The lifeline of fasting
Fasting added to prayer is like giving the Energizer Bunny steroids. Even though some Bible translations have taken the word fasting out of Scripture, God has never told us to neglect it. In fact, the Word of God speaks of fasting in the same manner of prayer and giving.
The Scripture clearly tells us what to do when we fast. It lets us know we have a direct connection with God, and God will reward us in our fasting:
When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matt. 6:16-18)
Leadership challenges often create an opportunity to fast for clarity and to wage war against the forces of darkness that are not visible. There have been times when I clearly discerned I was fighting forces not of this world. Recently, God called me to oversee a new ministry with great potential that was already making significant impact in the kingdom. There was an individual connected to the former leader of the ministry who appeared to want to work with me, but during the transition, I noticed an uneasiness within me whenever I was around the person. I began to pray and ask God to reveal to me if it was just me, or if there was something else going on. The person really did not appear to be doing anything different, but my discernment was heightened. As I prayed, God led me to fast, and I fasted according to Matthew 6:16-18 and Isaiah 58. For two weeks, I fasted and prayed. God began to reveal that which was hidden, and I began to follow the exact instructions given to me by the Lord. As I executed these instructions, motives were exposed, and God caused the situation to work according to his will. Everything that was hidden was brought to light. I have learned that fasting brings us into direct alignment with God’s will for our leadership and for his people.