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Sermon About Fasting and Prayer: Near of God

Sermon About Fasting and Prayer: Near of God

Fastings have always been an important part of our faith. Fasting has long been a part of Jewish tradition. It was practiced by Jesus and his disciples, and later became a practice for Christians. 

1. Fasting and Prayer: We near of God

To come closer to God, know His will, and fulfill His desires Zechariah 7:5

Jesus fasted 40 days and nights before  his public ministry (Matt. 4:1-11)

What is Fasting? Simply put, fasting is the abstinence from food for spiritual breakthrough. Know God better. Fasting is often seen as abstinence from some form of gratification, for a period of time, in order to achieve a greater spiritual purpose.

Fasting and Prayer, for the believer, is not a    religious duty, but an act of love. It's part of our fellowship with a    personal God - our loving Father. he more time we spend with God    in prayer, the closer our    relationship will become,    and the more like    Christ we will become.

Examples:

Anna the prophetess (Matt. 9:14-15)

Elders were appointed with fasting (Acts 14:23; Acts 13:1-3)

Paul (2 Cor. 6:5)

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2.  Fasting and Prayer to get God’s praise.

Jesus assumed that people would sometimes fast ( Mat. 6:16).

What's Jesus says?

The way to get God’s praise instead of man’s praise is to fast so that only God knows (Mat. 6:16-18). Those fasting should not imitate Pharisees who look gloomy.

Public fasting of the Pharisees is repudiated for being performed to demonstrate piety rather than done privately before God to receive reward only from Him (Matt 6:16-18).

The Pharisee’s motivation for fasting was to look spiritual (Mat6:16c). The way to fast for man’s praise is to look gloomy like Pharisees (6:16).

The way to fast for God’s praise is to fast secretly (6:17-18).

Those fasting should make their hair and face look good (6:17).

The Father rewards fasting in a way that people do not notice (6:18).


3. Fasting and Prayer humility before God

In the Old Testament, fasting was used as a form of penance. When someone had sinned against God. However, there were some rules that governed how fastings should be done.This meant that God would forgive sins committed while one was fasting. 

However, fasting was also used as a means of showing humility before God. 


4. Fasting and Prayer for spiritual warfare and holyness

To prepare for spiritual warfare

Luke 4:1, 14

James 4:7-8

Ephesians 6:12

Matthew 12:28-29; 17:21; Mark 9:29

To strengthen our faith and build up our spirit man

There are several different reasons why people fast. One reason is because of religious observances. A third reason is to gain strength for a difficult situation.

Joel 1:14 Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.

Sermon About Fasting and Prayer: Near of God


Conclusion

In the Bible, there were three main reasons why people fasted. They included: 1) We near of God 2) to get God’s praise  3) Humility before God 4) To strengthen themselves for a difficult situation. These same reasons still apply today.  

*Remember that fasting is meant to be a temporary practice and lok the medical personal.


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Author: Ronaldo G. Silva. Graduated in Theology. Professor of Homiletics. Postgraduate in Education.
 
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