The Lost Discipline of Fasting and Prayer

Joseph Esposito

Over a week ago on two different occasions, we had an evangelist preach on the topic of “intercessory prayer.” A new Christian in our Sunday School class went to his book table and purchased the book, Kingdom Power by Prayer and Fasting. He read it in three days! His wife emailed me his notes, and they were a challenge to me as I ponder on the topic of prayer and fasting. It seems fasting is a lost art today. But it is a New Testament discipline that binds Satan, gets the Lord’s attention, and moves His hand. Might we consider setting aside even a day to fast – for the lost, for a child, to diminish fleshly desires, or for another area where we need the Lord’s hand? I hope these are helpful reminders of the purpose and result of fasting as they were to me.

Notes on Fasting AND Praying:
1. It weakens the flesh and humbles the spirit.
2. Fasting is a primer that prepares you for spiritual warfare.
3. Fasting and prayer can break the bands of wickedness caused by sins/authorities or principalities and create bands of righteousness that protects you and can bind the wicked.
4. It takes our focus off material things and directs it on unseen, spiritual and eternal things.
5. Repent constantly. Turn your joy into mourning. Above all else mourn deeply for the absence of the Lord. Weep sorely for the price Jesus paid on the cross.
6. The purpose should be to empty yourself of selfish thoughts and desires so God can work His desire through you.
7. Remember only fasting and praying can drive out certain demons/devils.
8. It increases our spiritual power.
9. Our soul is intimately connected to our belly. Your belly is the center of your carnal appetites. So, refrain from any pleasurable carnal activities while fasting.
10. The sin of covetousness can create an idol of your appetites if left unchecked. This form of idolatry is destroyed by fasting and prayer. Appetites are connected to things we covet.
11. It can help keep our souls from vanity and pride.
12. Remember it is the journey that matters. Jesus’ disciples should strive to be perfect. We should walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing. Deny ourselves and take up the cross to follow Him. 
13. Fasting is a must for genuine converts.
14. Fasting requires pure motives and purpose.
15. Fasting is for Heavenly glow not Earthly show.
16. The Holy Spirit needs to lead us in an extended fast of 3 days or more.
17. “Afflict your souls the seventh month and tenth day” Leviticus 16:29.
18. When fasting and praying, you focus on your picture of Heaven and let it become your prayer closet.
19. You are the priest, and your body is your temple.
20. Jesus is the rock of our salvation.
21. Just like the Holiest of Holies in the Tabernacle that was filled with the presence of God, let God fill your temple and flow out like water from the rock for the sake of others.
22. Allow your spirit to embrace the Thrice Holy Grace of the Lover, the Helper, and the Healer.
23. The flesh has no place before the Throne of the Almighty.
24. Fasting is symbolic of Jesus challenging Satan’s kingdom of darkness and grand dominion of all the kingdoms of the world. Seclusion represents the wilderness where the Holy Spirit led Jesus to resist the temptations, and ultimately rebuked and defeated the devil.
25. In order to banish lesser demons one must first bind the devil’s strongman that guards the gate. Jesus’s battle with Satan in the wilderness was to bind the strongman of the world in preparation to spoil the goods in his home. We are capable of winning back territory lost because of the work Jesus did. We have a promise that, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against.”
26. The word that is translated “virtue” is one that often is translated “power”.
27. Virtue strengthens Faith.
28. We sin to satisfy deceitful lust; Hence all sin is rooted in unbelief and soils our spirit with fleshly perversity, when it enters our heart it condemns us and the confidence of our faith is compromised. “O faithless and perverse generation.”
29. The potency of your authority as a believer is directly related to faith and virtue.
30. Remember, God gave dominion of this world to man. Satan is given power of authority over territory when the place is yielded over by man. By succumbing to temptation, we become vulnerable to Satan’s influence and control. By doing so we become a servant of sin. This in turn gives the devil more influence to affect other aspects of your life or the world in general. 
31. Jesus left us an example that we are called to follow. The God of Heaven calls us soldiers against spiritual principalities (II Timothy 2:3-4). We are to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sin (Acts 26:18).
32. We are strongest when we are weakest (II Corinthians 12:10).
33. We surrender to attack (James 4:7).
34. We prevail by dying (Romans 6:11).
35. We do this by dying daily (Luke 9:23, I Corinthians 15:31).
36. We fight with weapons that are mighty through God (II Corinthians 10:4).
37. The Sword of the Spirit - the infallible word of God and prayer of the Spirit work together (Ephesians 6:17-18).
38. The rest of God’s arsenal are defensive weapons.
39. Prayer supports preaching and fasting supports prayer.

Joseph Esposito

Bro. Esposito serves as the vice president of our Bible college, teaches the Cross Point Adult Bible Class, and heads up our children and teen Sunday school ministry. He and his wife Jennifer have six wonderful children.

Related Articles

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.