Prayer and Fasting is one of the most neglected spiritual disciplines in the life of each believer. The Bible has a great deal to say about prayer and fasting, including commands to fast and pray. “And whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance in order to be seen fasting by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint you head and wash your face.” Jesus said “When you fast”, not if you fast. This means that fasting, like prayer, is not an option. Fasting is part of the Christian Life. We know that prayer and fasting was part of the lifestyle of many major leaders in the Scriptures and even in the life of Jesus Christ. We learned that Jesus’ disciples fasted and prayed after the Resurrection, the followers of John the Baptist fasted and prayed, Jesus fasted for forty days and many people in the early church fasted and prayed. The Scriptures have taught us directly and by the examples of the saints is surely something we are to do.
For almost 3 years when I became a Christian, I always participated in every year’s Prayer and Fasting of Christ Commission Fellowship Church. And whenever I have a big decision to make or when problems strikes and whenever I feel vulnerable I always make a one to two days fasting and praying to seek God’s guidance. Prayer and fasting is depriving yourself not just from the food but also from the material things, securities and knowledge that the world is offering to us. It is a way to unplug ourselves from this world and plug into the heavenly presence. Every time I fast, God is always amazes me with unimaginable thoughts and answers that even myself was always surprised with the things that He wants me to do. Yet sometimes it’s hard to obey but I have to follow because He says so.
2014 CCF Prayer and Fasting – This year’s theme was “All from Him, All for Him” which was based on Colossians 1:16b “All things have been created through Him and for Him”. Every year I’m always looking forward to have this one week prayer and fasting because I know this is another great opportunity to have that intimate encounter with our Creator. Last January 6 to 12, 2014 the one week prayer and fasting happened. Allow me to share what was happened before, during and after prayer and fasting.
To be honest, I don’t have any preparation when it comes to the food I eat before fasting, when in fact I should have to eat gradually and very light food a day before the fasting. Because, one of our D-Group member is celebrating his birthday and there’s a lot of foods to eat in front of your eyes that looks appetizing and I feel like the food is talking to me to eat them. (Hehe) Anyway, at night I made a list of my prayer items and cascade it to the D-Group, Officemates and Churchmates. I asked for their prayer list as well. What I did with my prayer items is I divided it per category to have a prayer focus every day. Also, I committed to God that on the 1st and 2nd day I just drink juice and water and on 3rd to 6th day just water only.
Day 1: My prayer focus for day 1 is about Intimacy with God, in the morning before going to office I have my personal devotion which I’m currently in the book of Job. At lunch time, I started to feel the hunger and so I had to sleep at noon like the usual thing I do every after meal at lunch. But I got convicted when I woke up that I should have did my devotion rather than sleeping. By 5’o clock I went to the creative room of our office and prayed to God while I started to feel the weakness physically and I have nothing to do but trust God and I just cried out everything to God in prayer. After office hours I went to CCF for the Night Devotion and Prayer, In the Praise and worship I was blown away by the song entitled “Hear us From Heaven” especially the line Lord, hear our cry, Come heal our land. Breath life into these dry and thirsty souls. Lord, hear our prayer.. Then, I went back to office and decided to sleep over and have again my devotion but this time about the Country Philippines. Day 1 ended and it’s amazing that I survived that day without any food, though my flesh and mind is craving for the food but truly God is enough to sustain us. God is the owner of everything, ruler of all things, He gives strength to all and a provider of everything.
Day 2: My prayer focus for this day is about My Family. I started the day with my daily devotion and prayer. As time passes by, I started again to feel the hunger and by noon I joined my two awesome officemates Nia and Pithree with their devotion, we had our praise and worship, sharings and prayers. By afternoon I really felt the weakness becomes more intense to the point that my hand is shaking and the craving for food was knocking badly. But, God is amazing that He spontaneously reminded me that Man should not live on bread alone but in every word that comes from God. In the Night Watch at CCf while praying, I never imagined that I’ll broke down with tears because of the joy and He was reminded me of all the great things He has done in my life. He has given me big trials that I cannot surpass and He never leaves me nor forsake me. He’s always there in time of need and that He just waiting for me to come to Him. I went back to office, have my devotions, prayers and sleep over. Day 2 ended.
Day 3: As usual, I started my day with daily devotion and prayer. My prayer focus for this day is regarding my Work and the Company. This day is very different because my body is already adjusted with no food to eat and I never felt the weakness physically and I started my commitment to take water only. We have our devotions by lunch time, night watch at CCF, went back to office, have my personal devotion, prayer and sleep over. Day 3 ended and God is continuously revealing himself to me, His will to me becomes clearer.
Day 4: As day four approaches it’s unbelievable that I’ll be able to get through up to this day because for me a day without food or anything is like a hell, But God made me realized so many things that He alone is enough for us to live here on earth.
Day 5: I opened my day with my devotion and prayer and for the fifth day without food I noticed the changes in my body physically but i don’t feel I’m weak. This day is one of the most amazing day of the Prayer and Fasting, while I’m having my devotion and praying fervently to God and in my deep silence I really felt that God was talking to me directly. I asked God about his leading of having my own d-group again this year because I know I’m already equipped to handle my own group and I have a heart to disciple other men. But in my surprised God spoke to me this way “Vinz, for three years that you are with me, you’re always crying and praying to me about the salvation of your family but you don’t prioritize your relationship with them, you’re always praying to me to use you to minister to them but you don’t make yourselves available to them. This is one of the reasons why I don’t allow you to handle your own group because I want you to focus first with your family.” I am overwhelmed by this truth and I went home praising God.
Day 6: I spent my whole day with my family and chatting about anything and starting to make them feel that I am always there for them.
Day 7: This was the last day of Prayer and Fasting. After the 12PM worship service, we (d-group) had our devotion as a group and I am blessed to lead our final devotion, then Ian shared his devotion about Lord’s Supper then we had our Lord’s Supper ceremony. After that we went to Lugawan in BF Homes and broke the fast and had our fellowship.
I’m still in awe of how God moved through that one week Prayer and Fasting, He allowed me to experienced Him intimately while I’m still here in the Earth, He showed to me great things that He alone are capable of doing, He comforted me when I felt the pain, He gave me strength when I’m weak, He assured me that He will never leave me nor forsake me and loved me more than anything. God used this prayer and fasting to change my worldly perceptions and to focus on the eternal thing.