Then I proclaimed a fast there …
Ezra had a great journey of leading a large group of Jewish people back to their homeland. He would need protection for defenseless men, women, and children. Ezra shared with King Artaxerxes how the Lord God was good to those who followed Him and how His great power was against those who forsook Him. After this bold proclamation, Ezra didn’t want to ask the king for military protection in their journey back to the homeland. Instead, he fasted and prayed. God heard Ezra’s prayer with guidance and protection towards their destination.
There comes a time in every believer’s life when we have to ask ourselves the question “how bad do I really want this prayer answered?” If it’s an urgent and necessary need, we will make time for fasting and prayer.
Fasting isn’t easy for most of us. Our flesh demands satisfaction, whether it’s giving up food, social media, TV, recreation, or anything that brings us pleasure. Yet fasting is a great way for us to clear out the distractions of our desires so that we can truly pray and seek God’s guidance.
Once we’ve felt the calling to fast, we can find every excuse to break it or postpone for another time. This is when we must push ourselves to follow through and seek God’s strength to do so. Repeated failure in fasting is a sign that our flesh has a greater dominance over our lives.
Fasting isn’t meant to prove how spiritual we are; actually, true heartfelt fasting reveals how much we need God’s help. It gives us perspective and insight into our inner spiritual need over the physical needs so that we can have a greater confidence in our prayers to God.
Dear Lord, many times I’ve struggled with fasting, yet I want to grow up spiritually with this discipline in my life. I pray for the strength to fast and pray. Amen.
In His Service,