Abundant Life Crusades
Tony and Marge Abram have been preaching the Good News for over 58 years!

FASTING UNTO THE LORD!

Mark 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. 25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. 26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. 27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. 28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? 29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting...

I. Fasting does not give us power to heal the sick or cast out demons.
A. God's Word does that. Fasting brings us in the place where we can believe
God’s Word. We are drawn closer to the Lord.
- Matt 17:21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
- Matt 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Fasting does not bring the answer, it brings you into the place that you can see and receive the answer.

  I. The purpose of Fasting in a Christian’s life.
  - Isaiah 58:6-7 (NKJV) 6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
  To loose the bonds of wickedness,
  To undo the heavy burdens,
  To let the oppressed go free,
  And that you break every yoke?
  7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
  And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
  When you see the naked, that you cover him,
  And not hide yourself from your own flesh?

Fasting On That Day. An officer in the Turkish War told his men that if they died in battle, they would sup with Christ in Paradise. The officer fled. When asked why he did not wish to sup with Christ, he said that he was fasting that day.

B: Fasting will brings Blessing afterwards.
- Isa 58:8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.
- Isa 58:9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
- Isa 58:10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
- Isa 58:11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
- Isa 58:12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

    1. I have heard how that when some people fast they see visions, angels etc. However, when I fast I have visions of fried chicken, buffets and if I sleep I dream about it. However, I can truly say that afterwards, I seem to feel the closeness of the Lord. I know He is there all the time, but I seem to become more award of Him. Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

II. Fasting is a call to all people, with a special call to ministers
- Joel 1:14 Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD,
  A. Thank God we have a Pastor who calls to this needed blessing FASTING AND PRAYER.

III. What are we to do with fasting?
   A. Prayer goes hand in hand with fasting?
   B. If we fast without prayer then is good for only losing weight.

IV. We need to call the people to a regular fasting day.
  A. Even the Pharisee fasted twice a week.
  - Luke 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

V. How should we look and carry on during a fasting time?
 
A. We should have a sweet and forgiving heart. First and most important when fasting.
  - Matt 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Here is the key to every thing Mark 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses)
  -
Matt 6:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. Matt 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
 
- Matt 6:18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
C. We do not go around and brag on what we are doing for the Lord.

VI. Fasting can bring special blessing from God.
Give Me New England!
For three days Edwards had not eaten a mouthful of food: for three nights he had not closed his eyes in sleep. Over and over again, he had been saying to God, "Give me New England! Give me New England!" and when he arose from his knees, and made his way into the pulpit they say that he looked as if he had been gazing straight into the face of God. They say that before he opened his lips to speak, conviction fell upon his audience.
   A. Example of 70 members in Argentina.

VII. There are many kinds of fasts.
  A. Some one says I get headaches from fasting. It means you need to fast more.
  B. Fasting will help you lose weight or it will help you gain weight. It cleans and corrects the body. Nature tells us to fast. An animal will fast when it is sick.
  C. How long? It is like prayer or any thing else. We must practice. The Jews fasted from sundown to sundown. We have a hard time to go from sundown to sunrise.
  D. There is the Daniel fast. No fats, no sugars. Not as easy today to do as you think. Good up to 21 days.
  E. Fast always with lots of water. Jesus hungered after 40 days not thirst. Water cleanses the body.
  Water Prolongs Fast
  A man lying quietly in a cool room could live at most 12 days without water, but given water he could fast for more than two months.
  F. Build your self up. Start with fasting only one meal. The journey begins with one step.
  G. Remember as with everything new, be careful. If you have health problems check with your doctor. There are people who need to eat every couple of hours for their health. We must use wisdom.
  He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find Him the rest of the day.

When we pray, remember
1. The love of God that wants the best for us.
2. The wisdom of God that knows what is best for us.
3. The power of God that can accomplish it.
"...Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons -- but they are helpless against our prayers."
God can pick sense out of a confused prayer.
"There is nothing that makes us love a man so much as prayer for him.
The angel fetched Peter out of prison, but it was prayer fetched the angel.
More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.
If the request is wrong, God says, "No."
If the timing is wrong, God says, "Slow."
If you are wrong, God says, "Grow."
But if the request is right, the timing is right and you are right, God says, "Go!"

God bless you and yours!
On behalf of this generation,
Your friends in the service of Christ,
Tony and Marge Abram
Abundant Life Crusades

If we could be of more help or if you want more information please visit:
www.tonyabram.com or
www.abundantlifecrusades.com


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