21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Devotional - Day 20

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Devotional

Don’t get weirded out, but you need to know that people are watching you. They have seen you eating fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts and they are paying attention to what happens in your life as result of this 21-day journey.

People always have their eye on Jesus’ followers. In Acts 16, the Bible tells us that around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening (Acts 16:20).

The word “listening” here, is to listen intently, to lean in. They weren’t just listening, but they were leaning in to hear the worship being lifted up to heaven. You may feel like you are the only person going through a trial but you are not alone. There are people all around you that are listening to how you respond.

Your words of faith and praise will not only lift your heart but they will touch the hearts of the people who hear them. The prisoners had probably never heard anything like what they heard that night from Paul and Silas –joyful voices lifted to heaven. They were having church in a prison. The atmosphere was completely changed. A place accustomed to profanity was now turned upside down by the presence of Paul and Silas.

The bottom line is people are watching us. As you finish this fast, move forward with hope-filled expectation that God has heard you and that God is working in you, through you, and around you in response to this time of calling on Him! People will take notice.

Scriptures

Acts 16:20 ESV
And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city.

Psalms 145:9 ESV
The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.

1 Chronicles 16:34 ESV
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

James 1:17 ESV
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Psalms 100:5 ESV
For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

 

 

21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Devotional Day 19

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Devotional

The sound of thunder could be heard from miles away, yet there were no clouds in the sky. The hooves from Pharaoh’s horses were closing in on the Israelites. Pharaoh and six hundred of his best chariots, along with every available soldier, were making their way toward the traveling multitude of liberated slaves.

Their freedom, the hope they felt, was all but lost. The Israelites called to Moses, “Why did you bring us out into the desert to die?” They were not equipped to take on such a vast army.

Then Moses answered them, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.”

That is exactly what God did.

What do you need deliverance from? Maybe, like the Israelites, you feel like you’re trapped. For the Israelites, it was the Red Sea and the Egyptian army. For you, it may be financial strain, sickness, or sin. If that is where you are at, you don’t need to be afraid. God will fight for you! You put your trust in Him; you call out to Him, you stand firm in your time of fasting, and watch what He will do!

Scriptures

Exodus 14:5-14 ESV
When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the mind of Pharaoh and his servants was changed toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” So he made ready his chariot and took his army with him, and took six hundred chosen chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the people of Israel while the people of Israel were going out defiantly. The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and his horsemen and his army, and overtook them encamped at the sea, by Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon. When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the LORD. They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

Psalms 18:39 ESV
For you equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me.

Psalms 33:21 ESV
For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.

Ephesians 3:20 ESV
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Devotional 18

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Devotional

What obstacle do you need the Lord’s power to work through today? What situation or challenge have you lacked the faith to ask for in prayer? Jesus says the smallest amount of faith will produce big results. And those results will have a direct impact on increasing your faith to pray with greater confidence and boldness for the impossible to become possible.

In Matthew Chapter 17, Jesus is responding to His disciples regarding their inability to cast out a demon from a boy. Jesus identifies their lack of faith as the primary reason the boy was not healed when they prayed for him. We know the disciples were not void of faith, but their faith was not functioning properly. Jesus tells His disciples that mountain-moving faith is possible even when the tiniest, smallest amount of faith is present.

Jewish literature often connected moving a mountain with seemingly impossible events similar to this type of healing. God desires His followers to function with great faith despite the challenge or battle faced, because our faith will bring the confidence to pray bold prayers.

Scriptures

Matthew 17:20 ESV
He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Jeremiah 32:27 ESV
“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?

Mark 10:27 ESV
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”

21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Devotional Day 17

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 Devotional

Nothing lasts forever. Christians understand that there are eternal realities, but they also recognize that our time on earth is fleeting. As one man said, “The minutes go slowly but the years go quickly.” This is why the Apostle Paul writes about the necessity of “making the most of every opportunity.” (Ephesians 5:16a NIV).

The definition of opportunity is “a favorable time or occasion” or “a situation or condition favorable for attainment of a goal.” There is a window when the time is right. There is a favorable moment.

Every day brings with it a unique season of opportunity! What we need is both the perspective and the wisdom to make the most of those opportunities that God sends our way. Honestly, many of life’s opportunities come disguised as problems and trials. That is why fasting is so helpful.

Through fasting our vision is shaped, our perspective is changed, and our faith is strengthened! During this fast you are literally standing on the verge of opportunities that are bursting with God-sized potential, but will require faith-filled action. This time of fasting and prayer is a moment to make the most of. Fasting will change you, and the results of this fast will be life changing. So during this 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer embrace what God has for you, lean in, and listen.

Every opportunity has a shelf life. Will you seize it before it expires?

Scriptures

Ephesians 5:15-17 ESV
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Isaiah 43:19 ESV
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Devotional – Day 16  

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Devotional

The average adult makes 35,000 decisions a day. From the moment your alarm sounds, your decision-making process begins. With so many decisions to make, it can be hard to know where to spend your time, but the Apostle Paul provides valuable insight into fulfilling God’s will in our lives. He tells us never to stop praying.

When we choose to pray continually, we realign our thinking and our priorities in a way that directly effects our decision making. God cares how you spend your time and your energy. The Psalmist writes in Psalm 37:23 that God delights in every detail of our lives – He wants to be involved in everything! So, whether you’re headed into a meeting or shuttling your kids to their next activity – pray for the Lord’s presence to precede your every moment.

In the 35,000 decisions you’ll make today, make it a priority to pray and invite God’s direction into every part of your day. Use this 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer to not only get what you need from God, but to draw closer to God. Because when we are close to God, we have everything we need!

Scriptures

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Proverbs 3:6 ESV
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 16:9 ESV
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

 

21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Devotional – Day 15

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Devotional

Given a choice, most people want fresh: fresh produce, fresh coffee, fresh air, fresh ideas, fresh perspective, fresh faith–it’s just better. But, freshness in your spiritual life doesn’t happen automatically or by accident; it has to be cultivated. Counterfeit pathways to internal freshness we desire are advertised all around us, yet the real thing only comes one way.

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.

The truth of this verse is simple but profound. Our minds must be renewed, and this renewal has a singular source. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength.” The freshness all of us long for, and the strength we need to pervade every area of our lives begins with being in the presence of God. Ask God to fill you with fresh faith, fresh passion, fresh enthusiasm, and fresh perspective, and then watch that freshness spill out into everything you do. Charles Spurgeon said it well when he wrote, “We should pray to God that we may do everything freshly.”

During this 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer, take time to wait on God and watch as He brings freshness into your life!

Scriptures

Romans 12:1-2 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Isaiah 40:31 ESV
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Psalms 51:10-12 ESV
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

 

 

 

 

21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Devotional – Day 14

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Devotional

In Ezra 8, God’s people were on a journey back to Jerusalem. They were bringing with them items of gold and silver to be used in the worship of God at the temple. Because the roads were terrorized by bandits, Ezra feared for the safety of his people and was concerned they might be robbed. But rather than approaching the king to help with this matter, Ezra believed the Lord would come through so he called the people to fast and pray. Sure enough, God responded to their earnest prayers and protected them!

When we fast and pray, it opens the door for God to do what would otherwise not happen in our lives. We can have confidence just like Ezra that God will meet our needs as we call out to Him. God loves to show himself strong in the midst of our neediness.

Take your need before God knowing that He will hear your prayer. Then watch as God works miraculously and does the impossible!

Scriptures

Ezra 8:21-23 ESV
Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods. For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.” So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.

Psalms 119:68 ESV
You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.

Luke 1:37 ESV
For nothing will be impossible with God.”

 

21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Devotional – Day 15

Devotional

Given a choice, most people want fresh: fresh produce, fresh coffee, fresh air, fresh ideas, fresh perspective, fresh faith–it’s just better. But, freshness in your spiritual life doesn’t happen automatically or by accident; it has to be cultivated. Counterfeit pathways to internal freshness we desire are advertised all around us, yet the real thing only comes one way.

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.

The truth of this verse is simple but profound. Our minds must be renewed, and this renewal has a singular source. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength.” The freshness all of us long for, and the strength we need to pervade every area of our lives begins with being in the presence of God. Ask God to fill you with fresh faith, fresh passion, fresh enthusiasm, and fresh perspective, and then watch that freshness spill out into everything you do. Charles Spurgeon said it well when he wrote, “We should pray to God that we may do everything freshly.”

During this 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer, take time to wait on God and watch as He brings freshness into your life!

Scriptures

Romans 12:1-2 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Isaiah 40:31 ESV
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Psalms 51:10-12 ESV
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

 

 

21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Devotional – Day 13

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Devotional

There is nothing like fasting to remind you of your weakness, but there is also nothing like fasting to remind you where real strength is found. The Psalmist points us to the true source of strength when he declares in Psalm 62:11,

“God said this once and for all; how many times have I heard it repeated? ‘Strength comes straight from God’.”

At times, all of us can live under the illusion that we have what it takes to handle whatever comes our way, but seasons of fasting reminds us that only through dependence on God can we truly overcome. In John 15:5, Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” And the Apostle Paul reminds us, that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!

God has all the strength you need, and as you seek Him, you will see His strength flow into your life in a new and dynamic way. So, as you continue this fast be encouraged that though you may feel weak, He is making you stronger.

Scriptures

Psalms 62:11 ESV
Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God,

Psalms 28:7 ESV
The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

Philippians 4:13 ESV
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Isaiah 40:29 ESV
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.

 

21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Devotional – Day 12

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Devotional

“In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel…it concerned a great war. At that time, I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over. On the twenty-fourth day of the first month…” (Daniel 10:1-4a NIV)

Daniel fasted three weeks, twenty-one days and, humanly speaking, it appeared nothing had happened! Daniel didn’t see or hear anything for twenty-four days, but Heaven heard, and his answer was on its way from the very first day.

“Then he continued, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them’.” (Daniel 10:12 NIV)

When you fast and pray, Heaven takes note. It may not seem like anything is happening, but the truth is that from the moment your fast began, God has been working. Don’t quit praying. Don’t stop seeking. Continue in this 21-day journey with the expectation that you will see God do extraordinary things in your life.

Scriptures

Daniel 10:1-14 ESV
In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a word was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar. And the word was true, and it was a great conflict. And he understood the word and had understanding of the vision. In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks. On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river (that is, the Tigris) I lifted upmy eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude. And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves. So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed, and I retained no strength. Then I heard the sound of his words, and as I heard the sound of his words, I fell on my face in deep sleep with my face to the ground. And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.”

Psalms 34:7 ESV
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Matthew 7:7 ESV
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Psalms 9:10 ESV
And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.

 

 

 

 

21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Devotional – Day 11

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Devotional

Our desires often dictate the course of our lives. What we want motivates us. Our desires determine what we do, what we go after, and even how we think. What is it that you desire?

The Psalmist David writes, “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” As a king, there were many things David knew he needed and certainly there were many things vying for his attention. But as he spent time in the presence of the Lord he realized that really one thing was more important than everything else — being in God’s presence.

It’s been said that “when God is all you have, you find that God is all you need.” While that is true, it could also be said that “when God is all you want, you find that God is all you need.” In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these other things will be given to you.”

As you fast, make seeking the Lord the number one priority in your life — seeking the Giver more than the gift. Better than getting what we need is growing closer in our walk with Him.

Scriptures

Psalms 27:1-8 (ESV)
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord. Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”

Psalms 86:11 (ESV)
Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.

Proverbs 23:26 (ESV)
My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.

21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Devotional – Day 10

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Devotional

God loves doing new things in our lives, yet too often we view our future singularly through the prism of our past. It is true that wise people learn from mistakes, but there is a fine line between learning from our failures and allowing our past disappointments to shape how we see God’s promises.

Maybe you have been praying for God to move in your situation. You may believe God’s promises are possible, but just not possible for you. If that’s where you’re at, here’s some really good news – God’s promises are for you!

God wants to do something new in your life. He wants to bring growth, beauty, and vitality to the wilderness you have been living in. Listen to the words of Isaiah 43:19, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

This 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer will lead to new things being done in you, through you, and around you as the Lord honors your fast. Watch expectantly, anticipate His goodness, you may not see it yet but it’s impossible to fast without seeing God work in response to our seeking His face.

Scriptures

Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Matthew 5:3 (ESV)
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Psalms 34:5 (ESV)
Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.

 

21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Devotional – Day 9

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Devotional

A key part of doing a fast is giving considerable time to waiting on God. Psalm 25 in the Message says, “God-friendship is for God-worshipers; They are the ones he confides in.” When you spend time in God’s presence, He will reveal things that you couldn’t know otherwise.

And isn’t that what we want as we are fasting? Fasting is not just about getting what we want from God – it’s about knowing what God wants to do in our lives – it’s about hearing from Him.

There are things that God wants to do in your life through this fast. For some, He will give you the confidence you need to take that next business venture or restore a relationship. For others, He will speak to your heart differently.

He may tell you not to take that step towards what you feel is a sure thing. He may ask you to wait a bit longer or tell you not to do it all together. Part of spiritual maturity is being able to discern what God is saying, and act on it, whether it’s what we were hoping for or not.

As you are fasting today, ask God to speak to you about His will for this season of your life, and when He does, listen.

Scriptures

Psalms 25:13-14 ESV
His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land. The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.

Revelation 3:7 ESV
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.

Psalms 73:23-26 ESV
Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

 

21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Devotional – Day 8

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Devotional

What are you hungry for? Probably not a fun question eight days into the fast, but it’s an important question for you to answer. Fasting is all about appetite. It’s not about making a list of all foods you are craving but deciding what you are most hungry for.

The writer of Hebrews says, “Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite” (Hebrews 12:16, MSG).

The story of Esau is one of the saddest stories the Bible. In Genesis 25, we read that one-day Esau came home, famished from hunting, only to see that his brother, Jacob, had made a stew. Esau demanded that Jacob feed him. Jacob responded by offering a trade – Jacob would give Esau his stew, if Esau gave Jacob his birthright (note: a birthright was the right to inheritance and the spiritual leadership of the family). Here’s the crazy part, Esau gave Jacob what he asked. It seems so strange that Esau would sacrifice something so valuable for a bowl of soup, but he’s not the only one who has surrendered God’s blessing because of a craving for something less.

There are some blessings from God that we will never receive unless we dethrone what the Bible commentator, Matthew Henry, called, “King Stomach.”

So, what are you hungry for? What is more important to you than what your stomach is craving? Fasting is all about appetite.

Scriptures

Genesis 25:19-34 ESV
These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham fathered Isaac, and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.” When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them. When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents. Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.) Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Hebrews 12:16 ESV
that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal.

21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Devotional – Day 7

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Devotional

All of us will have battles in our lives. The question is, how will we respond in the face of these battles? In 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat was confronted with a “vast army” who had the power to devastate his kingdom. He knew that he and the people needed to fast.

In response to the people fasting, the Lord encouraged Jehoshaphat by saying, “Do not be afraid or discouraged by this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15). Whatever you are facing, we serve a God who wants to fight our battles! When you depend on your Heavenly Father, He is faithful to go before you.

Verse 21 tells us that “Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out to the head of the army saying, ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for his Love endures forever’.”

Before any sword was raised, praise was lifted up for the victory that the Lord was going to bring. Praise preceded the battle. The chapter goes on to say that “As they began to sing and praise” the Lord began to defeat their enemy. Jehoshaphat’s position of praise released God’s power over the battle that he was facing!

As we fast one of the most important things we can do is to spend time thanking and praising God. Don’t just pray about the problem but praise God knowing that He is a God who solves problems. Whatever battle you are facing, the Lord is faithful to fight for you as you look to Him and praise His name.

Scriptures

2 Chronicles 20:2-3 ESV
Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar” (that is, Engedi). Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.

2 Chronicles 20:15-17 ESV
And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeruel. You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.”

2 Chronicles 20:21-22 ESV
And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.” And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.

2 Chronicles 20:25 ESV
When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their spoil, they found among them, in great numbers, goods, clothing, and precious things, which they took for themselves until they could carry no more. They were three days in taking the spoil, it was so much.

Psalms 34:9 ESV
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!

21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Devotional – Day 6

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Devotional

Have you felt distant from God? Maybe as you read this you feel as if you are in a spiritual desert. You are calling out to God, but it seems as if your cry is falling on deaf ears. You might even be thinking, “Why isn’t God responding?”

The better question is, “What is blocking the voice of God in my life that I am not hearing what He is saying?”

The constant distractions that surround our lives can so easily block our ability to hear God’s voice. Everything from the TV, to smartphones, to social media can distract our attention and keep us from clearly hearing from the Lord. Seasons of fasting help to quiet our hearts so we can hear from God.

There is a unique spiritual sensitivity that comes through prayer and fasting. If you are struggling to discern God’s voice, one of the best things you can do is fast!

Scripture is clear: God is speaking.

Scriptures

Isaiah 58:8-9 (ESV)
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,

1 Chronicles 16:10-11 (ESV)
Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!

Psalms 27:8 (ESV)
You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”

1 Samuel 3:10 (ESV)
And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”

21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Devotional – Day 5

Devotional

Things are always changing around us. We go from season to season in life – Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall – and just as the seasons change so does every other aspect of life. But even though we must accept that change is constant, it doesn’t mean it is easy.

Change always brings both excitement and uncertainty as we try to navigate the new opportunity or challenge in front of us. This is why fasting is so important during seasons of transition and change. As we look through Scripture, we often see that new seasons of God’s favor and work were preceded by fasting. 

1. Moses fasted before he received the Law (Exodus 34:28).
2. Jesus fasted before the start of His earthly ministry (Matthew 4:2).
3. Paul fasted before the start of his missionary ministry (Acts 13:2).

Wherever you are at during your season of change, fasting will bring clarity, confidence, and commitment to stick it out. Fasting brings a fresh anointing of power for the new seasons of life.

Scriptures

Exodus 34:28 (ESV)
So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.

Matthew 4:2 (ESV)
And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

Acts 13:2 (ESV)
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

21 Days of Fasting and Prayer Devotional - Day 4

Devotional

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.

Scriptures

Nehemiah 1:3-4 (ESV)
And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.” As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

Nehemiah 1:11 (ESV)
O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” Now I was cupbearer to the king.

Nehemiah 2:7-8 (ESV)
And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah, and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.

21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Devotional – Day 3

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Devotional

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.

Scriptures

Mark 9:14-29 (ESV)
And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”

2 Corinthians 10:3-4 (ESV)
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

Psalms 144:2 (ESV)
he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.

 

21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Devotional – Day 2

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Devotional

As you start fasting, it is important to understand that you have entered into a spiritual battle. Part of the spiritual battle is fought as the body adjusts to the rigors of fasting. For most people, there is more than just a little detoxing happening in our bodies. But the battle is more than physiological; as we fast, a spiritual battle is being waged. Things are happening in the spiritual realm that we neither perceive nor understand outside of God revealing them to us.

Fasting is more than just missing a meal. Powerful seasons of fasting are experienced when we purpose to spend additional time in God’s presence during the fast. As well, every hunger pang, every feeling of fatigue, and every caffeine headache will be a reminder to call on God in that moment and to cry out for those things you are seeking Him to do in your life. David Mathis writes, “[Fasting] is a desperate measure, for desperate times, among those who know themselves desperate for God.”

But don’t just focus on the battle or the pain – Scripture promises there is fullness of joy in God’s presence and there are pleasures at His right hand. Delight yourself in pursuing Him, and you’ll know the joy of seeing Him work in your life.

Scriptures

Psalms 16:11 (ESV)
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Hebrews 12:16 (ESV)
that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal.

21 Days of Prayer and Fasting Day 1

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Day 1 - God is at work

January 21

Today we begin 21 days of prayer and fasting. As you set apart these three weeks to seek God, know that God has already heard your prayer. He is already at work on your behalf. What specific clarity of vision are you seeking from God during this time? Write down your prayer so you can reflect on it at the end of the 21 days. Spend time praying for God to speak to you and give you strength.

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE- Daniel Chapter 10

Daniel's Terrifying Vision of a Man

10 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a word was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar. And the word was true, and it was a great conflict.[a] And he understood the word and had understanding of the vision.

In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks. On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river (that is, the Tigris) I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude. And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves. So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed,[b]and I retained no strength. Then I heard the sound of his words, and as I heard the sound of his words, I fell on my face in deep sleep with my face to the ground.

10 And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. 13 The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, 14 and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.”

15 When he had spoken to me according to these words, I turned my face toward the ground and was mute. 16 And behold, one in the likeness of the children of man touched my lips. Then I opened my mouth and spoke. I said to him who stood before me, “O my lord, by reason of the vision pains have come upon me, and I retain no strength. 17 How can my lord's servant talk with my lord? For now no strength remains in me, and no breath is left in me.”

18 Again one having the appearance of a man touched me and strengthened me. 19 And he said, “O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.” And as he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.” 20 Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? But now I will return to fight against the prince of Persia; and when I go out, behold, the prince of Greece will come. 21 But I will tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth: there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince.