasting should not be for strife and debate or to smite with the fist of wickedness. Isaiah 58:4
The right motives are as listed in the book of Isaiah 58:6-8, to loose the bounds of wickedness, break yokes, render help to the needy etc
- We must have Faith in God and in His ability to hear our prayers and grant our petitions.
- We must study the Word of God and also pray.
It is not enough to deny yourself of food and material things without praying, that would amount to hunger strike which is also punishable under the Law.
- There is also the place of being sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and being obedient.
- We must purpose to do things God’s way and excel only in Godly things
In conclusion, if you have not already joined the fasting and prayer programme, I encourage you to do so. This is the best time to lay a solid foundation for year 2017 by connecting with the Throne of Grace through prayer and fasting.
And as we do these, this year will end in praises to God as a better year in JESUS name. Amen.