Prayer And Fasting

By T.R. Kelley

BIBLE LESSON: PRAYER AND FASTING

MATTHEW l7:21 – “THIS KIND GOES NOT OUT BUT BY PRAYER AND FASTING.”

PASTORAL NOTE: To have the spiritual power God intends for us to have we are going to have to learn to unify ourselves in the joint commitment of PRAYER & FASTING.

– In Luke 11:1 we read where one of Jesus’ disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray….”

THIS OUGHT TO BE THE REQUEST OF EVERY SAINT OF GOD – TEACH US TO PRAY!

NOTICE – In response to this request Jesus began to teach what is known as THE LORD’S PRAYER. NOTE: THIS PRAYER WAS NEVER INTENDED TO BE USED AS YOUR DAILY PRAYER. IT IS ONLY AN EXAMPLE OR A PATTERN FOR US TO GO BY!

BIBLE READING: MATTHEW 6:9-18

I. THE LORD’S PRAYER

– The Lord’s prayer (as in every prayer) is a letter sent from earth to heaven. The letter or prayer is directed to “OUR FATHER;” the place sent to, “IN HEAVEN;” the contents are several errands of request; the close,
“FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM;” the seal, “AMEN” AND, if you will the date too, “THIS DAY.”

NOTE: There are three parts of this prayer:

1. THE PREFACE – “Our Father which art in heaven.”

a. Before we state our business, we must first address the One with whom our business lies; “OUR FATHER.”

-In this we recognize who He is, and the authority He possesses. He is the Father of all things because He created all things; thus, He has authority over all things.

b. He is in heaven. He is also everywhere else, but heaven is considered His throne and the earth His footstool.

-Heaven is a place of perfect unity and purity. Therefore, we must lift up holy or purified hands in worship unto Him.

2. THE PETITIONS – There are six petitions;

– The first three relate to God and His honor.

-The last three relate to our concerns, both TEMPORAL & SPIRITUAL.

NOTE: THE METHOD OF THIS PRAYER TEACHES US TO SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND THEN TO HOPE THAT OTHER THINGS SHOULD BE ADDED.

a. Hallowed be thy name.

– This is giving glory to God; PRAISE AND ADORATION.

– Praise His name, for the Name of the Lord is a strong tower which the righteous run into and is safe.

b. Thy kingdom come.

REMEMBER – The kingdom of heaven is at hand; we should pray that it may come.

NOTE: WHAT GOD HAS PROMISED, WE MUST PRAY FOR. WE MUST TURN GOD’S WORD INTO PRAYER.

Does not the Lord promise, “Surely I come quickly?” Our response should be, “Even so, Lord Jesus, come.”

c. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.

– We should pray that we and others be brought into obedience to all the laws and ordinances of God – AS IT IS DONE IN HEAVEN.

d. Give us this day our daily bread.

NOTE: THIS IS NECESSITIES OF LIFE; FOOD, SHELTER, DRINK, FINANCES, CLOTHING, ETC.

e. and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

NOTE: Those that come to God for the forgiveness of their sins against Him, must also forgive those who have offended them.

WE MUST BE FORGIVING BEFORE WE CAN BE FORGIVEN!

f. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

This petition is expressed…

1. NEGATIVELY: “Lead us not into temptation.”

– having prayed that the guilt of sin may be removed, we also pray that we do not enter or return again to a place of temptation.

REMEMBER – God does NOT tempt us to sin, but we are asking Him to keep us away from temptation, and to keep the devil away from us.

2. POSITIVELY: “But deliver us from evil;”

NOTE: Literally that is “from the evil one, the devil, the tempter.”

– “KEEP US, THAT EITHER WE MAY NOT BE ASSAULTED BY HIM, OR THAT WE MAY NOT BE OVERCOME BY THOSE ASSAULTS.”

3. THE CLOSE OR CONCLUSION – “For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

– This again is an acknowledgement of who and what God is. It is PRAISE & ADORATION offered up to a deserving God.

REMEMBER – THIS IS A PATTERN BY WHICH THE LORD EXPECTS US TO LEARN HOW TO PRAY. Study it. Refer to it. Use it, and see your prayer-life come to life, and the power of prayer come in effect in your life.

II. FASTING
– Fasting and prayer go hand-in-hand; (see Ps. 35:13; Ne. 1:4; Da. 9:23).

– JESUS emphasized the combination of prayer and fasting as an avenue of power; (Mt. 9:15; 17:21; Mk. 9:29).

– SAINTS of God have proved the virtue of abstinence from food when they had a great burden; (Lk. 2:37; Acts 10:30; 13:3; 14:23; I Cor. 7:5).

NOTE: Fasting is defined in a variety of ways. It mainly boils down to ABSTINENCE. To abstain from food, drink, and bodily pleasure is fasting. These can be done all at the same time for a span of time, or  separately.

1. There are fasts in which you abstain from food only.

2. You may wish to abstain from food AND liquids.

NOTE: THE MOST COMMON FAST IS THAT IN WHICH YOU ABSTAIN FROM FOOD (and sometimes liquids) FOR A SET PERIOD OF TIME.

PASTORAL NOTE: When you fast you bring your flesh into submission to God’s Spirit and Will and Authority.

BY YOU DOING THIS GOD IS MORE FREE TO USE YOU!

REMEMBER – Do NOT be hypocritical when you fast and act like you are starving to death. If you made a big “TO DO” about your fasting, you’re just going hungry.

III. IN CLOSING

LET’S MAKE A UNIFIED EFFORT FOR JOINT PRAYER AND FASTING. BY THIS WE WILL SEE REVIVAL!

(The above material was published by Calvary Tabernacle.)

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