Why We Are Fasting and Praying for 40-Days at Maranatha Chapel

“Prayer is nothing else than a sense of God’s presence.” — Brother Lawrence.  "Do you have a hunger for God? If we don't feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because we have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Our soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great. If we are full of what the world offers, then perhaps a fast might express, or even increase, our soul's appetite for God." —John Piper

On February 1 the staff and congregation of Maranatha Chapel will begin a 40-Day Fast and we would like to invite you to join us. We are starting our New Year by asking God to manifest His presence in our lives, allowing us to “drink deeply” and sense God’s presence as the quotes above say.

During the 40 days, I encourage you to go to “higher ground.” Find a local mountain, a view from the top of a building, or the hill behind your house. Go to higher ground and pray, asking God to manifest His presence over all that you see.

Praying and fasting is a biblical practice that gives us the opportunity to focus on the Lord and to find extra time and energy to pray and hear God’s voice and experience His presence.

Numerous examples of fasting in the Bible include:

• Moses Fasted Before Receiving the Commandments – Deuteronomy 9:9-18

•David Mourning His Child’s Illness – 2 Samuel 12:1-23

 •Elijah Fasted While Escaping Jezebel – 1 Kings 19:4-8

 •Ezra Fasted While Mourning Over Sin – Ezra 10:6-17

 •Esther Fasted for the Safety of the Jews – Esther 4:15-17

 •Daniel Fasted for an Answer to Prayer – Daniel 10:1-3

 •Jesus Fasted Before Temptation by Satan – Matthew 4:1-2

 •Paul Fasted After His Conversion – Acts 9:1-9

(Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/fasting-in-the-bible-10-examples-to-learn-from/#ixzz3xoEU3iJY)

I suggest you pray for three things:

  • To experience the presence of God.
  • Ask God to bring down strongholds and break the idols in your life —anything that would hold back God’s out poring of blessings.
  • Revival! Just as we, in southern California, have experienced a deluge of wonderful rain, blessings in the natural world, may His blessing down pour and overflow in our lives!

I like what John Piper said above. Our souls are stuffed with “small things and there is no room for the great.” I can think of nothing greater than hearing God speak and experiencing His presence in our lives.

Our fast will impact other lives. John Wesley said, "Bear up the hands that hang down, by faith and prayer; support the tottering knees. Have you any days of fasting and prayer? Storm the throne of grace and persevere, and mercy will come down."

Pray and ask the Lord to show you how to fast, then prepare for a wonderful 40 days of living in God’s presence and experiencing His love.

May this time be a wonderful revelation of God’s power and presence!

Pastor Ray

 

Important 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.”  If you would like to keep a record of your spiritual journey, we are offering a 40-day prayer journal you can download on line HERE or pick one up at Maranatha Chapel. You can use this prayer journal to reflect upon the presence of God in your life during these forty days of fasting and praying.  

 

 

DEVOTIONALSRay Bentley