(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 3)
For Christians, praying and fasting in a unified manner and according to the Bible is powerful, effective and necessary for breakthroughs, both from the point of view of the Church and the individuals in the Church.
However, whether sickness, financial lack, barrenness, singleness, loneliness, problems on the workplace, unemployment, wayward or abusive family members, a dysfunctional marriage, depression, addictions, oppressive neighbours, general attacks, roadblocks, indecision, the need for guidance or any other issue, what is needed when one is facing a problem is a group of people with a certain set of characteristics, to join with that one in prayer and fasting, so as to obtain a solution from God for that problem. The issue though is that it is rare to find such people today (sadly), even in the Churches.
WHEN YOU ARE GOING THROUGH WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH, LOOK FOR A SUPPORT SYSTEM IN A GROUP OF PEOPLE (AT THE VERY MINIMUM TWO), WHO POSSESS THE FOLLOWING TRAITS:
- They are genuine believers of the Lord Jesus Christ, not just lip professers;
- Though they have flaws and are not perfect, they are mature in the Lord, committed to him and serious about pursuing him above all else;
- They understand the spiritual importance of fasting;
- They practise biblical fasting as part of their spiritual lifestyle or at least are willing to start;
- They genuinely care about you and your problem (not gossip) and want to see you be victorious over it;
- They are selfless enough to be willing to forego their meals for the fasting period, to gain nothing other than to help you get out of or overcome your problem;
- They understand how to go about biblical fasting (not just fasting) and with that understanding, would engage in a fast that is biblical and therefore, which God can bless;
- They are humble and have repentant hearts which leads them to be sorrowful and to go to God to ask for his forgiveness whenever they mess up. Having a prayer life alone is not sufficient. Having a repentant life as well is absolutely essential;
- They understand what it is to pray fervently, effectively and with faith that God is and is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him and do not just pray routine prayers but prayers in which their heart and minds are engaged in their petition to God, believing genuinely that he can grant it and will do so, unless he wills otherwise;
- You feel you can trust them with your situation and have absolute confidence that they understand confidentiality, especially if it is about a sensitive matter or matters. You don’t have to worry that they will spread your business to others.
Since unified prayer and fasting by A SERIOUS GROUP OF LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE is powerful (notice I said ‘like-minded’), the challenge therefore is to find people who fit the above criteria to join with you, when you are facing your problems.
This is absolutely essential, given that every genuine Christian will at some point face problems and an onslaught of attacks, some of which will require you to unify your efforts in fighting that old devil, who comes to kill, steal and destroy.
In the Bible, Esther gathered people when Haman got the king to issue a written order to destroy all of her people and so did king Jehoshaphat, when different armies joined together to come up and fight against him and his people.
Even New Testament Christians gathered together and in so doing, joined forces to fast and pray about issues. Sadly, today, although unity of approach is a tried and tested principle of the Bible, many times Christians don’t see the answer to their problems because they have either underestimated the importance God places on unified prayer and fasting and unity on the whole or they know the importance of unity but can’t find serious, mature, like-minded people who they can trust, to share their problem with.
The only one who benefits from this is the enemy of our progress!
Psalm 133:1-3 states:
- “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.”
If you know of people who have the characteristics listed above, then you are more blessed than you may have realized. Be sure to ask for their help when you are facing storms and other of life’s problems. If you don’t readily see the people around you as having the traits listed above, then ask the Lord to send you a support system. Ask him to open your eyes and lead you to people with the traits above with whom you can ask for help and unite, in approaching the throne of grace in your situation.
(Written in January 2016)
If you found this Article useful, informative, edifying or interesting, then you may be interested in reading the following:
- Note 14 -’Praying; How To Get A YES From God’