FASTING and PRAYER
PRAYER AND FASTING CONQUERS THE OPPOSITION
“And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,” –Neh.1:4
Nehemiah’s heart was grieved when he heard the report of how the walls of Jerusalem were broken down and burned and the people were in affliction and reproach. This news stirred Nehemiah to action; he wept, mourned, fasted, and prayed day and night for God’s divine intervention. Nehemiah knew that the only power source strong enough to change the circumstances was prayer and fasting. As he fasted and prayed, Nehemiah wept and confessed the sins of the children of Israel and he cried out to God for mercy and forgiveness. Nehemiah recognized God as the faithful, covenant-keeping God (Neh.1:5). As we approach God in prayer and fasting, we come with a humble spirit, repenting and confessing for the sinful attitudes and behaviors that creep into the Church, such as our indifference towards God’s House, our poor Church attendance, and our Luke warmness in soul-winning. We must recognize and honor God for who He is and worship Him. Praise Him because of His faithfulness, His loving-kindness, and His mercy towards us.
Nehemiah’s prayer coupled up with fasting was an intense, fervent, and persevering prayer. It was not a selfish prayer, focused on himself or on his own needs, but it was focused on the needs of the children of Israel (Neh.1:6). Nehemiah was a mighty instrument in the hand of God to bring restoration to the people of Israel.
I want to remind everyone that God still has His hand upon His chosen servant’s in this day and age whom He uses to intercede in such fashion bringing restoration to a people who were far from God. Bishop Dr. Elaine A. Brown is God’s chosen vessel who prayed and fasted, interceding for the lost and dying before God and Holiness Temple Church International was birthed. Salvation, healing, deliverance, restoration, revival, miracles, and blessings came to us through the ministry of Bishop Dr. Brown. We were taught how to pray and fast, how to overcome the devil, how to live holy, how to apply the Word of God to our daily living, and how to serve God with zeal and passion by Bishop Dr. Elaine A. Brown.
Nehemiah faced extreme opposition from the enemy both external and internal. External oppositions such as: Direct criticism (2:19), Mocking and scorn (4:1-3), fighting and hindering (4:8), conspiracy (4:8, 6:2), compromise (5:14-19), false accusations, threats and fear (6:5-9); Internal oppositions caused by the enemy such as: Opposition of religious leaders (3:5), Discouragement and Weak believers caused by enemies (4:10-12), Dissension (5:1-19), and False prophets (6:10-14). Despite both external and internal opposition Nehemiah and the workers persevered thru prayer and fasting. The walls were completed and Jerusalem was restored.
BINDING THE STRONG MAN
When the strong man, fully armed, [from his courtyard] guards his own dwelling, his belongings are undisturbed [his property is at peace and is secure]. But when one stronger than he attacks him and conquers him, he robs him of his whole armor on which he had relied and divides up and distributes all his goods as plunder (spoil). –Luke 11:21-22 (AMP)
Jesus explains the power and authority He exercises over Satan and his principalities in Luke 11:21-22. In this illustration, the strong man, who is heavily armed and guarding his house, refers to Satan and his control over the people he has bound. JESUS is the … one stronger than he…, Who has faced and conquered Satan and his evil principalities.
During His ministry, Jesus bound the strong man (Satan) by exercising authority over him. After His encounter with Satan in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-14), Jesus went forth in the dunamis power of the Holy Ghost and immediately began to cast out devils, heal the sick, and deliver those who were oppressed by Satan.
Jesus has given us this same power and authority over evil principalities and powers. Just as He commissioned His disciples and sent them forth to bind the power of the enemy, heal the sick, cast out devils, and set the captives free (Luke 9:1-2, 10:1), He is anointing us in Holiness Temple Church International with SUPERNATURAL ATOMIC POWER SPIRITUAL WARFARE PRAYER that will enable us to bind the strong man.
EFFECTUAL FERVENT PRAYER
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. –James 5:16
In James 5 the following guidelines are given for prayer:
Let us meditate for a moment on effectual fervent prayer. The word “effectual” means “to be able to produce a desired effect.”
Do you need healing for yourself or a loved one? Do you need an answer to a problem? Do you have a burden for souls? Do you want to see Holy Ghost power poured out on all flesh? To receive the answers that you need, you must pray effectual prayers that produce results. There must be a spiritual fervency in your prayers that will enable you to persevere in faith, regardless of how long you must wait for the answer.
The word “fervent” means “very hot.” It is prayer that is marked by honest emotion. If you are going to pray to get desired results, you must pray with a hot heart –with deep emotion and sincere desire. Pray prayers with a passion, earnestly desiring to see the hand of God move over the situation.
Fervency is located in the heart, not in the brain. Fervent prayer goes beyond head knowledge. It is not an expression of the intellect. When we are baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire, the Spirit dwells within us. We are no longer under the control of the carnal man, but we are led by the Spirit.
It is the Holy Ghost that fuels and fires our prayers: Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.-Romans 8:26
YOU PRAY FOR ME AND I’LL PRAY FOR YOU!
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. That he would grant you according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height: And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” – Eph. 3:14-19.
The Apostle Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:14-19 gives us a wonderful pattern to use and pray through. Believers would be wise to use these verses as a daily guide in praying one for another. We have a common adversary and his plan and desire is to turn us out of the Christian pathway. We are here to help one another to remain faithful to God, faithful to our Pastor, and faithful to our Church. As we pray for one another our prayers are for strength and stability in these last and evil days. Jesus is coming soon and our desire must be to see one another make Heaven our eternal home. Therefore you pray for me and I’ll pray for you. As we pray for each other daily using these scriptures as a guide, PRAY: