If today's believers only knew the spiritual power in fasting, they would practice it more! Many people do not understand what fasting means to God and what it can accomplish in their lives. There is a strong emphasis on fasting in the Word of God. There are also many examples of the power of fasting in the lives of believers from early times up to the present. But today, the body of Christ has largely disregarded fasting. This is one reason why there is a lack of power in the church as a whole—with few miracles, signs, healings, deliverances and other manifestations of the supernatural to transform lives.
Our Need to Fast and Pray Has Intensified
Why has fasting essentially been abandoned by God's people? There are various reasons. One cause is our overscheduled lives; we pack so much into each day that we often neglect important priorities. Another is simply a lack of motivation. But I think one of the most significant reasons is the pervasiveness of a "hyper-grace" outlook in the church. This perspective says that since Christ has redeemed us and conquered Satan, there is nothing we need to contribute to our spiritual growth and safeguarding. But this is not what Jesus teaches us!
It is true that we can freely receive all the benefits Christ won for us on the cross. However, we must appropriate His provision by faith and apply it to all aspects of our lives. And we have a responsibility as God's priests to offer Him spiritual sacrifices of prayer and fasting in order to further His purposes in the world and in our own lives. The church must be a people who can manifest God's love and power in the world. The only way we can do this is to return to both prayer and fasting.
Additionally, at this time in human history, we are living in the midst of upheaval and revolution—both in the natural world and in the spiritual sphere. As the second coming of the Lord draws near, we are dealing with demonic powers that have never before been seen on the earth. Our need to pray and fast has intensified, because only by these means can we be prepared to confront and overcome these destructive forces of the enemy.
Times of Restoration
In accordance with this, we are living in the prophetic "times of restoration of all things":
Therefore repent and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the One who previously was preached to you, Jesus Christ, whom the heavens must receive until the time of restoring what God spoke through all His holy prophets since the world began (Acts 3:19-21).
The word restoration means "a bringing back to a former position or condition." It indicates being returned to original intent. In these last days, God wants to restore the church's intimate relationship with Him and empowerment in His Spirit so we can spread the gospel of the kingdom throughout the world, bringing salvation, healing, deliverance and abundance. This restoration includes a stirring in the church to return to living by the Spirit—no longer relying on our own strength and techniques for serving God—and to prepare for the return of Jesus Christ.
The book of the prophet Joel describes the end-time restoration of all things, which involves both Israel and the church. Toward the end of chapter 2, we read this word from the Lord about restoration: "I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust and the chewing locust, my great army which I sent among you" (Joel 2:25).
Prayer and Fasting as a Way of Life
What is our responsibility in God's plans for restoration? The promises of God require our personal cooperation—by prayer and fasting. Fasting is an essential tool for being empowered by the Spirit; it will enable us to experience breakthroughs in the spiritual realm, especially as we incorporate it as an integral part of our lifestyle. This principle of the necessity of prayer and fasting applies not only to restoration on a global scale but also to restoration in our individual lives, right now, by God's power and provision—in our personal life, marriage, family, finances, ministry and anything else that needs to be healed, repaired, or given new life.
The value of fasting is incalculable—for your relationship with God and for His purposes in the world. Make it a way of life starting today. Jesus said, "Your Father who sees [your fasting] in secret will reward you openly" (Matt. 6:18b).
Edited excerpt from Breakthrough Fast, Â© 2018 by Guillermo Maldonado, published by Whitaker House. Used with permission.
Active in ministry for over 20 years, Apostle Guillermo Maldonado is the founder of King Jesus International Ministry—one of the fastest-growing multicultural churches in the United States—which has been recognized for its visible manifestations of GodÂ´s supernatural power. He is a spiritual father to 338 churches in 50 countries, which form the Network of the Supernatural Movement (formerly called the New Wine Apostolic Network). He is also the founder of the University of the Supernatural Ministry (USM). Apostle Maldonado has a doctorate in Christian counseling and a master's degree in practical theology. He resides in Miami, Florida, with his wife and partner in ministry, Ana, and their two sons, Bryan and Ronald. Visit breakthroughprayerbook.com.
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