Seeking Him Through Prayer and Fasting

Seeking Him Through Prayer & Fasting

Why seek him through prayer and fasting?

How to seek him through prayer and fasting?

What now?

Matthew 6:5-18
“Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7 When you pray, don’t babble like the Gentiles, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. 8 Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask him.
9 “Therefore, you should pray like this:  

Our Father in heaven, your name be honored as holy. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

14 “For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. 15 But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your offenses.16 “Whenever you fast, don’t be gloomy like the hypocrites. For they disfigure their faces so that their fasting is obvious to people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that your fasting isn’t obvious to others but to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

1. It is expected that we will pray and fast.

Luke 18:1
Now he told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not give up.

Ephesians 6:18
Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.

2. It is for God, not for the praise of people.

Jeremiah 29:12-13
You will call to me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. 

Job 22:26-27
Then you will delight in the Almighty and lift up your face to God. 27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you…

3. It is for you, since God already knows your needs and your heart.

4. It will be rewarded.

What is fasting?
The discipline of fasting is giving up food (or something) for a period of time to better focus on the Lord.

Esther 4:16
“Go and assemble all the Jews who can be found in Susa and fast for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my female servants will also fast in the same way. After that, I will go to the king even if it is against the law. If I perish, I perish.”

Benefits of fasting:

a. It humbles our heart before God.

Ezra 8:21-23
I proclaimed a fast by the Ahava River, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us, our dependents, and all our possessions. 22 I did this because I was ashamed to ask the king for infantry and cavalry to protect us from enemies during the journey, since we had told him, “The hand of our God is gracious to all who seek him, but his fierce anger is against all who abandon him.” 23 So we fasted and pleaded with our God about this, and he was receptive to our prayer.

b. It prepares our heart to hear from God.

c. It provides time for us to be with God.

d. It reminds us of the priority of God. 

Dave Clayton in Revival Starts Here
We consistently practice the communal act of self-denial (fasting) so we will have the strength and clarity that is needed to live faithfully for Jesus in a culture that is obsessed with self-gratification…I also believe that most of us will never hunger and thirst for righteousness because we have been trained to feast on the junk food of our age. I wonder if it is even possible to truly hunger for Jesus if our souls are currently satisfied with far lesser things.

How to Seek Him Through Prayer and Fasting?

The Model Prayer
Outline of the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6)

a) Prayer of praise

b) Prayer of alignment

c) Prayer of provision

d) Prayer of confession

e) Prayer of protection 

Types of fasting

  • Major/traditional fast: abstain from food all day.
  • Minor fast: abstain from food for part of the day (maybe fast lunch; or fast all day until sundown).
  • Partial fast: abstain from certain foods all day. Soul fast: abstain from something other than food (technology/screens, social activities).

What Now?

2 Chronicles 7:14
And my people, who bear my name, humble themselves, pray and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.

This week seek Jesus by:

a) Reading five days – Matthew chapters 9-13.

b) Praying through the “model prayer” every day

c) Fasting one day (minor fast of one meal & soul fast of one day)