Engaging The Blessedness Of Prayer & Fasting! By Bishop David O. Oyedepo
Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? 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 rearward (Isaiah 58:6-8).
We understand from scriptures that spiritual exercise, which includes prayer and fasting, is profitable in all things as it impacts on every aspect of our lives. We must also understand that fasting is one of the commandments of scriptures designed for our profiting, not punishment (Matthew 6:16; 1 Timothy 4:7-8).
However, to set the stage for a most profitable engagement in prayer and fasting, we must note the following:
Prepare in the Word to approach the prayer altar: The throne of grace is the throne of judgment where the Judge of all the earth (God) is seated. It is also the courtroom of heaven where we produce our cause in prayers. As it is written: Produce your cause, saith the Lord; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob (Isaiah 41:21; see also Genesis 18:25).
However, it is on the basis of God’s Word that we plead our cause. This is because He grants us audience on the basis of His Word. Therefore, the stronger our reasons, the more assurance we have for answered prayers. No wonder the Bible says:
Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified (Isaiah 43:26).
We must understand that engaging God’s Word in prayer guarantees us audience with Him. This is why it is important to prepare in the Word before approaching God on the prayer altar because it is the scriptural basis for our demand that gives us audience with him. That means God does not hear our prayers except we are asking Him according to His will, which is His Word. The Bible says:
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us (1 John 5:14).
For instance, the will of a man is his written document on what pertains to his children after he is gone. Likewise, God’s Word which is Kingdom legal tender is His will for His children and God cannot deny Himself. When we pray according to His will, we remind Him of His commitment to us on the subject matter. Therefore, preparing in the Word to approach the prayer altar is wisdom because we rule and reign by the Word.
When we are adequately Word-prepared, prayer becomes a smooth adventure. This is why Word-lazy people don’t get much out of prayer. Thus, we have a duty to search through scriptures for what commits God to answer our requests in prayer.
Genuinely forgive those who offend us: Jesus said: 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. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses (Mark 11:25-26; see also Matthew 6:12-15).
We must be willing to forgive those who offend us because it qualifies us for automatic forgiveness with God. Moreover, if our trespasses are not forgiven, God’s hand cannot deliver answers to our prayers. Therefore, it is very important to willingly forgive, so we can clear the way for our own forgiveness and secure audience with God on the prayer altar (Isaiah 59:1-2).
Engage in praying for the needs of others: This is one of the facilitators of the heavyweight profiting we access in fasting. When we pray for the needs of others, we commit God to the release of ours. For instance, when Job prayed for his friends, in spite of his affliction, the Lord turned his captivity and gave him twice as much as he had before (Job 42:10).
That means seeking the well-being of others is the gateway to our well-being. Remember, what we make happen for others, God makes happen for us. Moreover, when we water the destiny of others, God also makes ours to blossom. As it is written:
Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free (Ephesians 6:8; see also Proverbs 11:25; James 5:16).
Therefore, as we pray for others and their trials are turned to testimonies, we have secured our testimony too (Acts 12:5-17; Philippians 1:19).
Approach the throne of God with full assurance of faith: We must approach the throne of prayers with full assurance of faith and a pure conscience because prayers are answered on the platform of faith. While approaching the prayer altar, we must understand that we have not come to try whether God will answer or not. However, we must believe that we have come to the prayer answering God to take delivery of our desires. The Bible says:
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised (Hebrews 10:22-23; see also Matthew 21:22; James 1:6-7).
It is important therefore to build our faith in the Word before we approach the prayer altar; for faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).
We must recognize that though fasting can be costly, the benefits are unmatchable.
Let’s examine some blessings inherent in prayer and fasting
Access to continuous guidance: Divine guidance is one of the greatest assets in the Kingdom because it is the highway to greatness. However, it is prayer and fasting that facilitates our access to continuous guidance, which is the mystery behind our change of levels (Isaiah 58:6, 11).
Jesus set an example for us in fasting and He was continually guided by the father. Also, Abraham excelled by divine guidance. Moses was addicted to fasting and according to scriptures, he fasted for forty days thrice. Thus, he was constantly guided by God. Furthermore, the Israelites also enjoyed God’s leading all through their journey in the wilderness. Apostle Paul was also given to fasting as a lifestyle and he triumphed by divine guidance. Therefore, our sonship can only be manifested by divine guidance (Genesis 12:1-3, 10, 13:1-2; Exodus 7:1, 14, 19, 8:1, 16; Numbers 19:15-23; Acts 16:8-9; Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 6:5, 11:27).
As we all know, one wrong step can wreck a whole destiny and that is why the Bible says: There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 14:12).
This makes continuous guidance a lifelong requirement for every child of God as it is the gateway to a world of exploits and supernatural breakthroughs. When we are guided by God, we are unusually confident. Moreover, we don’t suffer stress under His leading because it is the gateway to our breakthroughs (Psalms 23:1-6; Isaiah 48:21; Joel 2:1-11).
However, we must recognize that until we are in the Spirit, we cannot hear from God and fasting helps us to be in the Spirit, which makes hearing from God automatic. Therefore, we must be in the Spirit and walk in the Spirit to be led by God (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:25; Revelation 1:10).
Fasting engenders divine health: This happens in three ways:
Prayer and fasting is a platform for divine empowerment: Jesus describes sicknesses and diseases as oppressions of the devil. The Bible says:
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him (Acts 10:38; See also Matthew 10:1).
When we are empowered on the prayer altar, we cast out the spirit of infirmity without sweat. This is why we must build up our power level in order to displace the oppressor. For instance, Jesus Christ was anointed without measure and no sickness or disease could survive at His appearance. Therefore, our level of empowerment is what defines our level of liberty (Psalms 66:3; Matthew 17:19-21; Mark 9:29; Luke 4:14).
Revelation: Revelation is a veritable tool for our desired transformation. The altar of prayer and fasting is the altar of outbreak of revelation which culminates in our transformation, including healing.
When we engage in a fast, there is a breaking forth of light and because infirmities are forces of darkness, when light breaks forth, they also bow out. However, when revelation graduates to illumination, authority is conferred and our dominion over sicknesses and diseases becomes unquestionable (Isaiah 58:6, 8, 60:1; John 1:5, 9).
The Word of God: God’s Word is the Balm in Gilead. That is, God’s healing power resides in His Word and every encounter with the healing Word sets us free from every harassment and torture of sickness and disease. Furthermore, when the Holy Ghost explodes the truth of the Word in our hearts (revelation), our health springs up supernaturally (Job 33:21-25; Psalms 107:20; Jeremiah 8:19-22; Luke 5:17).
We spiritually transfer our battles to God: All Judah waited on the Lord in a fast for three days and transferred their battle to God. As a result, God took over and all their enemies were destroyed. Likewise, when our battles are transferred to God, our victory is eternally guaranteed because He never loses any battle (2 Chronicles 20:5-17, 22-24).
Access to grace: Through the altar of prayer and fasting, we access grace for tireless, acceptable and sacrificial stewardship. It is important to understand that we will never see anymore glory than how much of labour we have invested in advancing God’s Kingdom (Hebrews 4:16, 12:28; John 10:18, 17:4-5; 1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Corinthians 8:3).
Let’s remember that God has prophetically declared that the year 2016 demands personal responsibility for maximum delivery. Amongst the responsibilities we must undertake is to engage the force of prayer and fasting to experience the ‘From Glory to Glory’ agenda God has for us this year. I pray that your encounters throughout this prayer and fasting season shall open new chapters in your life in Jesus’ name! Remain ever blessed!
Jesus is Lord!
- Every siege of stagnation in your life ends today!
- Your year of enviable change of levels is come!
- Every siege of the wicked upon your life is destroyed today!
- Whatever is resisting your glory shall not survive this prayer and fasting season!
- The things that eyes have not seen, nor ears heard shall be delivered to you this season!
- Every oppression of the devil sitting on your destiny is unseated in the name of Jesus!
- Your spiritual investment in the Church of God shall return this year as enviable change of levels!
- Breakthroughs and exploits shall be your testimony in Jesus’ name!
- Though you were pitied last year, you will be envied this year!
- Your year is come!
I invite you to fellowship with us at the Faith Tabernacle, Canaanland, Ota, the covenant home of Winners. We have four services on Sundays, holding at 6 a.m., 7.55 a.m., 9.50 a.m. and 11.45 a.m. respectively. Also, you can join our live services via Facebook: David Oyedepo Ministries International, Twitter: @Davidoyedepomin, Instagram: davidoyedepomin, YouTube: Domi Stream, Hebron 95.9 FM, Winners World App, Impact Africa TV (on Startimes and NigComSat), Domi Radio and via the Church Satellite. I know this teaching has blessed you. Write and share your testimony with me through: Faith Tabernacle, Canaanland, Ota, P.M.B. 21688, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria, call 01-4548070, 01-4548280, or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bishop David O. Oyedepo is a Nigerian Christian author, architect, preacher, and the founder and presiding bishop of the mega church, Living Faith Church Worldwide, also known as Winners’ Chapel.