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THURSDAY 1ST NOVEMBER, 2018
THEME: FASTING AND PRAYING
TEXT: ISAIAH 58:1-14
MEMORY VERSE: ISAIAH 58:6 & 8 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.”

Fasting is a religious obligation practised in almost all religions of the world. It is a religious exercise to bring the body into subjection and be in tune with the spirit by abstaining from food and drink for a specific period. It is the right tool to engender the spirit of prayer in a Christian and record positive results. It is the secret of answered prayers, too.

In the text, the people of Judah increased the number of their fasting when they returned from Babylonian exile with the hope that God would answer their prayers speedily. They, indeed, prayed and fasted but God did not answer. God sent Prophet Isaiah to show them where they got it wrong: When they fasted they engaged themselves in mundane things such as exploiting their workers. They bore grudges against one another (Isa. 58: 3 – 4). They oppressed the poor and worshipped idols.

Christians believe in fasting and regard it a veritable tool for attaining a higher level of spiritual growth. Fasting also aids the spirit of prayer, but when you fast do you forsake the works of the flesh? Do you have a different attitude in your work? Do you use false measurement in trading? Do you falsify financial records? Do you give workers under your leadership their right? Do you not cheat in examinations? Remember you cannot be in sin and expect the grace of God to abound (Rom. 6:1–2). If you want your fasting and prayer life to be accepted by God and produce the desired results, you have to KILL the old man in you and allow the Spirit of Jesus Christ to take over your life. Fasting and praying are a way for you to surmount the spiritual mountains before you but they must be done in the Spirit of God to have the desired effect.

HYMN: EMHB 533 – PRAYER IS THE SOUL’S SINCERE DESIRE
PRAYER: Lord, give me the grace to fast and pray aright to bring the devil under my feet and be a blessing to Your Church, the Community and humanity in Jesus name.

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