Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Prayer & Fasting: Thoughts From Scripture & Church History

I found Ronnie Floyd's The Power of Prayer and Fasting: God's Gateway to Spiritual Breakthroughs (Revised & Expanded) to be particularly inspirational and insightful over these past several months as God has had me on a journey to a deeper, more vibrant prayer life.  The Holy Spirit has coupled this book with a fresh hunger for Psalms to bring about a truly wonderful season of rejuvenation and spiritual growth.  A number of life and ministry circumstances have also played a role.  Yet in hindsight, the LORD, in His infinite wisdom, graciously prepared me for them via the journey.  Either way, I'm the better for it.

The following thoughts are drawn from Rev. Floyd's book though their organization here is mine in part.  I have used quotation marks and references to give proper credit where due. 

History’s greatest church leaders share a single commonality: "they answered the call to prayer and fasting permitting God to show them much more of what He wanted to do with and through them." Andrew Murray, an imitable missionary to South Africa, wrote of surrendering to this call of God:
...[God] has created the sun and the moon and the stars and the flowers and the trees and the grass; and are they not all absolutely surrendered to God?...And God’s redeemed children...can you think that God can work His work if there is only half or a part of them surrendered? God cannot do it...God delights to communicate Himself to every child who is prepared to receive Him. This one lack of absolute surrender is just the thing that hinders God. (Floyd, 101-02)
(Andrew Murray, Great Evangelical Teaching: Absolute Surrender (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1988), 718.)
In preparation for your surrender to God’s call to fast and pray, I encourage you to "read Isaiah 58:6-14 as therein God makes 22 promises regarding this worship act. Jot down those promises, then watch God fulfill them as you participate." An old hymn reminds us that these promises have been fulfilled to many Bible champions who surrendered to this same call:
The glory of these [seven] days we celebrate with songs of praise; for Christ through whom all things were made, himself has fasted and prayed.
Alone and fasting Moses saw the loving God who gave the law; and to Elijah, fasting, came the steeds and chariots of flame. So Daniel trained his mystic sight, delivered from the lions’ might; and John, the Bridegroom’s friend, became the herald of Messiah’s name.
Then grant us, Lord, like them to be full oft in fast and prayer with thee; our spirits strength with thy grace, and give us joy to see thy face. Father, Son, and Spirit blest, to thee be every prayer addressed, who art in threefold Name adored, from age to age, the only Lord. (Floyd, 108-09)
("Hymn," The Magnificant, February 27, 2009, 371.)
You may find Ronnie Floyd's book at:

Pastor Daniel

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