Proclaim A Fast

Digging Deeper Notes // Week of August 16th, 2020 // 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer

“Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night . . .”  

Psalm 42:1, 2

21 Days of Fasting & Prayer Details …

  • Daily Prayer & Fast Targets
  • Daniel Fast food items (Partial Fast)
  • Q & A about Fasting

2 Chronicles 20 tells us a great story about what happens when the people of God fast and pray:

After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites  came to wage war against Jehoshaphat.

Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi). Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him. 

2 Chronicles 20:1-4

What was the first thing King Jehoshaphat did in response to the enemy coming against them? He called a fast. This summer, we find ourselves as Americans dealing with the enemy called Covid19. We are proclaiming a fast.

Who was included in the fast?

(v. 3) he proclaimed a fast for all Judah

(v. 12) All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.

As the fast was proclaimed, who came with a fresh anointing?

(v. 14) Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly.

What did King Jehoshaphat do in respect to God?

(v. 18) Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord.

When King Jehoshaphat bowed down, how did the people respond?

(v. 19) Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.

What did the King challenge his people to have?

(v. 20) “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld;

Who did the King send out to be on the front lines of the battle?

(v. 21) After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”

Question: Why would the King send the praisers and worshippers to the front lines of the battle?

What happened to the enemy?

(v. 22) As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.

Wow! This victory was set into motion when King Jehoshaphat declared a fast. 

As you join the Fortress Church for our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, what would you like to experience? Healing? A miracle? A Breakthrough? A deeper relationship with God? Wisdom for an upcoming decision?

Let’s believe together and see the hand of God over us.

Write out what kind of fast God is leading you to do, and what your personal focus will be during these 21 days.

7 Reasons Why We Should Fast

1) To obey God and His Word.

"Even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning." James 2:12

“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine.” Daniel 1:8

There is never a “convenient” time to fast.

2) To humble ourselves before God.

“There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, "The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him." So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer. Ezra 8:21-23

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” James 4:10

If your fast doesn’t mean much to you, then it doesn’t mean much to God.

3) To cleanse our bodies.

Whenever a person does a fast, they usually get headaches. Especially the first two days. Some people spiritualize things and will say, “The devil is giving me a headache!” No, it’s not the devil. The fact of the matter is that your body is getting rid of toxins that have built up over a period of time. In fact, if you are experiencing headaches, it means that you needed to fast. You are cleansing both your body and your spirit.

4) To give us power to overcome temptations.

“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, 2where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.  Luke 4:1

 When we read the story of Jesus being tempted, we see that He overcame the attacks of the enemy because (1) He was coming off a fast, and (2) He used the Word of God as his Sword.

When it comes to sin, fasting does not cleanse us from sin. We are forgiven by sin by the blood of Jesus Christ!

5) To seek God’s guidance and direction.

Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. Acts 14:23

6) To petition God for a special need.

“Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish." Esther 4:15, 16

Fasting helps you separate what you want from what you need.

7) To gain understanding and divine revelation.

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." 3So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” Acts 13:2, 3