Strengthening our prayer life through fasting is one of the ways that helps us align our lives and our churches in what God is doing around us. There are several biblical reasons why one should engage in a personal fast. One of those is to strengthen our prayer life. Ezra says that the people of God, "...fasted and petitioned God…" (Ezra 8:23) to overcome the challenges that they were facing.
Nehemiah testifies to the fact that he "fasted and prayed before the God of heaven." (Nehemiah 1:4) as he responded to God’s call on his life.
Daniel also strengthened his prayer life as he devoted himself to God "...in prayer, petition, in fasting…" (Daniel 9:3).
How does fasting strengthen our prayers?
Donald Whitney writes, "Fasting does not change God’s hearing so much as it changes our praying." I believe it changes our praying in several ways:
It brings us to a stronger sense of humility & dependence on God and God alone to provide.
It heightens the seriousness of our prayers.
It creates a new level of urgency for prayer and God’s answer.
It brings a greater sense of focus & clarity to our prayers.
It removes all the fluff in our prayers.
It can lead to a deeper level of community with those who join us in our fasting & praying. Arthur Walls writes, "Fasting is calculated to bring a note of urgency and importunity into our praying, and to give force to our pleading in the court of heaven. The man who prays with fasting is giving heaven notice that he is truly in earnest." (God’s Chosen Fast)
Gary Rohrmayer, President and Executive Minister
Gary Rohrmayer is president and executive minister of Converge MidAmerica.