Devotional for Day 6 – 11 August 2013
Marilyn Rowsome, Billion Souls Revival Prayer Call Team
Intention: Prayer with fasting is an expression of repentance.
However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting (Matt 17:21 NKJV).
“Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm” (Joel 2:12-13 NKJV).
Reflection: In 1996, American founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International, Bill Bright, wrote,
“I strongly believe that America and much of the world will experience a great spiritual awakening. This Divine visit of the Holy Spirit of heaven will kindle the greatest harvest in the history of the Church. But before God comes in revival power, the Holy Spirit will call millions of Christians to repent, fast and pray for 40 days in the spirit of
2 Chronicles 7:14.”
Thank you for being one of the million (our faith goal) who is praying, fasting and repenting during these 40 days. Please share around the world this prayer call with your family, friends and church by any and every means God has given us.
The word ‘fast’ in the Bible refers to the practice of self-denial especially of food. Some translations use the word ‘afflict’ for fasting (Isaiah 58:3,5 KJV). It means ‘weeping and mourning’. We do not think about eating in an emergency or the death of a loved one. Fasting is an expression of anguish and repentance before God. The people of Israel were called together in Solemn Assemblies, often for long periods, in order to search their hearts, confess their sin and repent (Joel 1:14).
Why do we fast during this Global Prayer Call? We ‘afflict’ ourselves to pray more earnestly for our 4 faith goals. We say ‘no’ to our selfish desires and pride and put God first in our lives; we ask him to reveal hidden sins that have crept into our lives just like termites creep into a house and destroy it. Then we confess, grieve and repent.
Charles Stanley, American writer and speaker says, “The greatest thing a church could have is leaders who fast and pray – not when the church burns down, but in order to get the church on fire….Fasting brings about a supernatural work in our lives.” How often does your church leadership pray and fast and call the church to do likewise?
We also grieve over sin in our societies and cry out to God for transformation. Arthur Wallis in his book on fasting says “…when exercised with a pure heart and a right motive, fasting may provide us with a key to unlock doors where other keys have failed; a window opening up new horizons in the unseen world; a spiritual weapon of God’s providing, ‘mighty, to pulling down strongholds.’”
Let us take a firm hold of this key.
Prayer: God, we confess we have not taken seriously the discipline of fasting as individuals and churches. We have not cried out to you with true anguish of heart. Forgive us Lord. We want to live a new way. Thank you for the challenge you gave me to fast during these 40 days. Help me to remain faithful to this by the power of your Spirit in me. Amen.
[Blogger’s comment: Since the 1st June when this Global Prayer Call was unanimously affirmed on a teleconference of 17 international and national prayer and mission leaders,
we have been preparing and working towards this great event. The Lord has led me to read several books on fasting. I want to mention four here:
- Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting by Derek Prince (Derek Prince Ministries, 1973, South Pacific)
- ‘The Coming Revival‘ in The Ministry of Intercession by Andrew Murray (Whitaker House, 1982, New Kensington)
- The Coming Revival: America’s Call to Fast, Pray and “Seek God’s Face” by Bill Bright (New Life Publications, 1995, Orlando).
- The Breakthrough Guide to Fasting by Elmer L. Towns (Regal, Ventura, 2013)
I had never seriously fasted before but I was challenged to embrace this spiritual discipline for particular areas in which I need to see breakthrough in my own life and the life of my local church. I challenge you to read and pray about fasting then commit yourself to some form of fasting through the remaining 34 days of the Billion Souls Revival Prayer Call. Share how God is speaking to you in the comments here. MR]
Continue in prayer using the 4 prayer points as the Lord leads you.
- Pray for a worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit for revival and transformation of the nations of the world.
- Pray for a billion people to find Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
- Pray for an end to abortion and for God to turn back the tide of death and immorality that is sweeping the nations of the world.
- Pray for a multiplication of prayer, praise and worship to God across the world as never before, to bring great glory to God.