Do You Long to be Free of the Anxieties and Fears that Hinder Your Life?

The Forty-Day Fast

Do you long to be free of the anxieties and fears that hinder your life and keep you bound up? Are there strongholds in your life that hinder you?

Nothing holds us back like anxiety and fear and the lies we believe. And nothing nurtures fear and anxiety like strongholds rooted deep in our hearts and souls, chaining us to their harmful lies.

Maranatha Chapel is in our second week of our Forty-Day Fast (which you can read about HERE). One of the goals of prayer and fasting is to release the strongholds in our lives.

When a pastor says, “It’s time to release strongholds,” we tend to take an inventory, listing our many mistakes and failures. We usually come up pretty short of abundant life, which is discouraging.

But the biggest strongholds in our lives are rooted, not in our actions, but in unforgiveness, bitterness and a misunderstanding of who we are. Those negative emotions lead to mental, emotional, and physical stress. Freedom and joy are trampled upon and shoved into a hopeful-someday closet of our lives that we are afraid to open.

Our destructive emotions and actions are usually rooted in deep wounds and painful memories that become what the Bible calls a “root of bitterness” (Hebrews 12:15).

Asking God to reveal areas of pain and bitterness is not always about confronting people. That typically doesn’t work. We need to release forgiveness and allow the bitterness to be rooted out (sometimes you need a counselor or prayer partners to help you with this).

Jesus set the example when He forgave those who hurt Him while He was being crucified! No one was repenting as He cried out, ”Father forgive them!”

When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, one of the most powerful statements He made was, “Deliver us from evil” (Luke 11:4).

The original word “deliver” in Strong’s Concordance is roumai (Strong’s 4506), defined as, “through the idea of a current.” The root word, rew, means, “to flow” (ref. 4482).

Evil is like a current flowing through our lives, strangling us with bitterness. It’s like being tasered — jolted by a lie, burned by a lie, then wounded too much to let it go.

Being delivered from evil is to break the current of evil in our lives to allow the Holy Spirit to flow. You can begin to stop the evil current by recognizing it for the lie that it is and then rejecting it.

Prayer and fasting activate our longing to be free and help us let go of unforgiveness and bitterness. Then the Holy Spirit will flow into our lives like currents of living water, freeing us to love, to forgive, to hear God’s voice, to see His visions, to know His voice with clarity.

We can experience what Jesus described when He stood up on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles and said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

I pray that as we continue our 40-Day Fast, you will experience healing and freedom and see God’s glory manifested!

Note:  We recognize that fasting is an individual, personal time between you and the Lord. Choose the fast that is best for you. While fasting means abstaining from food for most people, it can also be abstaining from something else to give you deeper time in prayer and fellowship with the Lord. Not everyone can fast from food, but if you give up something in order to focus on the Lord, that can be a meaningful fast. St. Augustine recognized this when he wrote, “If you are not able to keep a fast today, at least partake of food with moderation.”

DEVOTIONALSRay Bentley