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Days 4 and 5

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Day 4

In Mark Chapter 9, a father brought his son to Jesus’ disciples. The boy was demonized and an epileptic, and even though God had healed people through the disciples before, nothing happened when they prayed for the boy to be healed. When the disciples brought the boy to Jesus, the boy was healed. Later the disciples asked Jesus this question, “Why couldn’t we do it?” Jesus answered in verse 29, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting.”

There are some things that God will do in our lives but only in response to our spending additional time in His presence combined with fasting. Fasting breaks strongholds, liberates people, and moves us into a realm of realizing God’s power in our lives. The more time you’re spending with God, the more you’re going to see the hand of God on your life in an extraordinary way. 

Maybe there’s an obstacle that you have been facing for a long time. Perhaps you have prayed and prayed, and you don’t understand why you are not making any headway in the situation. You might be thinking, “Will God ever give me victory?” Jesus’ response to the disciples is His response to you – some things only come by prayer AND fasting.

 

Mark 9:14-21 NIV
14When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.

16 “What are you arguing with them about?”he asked.17A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

19 “You unbelieving generation,”Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

20So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

 

21Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

“From childhood,” he answered. 22“It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

23 “ ‘If you can’?”said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

24Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

25When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,”he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

26The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

28After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

29He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer. 9:29 Some manuscripts prayer and fasting”

 

2 Corinthians 10:3-4 NIV
3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

Psalm 144:2
2He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples
144:2 Many manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, Dead Sea Scrolls, Aquila, Jerome and Syriac; most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text subdues my people under me.

 

DAY 5

The story of Nehemiah is a vibrant example of the favor that comes with denying ourselves for the purpose of drawing near to God. Nehemiah worked for a powerful pagan king - one that did not worship the God of Israel. When Nehemiah heard how the city walls in his hometown of Jerusalem had been burned and left in ruins; he knew that he had to do something about it. The problem was that the king Nehemiah served had issued a decree that Jerusalem not be rebuilt. How would the king ever be convinced to not only change his mind, but pay for the wall of Jerusalem to be restored? Nehemiah’s solution was to fast and pray.

He asked God for favor in his situation and denied his stomach for the purpose of showing that his desire and need for God’s help was greater than his desire and need for food. 

Nehemiah’s fast paved the way for God to give him favor with a pagan ruler that changed the course of history. You may be facing a situation that is testing your courage and your strength – believe God is going to use this fast to bring His favor into your life. 

Nehemiah 1:3-4 NIV
3They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” 4When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.

 

Nehemiah 1:11 NIV
11Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”

I was cupbearer to the king.

 

Nehemiah 2:7-8
7 I also said to him, “If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah? 8And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?” And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests.

 

The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®

Used by Permission of Biblica, Inc.® All rights reserved worldwide.

Adapted from the James River Fasting and Prayer Plan available on www.bible.com